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interpreters


Tamikrest /Mali/

 

Pivnice Holba: Mississippi Mixtape /SK/

 

Foyer Domu kultury: Silesian Hammond Group /PL/

 

Pivnice Holba: King Bee /CZ/

 
Foyer Domu kultury: Forsal /PL/

Foyer Domu kultury: Forsal /PL/

 

Pivnice Holba – Kiero Grande

 
Foyer: Forsal /PL/

Foyer: Forsal /PL/

 

Fantastic Negrito /USA/

 

The Rick Derringer Band /USA/

 

Lilly Hiatt /USA/

 

Welch Ledbetter Connection /USA/

 

Mississippi Mixtape /SK/

 

Foyer: Silesian Hammond Group /PL/

 

ZVA 12-28 Band feat. Tomasz Kruk /SK, PL/

 

Svatopluk & Sváťa Karásek /CZ/

 

Mikoláš Chadima & Inrou /CZ/

 

Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars /film GB 2017, režie Lili Fini Zanuck/

 

Joe Louis Walker /USA/

 

North Mississippi Blues Project feat. RL Boyce, Kenny Brown, and Robert Kimbrough /USA/

 

Rev. Sekou /USA/

 

King Bee /CZ/

 

Forsal /PL/

 

Kel do Nascimento /Brazílie, CZ/

 

Four in Blue /CZ/

 

Ana Popovic /USA/

 

Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan /USA/

 

Southern Avenue /USA/

 

Luboš Andršt a Energit /CZ/

 

Jan Fic /CZ/

 

Foyer: Kiero Grande /SK/

 

Will Johns /GB/
Will Johns is one of the most prominent artists of the British blues scene. His plays the guitar in a modern way but he also respects the rich history of blues. He was teaching how to play the guitar himself from the age of 15, encouraged by his uncle Eric Clapton. John's extended music family also includes his other uncles, Mick Fleetwood and George Harrison. The experience and skills that pass from generation to generation are therefore clearly preserved here . His father, Andy John, was the sound engineer of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and others.

He spent some time living in Los Angeles, where he started his band Glyde in 1996. The band released their debut album, playeds concerts in the USA, Ireland, France, Germany and the UK. After returning to Britain he released three solo albums. Will is a highly respected composer, nominated for "Best Song" for the British Blues Awards for three consecutive years (2012-2014). He has fans all over Europe and America. He regularly takes part in prestigious events such as Birmingham Jazz & Blues Festival and Cambridge Rock Festival. At the festival concert he will play together with Czech rhythm duo Matěj Černý - bass guitar and Michal Nosek - drums.

 

Beer bar HOLBA: opened by Cheap Tobacco / PL /
The journey of the young quartet who won favour of last year´s BLUES APERITIV jury by their distinctive approach and absolutely professional performance, led from Krakow to Šumperk via perhaps all major Polish festivals including the biggest one, Rawa Blues. In 2012 the band became a big breakthrough of the year on the blues scene of our northern neighbours and won a number of various awards. Their music successfully blends blues with rock, funk and soul into a unique and above all explosive mixture. The jewel of the band is brilliant vocalist Natalia Kwiatkowska, who makes an excellent team with guitarist Robert Kapkowski.

 

Foyer in Big concert hall in House of Culture Šumperk: opened by Mississippi Mixtape / SK /
If there is something familiar about this band for our regulars, they might be right: it came into existence by a peronnel and partly also style changes inside the Bluesraiders ensemble, which performed in Šumperk in 2013 (when it became the BLUES APERITIV winner) and 2014. The father of this band is Ján Litecký-Šveda Jr., who is on the one hand a proof that the apple doesn´t fall far from the tree, on the other hand, however, in the area where Ján´s father tries to get the deepest to the roots, his son heads towards more modern alternatives. ´We got fascinated by black music with all its coarseness, urgency and dirtiness. And so we joined two of our biggest inspirations, blues roots and funk form, into a kind of modern funk which smells of blues,´ they say.

 

Nechte zpívat Mišíka ( Let Mišík play), ČT 2017, written and directed by Jitka Němcová, starring: Vladimír Mišík, Adam Mišík, Radim Hladík and others
The film story of Vladimír Mišík is in the concept of director Jitka Němcová composed of a mosaic of Mišík´s memories, songs, historic as well as personal archives, interviews with his colleagues, close friends and family. Alternation of a fictional space on ´Mišík´s little planet´ with reality on the planet Earth provides the film with a certain rhythm, wit, playfulness and warm humanity. A part of Mišík´s life story is also the topic of a never met father, an American soldier, who left behind only his mother´s memories and two photos. The effort to find out more about him led nowhere for a long time, but Vladimír´s son Adam, being helped by Czech as well as American historians, took the search over...

 

Beer bar HOLBA: opened by Slovak Blues Project / SK /
Behind the project, which was one of this year´s BLUES APERITIV winners, stands a well-known Slovak guitarist and singer Ĺuboš Beňa a tireless promoter of early forms of blues, especially the Mississippi style. However, in this formation he rather broadens his focus. It is all for the best, because as partners he chose Paĺo Hrnčirík and Miro Buzrla, young music generation representatives. On the other hand, the contact with the deep blues roots is provided by a veteran of Slovak scene, Peter Bonzo Radványi. They all present themselves as solo players, join one another at random in couples, triplets, and of course they all play also together.

 

Foyer in Big concert hall in House of Culture Šumperk: opened by King Bee / GB, CZ /
A band which caught the jury´s attention at this year´s BLUES APERITIV, they come from Prostějov, but their biggest asset is a frontman who is an English native speaker, which frees the band from a very frequent problem of similarly tuned domestic ensembles, so called ´Czenglish´. This frontman is Welsh singer and guitarist Daley B. Williams, whom ´life blew into our parts´, as the band themselves claim. One of the pluses of the band is also the fact that they chose an uneasy path of their own compositions. Their highly energetic unproblematic repertoire is based on a mixture of bluesrock and southern rock.

 

Beer bar HOLBA – opened by Phil Shoenfelt and Southern Cross / GB, CZ /
Everyone who is at least a bit interested in what is happenning on the domestic scene is bound to know the British rocker for years living in Prague, Phil Shoenfelt, who has been a part of it since the mid-90s. In the context of BLUES ALIVE let us remind that he´s going to perform here for the fourth time having made his debut in 2003 as a member of an international band Fatal Shore. For the second time he performed at BLUES ALIVE three years later together with violinist Pavel Cingl and for the third time in 2014 with guitarist David Babka. Paradoxically, as late as this year he is coming with an ensemble which is the most typical for him: his own complete band Southern Cross founded in 1995. Nevertheless, he is going to offer an exceptional programme assembled exclusively for this year´s BLUES ALIVE. It will consist of songs which, in his opinion, are within his work closest to blues and which will be chosen from the repertoire of three bands: besides Southern Cross also Fatal Shore and Dim Locator. With this performance Shoenfelt is going to commemorate his deceased fellow, Australian musician Bruno Adams, who died in 2009.

 

JONNY LANG /USA/

 

Jonny Lang /USA/
Jonny Lang has been on the main star of BLUES ALIVE candidates list for quite a couple of years. It might be a paradox, because Lang is only 36 – and what age is it for a bluesman? And yet he seems to be with us for long and long years. Yes, in fact almost exactly two decades. It is simple: he made his debut with an independent label when he was fourteen as a bluesrock ´prodigy´, and right his second album Lie To Me, at the age of 16, was released by a big recording company and went platinum.
Lang became a guitar star, he began to go on big tours, played on stages with his so far blues and rock star idols from B. B. King to Aerosmith or Rolling Stones. Hand in hand with all this went also the side-effects of his hectic life, alcohol and drugs. After a relatively short time these addictions were replaced with marriage and religious conversion. His expression started to manifest elements of Christian music and his fifth album Turn Around won him Grammy Award in the gospel-rock category. However, this by no means softened the sharp edges of his bluesmanship.
This September Jonny Lang released a new album Signs which shows that he has cut none of his roots, even if he is not (and has never been) an orthodox blues interpret. After all, he is not a black truck driver from Chicago, but a young white guy from North Dakota. By the way, a state which has basically zero blues tradition in the context of the USA. Since his third album Wander This World Lang´s music has been absorbing besides blues and rock also soul and funky elements, and he hasn´t been afraid – even if very rarely, now and then - of explicitly pop tuning. However, all his recordings and especially concert recordings are spiced with masterful guitar parts, and his emotionally indented vocals have always had distinctive expression given also by his voice timbre. Even when he was 16 Lang sounded in some voice positions as a life-bitten bluesman or soulman.
A Lidové noviny reviewer writes about his album: ´Album Signs definitely doesn´t sound at first listening as an album of a guitar virtuoso, who Lang undoubtedly is. There are no verbose guitar solos sticking out of the recordings, and if there are some, they are very modest in their length and expression. Lang definitely doesn´t ´tire´ with his guitar artistry, it is under control. It is obvious that he has decided to address a bit wider audience, which is in most songs a good idea. And in solely bluesrock items, which are not missing, he will delight his old fans.´
Jonny Lang concert is another dream come true not only of BLUES ALIVE programme managers, but as we believe, also of a number of his long-standing Czech fans.

 

Nechte zpívat Mišíky /CZ/
´When the idea to invite family bands to a theme afternoon emerged, I thought it would be nice if we managed to get to Šumperk also Vladimír Mišík with his sons Maťa and Adam who make music professionally too. Nevertheless, I didn´t hope for a positive result very much knowing about the workload of them all,´ says BLUES ALIVE programme manager Ondřej Bezr. The bigger and more delightful surprise it was for him when after some time Mišík´s manager sent a positive reply. And what is more, he offered that with the male part of the Mišíks musical family the female part can come too. Which means Vladimír´s wife Eva (who is a poet, an author of a few of her husband´s lyrics and who herself performs with the E+Mousy band as a vocalist) and his daughter Bára (an actress and mime, who in some performances also actively flirts with singing). So, the programme manager´s dream has come more than a hundred per cent true. And now one can only chant: Let the Mišíks sing!

 

Pivnice Holba: zahájí Cheap Tobacco /PL/
The journey of the young quartet who won favour of last year´s BLUES APERITIV jury by their distinctive approach and absolutely professional performance, led from Krakow to Šumperk via perhaps all major Polish festivals including the biggest one, Rawa Blues. In 2012 the band became a big breakthrough of the year on the blues scene of our northern neighbours and won a number of various awards. Their music successfully blends blues with rock, funk and soul into a unique and above all explosive mixture. The jewel of the band is brilliant vocalist Natalia Kwiatkowska, who makes an excellent team with guitarist Robert Kapkowski.

 

Foyer Domu kultury: zahájí Mississippi Mixtape /SK/
If there is something familiar about this band for our regulars, they might be right: it came into existence by a peronnel and partly also style changes inside the Bluesraiders ensemble, which performed in Šumperk in 2013 (when it became the BLUES APERITIV winner) and 2014. The father of this band is Ján Litecký-Šveda Jr., who is on the one hand a proof that the apple doesn´t fall far from the tree, on the other hand, however, in the area where Ján´s father tries to get the deepest to the roots, his son heads towards more modern alternatives. ´We got fascinated by black music with all its coarseness, urgency and dirtiness. And so we joined two of our biggest inspirations, blues roots and funk form, into a kind of modern funk which smells of blues,´ they say.

 

Mr. Sipp /USA/
Forty-one-year-old Castro Coleman, which is Mr. Sipp´s legal name, is sometimes also called The Mississippi Blues Child, according to the blues original homeland in which he was born and started his career as a musician. Belonging to the fresh breakthroughs of the American blues scene, he was literally shot to the public attention when he became the Blues Music Awards winner in the category Best New Artist Album last year for his second album The Mississippi Blues Child. This splendid instrumentalist, singer and experienced showman, whose style was formed by the legacy of old Mississippi masters and B. B. King as well as by gospel, has played a minor role of a guitarist in a successful biographical film about James Brown Get On Up produced by Mick Jagger.

 

Eric Bibb /USA/
When in 2012 Eric Bibb played at BLUES ALIVE together with Mali guitarist Habib Koito in the Brothers in Bamako project, he was so satisfied with the festival service and reactions of Šumperk audience that he wanted to play here again soon, this time outside his supplementary projects, and present music which is most peculiar to him – acoustic blues. It took five long years before both parties agreed on a way how to make this wish fulfilled.

Eric Bibb (1951) couldn´t be born into a better family. His father was Leon Bibb, one of the singer-songwriters who performed on the developing New York scene. His uncle was a famous jazz pianist and composer John Lewis of the style-forming Modern Jazz Quartet. His godfather was a famous black singer Paul Robeson and the Bibbs house was regularly visited by a great number of other ´uncles´ from music circles. One of them, Bob Dylan, told the eleven-year-old Eric, as early as then an owner of an acoustic guitar, how to do it: ´Play in a simple way, leave all the showy things alone.´ He stuck to it. Although he is a master of guitar fingerpicking and other techniques, he never displays them, he uses them in a functional way as a bluesman in the purest sense.

In spite of the fact that he made his first records in the 70s being on the music scene ever since, the most successful period in Bibb´s career started as late as in the 90s. It was then when interest in musicians who revitalized interwar acoustic blues and based their characteristics on it grew significantly. These were, for example, Corey Harris, Guy Davis or Keb ´Mo´. Eroc Bibb was one of them. Since then this creative musician has been making one album after another (and let´s add that one better than another). Now, he is one of the most significant figures on the acoustic blues scene.

One of reviewers wrote about his newest album Migration Blues: ´On his album composed of his own songs as well as covers, Bibb offers various points of view on today´s so frequently discussed migration and he comes, for example with analogies between the exodus of black population in the south of the United States during the economic crisis and current Syrian escape to Europe. He is, of course, aware of the fact that most present-day Americans have in fact migrant roots – and their music gives evidence of that, whether it is blues coming from Africa or cajun, music of French settlers of Louisiana. Although Bibb works with various styles, thanks to the intimate character the whole album holds together very nicely. And despite its general message, thanks to its naturalness, it doesn´t remind the listener of newspaper editorials.´

 

Jane Lee Hooker /USA/
Dana ´Danger´ Athens, Hail Mary Z, Tracy Hightop, Melissa ´Cool Ehip´ Huston and Tina ´T-Bone´ Gorin. No, these aren´t names from a rough comic, but members of a band who used an anagram to name it after one of the gratest blues classics, whose 100th birth anniversary we commemorate this year by the way. ´At first I was caught by the witty name and only then I listened to their debut album No B.! – and it was love at first listening. These girls play blues with a similar feeling to that of my favourite girl rock bands of the early 90s, such as Babes in Toyland or L7,´ says BLUES ALIVE programme manager Ondřej Bezr.

Jane Lee Hooker from New York started playing together in 2013 and toured every possible festival in the States. After two years they signed a contract with the Ruf Records and made there the album No B.!, which consists of highly original covers of blues and soul standards recorded in a very raw style, but at the same time in an unpompous womanly manner. At the moment the band are on their first tour of Europe, whose part their performance at BLUES ALIVE is going to be.

These are ´black mares´ of this year´s BLUES ALIVE, beware of them!

