RosaWay – Stranger (Infinity Gritty/Ropeadope Records)

Stéphane Avellaneda will be familiar to many readers.  I remember first seeing him as the new drummer behind Ana Popovic some years ago now.  My thoughts then were that he was a rock drummer and that he was LOUD too!.  After a couple of shows though, it became apparent that Stéphane could also play subtle accompaniments too, and was a man always ready to experiment a little with the sound.  Of course, within the confines of the Ana Popovic Band, it was the lady in charge who dictated the shots.  Fair enough, it’s her band and her songs.  Fast forward to 2019, and with Ana Popovic now ripping it up a storm Stateside for much of the year with her band, Stéphane has taken the opportunity to team up with French vocalist/flautist Rachel Ombredane to make an intriguing debut disc via Kickstarter donations.  The result is a duo named RosaWay and an excellent Jazz/Synthpop EP named ‘Stranger’

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Rüdiger Baldauf in Dottendorf

Michael Jackson seems to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these days.  Rüdiger Baldauf’s Jackson Trip was actually released in 2017, but with the current Jackson Art retrospective at Bundeskunsthalle, now is the perfect time for the top trumpeter from Bensberg to bring a part of Jackson that is in no dispute back in the public eye – his incredible contribution to Funk/Soul and Pop music.

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Double Delight – Folk Club April

Whoever first said you don’t get anything for nothing had never attended Bonn Folk Club.  They certainly would have changed their minds if they were at Dotty’s Sportsbar/Restaurant for FCB #101.  It was a night on which we actually enjoyed multiple ‘somethings for nothing’ in the form of two excellent headline acts from the Folk World – and that’s before factoring in the additional ‘something for nothings’ that came in the form of numerous local and visiting musicians who once again dropped by to perform a song or three.  Here’s the low-down on an evening with Daria Kulesh, Lindsay May and many other contributors to another magical evening of acoustic bliss.

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Michael Jackson: A Man in the Mirror

David LaChapelle – The Beatification (segment)

Following its controversial run at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Grand Palais in Paris Michael Jackson: OnThe Wall has continued to court publicity during its current run at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. No publicity is bad publicity? It certainly won’t do the attendance figures any harm that Dan Reed’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ film has put Jackson back in the spotlight.

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The Lazy, The Weight and The Crossroads

It was the closing night of the first Rockpalast Crossroads visit to Bonn in 2019, and what a night!  Certainly not one to sleep through for sure, with Hard Rock at its blood pumping, adrenalin spiking best as Austrian rockers The Weight did indeed lay down some heavy riffs whilst Australian rockers The Lazy proved to be anything but what their name suggests.  ‘Loud ‘n’ Proud’ could have been the evening’s motto as beer and metal guitar riffs flowed freely all night long at the Harmonie.

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Rockpalast Crossroads 2019

Its that time of year again.  Rockpalast makes it’s first to visit to Bonn this year with the 2019 Crossroads Festival.

As usual, a varied bill that should give everyone a tastof what they enjoy as well as a taste of the unknown.  The varied mix was evident even from the first show, featuring Philadelphian Rock Trio  Mo Lowda & The Humble and the 60’s Stax sound of Burundi born JP Bimini & The Black Belts.

Mo Lowda singer Jordan Cairola’s tremolo vocals reminded me somewhat of an understated version of Asaf Avidan, but his lyrics carried a punch that the music itself tended to lack at times, with the best track of all saved to last – ‘Valentine’ is a song inspired by one of the many senseless gun attacks on American schools.  The Humble are a hard-touring band in the States by all accounts and certainly deserve a tour of their own in Europe.  Maybe an appearance on Rockpalast can open the right doors.  Kudos to the band also that despite bassist Jeff Lucci injuring a foot recently and having to play seated, he managed to play the bass lines via keyboard.  It worked a treat too!

Jordan Caiola of the Rock trio Mo Lowda & The Humble

JP Bimini was born in Burundi and a member of the Royal Family there.  In 1993 his parents fled to Britain after three attempts were made on his life during the Civil War in Burundi, and now he’s making a name as a King of Soul Music with an explosive band that delivers a genuine Stax sound and dares the audience not to dance.

All sweat and all smiles – JP Bimeni

A typically mixed but mesmerizing start to this years Rockpalast Crossroads Festivals.

The Festival in Brief:

  • 20 March:  J. P. Bimeni & The Black Belts and Mo Lowda & The Humble
  • 21 March: Krissy Matthews Band und Jetbone
  • 22 March: Fortuna Ehrenfeld und Razz
  • 23 March: The Lazys und The Weight

Start of each concert: 7:15 pm

DETAILS HERE

 

MORE PHOTOS: JP Bimeni

MORE PHOTOS: Mo Lowder & The Humble

St Louis Blues with Mike Zito & Jeremiah Johnson

 

There’s a tattoo with the Gateway Arch on his arm, but you only need to hear Mike Zito play to know his origins.  Jeremiah Johnson is a new name in Bonn, but also a native of St Louis, Missouri.

Not only do the two men have a common home, they also have a common ability to play the Blues from their heart-sleeves.  If you missed them on Sunday at the Harmonie, then you really should have the Blues.  Here’s why…

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