Henrik Freischlader – Budapest, Bonn & Blues

DSC_0568Henrik Freischlader’s star continues to rise, only recently he could be seen trading licks with  Mr Joe Bonamassa onstage.  Layla Zoe has also increased her fan-base hugely in Europe in the last months since her excellent second CD on CableCar ‘The Lily’ hit the shops both physically and virtually (internet).

Anything less than an evening of BluesRock magic at the Harmonie would have been a disappointment then, so if you did have a disappointing Wednesday night then you must have been elsewhere – Layla and Henrik both clearly enjoy playing music too much not to give it their best.

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Texas Heat in March

DSC_9723-EditHard to believe as it is, Johnny Cash bid us farewell eleven years ago on the crest of a late fame surge courtesy of ‘The American Recordings’. He sang homage to America in ”Ragged Old Flag’ and backed the downtrodden American Indians via ‘Ira Hayes’. So how can a man from Leverkusen ever dare to think he can step onto the Harmonie stage and play music so quintessentially from another continent with conviction? Texas Heat is the name of his band and they’re hot.

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Firegirl – Layla Zoe Interview

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I met Layla Zoe for the first time in April 2011.  It wasn’t until later that year that I first heard her incredible voice singing live, but  I got to witness first hand just how important music was to the girl labelled affectionately ‘Canadas Darling of the Blues’.   She had come down to Koblenz for a concert by Ana Popovic and her journey down had been a bad one for reasons I won’t go into, but what I will always remember from that day is Layla suggesting that maybe she could sing a song that evening – as a way to get the bad experience out of her system.

For Layla Zoe music was, and as you will find in my interview still is, the best medicine.  Her last release ‘The Lily’ was one of my favourite discs of last year, so when I heard that Layla would be supporting Henrik Freischlader for his show at the Harmonie Bonn on March 19 I took the chance to try and find out why making music is so important to her.

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Spin Doctors & Stacie Collins

sd1“When we were selling 50,000 records a week,” remembers Chris Barron, “I’d walk into a mall to buy underwear and 300 kids would surround me!”   A Harp playing blues girl and a powerpop band that a few years ago was all the rage with commercial tunes and witty lyrics.  Stacie Collins was blowing harp and Chris Barrons band  The Spin Doctors were prescribing a good time for all.   The only losers were those who stayed at home.

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Graham Parker – Waiting for the UFO’s in Bonn

parker1The publicity for his present solo concerts is based on recollections of a rocking night at the Grughalle Essen in 1980,  my own decision to visit the Harmonie on Monday was the memory of some great  albums made by the man in the late 1970’s, and most of the audience were of an age that suggested this probably wasn’t their first Graham Parker concert, but also that the last was a long time ago.  Carrying the past on your back is a heavy burden, Chobhams biggest music hero seemed unconcerned about the load.

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