 

Hugo Race and Michelangelo Russo /AUS, IT/
One doesn´t have to be a smart cookie to notice that Hugo Race, a well-known psychedelic ´darkist´, whom we have already met twice at BLUES ALIVE with different projects (2001 and 2012) has a liking for bluesman John Lee Hooker. It is not even necessary to know that he put a cover of Hooker´s song Send Me Your Pillow right on his third album Second Revelator. A great deal of Race´s music, in fact, is closely related to Hooker, which of course, doesn´t mean that Race shamelessly steals from him - it is simply a kind of mutual tuning. So it isn´t much of a surprise that Race and his fellow from The True Spirit, harmonica player Michelangelo Russo (also a successful fine artist) have now made a whole Hookerish album - especially when we commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth this year.

Conservative Hooker´s fans may be a bit surprised to see how the duo handled the most as well as less famous bluesman´s songs. It all happened during one day and one night in soundman Boris Wilsdorf´s Berlin studio Einstürzende Neubauten. And these recordings are probably the most psychedelic among those which bear Race´s signature. Hallucinogenic sounds of looped guitars and harmonicas, delayed vocals, various industrial and ambiently sounding noises, but at the same time somewhere deep the typical Hookerish uninterruptible current of a ´never-ending boogie´. Sound dirt intersects here with crystal purity. ´Hooker´s today´s world´ is exactly like this, at least in Race and Russo´s interpretation. Their live performance is surely gonna be an exceptional experience.

 

Cheap Tobacco /PL/
The journey of the young quartet who won favour of last year´s BLUES APERITIV jury by their distinctive approach and absolutely professional performance, led from Krakow to Šumperk via perhaps all major Polish festivals including the biggest one, Rawa Blues. In 2012 the band became a big breakthrough of the year on the blues scene of our northern neighbours and won a number of various awards. Their music successfully blends blues with rock, funk and soul into a unique and above all explosive mixture. The jewel of the band is brilliant vocalist Natalia Kwiatkowska, who makes an excellent team with guitarist Robert Kapkowski.

 

Foyer: Mississippi Mixtape /SK/
If there is something familiar about this band for our regulars, they might be right: it came into existence by a peronnel and partly also style changes inside the Bluesraiders ensemble, which performed in Šumperk in 2013 (when it became the BLUES APERITIV winner) and 2014. The father of this band is Ján Litecký-Šveda Jr., who is on the one hand a proof that the apple doesn´t fall far from the tree, on the other hand, however, in the area where Ján´s father tries to get the deepest to the roots, his son heads towards more modern alternatives. ´We got fascinated by black music with all its coarseness, urgency and dirtiness. And so we joined two of our biggest inspirations, blues roots and funk form, into a kind of modern funk which smells of blues,´ they say.

 

Jan Martinek, Lukáš Martinek & Jan Martinek Jr. /CZ/
Jan Martinek belongs to the very absolute legends of the Czech bluesrock guitar and his son Lukáš is among their biggest contemporary stars. Jan is inseparably connected with Žlutý pes which he co-founded in the second half of the 70s and he is still faithful to it in spite of the long pause when we used to see him on TV screens in a suit as a TV editor. His son Lukáš was a guitar ´prodigy´ as early as at the end of his puberty – at that time similarly to Jonny Lang or Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Today he leads his own band Private Earthquake, he also plays in other projects and he has worked his way up as a respected studio soundman and producer too. However, not many people know that there is one more ´musical Martinek´: Lukáš´s older brother Jan Jr. Although he makes a living as a journalist, for all his life he has been intensely devoted to music (mostly to harder one) as a drummer. The family session on the Šumperk stage will be a unique opportunity to hear all three Martineks together.

 

Petra Börnerová Trio /CZ/
BLUES ALIVE visitors know well Petra Börnerová and her husband Tomáš ´Bobek´ Bobrovniczký, they have both performed here within various projects. Now, they are coming with their family trio, where Petra´s vocals and accordion and Bobek´s guitar is supplemented by their eight-year-old (!) son Tomáš Jr., who´s been playing with them regularly for two years. As for his instrumental focus, he took after his father – although Bobek plays the guitar in this project, he made a name for himself above all as a blues drummer, who has played perhaps with all Slovak and a great number of Czech bands. Tomáš Jr. in his firm drummer´s hand surely doesn´t fall behind.

 

Nechte zpívat Mišíka, ČT 2017, námět, scénář a režie Jitka Němcová, hrají: Vladimír Mišík, Adam Mišík, Radim Hladík a další
The film story of Vladimír Mišík is in the concept of director Jitka Němcová composed of a mosaic of Mišík´s memories, songs, historic as well as personal archives, interviews with his colleagues, close friends and family. Alternation of a fictional space on ´Mišík´s little planet´ with reality on the planet Earth provides the film with a certain rhythm, wit, playfulness and warm humanity. A part of Mišík´s life story is also the topic of a never met father, an American soldier, who left behind only his mother´s memories and two photos. The effort to find out more about him led nowhere for a long time, but Vladimír´s son Adam, being helped by Czech as well as American historians, took the search over...

 

Pivnice Holba: zahájí Slovak Blues Project /SK/
Behind the project, which was one of this year´s BLUES APERITIV winners, stands a well-known Slovak guitarist and singer Ĺuboš Beňa a tireless promoter of early forms of blues, especially the Mississippi style. However, in this formation he rather broadens his focus. It is all for the best, because as partners he chose Paĺo Hrnčirík and Miro Buzrla, young music generation representatives. On the other hand, the contact with the deep blues roots is provided by a veteran of Slovak scene, Peter Bonzo Radványi. They all present themselves as solo players, join one another at random in couples, triplets, and of course they all play also together.

 

Foyer Domu kultury: zahájí King Bee /GB, CZ/
A band which caught the jury´s attention at this year´s BLUES APERITIV, they come from Prostějov, but their biggest asset is a frontman who is an English native speaker, which frees the band from a very frequent problem of similarly tuned domestic ensembles, so called ´Czenglish´. This frontman is Welsh singer and guitarist Daley B. Williams, whom ´life blew into our parts´, as the band themselves claim. One of the pluses of the band is also the fact that they chose an uneasy path of their own compositions. Their highly energetic unproblematic repertoire is based on a mixture of bluesrock and southern rock.

 

The Blues Harp Explosion featuring Billy Branch, James Harman and Magic Dick /USA, GB/
A project which won´t let any blues fan stay calm. Together with an accompanying band (Andy Knight – guitar, Jeff Walker – bass guitar, Darren Crome – drums) real living harmonica legends will meet on one stage. ´Duels´ of harmonica players belong to a popular spice of blues festivals and here we will have the opportunity to enjoy the real top variants as much as we like.

Billy Branch (1951) is at the moment probably the most significant harmonica player in the style of Chicago blues. He started his professional career as a musician in the early 70s alongside no one less important than Willie Dixon as a member of his band Chicago Blues All-Stars. Later he set up on his own when he formed, together with Lurrie Bell (we saw him at BLUES ALIVE 2009) and Freddie Dixon (Willie Dixon´s son) a band Sons Of the Blues, which with many personnel changes lasts up to now. Besides, he has recorded, for example with Johnny Winter, Koko Taylor or Taj Mahal. In 1990, together with three a generation older harmonica stars Junior Wells, Carey Bell and James Cotton he played on one of the best-selling blues albums of all times Harp Attack!.

Magic Dick (born Richard Salwitz, 1945) besides harmonica plays also the trumpet and saxophone, and with all these instruments he became famous playing in an above all in the USA popular J. Geils Band, which he co-founded in 1965. At the end of the 70s, he was even labeled the ´best white blues harmonica player´ by the Rolling Stone magazine. After the break-up of J. Geils Band in the 80s (which, however, has played together several times on various occasions since then) he formed a band Bluestime, which in a unique way mixed Chicago blues with jazz. Recently he´s performed with a number of various projects, he´s been, for example (together with Buddy Guy, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and others) on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue tour.

James Harman (1946) has been an exceptionally experienced musician since an early age. Not only did he master so many instruments that he would be able to take any part in a standard band (besides harmonica he can also play the piano, guitar, keybords and drums), but most importantly, in the 70s he was a bandleader of Icehouse Blues Band in California, which focused on accompanying famous musicians who came to that region without their own bands. And so he played with such aces as, for example Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, all three most famous Kings – Freddie, Albert and B. B., or with Albert Collins. Since the 80s he´s been on the American blues scene on his own behalf crossing the world leading his own band, and now and then helping out some of his friends. Such as, for example the ZZ Top band on their albums Mescalero and La Futura.

 

Zac Harmon /USA/
Zac Harmon is a long-standing guitarist, composer and producer with Mississippi roots, who spent large part of his life in Los Angeles collaborating with a vast array of its musicians and he also did a bit of film music. He tried various kinds of music, but he always wanted to ´settle himself in blues´, which he managed to do in 2002 with his live debut album Live at Babe & Ricky´s Inn. This raw recording, which intertwines original composer handwriting with Mississippi feeling and electrifying Chicago sound earned him a reputation and opened doors for him to the best clubs and on stages of the main blues festivals. He is coming back to BLUES ALIVE after eight years again. In 2009 he was one of the stars of the project Chicago Blues Festival Tour, where he was accompanied by his instrumental colleague Gregg Wright and vocalist Diunna Greenleaf.

 

John Medeski´s Mad Skillet /USA/
Keybordist, pianist and organ player John Medeski is one of the biggest contemporary jazz stars. He became most renowned while playing in the wild trio Medeski Martin & Wood, but he has recorded and given concerts, among others also with an avantgarde saxophonist John Zorn, guitarist John Scofield, blues steelguitarist Robert Randolph, or with ´classics´ Jack Bruce or Johnny Winter.
The band Mad Skillet differs from the great amount of his other activities by a clear-cut turn to the deep roots of blues and funk music of New Orleans. It was put together at the New Orleans Music Festival in 2015 during an occasional jam session when musicians with their deep-rooted grooves, love for blues, jazz and psychedelic style met on stage: besides Medeski also guitarist Will Bernard and phenomenal rhythm section of the famous New Orleans ´brass band´ Dirty Dozen Brass Band, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph and drummer Terence Higgins. ´Terence and Kirk are a perfect rhythm section. They are rooted in music tradition, but at the same time they have no problems starting any new creative direction. It is really extraordinary to find musicians who have deep roots, but who are also willing to experiment,´ said Medecki enthusiastically. What to add? Maybe only that due to the workload of its members concerts of this occasional band aren´t very frequent, but according to eye witnesses they bring their audience to an absolute trance.

 

Bex Marshall Blues Band /GB, CZ/
The British Blues Award winner Bex Marshall excells not only in her unique resonator guitar style in which she combines her perfect slide technique, bluesrock energy and ragtime elements, but also in her uniquely stylish singing, which is sometimes compared to Janis Joplin or Bonnie Raitt. Bex shifts the borders of blues, her songs have repeatedly been labeled by British music critics as ´timeless, with an occasional touch of genius´. Bex´s concert drive is then described literally as a ´music tornado´. Another of her unofficial nicknames is ´1st lady of the British Blues´.
In 2015 Bex was nominated for the Best Solo Acouistic Artist at the European Blues Awards. Two years earlier she won the Best British Blues Vocalist and the Best Blues Album of the Year awards at the UK Blues Awards. On Bex´s last, self-produced album you will find Louisiana blues stained with gospel, smeared with bluegrass, and this all on top of that in the tempo of exciting British twist. ´British tornado´ will be accompanied at BLUES ALIVE by Czech bass guitarist Lukáš Kytner and drummer Roman Vícha.

 

Slovak Blues Project /SK/
Behind the project, which was one of this year´s BLUES APERITIV winners, stands a well-known Slovak guitarist and singer Ĺuboš Beňa a tireless promoter of early forms of blues, especially the Mississippi style. However, in this formation he rather broadens his focus. It is all for the best, because as partners he chose Paĺo Hrnčirík and Miro Buzrla, young music generation representatives. On the other hand, the contact with the deep blues roots is provided by a veteran of Slovak scene, Peter Bonzo Radványi. They all present themselves as solo players, join one another at random in couples, triplets, and of course they all play also together.

 

Foyer: King Bee /GB, CZ/
A band which caught the jury´s attention at this year´s BLUES APERITIV, they come from Prostějov, but their biggest asset is a frontman who is an English native speaker, which frees the band from a very frequent problem of similarly tuned domestic ensembles, so called ´Czenglish´. This frontman is Welsh singer and guitarist Daley B. Williams, whom ´life blew into our parts´, as the band themselves claim. One of the pluses of the band is also the fact that they chose an uneasy path of their own compositions. Their highly energetic unproblematic repertoire is based on a mixture of bluesrock and southern rock.

 

Vince Agwada Trio /USA,CZ/
Guitarist, singer, composer and producer, who has been on the American blues scene for more than a quarter century. Today fifty-eight-year-old Vince comes from Chicago. His father was deeply rooted in traditional African music and his mother loved blues, jazz and gospel. Nevertheless, his real education was provided by jam-sessions at the famous blues club Checkerboard Lounge, where he could see, but also play with such musicians as Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Magic Slim, Otish Rush, John Primer, Little Milton or Hubert Sumlin. In the 90s he became a managing technician in the famous Chicago studio Trax. He has made two own albums so far. In 2008 Eyes Of The City and in 2011 Basic Blue. As a guitarist he made his contributions to a lot of various artist´s albums including Son Seals or Sugar Blue. At the festival concert he will be accompanied by a Czech rhythm section Matěj Černý – bass guitar and Tomáš Hobzek – drums.

 

Hot Tamales Trio /PL/
This year´s BLUES APERITIV Audience Award and the chance to give a separate club set at BLUES ALIVE was won by a young Polish trio, which has already managed to win a number of awards at our northern neighbours´ festivals. They say they are influenced by Delta blues and Ennia Morricone western music, and they quite wittily label their songs as a ´marriage of Bessie Smith and Edgar Allan Poe´. The band, which is characteristic for a perfect linking of all its members, consists of singer Eliza Sicińska, acouistic guitarist Kamil Solecki and harmonica player Lukasz Pietrzak, who very skillfully combines classic and progressive techniques.

 

Pivnice Holba: zahájí Phil Shoenfelt and Southern Cross /GB, CZ/
Everyone who is at least a bit interested in what is happenning on the domestic scene is bound to know the British rocker for years living in Prague, Phil Shoenfelt, who has been a part of it since the mid-90s. In the context of BLUES ALIVE let us remind that he´s going to perform here for the fourth time having made his debut in 2003 as a member of an international band Fatal Shore. For the second time he performed at BLUES ALIVE three years later together with violinist Pavel Cingl and for the third time in 2014 with guitarist David Babka. Paradoxically, as late as this year he is coming with an ensemble which is the most typical for him: his own complete band Southern Cross founded in 1995. Nevertheless, he is going to offer an exceptional programme assembled exclusively for this year´s BLUES ALIVE. It will consist of songs which, in his opinion, are within his work closest to blues and which will be chosen from the repertoire of three bands: besides Southern Cross also Fatal Shore and Dim Locator. With this performance Shoenfelt is going to commemorate his deceased fellow, Australian musician Bruno Adams, who died in 2009.

