It’s Christmas. That time of year when a Bonn Folk Music fans thoughts turn to – Simon Kempston.
This Friday (1 December) the gifted singer/songwriter and finger-style guitarist extraordinaire will be making his 12th consecutive visit to Folk Club Bonn. When John Harrison jokingly told Simon many years ago that we would love to have him back – but he has to bring a new CD with him every time, little did we know that the joke would be on us!
This year is no exception. Would he manage to pass the strict contractual obligations set out by the Folk Club’s MC John Harrison? The new CD is titled ‘Moonrise over Mostar’. Simon describes the deal thus: “As agreed with Sir John of Harrisonshire back in November 2011 at the Graurheindorf crossroads I shall of course, have copies with me in Bonn on Friday!”.
“This will be my first ever collection of original pieces for the classical guitar. Recorded at home during a time when musicians could not perform, these are compositions from the heart I feel impossibly close to, and in many ways my saviour during the most difficult days I have known as a musician. Hopefully, this is reflected in the final performances and that you enjoy listening to them as much as I have enjoyed creating them”.
We really are blessed to have Simon trek down to Bonn from his native Edinburgh to play for us. Described as ‘One of Scotland’s very best singer/songwriters’ by leading Scottish publication ‘The Herald’, Simon has performed across the world in 35 countries and counting but always holds the first Friday of December free for a date at what he describes as “The best Folk Club outside of Scotland”. It will be an evening to remember so don’t miss out – and bring some cash for that new CD too. There are not so many shopping days left until Christmas!
01 December 2023Folk Club Bonn
7 pm to c.10 pm – Admission Free – but buying CD’s is permitted 😉
Address: Dotty’s Sports Bar (Bonner Tennis- und Hockey-Verein – BTHV), Christian-Miesen-Str. 1, 53129 Bonn-Dottendorf
Posters for her current ‘Power’ Tour proudly proclaim “The Blues Queen is Back!” and there’s no doubt that Ana Popovic has been away from Bonn for quite a while. That pause was down not just to Covid and her move to The States, but also due to a fight with Cancer that she has thankfully won. She looks as bewitching as ever in those posters, but is she truly still the Blues Queen? There was a packed house at Bonn Harmonie to find out.
To quote the title of one of this evening’s tracks, Bonn was well and truly ‘Gone to Texas’ on Thursday (18 Oct). Well, at least, Texas had certainly come to Bonn in the shape of two of its premier Blues Rock ‘n’ Rollers. To the uninitiated, Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia go back a long way together, hence the tour title ‘Blood Brothers’. With so many long-term fans in attendance at the Harmonie it certainly seemed like a family affair.
We’re only just in 2023 but already more than 40,000 tickets have been sold for this Summer’s Kunst!Rasen Season.
A rundown of the current program:
15.06 Santiano 18.06. Klassik!Rocknacht 19.06. Bon Iver 20.06. Porcupine Tree 24.06. Achtung/Note: No Classic Rocknacht at Kunst!Rasen. Instead E Werk Köln with Billy Gibbons & The Bfg’s! 04.07. One Republic 07.07. Roland Kaiser 08.07.Folk!Picknick 14.07. Simply Red 15.07. Broilers 02.08. Bastille – Neu 04.08. Brings 10.08. Placebo 12.08. Niedeckens BAP
With a couple more shows still to be confirmed so watch this space…
Back to Kunstrasen’s ‘Klein aber Fein’ Vsecond Stage. Roxanne de Bastion and Daniel Bongart were on the bill on a day when all the threat of rain during Sunday’s VIP lounge concert arrived with a vengeance from early afternoon on Tuesday evening. An hour before the music was due to start there were regular peals of thunder from the Rheinaue direction. A wise man would have stayed home. I set out – with a raincoat and strong umbrella. Well, there was an English lady waiting for me. Waiting for an audience of any sort I suspect as the lightning lit up the early evening sky.
‘Musik unter der Zeder’ makes a welcome return to the Bonn Open-Air calendar in July/August. The concerts, created by The Kleinen Theater and KuKuG in Bad Godesberg were a storming success last year, and the 2021 programme looks to be as strong as, or dare I say it, even stronger this Summer. From the opener with Brazilian Jazz & Latin Grooves offered by Astatine and very special guests through to African Drums that will signal the Festival’s close on 9 August there is a veritable cornucopia of musical styles coming our way in the Kurpark Bad Godesberg.
Read on for more information and feedback from the musicians who gathered for this week’s press conference…