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,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
'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!
one last time the blues hurricane would blow through Gaildorf. And
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
you and see you in two years!
des belgischen Blues-Journalisten Bob von der Website www.bobtjeblues.com
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