 

Slawek Wierzcholski i Nocna Zmiana Bluesa /PL/
´For the first time I herad the band Nocna zmiana bluesa with the charismatic Slawek Wierzcholski some time at the end of the 80s in Malostranská beseda in Prague – none of us knew them then. Nevertheless, I bought their LP packed with amazing, at that time strictly acoustic versions of classic standards, and for long it became one of my most beloved blues records. A couple of years later, on one of our first blues music trips to Poland, I had a surprise when I found that on their scene Slawek is a big and respected star – the organizers nearly bowed to him everywhere he stepped,´ recalls BLUES ALIVE programme manager Ondřej Bezr. And really, today the phenomenal harmonica player and singer Slawek Wierzcholski is one of those who determin the course of Polish blues and helps to ´sell´ it abroad. At the same time he works as a festival programme manager and an occasional publicist for Twój blues magazine.
Nocna zmiana bluesa played at BLUES ALIVE in 2006. Since then they have extended their discography, which today consists of more than 25 albums, and played in hundreds of concerts not only in Poland, but practically all over Europe. They are coming to Šumperk to celebrate with their Czech fans their 35th anniversary.

 

Nick Schnebelen Band /USA/
A former member of the prominent American bluesrock trio Trampled Under Foot consisting of the Schnebelen siblings Danielle (vocals, bass guitars), Kris (drums) and Nick (guitars), children of a locally known blues guitarist Bob from Kansas City. During the era of its existence between 2000 and 2015 the band won a number of awards including Blues Music Award and for Nick the prestigious Albert King Award for the Best Guitarist. According to Billboard, their fifth and last album Badlands (2013) finished first in the official Blues Album Chart.
After the break-up of the family band Nick Schnebelen, so to speak, ´opened his own business´ and formed his own trio whose members were top musicians – bass guitarist Cliff Moore, who had played, among others with Michael Burks, and drummer Adam Hagerman with ´notches´ from Joe Kubek´s and Big Bill Morgandfield´s bands. So far Nick Schnebelen has released two live albums under his name and he is working on a studio debut album with the famous producer Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Robert Cray).

 

Phil Shoenfelt and Southern Cross /GB,CZ/
Everyone who is at least a bit interested in what is happenning on the domestic scene is bound to know the British rocker for years living in Prague, Phil Shoenfelt, who has been a part of it since the mid-90s. In the context of BLUES ALIVE let us remind that he´s going to perform here for the fourth time having made his debut in 2003 as a member of an international band Fatal Shore. For the second time he performed at BLUES ALIVE three years later together with violinist Pavel Cingl and for the third time in 2014 with guitarist David Babka. Paradoxically, as late as this year he is coming with an ensemble which is the most typical for him: his own complete band Southern Cross founded in 1995. Nevertheless, he is going to offer an exceptional programme assembled exclusively for this year´s BLUES ALIVE. It will consist of songs which, in his opinion, are within his work closest to blues and which will be chosen from the repertoire of three bands: besides Southern Cross also Fatal Shore and Dim Locator. With this performance Shoenfelt is going to commemorate his deceased fellow, Australian musician Bruno Adams, who died in 2009.

 

Foyer: Band Of Heysek /CZ/
A bunch of dudes who compose and play their own sensual, coarsely soiled blues songs, which they released on their debut album in September. The band as such was founded in 2015, three years after the break-up of blues-rap band Nuck Chorris Gang, in which all the members (guitarist Jan Švihálek, drummer Lukáš Kytnar and bass guitarist Mojmír Sabolovič) played, and with which, during five years of its existence, they released two albums. However, they also met within some other projects – Hoochie Coochie Band (which can be considered BLUES ALIVE livestock since its very beginning), Kulturní úderka, Dura & Blues Groove, Tady To Máš, etc. Their prime concert at the Eurotrialog festival in Mikulov (then still under the name Toff) was such a success that they not only got an invitation to the next year, but also a bit bizarre offer to be a support band to the British band Smokie in Ostrava. Since then they´ve been giving concerts in clubs and at festivals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 

Jimi: All Is by My Side /GB, Ireland, USA/
London in1966: Covering a year in James Marshall „Jimi “Hendrix’s life that year as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend. Hendrix, one of the most respected, the most original and influential musicians of the 20th century, discovered unsuspected possibilities of the electric guitar and became a pioneer of the new sound.
The film was directed by John Ridley, Oscar winner for producing the film Twelve Years a Slave. André Benjamin (a rapper, one half of the famous duo OutKast) received ovation for his performance in the title role. The failure to get the copyright on Hendrix´s recordings was solved in an original manner: famous guitarist Waddy Wachtel (famous, among other things, as a teammate of Keith Richards in his solo projects) recorded the guitar parts à la Jimi Hendrix, but perfectly stylish and virtually unrecognizable.

 
Pivnice Holba: zahájí Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/

Pivnice Holba: zahájí Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/
Undoubtedly one of the recent discoveries of the rich and diverse Polish scene. Trio of representatives of the Twelve generation of musicians from around Katowice certifies the fact that today's young musicians pay attention both to the instrument precision (Mark Piowczyk is a truly masterful guitarist) and their own work, which is not content with covering songs from the "golden fund". The trio wanders in a classic set and dynamic expression between blues, rock and funk, and its music is definitely a great promise for the future in the music scene of our northern neighbours.
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Foyer Domu kultury: zahájí Cheap Tobacco /PL/

Foyer Domu kultury: zahájí Cheap Tobacco /PL/
The journey of a young foursome Cheap Tobacco, which won the hearts of the jury at this BLUES APERITIV with their distinctive approach and totally professional performance, has led from Krakow to Šumperk via almost all major Polish festivals, including the biggest Rawa Blues. The band became the great discovery of the blues scene our northern neighbours in 2012, it has won numerous awards. Their music blends blues with rock, punk and soul in a unique and particularly energetically explosive mixtures. The band´s adornment is an excellent singer Natalia Kwiatkowska, which forms an excellent team with guitarist Robert Kapkowski.

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Nikki Hill /USA/

Nikki Hill /USA/
When she released her debut album Here's Nikki Hill in 2013, she seemed to trigger a storm. Such a talent with a voice like thunder has not been heard here for a long time, American critics were one-upping each other, then audiences and her fellow musicians. A North Carolina native, she burst like a torpedo into the music scene alongside her husband, guitarist Matt Hill. Such rapid and dynamic rise 'from zero to hundred " is rare to happen in music scene. But nothing really prepares an audience for the music of Nikki Hill until they see her in live performance. Once you see her perform, you won’t forget her. As if the greatest voices of blues, soul and rock'n'roll concentred in this image-conscious girl. She herself calls her style as " a hybrid of Staple Singers and AC/DC", which is a good joke, but it has absolutely realistic basis. So we can now prepare for the whiplash moment. Icing on the cake at this year´s BLUES ALIVE. Let´s hope the House of Culture in Šumperk won´t be blown to smithereens.
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John Fairhurst /GB/
This June edition of the cultural magazine UNI published an interview with the British duo Heymoonshaker, which played in the Czech Republic for the first time in 2013 at BLUES ALIVE. Since then they have become the darlings of Czechs - they have been giving concerts at multi-genre festivals such as United Islands of Prague, Colours of Ostrava or Rock for People. When they were asked in the interview who else interesting from contemporary British scene - except themselves- would they recommend to readers, they answered only one name, John Fairhurst. "Everything else is boring." they said literally. These words captured the BLUES ALIVE dramaturge´s attention, who immediately after reading the interview learnt everything he needed to know about this miracle - and thanks to the cooperation of the entire preparatory team Fairhurst´s performance was arranged within a couple of days.
Fairhurst´s musical beginnings are quite exceptional in view of what followed: At the age of five he was charmed with Indian instrument sarod, similar to the more familiar sitar. From sliding sounds of Indian music there was a small step to slides in a Mississippi way performed by Son House, Robert Johnson and Bukka White - and to a penchant for resophonic guitars. And in addition to all that, the masters of virtuoso acoustic strumming headed by John Fahey and psychedelia and blues rock of the late 60s, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. These are all the roots of Fairhurst´s music. Over time, however, the number of his examples, who he speaks about openly and honestly as his influences, has also extended to alternative types as Zappa and Beefheart, to a protopunker Iggy Pop, as well as current stars as Jack White and The Black Keys.
The enumeration in this case is quite important: these names are bits and pieces, which then John Fairhurst puts into the tapestry in purely his own style, virtuoso instrumental performance and great musical feeling. If anyone has a claim to be a dark horse at this year BLUES ALIVE, then it can be only him.
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Dirty Deep /FRA/

Dirty Deep /FRA/
It is one of the few bands that sounds as if Iggy Pop was jamming with John Lee Hooker and they were backed with rhythms by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Or just like a herd of stampeding mares. Yet it all started quite discreetly: in 2010 Dirty Deep was a one-man-band, guitarist and singer Victor Sbrovazza, who debuted with a very conservatively called album Back to the Roots. In the second album, Shotgun Wedding - and also two years ago on the summer stage of BLUES ALIVE in Boskovice - Dirty Deep were already two: guitarist and drummer with considerable "butcher" hits and apparently very modern feeling. The third album What´s Flowin´ In My Veins includes also a bassist. And this shooting full line-up is coming to Šumperk, where they are going to present as shock therapy the melted influences of John Lee Hooker, Son House or Sonny Boy Williamson, severely stained with mud from the Mississippi of the 90s, where a line of struggling diggers and chauffeurs became international stars thanks to record label Fat Possum (Do you remember T-Model Ford and Paul "Wine" Jones at BLUES ALIVE in 1999?). Don´t miss it!

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Alo Trio Band /CZ/

Alo Trio Band /CZ/
The group that is actually not very well-known and rarely gives live converts. However, the person that stands behind it is a very famous personality: A Jack crafts, but mostly one of our best songwriters and lyricists, Vlastimil Třešňák. He started the band about three years ago together with composer Jan Volný, who he has also written the complete repertoire with. It features the balance on the edge of chanson with subtle shades of blues and jazz. In addition to excellent professional instrumentalists there is a female singing trio that actually inspired the creators to name Alo Trio (Mischief), incidentally typical trešňák one. Perhaps the best known of the ladies is Martina Menšíková, not only the daughter of a famous father, Vladimír, but also an actress and one of the busiest film dubbing artists. The second member of Alo trio is also an actress - Natálie Řehořová can be seen in Theatre Na Zábradlí, but also in other Prague scenes. So to speak, the only "real singer" in Alo Trio is Pavla Stránská, a member of Brixi Academic Choir, where she devotes herself to classical music and jazz.

 
Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/

Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/
Undoubtedly one of the recent discoveries of the rich and diverse Polish scene. Trio of representatives of the Twelve generation of musicians from around Katowice certifies the fact that today's young musicians pay attention both to the instrument precision (Mark Piowczyk is a truly masterful guitarist) and their own work, which is not content with covering songs from the "golden fund". The trio wanders in a classic set and dynamic expression between blues, rock and funk, and its music is definitely a great promise for the future in the music scene of our northern neighbours.
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Foyer: Cheap Tobacco /PL/

Foyer: Cheap Tobacco /PL/
The journey of a young foursome Cheap Tobacco, which won the hearts of the jury at this BLUES APERITIV with their distinctive approach and totally professional performance, has led from Krakow to Šumperk via almost all major Polish festivals, including the biggest Rawa Blues. The band became the great discovery of the blues scene our northern neighbours in 2012, it has won numerous awards. Their music blends blues with rock, punk and soul in a unique and particularly energetically explosive mixtures. The band´s adornment is an excellent singer Natalia Kwiatkowska, which forms an excellent team with guitarist Robert Kapkowski.

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Blanka Šrůmová, Jan Sahara Hedl a Něžná noc /CZ/

Blanka Šrůmová, Jan Sahara Hedl a Něžná noc /CZ/
The unusual combination, which only a few would put a bet on, was born on Facebook. There was the place where one of the most original Czech rock singer-songwriter and former frontwoman of rock Tichá Dohoda met online. It turned into a personal partnership and logically, there was just a step towards their joint production. The debut album, which the duo recorded with a band with a beautifully fitzgeraldish name Něžná noc - Tender night, is called in a positive way -Neměj Strach - Don´t be Afraid, and it feels like "Beauty and the Beast". As was written by one of the reviewers: "Hedl´s rough, uncouth, but extremely authentic voice in which you can hear every cigarette smoked and every shot drunk, and much more technical, though by no means contrived, Šrumová´s vocal performance, making good use of her rock, pop and even folk experience." This is their unusual connections in duets, most of which are Sahara´s new songs and the rest, as bands like to say is a „compulsory exercise". But don´t worry, you won´t leave without Tisíc jmen and Marioneta.
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Jana Koubková - A tak si jdu... /CZ/

Jana Koubková - A tak si jdu... /CZ/
Regardless of styles, she has belonged to the best and most famous Czech singers in the last four decades. She has been singing in choirs, vocal groups and solo since she was six. She prevailed as a jazz soloist in 1975 in Jazz Sanatorium of Luděk Hulan, one of the "founding fathers" of modern jazz in our country. Since then, she has gone through many stylistic groupings. From blues, swing, mainstream to bebop, latina, free and world music or fusion. The best-known group, which she was singing in, is Horký Dech, a legendary trio with Michal Pavlíček and Jiří Hrubeš. Although she became famous as a scat singer, working mostly wordless, in recent years, on the contrary, she interprets almost exclusively songs, most of which she writes lyrics for and gives them a distinctive blues tune. Her album So I go..., which was released this summer, is a complete crossover. One of her favourite quotes, which binds to the album, was said by phenomenal trumpeter Miles Davis: I don't care if people pigeonhole me Never. I have never thought that there would be space for them in music. Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is.” As if he was talking about Jana Koubková.
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Zuzana Dumková Band /CZ/

Zuzana Dumková Band /CZ/
Zuzana Dumková - singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist
She comes from a musician-teacher family. She represents the third generation of composers after her great-uncle Jan Fadrhons and father, Jan Dumka. She has been playing at the domestic music scene since the early 90s. Her expression has crystallized from folk over the fusion of rock, jazz and world music and incidental music to the current form, which cannot be unambiguously classified. It is characterized by a dynamic rhythm guitar, sensitive vocals and original musical ideas developed in cooperation with her master backing group. A many listeners see in her a kind of Czech Joni Mitchell, constantly seeking. Zuzana Dumková´s debut album Balance was nominated for the genre award Anděl in 2007. She has recently released the long-awaited new one, Kompas.
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Jimi - Hvězda stoupá vzhůru /Životopisný film o Jimim Hendrixovi, režie: John Ridley, 2013, GB, Irsko, USA/
London in1966: Covering a year in James Marshall „Jimi “Hendrix’s life that year as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend. Hendrix, one of the most respected, the most original and influential musicians of the 20th century, discovered unsuspected possibilities of the electric guitar and became a pioneer of the new sound.
The film was directed by John Ridley, Oscar winner for producing the film Twelve Years a Slave. André Benjamin (a rapper, one half of the famous duo OutKast) received ovation for his performance in the title role. The failure to get the copyright on Hendrix´s recordings was solved in an original manner: famous guitarist Waddy Wachtel (famous, among other things, as a teammate of Keith Richards in his solo projects) recorded the guitar parts à la Jimi Hendrix, but perfectly stylish and virtually unrecognizable.

