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Programmübersicht 2003Rückblick 2003Band-Informationen 1, 2, 3 ... 8Bo WeavilLarry Garner and BandMagic Slim and the Teardrops feat. Big Time SarahSherman Robertson BandMike Andersen BandKenny Neal Band feat. Billy BranchDuke Robillard BandCarl Weathersby

 

 

Presse-Rückblick 09, 10.08.03

Blues Hurricane in Gaildorf

 
 

Der belgische Blues-Journalist Bob (links im Bild) zusammen  mit Sherman RobertsonHier der in englisch verfasste Bericht des belgischen Internet-Blues-Journalisten Bob (einen Link zu dessen Website gibt's ganz unten auf der Seite), der das Gaildorfer Bluesfest zwar zum ersten, aber garantiert nicht zum letzten Mal besuchte.
Netter und kompetenter könnte man das Gaildorfer Bluesfest 2003 wirklich nicht beschreiben! Well done, Bob!


Troubles in my right leg, due to an accident of some years ago, almost prevented me from going to the picturesque Gaildorf in Germany. But hey, what are doctors for? After some pills and an injection against the pain I was able to travel without any problem. Fortunately, or I would have missed one of the most beautiful blues experiences in my life.

It took me hours and 700 kilometers to get there, with traffic jams (because of the beginning of the holidays and many roadworks), lots of rain and bad weather, but I checked into the nice Krone hotel in Fichtenberg, 7 kilometers outside of Gaildorf, just in time.

The organization worked very hard to please the visitor, this was obvious. A nice (and probably very expensive) tent, several stands with all kind of things, clean toilets, a lot of different food and drink stands, long rows of benches and tables, and those typical huge pints of beer. Just no yodelings, which I liked very much.

It all started pretty chaotic on Friday night, as for me, also the French duo Bo Weavil had many difficulties in the German traffic, which resulted in the fact that they arrived too late on the festival. But as there are more cool bluesmusicians, Larry Garner was prepared to open the festival (top of the bill this day!). And here I was allowed to meet for the first time the famous blueswind, blowing through Gaildorf. Larry Garner, the guitarist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received many applause for his gesture, even before he could play the first note. Dressed in a nice suit he touched his white Epiphone and this was the beginning of a wonderful performance, consisting of traditional blues, funkyblues and soul. The slow bluessong 'Cold Chills' and the funky touches in 'Shak Bully' from his albums 'Standing Room Only' and 'You Need To Live A Little' could please everyone, and the audience showed this. Alligator artist Sugar Blue from New York also came to play a song; which would be repeated later on.

I got very thirsty by it, and allow me to say that the big pints of beer (non-alcoholic for me) were a true blessing. The rain continued, but the heat in the tent drove me several times to the beerstand.

Then Boogie Matt and Sleepy Vince as second ones, instead of Clarence Spady Band, who cancelled. The reason for Spady's absence, as I was told, were problems with the travelling visa. A pity, for I really desired to see them. But this doesn't mean that Bo Weavil did a bad job, on the contrary. I saw them as a treesome, but also as a duo several times, and this maybe was their best gig till now! They control Robert Johnson's 'Walking Blues' and 'Bukka White's 'Jitterbug Blues' perfectly, and still it's the own sound of these energetic men that makes it work, great! Some fanatic moron wanted to go on stage, just like a hot young lady. Both were removed from stage politely and with the necessary decency.

I became hungry, but in spite of the quantity and the diversity, I couldn't please myself with things like kebab, bread, cheese and some oignon rings (zwiebeln). Bread with some saucages (Brotwurst) and ham, nothing else for me. Well… after all, I came for the blues, and that's what I got, for sure with the appearance of Chicago's blues icons, Magic Slim & The Teardrops. They weren't alone, bluesmama Big Time Sarah came with them and all together it became a predictable set. In Belgium they would play a first gig on Saturday, here I had the chance to see them a day earlier. A kind of predictable set, still they could count on a great applause. Sarah performed as first and filled the festivaltent with songs as 'Hoochie Coochie Mama' and the sing along 'Got My Mojo Working'. Classics, oh well, but the spirit by which she did everything, made it all up. "Shake your body", she shouted to the audience, the obvious movements with her big behind were enough to make the audience scream enthousiastic. Initially, Magic Slim had some guitar problems, but after this, the guitarfreaks could fill their hearts. 'Bad Boy' and 'Let Me Be Your Baby' were played and everyone loved it, including myself. And also Sugar Blue came along. All together they brought 'The Blues Is All Right', and who dares to speak against this?

