The new disc ‘Means of Escape’ was recently nominated for Best Album of 2019 in the European Blues Awards, as well as being included in Joe Bonamassa’s personal Spotify Playlist of music from musicians who are keeping the Blues alive. It was recorded in as few takes as possible says the English guitarist behind it, in order to keep the live feel. Here we are then to test out just how well that live CD vibe aimed for by Danny Bryant matches a room full of Blues fans on a chilly November evening at The Harmonie
“I got ‘A’ listed on my latest record on the Radio in Holland, so it’s going out to the masses which has been great you know. There are still massive Blues elements in there though and I’ll always have that Blues guitar no matter what I do”
Good news then for the many fans of British Blues musician Laurence Jones who paid his early musical ‘dues’ touring alongside top Blues musicians like Johnny Winter and Walter Trout. With a new Band, a new CD and a new beard there was a lot to talk about when I met Laurence after his recent concert at The Harmonie.
“Sing along if you recognize this one!”Laurence Jones calls out, before launching into a powerful version of the John Fogerty classic ‘Fortunate Son’ at Bonn Harmonie on Monday. Those present were indeed fortunate, this really was a devastating performance from the acclaimed British ‘Blueser’, truly live music from the heart and soul. For his last appearance here with Blues Caravan in 2014 Laurence Jones was just a youngster with star potential under the RUF Records roster, at 27 though he has very definitely made the step up to Premier League status.
It’s not very often that you see Blues-Rock being played by just a drummer and guitarist. It’s rarer still for the drummer to be both female and pregnant. Welcome to the unconventional musical World of CC and Tone aka Little Hurricane as the duo bring their very individual brand of Lo-Fi-Indie Rock to Cologne’s Luxor venue. 3songsbonn generally stays true to the name. Every so often though there are bands playing not too far away that are just too promising to draw boundaries on.
When, mid-set, Rebecca Lovell mentioned that the new CD ‘Venom & Faith’ had gone straight into the biggest Blues chart in America at number one, it seemed like something she was mentioning by-the-by. Atlanta sister duo Larkin Poe have gone from insider tip to the hottest blues act on the planet. This will be the last gig of theirs in Luxor, of that I’m sure, and if you were lucky enough to grab a ticket for the show (which sold out weeks ago) you will know why.
The Harmonie stage looks strangely bare considering five musicians have set up on it. There’s only a single Fender Telecaster propped up in front of a battered speaker cabinet for Henrik Freischlader himself. Over on the merchandise stall, there is no sign of t-shirts, back-catalogue cd’s or signature Stetson caps. Just two cardboard boxes – one with the new release as cd and the other with its vinyl counterpart. Travelling Light could be the Tour motto.
They are now so much of a musical institution in Bonn that it’s hard to imagine a music scene here without Bill Baum and his partners in music The Bluesbenders. It was then, a mark of the respect Bill has gained from the Blues scene, that for his 25th Anniversary show at Bonn Harmonie, Bill was joined by a man nominated in three categories for this year’s International Blues Awards, Richie Arndt. It was guaranteed to be a good evening for Bonn Blues lovers.
The local paper reports that Sir Van Morrison said ‘Thank You’ before leaving the stage on this pleasantly warm evening in Cologne. The only words I can recall from Ireland’s celebrated and knighted (2016) musical son all evening were song names, barked more for the band to follow than for listeners to hear. Ultimately though, with such a legend, it’s the music that should do the talking; and it did so perfectly in front of a sold out Roncalliplatz audience.