 

Pivnice Holba: zahájí The Bladderstones /CZ/
Johnny Jůdl may be known from the alternative band Jablkoň band, where he plays the bassoon, the bass and the electric guitar. He plays the bass guitar and sings in blues band The Bladderstones, that has released one album so far and won the contest Blues Aperitiv last spring. "In music, my favorite two approaches are best characterized by Zappa and Led Zeppelin. The first is craziness, insight and diversity, and the other is a tradition, energy and a feeling. I taught our guitarist Tomáš Frolík first at music school, in the course of time we have found a harmony between us, and it was a logical step to play together, "he says. Finally, as for their creation a couple of words that needed to be repeated again and again: "Blues, hence its principle, there can exist and bring something new even today. But it does not arise playing the twelves somewhere for tourists or at company parties. "
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Foyer Domu kultury: zahájí Slovak Blues Project /SK/
The project, which was one of the winners of this year's BLUES APERITIV was started by an old friend, guitarist and singer Slovak Luboš Bena, a tireless promoter of the early forms of blues, especially the Mississippi style. However, he has somewhat expanded his traditional focus in this formation. There is no other way, as has chosen to pay together with guitarist and singers Palo Hrnčirík and Barbara Černá, representatives of the young generation of musicians. All three present themselves as soloists in the project, they combine freely in different pairs and, of course, they also play all together.
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Slam Allen /USA/
Excellent singer and guitarist Slam Allen is coming as a representative of the fresh blood, which broke into the most prestigious Blues Music Awards, when he was nominated as Best New Artist. However, he is sure to look familiar to regular visitors to BLUES ALIVE. Yes, it was he who in 2008 headed the backing group of the main festival star, harp player James Cotton. So an old friend is coming to Šumperk, and we know that we can expect really the best from him.
His residency with James Cotton was the first really important gig of Slam Allen, whose blues music art was taught by his father Harrison and his uncle Cecil. He started as a drummer in their soul and blues band The Allen Brothers. And they crammed his head, and later his fingers - the music of all three Kings, Otis Redding, James Brown, but also Sly Stone a Jimi Hendrix. In the ten years behind James Cotton Slam Allen attended a "blues university", his meal-ticket was really one of the most important personalities of the Chicago blues. He has put it in good use in seven solo albums, hundreds of concerts, where he mixes his own songs with classic songs from the golden songbook of blues and soul. One of such concerts will wrap up Friday evening at BLUES ALIVE.
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Duke Robillard /USA/
Another of the guests at this year's Blues Alive, who could (and should) write a book about his life. And it would be quite bulky. After all, in sixty-eight years of his life Duke Robillard have gone through odds and ends and has worked on many significant achievements, by far not only in a pure blues rank.
In the 60s he began in a couple not very significant bands, when year 1967 came up and he started band Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley, one of the most popular blues groups existing till today, which adopted the sprightly style jump blues. Duke Robillard had been playing in this band until 1980 when he decided to leave (and his part was later taken by other renowned solo guitarist Ronnie Earl). Ten years later he replaced Jimmy Vaughan in another famous band Fabulous Thunderbirds and stayed there for three years. Since then he has been pursuing exclusively his own career as the head of his band, here and there he grants calls from musician friends for the unmistakable tone of his guitar and especially highly variable ability to play a variety of music, from pure blues through relatively orthodox jazz, and alternative procedures. The most famous partnerships of this kind include these: Three-Grammy-award-winning album Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan, produced in 1997 by Daniel Lanois, and the tour in 2006, when Robillard was a member of Tom Waist’s backing group. The guitarist has almost half a hundred albums under his belt, the penultimate one, The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, won him the prestigious Blues Music Award in the relevant category this year. Robillard´s latest album, Full Circle Blues, came out - traditionally in label Stony Plain Records - three months before his performance at Blues Alive.

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Silvia Josifoska and Blues Laboratory /SK/
A regular visitor to BLUES ALIVE is very well-known personality, undoubtedly the biggest star of Slovak blues singing - and, of course, not only blues. Some of her projects has significantly touched jazz and soul. New project Blues Laboratory was invented, or rather by chance came into existence, at a musician get-together last year with guitarist Ivan Tomovič (e.g. Bluesweiser) and Stefan Lengyel (e.g. Sitra Achra). "It's a meeting of blues musicians, who I have been working with for a long time. They are very close to me with their feelings. It is a combination of classic blues with elements of other styles. It is the project, where I feel a great freedom, space. It's all about the different timbres and especially great experimentation. That makes me feel most fascinated and inspired in music." says the singer, pointing out that you can find in Blues Laboratory music various elements from different styles - blues, funk, soul, jazz and rock. It is simply a "unorthodox and avant-garde conception of blues classics for blues purists, inspired by the example Cassandra Wilson."
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Shaun Booker & Jonn Del Toro Richardson /USA/
Both protagonists of the band come from Columbus, Ohio. Guitarist Sean Carney has worked as a music journalist, a DJ and a concert promoter. In addition to that, he has played in a variety of rhythm & blues bands. He worked together with singer Teeny Tucker for many years. In 1998 he debuted with album Provisions and embarked on a solo career. A year after he released album Life of Ease in 2006, he won the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where he was awarded King Albert Prize for the best guitarist. He has often travelled to the old continent, either "in his name," or as a member of backing groups of his colleagues, including one of the main stars of this year's Blues Alive, Duke Robillard. He has made a great team with singer Shaun Booker in recent years. She also took part in the Memphis competition, where she earned the adjective "The Empress of Beale Street." after her energetic performance there. The duo with their backing group often play in the US and Europe, mainly own songs that you can listen to in their album Blue Plate Special. Shan Booker & Sean Carney are going to play in the Czech Republic for the first time.
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The Bladderstones /CZ/
Johnny Jůdl may be known from the alternative band Jablkoň band, where he plays the bassoon, the bass and the electric guitar. He plays the bass guitar and sings in blues band The Bladderstones, that has released one album so far and won the contest Blues Aperitiv last spring. "In music, my favorite two approaches are best characterized by Zappa and Led Zeppelin. The first is craziness, insight and diversity, and the other is a tradition, energy and a feeling. I taught our guitarist Tomáš Frolík first at music school, in the course of time we have found a harmony between us, and it was a logical step to play together, "he says. Finally, as for their creation a couple of words that needed to be repeated again and again: "Blues, hence its principle, there can exist and bring something new even today. But it does not arise playing the twelves somewhere for tourists or at company parties. "
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Foyer: Slovak Blues Project /SK/
The project, which was one of the winners of this year's BLUES APERITIV was started by an old friend, guitarist and singer Slovak Luboš Bena, a tireless promoter of the early forms of blues, especially the Mississippi style. However, he has somewhat expanded his traditional focus in this formation. There is no other way, as has chosen to pay together with guitarist and singers Palo Hrnčirík and Barbara Černá, representatives of the young generation of musicians. All three present themselves as soloists in the project, they combine freely in different pairs and, of course, they also play all together.
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Dura and Blues Club feat. Fedor Frešo /SK/
It is usually a mystery till the last moment who comes to a concert together with Juraj Turtev, the founder and leader of this project. "It's a free association of musicians who are currently available. That is why it is called Blues Club. Over fifty musicians in total from five countries have played in the project. It is mostly my music, but I do not avoid the production by our friends bluesmen. We play blues standards at some gigs as well. "says Turtev. The principal, who is also known as the frontman of the popular Bluesweiser, takes care Blues Club to be really for all participants rather a place to rest, to relax. "Bluesweiser is a rolling steel liner and Blues Club is a lightweight barge on a quiet lake," defines Turtev the difference. But one member of the formation is already known before the festival. It will be one of the true legend of the (Czecho)Slovak rock, bassist Fedor Frešo. “We had an instrumental jam once with Fedor and we really clicked. He has already played big beat, folk, traditional jazz, rock, but never pure blues. It suited us. And we find it edifying to work and create with legends.... "
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Erich Boboš Procházka + Marek Wolf /SK/
One of the most intriguing blues projects that has ever occurred "from Šumava to the Tatras". Erich Boboš Procházka needs no introduction. It is possible to speak of him as a permanent inventory of BLUES ALIVE. In this duo he joined with guitarist Marek Wolf, an extraordinarily creative personality in Slovak scene. The principle of this duo production is actually simple. To transform known blues songs, but also rock ones, to their image, in their present mood. It may seem that where there is no authorial input, it is just "playing" and if you look at their track list you may even say they took the soft option, choosing the greatest hits. The opposite is true. Boboš and Marek´s modifications are purely the authorial ones: they usually have a different pace, a different rhythm, harmony and melody shifted. Just the lyrics remain, and even the phrasing is actually unrecognizable. The authorship of the initial songs, with all due respect to all those famous Dixons, Cales, Johnsons or Berrys, remains irrelevant. It goes out into the fog, from which Boboš and Marek´s originals then emerge. Their magical and perfectly appropriate psychedelic music even without any stimulants could gobble you up incredibly. To suck energy at one stroke, while to recharge it again, somehow filtered with powerful experience.
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Afterparty - Pivnice Holba: The Again /CZ/

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Maria Muldaur and Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band /USA/
This singer arrives at Šumperk BLUES ALIVE as another of the world absolute legends. But this time not of purely blues genre, although blues has predominated in her work in the last two decades. However, Maria Muldaur has been a representative of what is called roots music since the beginning of her career, for many years she has been an icon of American folk music scene and has never avoided overlapping to jazz, dixieland and soul.
This year seventy-four-year-old singer was born under the "exotic" sounding name Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D'Amato in 1943 in the Greenwich Village - the neighbourhood of New York, which less than twenty years after her birth became the world centre of folk, actually a kind of its cradle. She made close friends with all of its protagonists, headed by Bob Dylan, who, like many others, started his career in the local cafés and clubs. She talked about this glorious era in Dylan´s film biography, No Direction Home, which was made by Martin Scorsese. She was first a member of Even Dozen Jug Band, and then she went to the then very popular formation Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band. She recorded four albums with them under the name Maria D'Amato and she also found a husband there, musician Geoff Muldaur. When the band had broken up at the end of the 60s, she and her husband released two albums. However, in 1972 the pair broke up, but the singer kept her new surname once and for all. In the 70s she appeared alongside the enormously popular Grateful Dead, their cooperation was captured at several archival albums, and she also made a duo with Peter Rowan, very well-known to us due to his frequent touring with Druhá Tráva. But above all, she started a solo career. Her first album in 1973, called simply Maria Muldaur, included her biggest hit Midnight at the Oasis, which reached the tops of the hit parades on both sides of the Atlantic. The album, varied as for the style, put together a lot of musician stars, among others, pianist Dr. John, guitarist Ry Cooder, jazz bassists Ray Brown a Dave Holland or drummer Jim Keltner. Even very famous Bettye Lavette had her small part here as a vocalist.
Maria Muldaur has never left the music scene. Her albums, which often hosted other instrumental and vocal stars, have been released continuously, but only since the early 90s and the partnership with the prestigious labels Stony Plain, Black Top and Telarc we can talk about a major new breakthrough among listeners, especially blues music. Her most interesting albums include Meet Me Where They Play the Blues (1999), Richland Woman Blues (2001, with the participation of, among others, The Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt), Sisters & Brothers (2004 album with Eric Bibb, Rory Block) Heart of Mine (2006, cover versions of songs by Bob Dylan), or ... First Came Memphis Minnie ... A Loving tribute (2012, tribute to blues star of the 30s Memphis Minnie with the participation of Rory Block, Ruthie Foster, Bonnie Raitt and Koko Taylor). As you can see, this year's Blues Alive may only boast with its main star.
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Roland Tchakounté Band /Kamerun, FRA/
When you think of Africa and blues, you probably imagine the typical African variant of this style, which we know from the global stars such as Ali Farka Touré and Tinariwen. This is not exactly the case, when we talk about guitarist and singer Roland Tchakounté. Although he comes from Cameroon, the music that he is devoted to is actually African-American. The story about Tchakounté´s shift towards the "true" blues is actually quite entertaining. The musician who copied and imported recordings of rockers and soul men (Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and others.) to Africa from his childhood, was walking one day in a supermarket and heard the music that paralyzed him totally. He found out what it was: Crawling Kingsnake, one of the best known songs by John Lee Hooker. Of course played by the author himself. The music was so close to Tchakounté that he was convinced that Hooker, who he had not known until then, was a native African who had just made his name sound more American. However, he got his hooks into it and since then Tchakounté has not only expanded his listening portfolio, but he has also reoriented completely as a musician. He actually stands on the edge: he has implanted his country through his lyrics to essentially American music, the closest model of electric Chicago blues. Most of his lyrics are in fact in the native dialect Bamileke. Does it all sound like a curiosity? Come to take a look, you will see that it is mainly great music.
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Sharrie Williams & Band /USA/
She is nicknamed The Princess of the Rockin 'Gospel Blues in America, which certainly needs no translation. Her singing beginnings are standard ones: at the age of six in a church choir. Before her teens, she had already begun touring the States with the de facto a professional gospel choir. And she was doing it until she was thirty. Only then she put her first band together and changed the existing concert locations for blues clubs, including the most prestigious ones in Chicago. At the same time as many of her blues compatriots she stormed Europe, where she met with success as "the ambassador" of the oversea scene at the most famous festivals. Her first album Live at Wiseguys was released in 2001, followed by four ones, the last two at the Canadian label Electro-Fi Records. This exceptional singer, who is characterized by huge singing dynamics, and who can unflinchingly go from barely audible whisper to crying, during of which glass panes are vibrating, of course, has been nominated for "Blues Oscars" Blues Music Awards three times.