Because Spady was cancelled the organisation needed a replacement and one was filled in by Sherman Robertson. He already performed on previous editions, and hearing people talk, he's a bit the darling of the Gaildorf bluesaudience. True, for again the blues hurricane roared through the festivaltent. Sherman gave the best from himself for 2 hours. 'Me, My Guitar and the Blues', pointing at his guitar and himself, the soulclassic 'I Got Sunshine', I Don't Want No Woman' (with, yes, again Sugar Blue) and many other great songs brought the tent to its boiling point. Pints of beer had to go, for a game of cutting guitarsolo's on top of the tables is what Robertson felt like doing. Really too many people made it almost impossible for me to take the photos of my life. But if you want something, it's possible and with the help of showman Sherman I had the time of my life. The audience, on its boiling point, didn't wanna let go and he had to play twice some bis songs. In short: wonderful!

After a great night of sleep and knowing that the bluesparty would continue near the evening, we got the chance to explore the neighbourhood. A man has to add some things to his cultural bag, I think. Some kind of a deal between the organisation and the local pubs made it impossible to be bored. In other words, the entire village parties along with the Gaildorfer Bluesfest. All shops and pubs are open, there are different fair-attractions in the streets, all in all an atmosphere that welcomes the visitor.

Back to the festivaltent where day two would break all records. It already began with the Scandinavian Mike Anderson Band who got a warm applause from the audience, after playing a strong set. The 25-year old Mike and his 5-headed crew already do this one year and a half and there's no doubt they are determined to make it. Mike showed himself as a very good guitarplayer, but also vocally he shouldn't be underestimated. We got nice examples in 'Letter to my Girlfriend', 'Right Now It Hurts' and the slow 'How Do You Sleep At Night'. A spontaneous bleeding nose for Mike, due to an old cold, caused that the songs didn't all fit to eachother. Still this couldn't spoil the fun. Truly a band to see again!

The Kenny Neal Band and Billy Branch would make it even better. Kenny, coming from Baton Rouge-Louisiana, began his set with the appropriate 'I'm Ready for You'. Next to his nice, warm voice, he also playes the harmonica and guitar, by which he certainly could touch my sensitive string. He played very decent guitarsolo's and when master harmonicaplayer Billy Branch joined the stage with Kenny, all broke lose! This was enjoying with capital E. The highlight definately was the moment they both continued acoustically. 'Going Up, Going Down' ( where did I hear this before?), but especially 'It Hurts Me Too' were astonishing. When Kenny spoke to the audience with the wise words "What a great festival this is!", I thought for a moment that the audience would never stop showing their gratitude. Also these men didn't escape the necessary bis songs, they were called back twice.

Master Duke Robillard was already long time on the list of Gaildorf. The Master of Ceremonies was very proud to announce that Duke would be performing. He came on stage with shortcut hair and almost without a beard. He even made me doubt for a moment if it was really Duke. But I was pretty sure after he hit the first notes on his Gretsch guitar. Robillard asked the audience "Are you ready for some blues?". What did he think, the reactions were obvious. He played old fashioned slowblues, let himself go in rock 'n roll bluessongs to be wonderful in a more swinging jazz-style. Robillard knows how to fascinate. To me, the highlight was during the instrumental 'Swinging for Lucy Mae', it was superb how Duke and his band know eachother, pure class!

The 'piéce de résistance' arrived when Carl Weathersby came to finish the Gaildorf Bluesfest. To be honest, I didn't know a thing about this man, only from some people and there it stopped. In an astonishing way, he hit me. Under-appreciated guitarvirtuoso Carl, born in Jackson, Mississippi convinced me in a matter of seconds from his extraordinary qualities. During his show, he walked into the audience (second guitarplayer Calvin Gaskin watched everything), he played the guitar in his neck or with his teeth, without playing worse. 'Angel of Mercy' was a perfect example. Just when I thought this would be the end, the surprise of the weekend arrived. Sherman Robertson climbed on stage, and with him Billy Branch and Kenny Neal, to make a crazy and breathtaking jam with Carl. My remark to organiser Eva "This is what I call blues magic" wasn't a lie. For years I'm visiting every week festivals and concerts, but never have I seen such an enthusiastic bluesaudience. In fact you cannot describe this, it's something you have to experience. And such an exploding jam is a unique thing in your life, one never to be forgotten. And Carl?...well, he was shining!

For one last time the blues hurricane would blow through Gaildorf. And I? … I wept in my heart of happiness to have seen this. My thanks goes to Eva (for the invitation), the Master of Ceremonies (for his sublime announcements), the entire crew of the organisation (especially the waitresses in the backstage), the artists (for the great performances), Hotel Krone (for the hospitality), and of course the Gaildorfer bluesaudience for so much enthusiasm… Thank you and see you in two years!

 

Bericht des belgischen Blues-Journalisten Bob von der Website www.bobtjeblues.com
...hier entlang zur Website von Bob: www.bobtjeblues.com

 

 

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