 

Foyer: Filip Vítů Trio feat. Markéta Vodičková /CZ/
One of the interesting discoveries of this BLUES APERITIV, twenty-one-year-old talented guitarist Filip Vítů with his band and a charming singer are the representatives of the youngest blues blood in the Czech Republic. The jury of the festival was pleased with their unorthodox approach, typical for their age, while also with evident good knowledge of music roots. Filip Vítů, who has released two albums, plays in several projects and the one, which he is now arriving in Šumperk with, is actually connecting two of them.
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The Again /CZ/

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Beer bar HOLBA – opened by The Kingsize Boogiemen /CZ/
In 2011 the quartet of talented musicians from Prague area captivated the jury at BLUES APERITIV, especially with excellent mastering of classic blues, played with extraordinary energy and finally with staying on top of things. The Kingsize Boogiemen are a seasoned band performing in clubs throughout the Czech Republic. Their repertoire includes the most famous standards, but they also pick up the less known songs by their favorites, which they then play with the authentic original touch. Their concerts bring back the best of the old masters´ legacy, just as their second album Patník Komu Patník, which was released this spring. And as they are known as not only as good musicians but also as very social Czech musicians, the were chosen to kick off the first night jam session.
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Foyer in House of Culture Šumperk - opened by Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/
Undoubtedly one of the recent discoveries at the rich and diverse Polish blues scene. The three representatives of young music generation from around Katowice confirm the fact that young musicians today care about instrument precision (Marek Piowczyk is truly a brilliant guitarist) and their own work as they are not satisfied with only copying songs from golden fund. The trio crisscrosses among blues, rock and funk in the classic lineup with dynamic expression, and their music is definitely a great promise for the future of our northern neighbors´ music scene.
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Foyer in House of Culture Šumperk - opened by ZVA 12 – 28 /SK/
Slovak friends from Zvolen are the "family silver" of festival BLUES ALIVE and they are always welcomed here with open arms. While at the Czech blues scene most of musicians constantly polish classic blues standards, present cover songs and try to imitate their American models, Slovaks, at least the best of them, usually try their own ways. And in this respect ZVA 12-28 Band, popularly called 'Zetvéáčka "is a polished diamond. Their expression is unlike anything not only in Central Europe, but also at the American blues scene. There is of course the question "what - if", but having a resourceful manager they might capture attention even overseas with their original music, rooted in the ancient classical foundations. They are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary. They started as a local band in Zvolen and already in the first years of their existence they arouse interest at home in the Slovakia and quickly established themselves at the head of the local scene. Although their career started like thousands of others playing cover songs of American bluesmen, but significantly adapted in their own image, Norbert Červenák has always played a role of a strong leader. Not only as a singer, whose voice recalls Captain Beefheart, who resembles Frank Zappa in appearance and whose style of guitar playing brings back some alternative musicians as Marc Ribot, but also as an original author of music and lyrics. They were sometimes crazy suggesting Dada, surrealism and nonsense, but they are always easy to remember, at least parts of them, so listeners remember them on first hearing. And they like to recall them.
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Beer bar HOLBA – opened by Joanna Knitter /PL/
The band from Gdynia was started by excellent singer Joanna Knitter and drummer Piotr Gora with a focus on traditional American folk music that combines folk and blues. They surrounded themselves with great musicians and the result is a very original sound emphasizing the distinctive features of this genre - straightforwardness and crystalline transparency. The band among others ranked 4th in the Polish poll called Blues Top, Joanna 2nd as Singer of the Year and their latest album Cruel, Cruel World won 3rd position in the category of Album of the Year. The international jury of last BLUES APERITIV was taken with their totally professional approach and literally world sound.
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Thematic afternoon - successful "appetizers":

 

History of Czechoslovak blues:

 

Foyer Domu kultury – zahájí Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/
Undoubtedly one of the recent discoveries at the rich and diverse Polish blues scene. The three representatives of young music generation from around Katowice confirm the fact that young musicians today care about instrument precision (Marek Piowczyk is truly a brilliant guitarist) and their own work as they are not satisfied with only copying songs from golden fund. The trio crisscrosses among blues, rock and funk in the classic lineup with dynamic expression, and their music is definitely a great promise for the future of our northern neighbors´ music scene.
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Pivnice Holba – zahájí Joanna Knitter /PL/
The band from Gdynia was started by excellent singer Joanna Knitter and drummer Piotr Gora with a focus on traditional American folk music that combines folk and blues. They surrounded themselves with great musicians and the result is a very original sound emphasizing the distinctive features of this genre - straightforwardness and crystalline transparency. The band among others ranked 4th in the Polish poll called Blues Top, Joanna 2nd as Singer of the Year and their latest album Cruel, Cruel World won 3rd position in the category of Album of the Year. The international jury of last BLUES APERITIV was taken with their totally professional approach and literally world sound.
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Bob Margolin with Mike Sponza Band /USA,IT/
Bob Margolin is one of the most respected guitarists at the contemporary blues scene. Today 66-year-old musician first became famous in the years 1973-1980 as a member of Muddy Waters’ band, touring worldwide and recording also his famous comeback albums Hard Again, I'm Ready, King Bee a Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live, produced by Johnny Winter. Margolin also recorded with Winter himself on his albums Nothin' But The Blues and Scorchin' Blues. Bob has also appeared as a guitarist on dozens of blues albums, such as Nighthawks, Junior Wells or Ann Rabson, well known from the BLUES ALIVE stage.
After leaving Waters' band, Bob started his own formation and after a couple of not very successful years he signed a contract with the Chicago label Alligator, where he became their tower of strength. Four albums released there, Down In The Alley (1993), My Blues And My Guitar (1995), Up And In (1997) a Hold Me To It (1999), ranks among the best white blues of the '90s. His next album is The Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam, his first record on the label Telarc Records, where he invited his former partners from Waters’ band and other blues classics of the old school. This album was nominated for a 2004 W.C. Handy Award for "Traditional Blues Album of the Year. It features the pianist Pinetop Perkins, the harp player Carey Bell, the drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and the guitarist Hubert Sumlin as "The Bob Margolin All-Star Band".
Bob Margolin starred at BLUES ALIVE in 2006. In these nine years we have not seen him in Šumperk, Bob was nominated for The Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for Traditional Male Blues Artist. He has won Blues Music Awards for guitar in 2008 and 2005. He received the 2013 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Journalism, appreciating his 20 years writing for Blues Revue. Bob is a founding partner in The VizzTone Label Group. One of these label´s achievements is also Margolin´s latest album Blues Around The World, where he plays with Italian band Mike Sponza Band. They have been playing together for many years. "We used to play often in Europe together, and when I was selling CDs after gigs, people are always asked if the band I had just played with were on the CDs. I had none of these, and so we made one. Blues Around the World captures that magic with original songs by Bob and by Mike as well as a couple audience favorites, "says Bob Margolin, whose performance BLUES ALIVE anniversary will culminate with.
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Studebaker John /USA/
Studebaker John Grimaldi was born in an Italian section of Chicago and started playing harp at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago's famed blues melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the '70s. John began playing slide guitar after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor, one of the most important personalities of the Chicago scene of '60s and '70s. He has reached the peak and today his diary is full a long time ahead. He has made a number of albums, five of them released on Blind Pig Records and last three in his huge discography have been released with the well-known label Delmark.
In his first gig at the Blues Alive in 2006 Studebaker John caused a sensation not only with his unrefined expression, which cannot really deny his life experience in harsh Chicago neighborhoods , but also with his long active participation at the night jam session where his wild fans had big seconds of his music. John Studebaker is coming back to Šumperk not only as a cult personality in the true sense of the word, but also as a living proof of the fact that the Chicago blues scene is still alive.
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Peter Karp & Sue Foley Band /USA/
47-year old Canadian singer and guitarist Sue Foley belongs to the biggest names of contemporary "female blues". She grew up listening to her father´s collection of records as early albums of the Rolling Stones, particularly the songs written by Willie Dixon, McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) and Chuck Berry - and going backwards to the recordings by these blues greats she discovered vast blues world. She entered the music scene in a joint concert with phenomenal guitarist Duke Robillard: the owner of the influential Texan label Antone was sitting in the audience and offered her to give concerts in his Austin Club and to release her debut album. It was released in 1992 under the characteristic name Young Girl Blues. Success was not long in coming, Sue Foley began touring throughout the United States, then in Europe and Japan. In the mid-90s she began to concentrate fully on her own music, which reflects her original expression better. And she continues in this way today.
Sue Foley, who played solo at BLUES ALIVE with her band first in 2008, has made fourteen albums, her latest two were recorded together with multi-instrumentalist and singer Peter Karp: He Said - She Said (2010) and Beyond The Crossroads (2012). Karp is a typical American troubadour and globetrotter. He became well-known when he recorded album The Turning Point, where he was supported with the Rolling Stones veteran Mick Taylor. Since then he has been travelling mainly in the United States and Canada either by himself, or in this project, well complemented with his more beautiful and better half.
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Roman Pokorný a Mátyás Pribojszki /CZ, HU/
Leading Czech guitarist Roman Pokorný has been moving in the professional music scene since the very beginning of the 90s. In the first decade of his career he was famous mainly as a jazz and fusion player, collecting numerous awards and working together with many important musicians of different genres, e.g. Emil Viklický or Michal Pavlíček. At the beginning of the new century he got fascinated by blues and started the band Blues Box Heroe. He also continued playing a wide range of other genres, jazz, funk and Latin. His latest culmination of blues and crossover work is his album Eldorado, written, played and sung by Roman Pokorný. The review among other things reads: " Roman Pokorný goes beyond blues. The title song is Mexican and the protagonist expands his set of musical instruments by ukulele. There are songs decidedly jazzy, funky rhythms and even country - Pokorný plays the banjo in On My Way. He invited to the studio real all-star band of the domestic scene and also guests from abroad, as British saxophonist Osian Roberts and phenomenal Hungarian harp player Mátyás Pribojszki. "
And Mátyás Pribojszki will be his special guest at BLUES ALIVE. He is the absolute star of the Hungarian blues scene, a kind of its leader. His playing the harmonica is considered to be a full part of the showcase of European blues. This is well-known to many world musicians (Duke Robillard, Tino Gonzales, Paul Lamb and many others), who have invited Pribojszki to cooperate.
He started his first band Blues Fools in 1995, which was invited to BLUES ALIVE Šumperk in 2003 and met with great response of listeners and also other musicians. During ten years of their existence, the band released four artistically and commercially successful albums. Apart from those, Mátyás Pribojszki also expanded his scope in his own compositions outside the strict duodecimal border toward jazz and other styles. This vision came true in a number of studio and live albums consisting of acoustic and electrified composition, but always full of dedication, instrumental mastery and original author input.
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Joanna Knitter Blues and Folk Connection /PL/
The band from Gdynia was started by excellent singer Joanna Knitter and drummer Piotr Gora with a focus on traditional American folk music that combines folk and blues. They surrounded themselves with great musicians and the result is a very original sound emphasizing the distinctive features of this genre - straightforwardness and crystalline transparency. The band among others ranked 4th in the Polish poll called Blues Top, Joanna 2nd as Singer of the Year and their latest album Cruel, Cruel World won 3rd position in the category of Album of the Year. The international jury of last BLUES APERITIV was taken with their totally professional approach and literally world sound.
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Marek Piowczyk Trio /PL/
Undoubtedly one of the recent discoveries at the rich and diverse Polish blues scene. The three representatives of young music generation from around Katowice confirm the fact that young musicians today care about instrument precision (Marek Piowczyk is truly a brilliant guitarist) and their own work as they are not satisfied with only copying songs from golden fund. The trio crisscrosses among blues, rock and funk in the classic lineup with dynamic expression, and their music is definitely a great promise for the future of our northern neighbors´ music scene.
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Retro Blues Alive:

 

Przytula & Kruk /PL/
Singer and harp player Bartosz Przytuła and guitarist Tomasz Kruk agreed to play the pre-war acoustic blues in 2008. Since then their repertoire, which blends their own music with classic songs, has been meeting with success. Their recordings have won praise from Polish reviewers and they are very successful at blues band competitions including the most prestigious one, Rawa Blues Festival in Katowice. In addition to the perfect mastery of styles and musical expression itself they are distinctive in the apparent interconnectivity of players and also grace and sense of humor, which is not very common in this music today. It is a combination of all these qualities, which captured the jury´s attention at BLUES APARITIV in 2012.
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Jack Cannon /HU/
In 2008 they were the first Hungarian musicians in the history of BLUES APERITIV- and they immediately won the jury and the audience awards. No wonder – such a precise concept of acoustic blues (as well as soul pieces) had not been present in this competition so often. The trio, whose main star is harp player and singer György Zoltai, has never played their idols slavishly but always approached standards creatively and also presented their own work. However, what the APERITIV jury appreciated most of the band Jack Cannon, is a perfect harmony of the musicians, allowing them to breathe freely and even within clearly defined rules. And what is most valuable: This remains even after the band got electrified. Jack Cannon has visited the Czech Republic several times since their famous victory in Šumperk and without exaggeration one can speak of them as the blue-eyed boys of the local blues audience.
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Jakub Kořínek /CZ/
When he won the BLUES APERITIV in 2005, he raised hell a bit -this young virtuoso guitarist was known only to a few. Jakub Kořínek played blues standards and some of his own songs are based on that direction, too, however, he is not a genuine bluesman. He is simply a singer with wide open eyes and ears, and also a very clever multi-instrumentalist – besides the acoustic guitar and likes to play the resophonic guitar, the mandolin and the piano. Recently, he has moved more into folk clubs, changed several bands. But he cannot be absent with singer Kateřina Mišíková, who has been playing with him for many years, in the jubilee Blues Alive.
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Tematické odpoledne - úspěšní „aperitiváci“:

 

Historie československého blues:
Czech Blues history
Dramaturgical intention of the second night at the twentieth anniversary of BLUES ALIVE is to present the production of essential figures of Czech blues history. Or blues played in the Czech Republic, if you will. Friday night is to start ab initio, with the first imported forms of music, but the focus will be mainly on the original Czech blues-based authorship and top instrumental manifestations of Czech musicians, mostly classics of the genre.

 

The Blues Brothers /film USA, 1980, režie: John Landis/
Everybody knows them -Jake and Elwood Blues, "Laurel and Hardy“in the rhythm of the blues," as once labeled in contemporary reviews. The movie The Blues Brothers soon became a true cult film, which over the years initiated a number of other 'trailer' affairs. Not only the success of the Blues Brothers Band itself, but also a lot of revivals, and there are a lot of is cafés, pubs and clubs with the unmistakable image of the film, stylish t-shirts and other clothing belong to the most valuable pieces in proud owners´ wardrobes. At computer time several fan sites as well as computer games where created. None of these, of course, may necessarily bear the evidence of the quality of the film itself. It is often quite the other way round. However: The Blues Brothers makes an exception in this respect. Big cult - great fun. If you have not seen it yet, do not miss the opportunity!
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Foyer Domu kultury – zahájí ZVA 12 – 28 /SK/
Slovak friends from Zvolen are the "family silver" of festival BLUES ALIVE and they are always welcomed here with open arms. While at the Czech blues scene most of musicians constantly polish classic blues standards, present cover songs and try to imitate their American models, Slovaks, at least the best of them, usually try their own ways. And in this respect ZVA 12-28 Band, popularly called 'Zetvéáčka "is a polished diamond. Their expression is unlike anything not only in Central Europe, but also at the American blues scene. There is of course the question "what - if", but having a resourceful manager they might capture attention even overseas with their original music, rooted in the ancient classical foundations. They are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary. They started as a local band in Zvolen and already in the first years of their existence they arouse interest at home in the Slovakia and quickly established themselves at the head of the local scene. Although their career started like thousands of others playing cover songs of American bluesmen, but significantly adapted in their own image, Norbert Červenák has always played a role of a strong leader. Not only as a singer, whose voice recalls Captain Beefheart, who resembles Frank Zappa in appearance and whose style of guitar playing brings back some alternative musicians as Marc Ribot, but also as an original author of music and lyrics. They were sometimes crazy suggesting Dada, surrealism and nonsense, but they are always easy to remember, at least parts of them, so listeners remember them on first hearing. And they like to recall them.
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Pivnice Holba - zahájí The Kingsize Boogiemen /CZ/
In 2011 the quartet of talented musicians from Prague area captivated the jury at BLUES APERITIV, especially with excellent mastering of classic blues, played with extraordinary energy and finally with staying on top of things. The Kingsize Boogiemen are a seasoned band performing in clubs throughout the Czech Republic. Their repertoire includes the most famous standards, but they also pick up the less known songs by their favorites, which they then play with the authentic original touch. Their concerts bring back the best of the old masters´ legacy, just as their second album Patník Komu Patník, which was released this spring. And as they are known as not only as good musicians but also as very social Czech musicians, the were chosen to kick off the first night jam session.
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Lubos Andršt Blues Band a Dani Robinson /CZ, USA/
Our walk through the Czech blues history would not be conceivable without Luboš Andršt, which is undoubtedly the best-known and best-accepted blues artist. The instrumentalist who much younger followers refer to. The guitarist, who has been surfing among genres all his life, playing jazz, rock, or even pop, could sign his name under Clapton´s statement: "Whatever music I have ever played, I have never ceased to be a blues guitarist. Luboš Andršt likes to play with foreign guests – Let me remind you the first year of Blues Alive twenty years ago when he played with American Ramblin' Rex and it was Andršt who first introduced the Czech audience then American tourist, today domesticated Praguer Tonya Graves. The twentieth BLUES ALIVE will present his Blues Band together with another American, Dani Robinson, who became famous in the local countries as the perfect Jimi Hendrix revivalist. We can look forward to the waters this joint project will take both guitarists to.
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Jan Spálený a ASPM /CZ/
If there were a poll of most Czech domestic bluesman in the best sense of the word, Jan Spálený would be certain to win. No one else has ever been able to say so much in blues, no one else has ever been able to create such a unique style which brings back what he has always enjoyed listening ( old bluesmen, Dixieland, modern jazz, folk singers or classical music), but which is filtered in its own image by the creator´s strong personality. Jan Spálený is the unquestionable authority of the Czech blues, his real father, or perhaps godfather. This night would not be conceivable without his participation.

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Bluesberry /CZ/
When you think of Prague neighborhood Hanspaulka, you hear blues as its echo. Those who are responsible for it in the first place are called Bluesberry and for sure they are the oldest still active blues band in the country. The lineup around frontman Petar Introvič has been changed many times, but the band is still the same. Although their beginnings were based on recordings by American country blues musicians, giving the songs a Czech nature and then writing their own music created pure Czech poetics, namely Hanspaulka poetics, which is kind of the link of Prague pubs, Czech tramping and early big beat. And Bluesberry has stuck to it till today making three generations of their fans happy.
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Jiří Suchý /CZ/
Blues became a popular musical form of theater songs, a few of these can be found in connection to Ježek, Voskovec and Werich. And of course blues cannot be avoided by Suchý-Šlitr, respectively by Jiří Suchý as a solo author or with different artistic partners. Semafor theatre director and one of the most important personalities of Czech theater and popular music is rare to perform outside his scene. Theater working is relentless, and even at the age of eighty-three Jiří Suchý does not look like he is planning to slow down. So the festival organizers appreciate the singer having found free time in his diary to perform at BLUES ALIVE.
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Ondřej Havelka a Melody Makers /CZ/
The Mississippi does not run through the Czech Republic, and so the roots of blues cannot be found at any Pattons and Johnsons, but in dance halls and cafés with swing orchestras, which had been inspired by American models, but under their influence original music and lyrics, was then created. Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers are able to evoke that time perfectly, yet alongside the period atmosphere they offer top musical performance. Their repertoire includes a many American and Czech blues songs. These ones comprise the program that will start our pilgrimage through the Czech blues history.
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ZVA 12-28 /SK/
Slovak friends from Zvolen are the "family silver" of festival BLUES ALIVE and they are always welcomed here with open arms. While at the Czech blues scene most of musicians constantly polish classic blues standards, present cover songs and try to imitate their American models, Slovaks, at least the best of them, usually try their own ways. And in this respect ZVA 12-28 Band, popularly called 'Zetvéáčka "is a polished diamond. Their expression is unlike anything not only in Central Europe, but also at the American blues scene. There is of course the question "what - if", but having a resourceful manager they might capture attention even overseas with their original music, rooted in the ancient classical foundations. They are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary. They started as a local band in Zvolen and already in the first years of their existence they arouse interest at home in the Slovakia and quickly established themselves at the head of the local scene. Although their career started like thousands of others playing cover songs of American bluesmen, but significantly adapted in their own image, Norbert Červenák has always played a role of a strong leader. Not only as a singer, whose voice recalls Captain Beefheart, who resembles Frank Zappa in appearance and whose style of guitar playing brings back some alternative musicians as Marc Ribot, but also as an original author of music and lyrics. They were sometimes crazy suggesting Dada, surrealism and nonsense, but they are always easy to remember, at least parts of them, so listeners remember them on first hearing. And they like to recall them.

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Ladě /CZ/
When Ladě from Opava won the Blues Aperitiv in 2010, the band was known only to a small circle of insiders. Also journalists and organizers used to know them as the "Best of the least known Czech bands". But that is no longer true. Today the band, key figures of which are charismatic singer and songwriter Michael Kubesa and guitarist Petr Uvira, adorns any festival that wants to keep its quality bar up. And their fans can be counted in thousands. What is typical of Ladě is the fact they can play their unclassifiable music virtually anywhere – they appeal to visitors of blues, jazz, rock and alternative events. Everyone comes in their own in their exceptionally boutique expression. All then enjoys the magical experience that is charmed into the dim atmosphere of their songs.
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Linwood Lee Taylor Trio /USA/
Linwood Lee Taylor is a talented American bluesman. His musical style is based on the blues legends such as Albert King, Howlin 'Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and his distinctive guitar expression may remind you of Jimi Hendrix. Linwood has also a very good command of his acoustic guitar. He plays concerts mostly on the East Coast of the United States, where he dazzled next to famous Albert Collins. As for Europe he is better known in its western part, where, for example, he stood on stages with Joe Louis Walker. We have not yet had the opportunity to meet this excellent guitarist in the Czech Republic, but this year's big "Blues Alive Tour", where he plays together with Slovak bassist Matej Černý and Czech drummer Tomáš Hobzek, is going to change it.
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Pocta B.B. King – Luboš Andršt Blues Band /CZ/
As we all know, BB King died on May 14 this year. His personality will be reminded as a club show by Luboš Andršt in the Church Monastery. Accompanied by his Blues Band he will play mostly songs from King's repertoire. And not only that, he will also recall what kind of lifelong influence on his musical career BB King had and what it was like when he had chances to meet BB on stage several times.
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Afterparty – Pivnice Holba - Martin Chik Blues Band /CZ/
Martin Chik became remarkable figure in Šumperk hustle and bustle of the last festival - he joined jams and haunted surrounding pubs with his guitar so he helped create the right open blues feel. Subsequently, his Blues Band applied for the contest BLUES APERITIV - and the audience, certainly many of them still under the impression Chik´s autumn ubiquity, gave him the audience award. Chik´s expression, which he puts into blues standards, is in the best sense of the word „street" and his immediacy can deal to the audience greatly. These are the skills that a bluesman needs to have. The choice who to invite to the afterparty in first festival evening to start a jam session was obvious in this case.
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Warren Haynes /USA/
„If we were to plough through all the existing musical endeavors of Warren Haynes from North Carolina, it would give us splitting headache. A passionately limitless guitarist, a precise bandleader, a masterful composer and an arranger, an emotive vocalist with considerable vocal range, but also a songwriter and a lifelong longhair is in fact every barleycorn a workaholic, "says music journalist and musician Ondřej Konrád in Warren Haynes´s profile in the October issue of the magazine UNI. We could not agree more. Without exaggeration the main star of the twentieth year BLUES ALIVE is one of the most respected guitarists in the American continent, a personality, who in his mid-fifties is in his prime and yet still a fresh musician who maybe now says his most important issues, what once will be remembered under his name in music encyclopedias.
Warren Haynes is inherently connected with two bands. First, the Allman Brother Band, which he joined in its reunion period in 1989 and stayed except a three-year break, until their last (final?) farewell. And then his own project Gov’t Mule, which was founded in 1994. The extremely hardworking band has made a long series of recordings of various nature - They are particularly famous for long live songs from charity Christmas jams, which featured a variety of guests, or the band chooses to play classic rock, no matter if it is the Rolling Stones stuff or perhaps surprisingly Pink Floyd. Anyway, all the projects are dominated by Haynes´s perfect guitar and also unexpectedly great singing for such a virtuoso instrumentalist. Both can be found in his solo works, particularly rugged Man In Motion (2011), and of course Ashes & Dust released this year. Ondřej Konrád adds: "The album Ashes And Dust was created together with the neo-bluegrass band Railroad Earth, named after the prose by Jack Kerouac. Prone to various musical adventures Haynes had been planning this collaboration for years, but it came into existence now. Although the album is more about songs, but damn striking (Word On The Wind, It Me Or Is You, New Year's Eve, Company Man, Gold Just Woman – a duet with wonderful Grace Potter), it is evident that there must have been a lot of jamming in the studio. At least before the light went red. The fans of the music made by Křesťan´s Druhá Tráva should rejoice over the album. Haynes, this time singing more gently, takes both acoustic guitar and electric guitar in his hands and he put a threading bottleneck on his finger. It all sounds smooth and literally beautiful. A listener comes to corny but valid truth that all things interrelate. And to God knows how many times said statement that southern rock, blues and country music still stem from a folk music-making.“
Warren Haynes is arriving at BLUES ALIVE and in the Czech Republic for the first time. He is going to play a full-fledged concert, as his position and his Czech fans deserve. So the time to show his mastery will be enough.
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The Record Company /USA/
This band is going to bring hot blues today once again to Šumperk. The band, which was founded in California in 201, very quickly acquired the reputation as a huge concert attraction. During that time multi-instrumentalists Chris Vos, Alex Stiff and Marc Cazorla have been playing before big stars of the genre as, BB King, who passed away this year, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph or Charles Bradley. Their musical mix of raw classic sound of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker combines with a garage feeling and the band has no problem playing covers of the Stooges songs written by Iggy Pop. A bit contrary to their name The Record Company do not lean over backwards with releasing albums - they have made two singles and three EPs up till now, their debut album is pending. One thing is certain: the band has definitely primed for high-blues goals as evidenced by the extensive US-European tour, which will also include their concert at Blues Alive.
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Jan Galach Band /PL/
The winner of last year's BLUES APERITIV is one of the most important Polish musicians. The phenomenal violinist got interested in blues music when he was fifteen; he has played in several rock and blues-rock bands and the contemporary Jan Galach Band. The band, which can boast a singer Karolina Cygonek, was founded in 2010. Pure blues is in his expression linked with other styles into the original mixture, the band is able to play hard and raw, as well as fragile and sophisticated music. Since 2006 Jan Galach has regularly ranked in top positions of the instrumental categories of annual surveys Twój Blues magazine, and in 2012 he was awarded Polish instrumentalist of the year.
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Foyer: The Bladderstones /CZ/
Johnny Jůdl may be known from the alternative band Jablkoň band, where he plays the bassoon, the bass and the electric guitar. In the blues band The Bladderstones he got together with drummer Tomáš Náprstek and a very young and very talented guitarist Tomáš Frolík. Johnny Jůdl himself plays the bass guitar and sings in the band that has released one album so far (harp player Ondřej Konrád plays here as a guest and he might play with the band in Šumperk), and that won the contest Blues Aperitiv this year. "In music, my favorite two approaches are best characterized by Zappa and Led Zeppelin. The first is craziness, insight and diversity, and the other is a tradition, energy and a feeling. I taught our guitarist Tomáš Frolík first at music school, in the course of time we have found a harmony between us, and it was a logical step to play together, "he says. Finally as for their creation a couple of words that needed to be repeated again and again: "Blues, hence its principle, there can exist and bring something new even today. But it does not arise playing the twelves somewhere for tourists or at company parties. "
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lobby of the House of Culture – opened by Joana Knitter / CZ /

 

Beer bar HOLBA – opened by Bluesriders / CZ /

 

in cooperation with Radio Dixie

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lobby of the House of Culture – opened by Jan Galacho Band / PL /

 

Beer bar HOLBA – opened by Electric Lady / CZ /

 

themed afternoon:
Annual thematic afternoon has two objectives. First, to present a part of the music scene linked with one theme as a whole and also to let visitors to BLUES ALIVE have a rest from mostly pure blues expression and to offer them the music that has without any doubts blues roots and context, but it gets out of the standard pigeonhole one way or another. The theme of this Saturday afternoon is "foreigners in the Czech Republic", so performances of international musicians who settled down in here years ago and are working with Czech musicians. They have become de facto a part of the local music scene.

 

Written and directed by the Coen Brothers, USA, UK, France, 2013

 

Film Inside Llewyn Davis
Written and directed by the Coen brothers, USA, UK, France, 2013
The film follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the baskethouses of the Village to an empty Chicago club—on an odyssey to audition for a music mogul—and back again. Although Davis is a fictional character, the story was partly inspired by the autobiography of folk singer Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002), who together with Bob Dylan was a leader of the folk movement in the 60s. The executive music producer was renowned T Bone Burnett.

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Afterparty - Beer bar HOLBA - Hoochie Coochie Band / CZ /
The four from Brno belongs to the live inventory of BLUES ALIVE. In addition to the official performances at several festival years, Hoochie Coochie Band have taken part - because its members comes to Šumperk as audience almost every year – in countless night jams at various venues from the official ones in the House of Culture to the ones in the town pedestrian area and various bars. Hoochie Coochie Band is dedicated to the authentic interpretation of the blues in the transition between acoustic country and urban electrical forms, as well as their own work. Jan Švihálek makes an extremely charismatic frontman, who is backed up by musicians belonging to the absolute blues elite. Each performance by Hoochie Coochie Band usually turns into an authentic blues party with everything that goes with it, and so it is certain to be the same at the opening afterparty night at BLUES ALIVE.

 

Marcel Flemr Band / CZ, I / and guests:
The leader of the band that has been put together specially for the occasion, is brilliant guitarist and singer Marcel Flemr. He started with music as a teenager and he was not far from the age of "child prodigy" when his first band Buddy Wonders won the competition Blues Šumperk Aperitiv. In the course of time he has worked his way up to a unique personality, inspired by the heritage of classic blues electric guitar players such as T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Lowell Fullson or Hubert Sumlin, and also modernists as Robert Cray and Buddy Guy. But Flemr has always added a distinctive expression and style to their influence. American singer Kaia Brown, who has been active in the Czech Republic, renowned Slovak harmonica player Erich Boboš Procházka and Hoochie Coochie Band frontman, vocalist and guitarist Jan Švihálek are going to be the guests to Flemr´s band at the opening session.
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Tribute to Muddy Waters:
The opening night of this year's BLUES ALIVE will be dedicated to the memory of one of the most important blues artist, guitarist, and singer and author Muddy Waters (1913-1983). The whole blues world commemorated the hundredth anniversary of his birth last year and the father of modern Chicago blues will also be remembered at our festival, albeit with a small delay.
Muddy Waters is one of the few real giants as a performer in his band, where a long list of notable blues soloists was raised, and a hitmaker. Whether his most famous songs had been written by himself or his long-time court composer and producer Willie Dixon, there are enough hits for the whole night. Hoochie Coochie Man, Mannish Boy, Rolling Stone, I Got My Mojo Working, I´m Ready, Baby Please Don´t Go, Going Down Slow, I Just Want To Make Love To You.... these are just some of them. They are famous not only in his "model" version (in fact a many versions, as he played and recorded them throughout his life with different sets), but also in hundreds, perhaps thousands of cover versions. That is prerequisite for being included in the golden treasury of blues standards. If we made a theoretical list of blues standards of the world, you can be sure Muddy Waters would be the most represented.
The night Tribute to Muddy Waters is conceived as a traditional electric blues show, where Waters' classic songs will be heard as well as the songs inspired by his music. The night will be opened by the band specially chosen for this event by Czech guitarist Marcel Flemr and his guests. The same band then will accompany two Waters' musically active sons, who are famous all over the world. The challenge of the afterparty will then be met by the Hoochie Coochie Band from Brno, who considers the traditional electric Chicago blues model as their basic means of expression.

 

Kaia Brown /USA/, Erich Boboš Procházka /SK/ a Jan Švihálek /CZ/

 

Foyer Domu kultury – zahájí Joana Knitter /CZ/

 

Pivnice Holba – zahájí Bluesriders /CZ/

 

Otis Taylor Band /USA/
With Otis Taylor, it's best to expect the unexpected. While his music, an amalgamation of roots styles in their rawest form, discusses heavyweight issues like murder, homelessness, tyranny, and injustice, his personal style is light-hearted. "I'm good at dark, but I'm not a particularly unhappy person," says the artist, who was called by the respected magazine Guitar Player as the most relevant blues artist of our time.
Otis Mark Taylor was born in Chicago in 1948. After his uncle was shot to death, his family moved to Denver where an adolescent's interest in blues and folk was cultivated. Both his parents were big music fans; "I was raised with jazz musicians," Taylor relates. "My dad worked for the railroad and knew a lot of jazz people. He was a socialist and real bebopper." Young Otis spent time at the Denver Folklore Center where he bought his first instrument, a banjo. When he was fifteen, he formed his first group and had been playing the harp and the guitar. Other bands followed before he decided to take a hiatus from the music business in 1977. During this time he established a successful career as an antiques dealer and also began coaching one bicycle team. In 1995 Otis returned to the stage. Two years later he released Blue Eyed Monster, which riveted the blues world and marked the emergence of a singer/songwriter. His music was described as "minimalist blues in the John Lee Hooker mode."
If Taylor 's first two recordings cast a spell on the music world, listeners were officially entranced by White African (2001), his most direct and personal statement about the experiences of African-Americans. He addressed the lynching of his great-grandfather and the death of his uncle. Brutality became his concern in songs that fearlessly explored the history of race relations and social injustices. With this disc Taylor was officially blazing a trail. He earned four W.C. Handy nominations and won the award for "Best New Artist Debut." With his debut for Telarc Records in 2003, Truth Is Not Fiction, Taylor took a decidedly electric, almost psychedelic path forging a sound which he describes as "trance-blues." Music critics were indeed captivated as the disc received a nod from the Downbeat Critics Poll for Blues Album of the Year.
He kept working on his well composed and always very original sound in other albums that always goes hand in hand with high explanatory value of his texts. He plays with his band, a member of which is Taylor's daughter, singer and bassist Cassie (today on solo career), or with a number of very interesting guests, especially blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore and Japanese avant-garde jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara.
He rebuilt his band for his most recent album My World Is Gone (2012), he began collaborating with Indian guitarist and vocalist Mat Nanji and especially with the phenomenal violinist Anne Harris. Their performance at the biggest Polish blues festival Rawa in Katowice was an absolute music whirlwind and a great show that clearly overshadowed all remaining stars at the festival. It was this fantastic concert that encouraged the dramaturgy of BLUES ALIVE to come up with the idea to make Otis Taylor the main star of this year.

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Mike Zito & Samantha Fish & The Wheel /USA/
One of the most acclaimed American blues guitarist Mike Zito was born in St. Louis in 1970. He has been interested in music since his childhood and as a teenager he played in local clubs in Missouri. He entered the global scene really markedly. His album Today had been produced by the famous David Z (longtime collaborator with Prince, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and other famous stars) who put together the line-up of well-known profs from accompanying bands to Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, the Taj Mahal and BB King. The title song of the following album Pearl River with New Orleans blues-oriented sound, brought Mike Zito the Blues Music Award for 2010. His third album Greyhound was nominated for the same award in the blues-rock category a year later. He has invited excellent guitar player and famous beauty Samantha Fish to his current European tour to be his special guest, whom he produced her new album Black Wind Howlin '.
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The Cyborgs /Itálie/
The representatives of Italian blues have not been present at BLUES ALIVE yet. Duo The Cyborgs will be a truly exquisite ambassador and they are certain to arouse great interest. With the robotic image the drummer and the guitarist play probably the hardest and rawest blues of this year. That blues having been played in the 80s and 90s in Mississippi boozers, that blues that made it in the world thanks to label Fat Possum, that blues that gave a birth to such bands as The Black Keys, 20 Miles or the White Stripes. Blues with such energy and a swing that after listening to their music Iggy Pop spoke with praise, as well as Jeff Beck or Eric Sardinas, who invited them to be his guests at his concert show.
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Georg Schroeter & Marc Breitfelder Trio /GER/
The first years of BLUES ALIVE were continuously mapping German blues scene, but its representatives have been missing on the festival program in recent years. This year one band has made up for the absence. It ranks among the most appreciated in our immediate western neighbourhood and even in the American scene, too. In 2011 pianist and singer Georg Schroeter with harmonica player Mark Breitfelder won the first prize in the respected competition International Blues Challenge in Memphis, which made them the first Europeans to win this prestigious award in the festival twenty-seven years´ history. Their music is an explosive mixture of blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and boogie woogie, played by true masters of their instruments.
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Bluesraiders /SK/
If we say that the leader of the Slovak band is bassist John Litecký-Šveda Jr., every blues fan should understand that here we are on the right tracks and that the apple does not fall far from the tree. The young band began with blues standards, now own compositions highly prevails in its repertoire, where blues meets other influences, alternative, reggae, ska, but mainly funk. In 2010 the Slovak Bluesraiders were awarded the surprise of the year by Slovak Blues Association and their recordings were included in the compilation album Bluesová spoločnosť 7. Winning last year´s BLUES APERITIV was the next step of the Bluesraiders to the (Czecho)Slovak blues top.
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Joanna Knitter Blues & Folk Connection /PL/
This band from Gdyně has emerged from the excellent vocalist Joanny Knitter and the drummer Piotr Gory’s fondness for the traditional American folk music. They decided to gather a group of experienced musicians who could easily understand the most characteristic feature of the genre – simplicity. The band among others took fourth place in the Polish poll as Top Blues Band of the Year. Joanna took second place as Singer of the Year and their last album Cruel, Cruel World took third place in the Album of the Year. The international jury of this year's BLUES APERITIV was captured by their absolutely professional performance and perfect sound.
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ve spolupráci s Rádiem Dixie

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Moonshine Howlers /CZ/
While the United States and some European countries have been raged with contemporary country, hardened with and punk and rock energy, the Czech Republic seems to keep aloof. In fact, the only significant representative of this extremely wingding style is the band Moonshine Howlers. This is a supergroup, composed of members of rockabilly bands as The Rocket Dogz, Queens Of Everything, Carlos And His Coyotes or Twisted Rod, who were joined by American singer Brian Evans originally from Pennsylvania. "The recording carries the spirit of the country, but punk nature of all involved can be felt in every tone, so all songs run fast and don´t hang around," wrote one reviewer about their debut Hymns of Sin and Salvation last year.
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Sarah And The Adams /CZ/
In 2011 singer and pianist Šárka Adámková, accompanied by an exceptional band, released her debut album, which brought her the nickname "Czech Norah Jones", due to her piano playing, silky vocals and repertoire, moving between folk, jazz and country. Nowadays she is releasing her second, more mature studio album. The band members are first-class Czech and Slovak musicians from many music styles and playing with a number of outstanding figures of our scene, for example guitarist and a player on all possible stringed instruments Josef Štěpánek (among others Wabi a Ďáblovo stádo or Gumbo Ondřeje Konráda) or bassist Rasťo Uhrák (several rock and jazz groups, but also Alo Trio Vlastimila Třešňáka).
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Suzie Stapleton /Austrálie/, Sarah & The Adams /CZ/ , Moonshine Howlers /CZ/
One of the greatest hopes of Australian songwriters. Songs by Suzie Stapleton refer to the deeply rooted tradition of Australian Rock (Dirty Three, Beasts of Bourbon, or perhaps The Triffids), they are airy and wide open. Listeners are captured to be released after a few minutes, changed forever. Suzie beckons and impresses with her voice, once she is hilariously lascivious, then plaintive and dismal, her speech conceals a great deal of emotion that is accompanied with nervous and impressive guitar playing. She is not afraid to cry when it is pertinent, sometimes she lowers to the pulp, being led by the needs of individual songs, mood and circumstances. Last year she captivated the audience at the festival Colours of Ostrava, this year she intends to confirm the assumption that her music is perfect for a blues festival.
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Foyer Domu kultury – zahájí Jan Galach Band /PL/

 

Pivnice Holba – zahájí Electric Lady /CZ/

 

John Németh /USA/
Thirty-eight-year-old excellent harp player and singer John Németh belongs to the first league of the middle-aged musicians, based on blues tradition, who took also significant soul elements into their musical vocabulary. Last year he again got five nominations for Blues Music Awards, so it is the highest time to introduce him for the first time in the Czech Republic - and more than anywhere else to the experienced and connoisseur audience at BLUES ALIVE. John Németh appeared on the professional music scene at the turn of the new millennium. He played in the backing band of jumpblues guitarist and singer Junior Watson while bossing own band The Jacks, which released his first album at his own expense. Between 2005 and 2006 he was a member of the backing band of excellent guitarist Anson Funderburgh, known from last year's Blues Alive. In 2006 he won a three album contract with a major blues label Blind Pig. The albums Plates Magic Touch, Love Me Tonight and Name the Day! have established him as a top blues musician, which caught the attention of veteran Elvin Bishop, who invited him to record his title The Blues Roles On, which was nominated for Grammy Award in 2008. John Németh released two live albums in 2012, divided by genre: Blues Live and Soul Live. The last item in his discography is Memphis Grease released this year.
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Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado /Norsko/
Danish singer Thorbjørn Risager is now the greatest Scandinavian blues star. He started to play the saxophone and the guitar at the age of 12, with B. B. King and Ray Charles being his biggest heroes. He studied to be a school teacher, and worked in this profession for some years, before he decided to let the music take over. He studied at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, a quite unique education where many of the teachers are jazz- or rock musicians, and where the emphasis is on Rhythmic music of all genres. In 2003 he started his band and has made several albums under his name. The last one with renowned label Ruf was already made under the whole name Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado, suggesting a greater emphasis on a band sound of seven musicians mainly from Norway. In their very energetic expression, which is reinforced with the rhythmic and a brass sections, we can find not only elements of blues and rhythm and blues, but also gospel, soul and funk.
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Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson /Finsko/
Jukka “Black River Bluesman” Juhola & Andy Bad Mood Hudson play their Blues in the deep woods and frozen swamps of the muddy Black River Delta way up North in cold Finland. Their unrefined, electric Blues have been compared to the rough sounds of the Mississippi Hill Country artists as well as to anything between Tom Waits and Black Keys or psychoblues and garage. Whatever the influences may be, they play their animal Blues with no compromises - just the way they feel. So they are certain to touch a chord with the admirers of such masters as R.L. Burnside or the previous guest to BLUES ALIVE T-Model Ford.
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Bill Barrett & Ryan Donohue /USA/
California musician and singer Bill Barrett is a world-renowned harmonica player, he ranks in the top in the world. He has already visited the Czech Republic with New York band Hazmat Modine, mixing blues, jazz, folk and world music. He has also successfully toured our country with Ryan Donohue twice. His colleague is not new to Central Europe, either. He has played with the German-American band Crazy Hambones in the Czech Republic. Ryan played in clubs in New Orleans with such stars like Huey Lewis and the News, Bo Diddley and The Neville Brothers.

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Electric Lady /CZ/
Singer and guitarist Tereza Hrubanová from Plzeň made a name with the band Rubiano, which she also recorded her first acclaimed album with. Shortly before her show at this year's BLUES APERITIV she changed the band and under a new name she showed Šumperk audience her juicy modern blues-rock, based on unique songwriting and especially on excellent singing and instrumental performance. In the summer she spent several months in the United States, even in one of the local major music centres of New Orleans, where she was jamming with musicians of all styles in clubs and streets, and so she completed an imaginary practice school. Toughened up, she came back to last year´s BLUES ALIVE in Šumperk to show that even in the Czech Republic the electric guitar does not have to be necessarily an exclusively male domain. It was a logical step that after her successful performance in the lobby she was invited to play on the main stage this year. She is coming back after having recorded a new album in the United States this October as a player authorized by the most important manufacturer of electric guitars in the world, Fender company. That speaks volumes about her musical qualities.

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Jan Galach Band /PL/
The winner of this year's BLUES APERITIV is one of the most important Polish musicians. The phenomenal violinist got interested in blues music when he was fifteen, he has played in several rock and blues-rock bands and the contemporary Jan Galach Band. The band, which can boast a singer Karolina Cygonek, was founded in 2010. Pure blues is in his expression linked with other styles into the original mixture, the band is able to play hard and raw, as well as fragile and sophisticated music. Since 2006 Jan Galach has regularly ranked in top positions of the instrumental categories of annual surveys Twój Blues magazine, and in 2012 he was awarded Polish instrumentalist of the year.
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Phil Shoenfelt & David Babka /GB,CZ/
British rocker Phil Shoenfelt, living in Prague for years, is of course known to everyone who is interested in the local blues landscape. In the context of the Blues Alive we might recall his first appearance here in 2003 as a member of the band Fatal Shore, which received great applause, and then in tandem with the violinist Paul Cingl three years later. Now, after eight years, he is coming back with an almost entirely new project, paired with a guitar player and one of the greatest Czech specialists on pedal steel guitar David Babka, who is also a member of Shoenfelt´s rock group Southern Cross.

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Jimmy Bozeman & Lazy Pigs /USA/
American songwriter comes from a small town in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This area has always been a melting pot of many different musical styles. Afro-American blues, zydeco, cajun, country, hillbilly, western-swing, and more. Jimmy Bozeman´s music has been significantly influenced by all these genres. He has travelled to many places on the way to music: from Louisiana to Texas and through Mexico and Greece to Prague, where he settled down in 1991. He has already recorded seven albums here with the bands The Lazy Pigs and Band of Jakeys. Originally international line-up of his backing group The Lazy Pigs transformed into a purely Czech band a few years ago, including important supporting players, whose musical talents are appreciated by many stars of the local country-western, folk and jazz music.
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Jamie Marshall´s Amplified Acoustic Band /GB/
Before he left for the Czech Republic, he had been active in the London music scene for more than 20 years. He had played together with personalities as Don McLean, The Blues Band, Paul Young or real British blues legend Long John Baldry. He had recorded in many different studios, including the famous Abbey Road Studios. He has made regular performances at many festivals in the Czech Republic, he plays in clubs, and he has also played with Vlasta Redl. Currently he plays regularly with the first lady of Czech country music, Věra Martinová. This excellent guitarist and singer plays his own mainly blues songs with his own band, which is arriving with him in Šumperk.
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Tématické odpoledne:
Každoroční Tematické odpoledne má dva cíle. Jednak představit jedním tématem propojenou výseč hudební scény jako celek, jednak nechat návštěvníky BLUES ALIVE odpočinout od převážně čistého bluesového projevu a nabídnout hudbu, která má sice nepochybné bluesové kořeny a souvislosti, ale její výraz tak či onak základní škatulku přesahuje. Tématem letošního sobotního odpoledne jsou "cizinci v Česku", tedy vystoupení zahraničních hudebníků, kteří u nás už před lety zakotvili, stali se de facto součástí domácí scény a pracují s českými hudebníky.

 

Scénář a režie : Bratři Coenové, USA, VB, Francie , 2013

 

Film V nitru Llewyna Davise
Scénář a režie : Bratři Coenové, USA, VB, Francie , 2013 V nitru Llewyna Davise je příběh ambiciózního a talentovaného mladého muzikanta, který se snaží získat si trochu uznání, v době obrody folkové hudby, v New Yorku roku 1961. Ačkoliv se jeho život zdá být nekonečným řetězem smůly, Llewyn se nevzdává a pevně si jde za svým snem. Bez peněz a trvalé adresy se protlouká životem a přespává u stále se snižujícího počtu kamarádů. Jako šance na záchranu se jeví cesta do Chicaga, kam se vydává s nadějí na získání nového manažera a s vyhlídkou na překonání své smůly. Předobrazem hlavní postavy se stal známý písničkář Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002), spolu s Bobem Dylanem jeden z protagonistů folkového hnutí raných 60. let. Hudební produkci filmu měl na starosti muž nad jiné povolaný T Bone Burnett.
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Afterparty – Pivnice Holba - Hoochie Coochie Band /CZ/
Brněnská čtveřice patří takřka k živému inventáři BLUES ALIVE. Kromě oficiálních vstoupení na několika ročnících festivalu Hoochie Coochie Band absolvoval - neboť jeho členové takřka každoročně jezdí do Šumperka i jako diváci - nespočet nočních jamů na různých místech místa konání, od těch oficiálních v Domě kultury, až po městskou pěší zónu či různé bary. Hoochie Coochie Band se věnuje autentické interpretaci blues na přechodu mezi venkovskou akustickou a městskou elektrickou podobou, i vlastní tvorbě na této bázi. V osobě Jana Švihálka má mimořádně charismatického frontmana, jemuž jistí záda muzikanti, patřící ve svém žánru u nás k absolutní špičce. Každé vystoupení Hoochie Coochie Bandu se obvykle zvrhne v nehraný bluesový mejdan se vším, co k tomu patří, a nejinak tomu jistě bude i na afterparty zahajovacího večera BLUES ALIVE.

 

Marcel Flemr Band /CZ, I/ a hosté:
V čele kapely, sestavené speciálně pro tuto příležitost, stojí bravurní kytarista a zpěvák Marcel Flemr. S hudbou začal už jako teenager a nebyl daleko od věku "zázračného dítěte", když se svou první kapelou Buddy Wonders zvítězil v šumperské vyhledávací soutěži Blues Aperitiv. Postupem času se vypracoval v ojedinělou osobnost, v jejíž hře slyšíme dědictví klasických bluesových hráčů na elektrickou kytaru, jako jsou T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Lowell Fullson nebo Hubert Sumlin, i modernistů typu Roberta Craye či Buddyho Guye. Jejich vlivu ale Flemr vždy dodává osobitý výraz a styl. Jako hoté jeho kapely v úvodním bloku večera vystoupí v Česku v posledních letech činná americká zpěvačka Kaia Brown, evropsky proslulý slovenský hráč na foukací harmoniku Erich Boboš Procházka a frontman Hoochie Coochie Bandu, zpěvák a kytarista Jan Švihálek.
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Big Bill Morganfield /USA/
He was born in 1956 and came to music later in life, having first worked as a teacher. He did not begin playing music seriously until after his father's death. He saw his father only occasionally, he came to see him in 1980, three years before his death. “I just needed to meet my dad face to face“, said Bill on his web. He got to him through security, he embraced him, than they talked together for a while, then Muddy played the concert, after it they embraced again and it was the last time they met. Then they just phoned. "I was not a blues fan, but after I had seen and heard that night, a seed was sowed," says Big Bill. After Muddy´s death Bill´s seed started to grow. That evening, when he had come to the club to meet Muddy, he in fact had met all who had been playing in his dad's band: Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eye" Smith and mainly white guitarist Bob Margolin. He eventually produced his first album Rising Son. Bill had been preparing it for six years. It was released in 1999 and a year later it got a major blues award WC Handy. Thanks to Margolin actually the whole Muddy´s band met in the studio: Pinetop Perkins, Willie Smith on Paul Oscher playing harp and Bob Margolin. Since then Big Bill has made more albums and he has also appeared on many blues compilations, for example on the tribute album for Chicago blues king Muddy Waters: King of the Blues. He played there probably the most famous song of his father's repertoire, Hoochie Coochie Man.

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Mud Morganfield /USA/
Muddy Waters´ oldest son was born as Larry in 1954. His mother was Mildred Williams and when he was eight years old, his parents divorced. Morganfield was raised by his mother in Chicago with occasional visits from his father. In his own words, he grew up in a wild neighbourhood, in fact on a street, surrounded by crime, drugs and alcohol, which gave his blues attitude to life. Morganfield did not consider becoming a professional musician until after his father’s death in 1983. At that time, he was driving trucks for a living and he suggested that a recurring dream of Muddy Waters performing on stage helped prompt him to begin playing the blues professionally.
However, he made his debut as late as 2008 with album Fall Waters Fall, which was followed by the title Son Of A Seventh Son four years later. Mud Morganfield has always liked to play his father's songs, which he complements with his own pieces. This year's highly rated album For Pops: A Tribute To Muddy Waters, which, as its name suggests, consists exclusively of songs by Muddy Waters, recorded in an orthodox and very impressive spirit, when the singer has an excellent partner, the phenomenal harp player Kim Wilson. It is this album we can hear how close Mud Morganfield´s singing is to his father's performance, including his voice timbre. The illusion is almost perfect.

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Pocta Muddymu Watersovi:
Úvodní večer letošního BLUES ALIVE bude věnován připomínce jedné z vůbec nejdůležitějších osobností žánru, kytaristovi, zpěvákovi a autorovi Muddymu Watersovi (1913-1983). Celý bluesový svět si sté výročí jeho narození připomínal vloni a náš festival si tohoto otce moderního chicagského blues připomíná, byť s mírným zpožděním, také. Muddy Waters patří k nemnoha skutečným gigantům, jak interpretačně, kdy ve své kapele odchoval dlouhou řadu významných bluesových sólistů, tak jako hitmaker. Ať už svoje nejslavnější písně napsal sám nebo jeho dlouholetý dvorní skladatel a producent Willie Dixon, je mezi nimi tolik skutečných monstrhitů, že vystačí na celý večer. Hoochie Coochie Man, Mannish Boy, Rolling Stone, I Got My Mojo Working, I´m Ready, Baby Please Don´t Go, Going Down Slow, I Just Want To Make Love To You... to jsou jen některé z nich. Jsou slavné nejen v jeho „vzorovém“ podání (resp. z mnoha podání, protože řadu z nich hrál a nahrával po celý život s různými sestavami kapel), ale i ze stovek, možná tisíců coververzí. Což je základní předpoklad, abychom je mohli zařadit do zlaté pokladnice takzvaných bluesových standardů. A kdybychom udělali teoretickou soupisku všech bluesových standardů světa, můžete vzít jed na to, že Muddy Waters by byl zastoupen nejčastěji. Večer Pocta Muddymu Watersovi je koncipován jako velká show tradičního elektrického blues, ve které budou ke slyšení jak Watersovy klasické písně, tak skladby, které jsou jeho tvorbou inspirovány nebo vycházejí z hudebního modelu, který uvedl v život. Úvod večera bude patřit pro tento případ speciálně sestavené kapele českého kytaristy Marcela Flemra a hosty, táž kapela pak doprovodí dva hudebně činné a světově proslulé Watersovy syny. Afterparty se pak zhostí brněnský Hoochie Coochie Band, pro který je tradiční elektrické blues chicagského modelu základním vyjadřovacím prostředkem.

 

Marcel Flemr Band /CZ/

 

Theme afternoon
The concept of this thematic afternoon resulted from the reflection of BLUES ALIVE dramaturgy that over the years virtually identical instrumentation appeared on the festival stage with few rare exceptions. However, blues or music influenced by blues can still be played with instruments other than guitars, harmonicas, keyboards and normal rhythm instruments.

 

Film last Waltz režie Martin Scorsese (USA, 1978)
Recorded by Scorsese, the farewell concert of The Band, who are known for not only their own music but also for working closely with Bob Dylan. They wrote a many hits played by other musicians around the world (in our country, for example Petr Kalandra). The film itself is considered by many experts as the best music film ever. There are many stories describing the atmosphere in the concert scenes, which evidence that the unbound lifestyle, started in the 60s, was close to many participants also in the next decade. The Band on the screen will also back a wide range of famous blues, rock and folk musicians including Muddy Waters, Dr. John and Paul Butterfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and of course, Bob Dylan, directing the finale.

 

Jana Štromská a Diana Winklerová (CZ)
Jana Stromská is one of today's greatest discoveries of song-writing. And without any doubt, she is the closest to the blues style of all that are currently on the scene. Her playing the electric guitar is a deluge of emotion and energy, as well as her harsh vocal. But she is able to ease off towards civilian lyricism. Her usual "teammate" Diana Winklerová adds a very specific colour to her expression – she enhances Jana´s eruptive performance with very sensitive oboe and flute playing. The duo with these instruments probably remains unrivalled in the world music, not to mention blues. Dark horse in BLUES ALIVE this year!

 

Tématické odpoledne: Blues s netradičními nástroji
Koncept letošního Tematického odpoledne vznikl při zamyšlení dramaturgie BLUES ALIVE nad tím, že dlouhá léta se až na řídké výjimky objevuje na pódiu festivalu prakticky shodný instrumentář. Přitom bluesová nebo blues ovlivněná hudba se přece dá hrát i na jiné nástroje než kytary, foukací harmoniky, klávesové a běžné rytmické nástroje.

 

Limboski (PL)

 

Foyer DK - Bluesraiders (SK)
If we say that the leader of the Slovak band is bassist John Litecký-Šveda Jr., every blues fan should understand that here we are on the right tracks and that the apple does not fall far from the tree. The young band began with blues standards, now own compositions highly prevails in its repertoire, where blues meets other influences, alternative, reggae, ska, but mainly funk. In 2010 the Slovak Bluesraiders were awarded the surprise of the year by Slovak Blues Association and their recordings were included in the compilation album Bluesová spoločnosť 7. Winning BLUES APERITIV is the next step of the Bluesraiders to the (Czecho)Slovak blues top.
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Pivnice Holba - Jerguš Oravec (SK)
Jerguš Oravec (1989) from Trenčín was interested in both sport and music when he was a child. First he played the piano and when he was thirteen he started the guitar. His first love was Led Zeppelin. His first band was called Next Page, which became stable as a blues band after several style and personnel changes. DVD Just One Night released in 2010 played in this rhythm, too. At the same time he also goes in for acoustic playing and he mixes standards by Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy or Muddy Waters with own songs. In 2011 - "with the vision of connecting to an apt music producer" - he took part in the TV contest Czech-Slovak SuperStar. Although he did not win, he got into the top 16, which has also won him the favour of the audience that would be difficult to find in clubs. With his current trio he blends blues roots with pop, funk, soul and jazz so easily so that he is called Slovak John Mayer. He convinced the international jury of last year's BLUES APERITIV that he is one of the candidates for BLUES ALIVE just after the first tones.
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Kill The Dandies (CZ)
Kill The Dandies! ingredients for this lethal sonic cocktail are sixties‘ garage rock with thick layers of hammonds, analog synths and wild guitar bites. Their sources of inspiration run deep, from The Cramps-esque psychotic rock’n’roll, Lee Hazlewood’s loli-poppy country ballads, The Velvet Underground’s unbrushed rawness, to Phil Spector’s noisy wall of sound. Maybe this is why Kill The Dandies! are so sweet and dangerous at the same time. Their long awaited first album I Saw White Fields was released in 2010 on the band’s own label Drug Me Records, worldwide distributed by Pale Music Int.
For their second album Those Who Hold The Flame the band teamed up again with the legendary „flying“ Dutch man Bert Neven, amongst many others known for working with the Killing Jokes. He appeared at BLUES ALIVE as a drummer in the band The Spermbankers two years ago.
Kill The Dandies! have played many gigs in England, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and many others. In April 2013 they released an album of remixes, issued along with Full Moon magazine. Such names as Alexander Hacke from Einstürzende Neubauten or Crime and The City Solution or Berlin producer Steve Morell have participated on the remixes. Kill The Dandies! are also about to release their third studio album in November 2013.

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Tex Napalm and Dimi Dero (DE, FRA)
French musician Dimi Dero plays together with many musicians, to name but a few Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey (they both worked together with Nick Cave for many years) or German rock veterans such as Tex Napalm or Mark Steiner. Dimi Dero also often travels to Australia to record and tour, his traces can be found at many popular local bands such as The Drones, The Kill Devil Hills or Burn in Hell. Currently, however, his main project is the group Tulla Larsen, where he is joined by four charming ladies. An equally charming lady gives a name to the band; Tulla Larsen was a partner and fatal muse to Norwegian painter Edvard Munch and a very courageous liberal freethinker in her time. Similarly, Tulla Larsen concert will certainly have also a fatal impact, as their music combines dark blues, extravagant chanson and the cabaret tradition strongly rooted in France. Spellbinding singer Sophie Perez may remind PJ Harvey or Juliette Greco, her deeply heartfelt expression adds a huge overlap to their songs. This impression is also enhanced by unusual instruments in the group that results from classical education of all involved. The singer is accompanied by another trio of ladies who play the piano, the viola and the violoncello; Dimi Dero oversees everything behind the drum kit. Tulla Larsen released their first album at the end of last year and currently they are a hot hit at the art scene in Paris. Their gig at this year's BLUES ALIVE in H-Club in Šumperk will be part of their first European tour ever.
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Michal Müller (CZ)
It has been incredible fourteen years, but eyewitnesses certainly will recall the sensation that was caused in the fourth year of BLUES ALIVE by this inconspicuous man, sitting on the stage with his zither- the instrument typical for the Austro-Hungarian parlours rather than blues dingy bars. His fingers set many strings in motion and conjured up tones, in which you could hear blues and rock inspiration, not to mention his excellent singing. And what about when it came to original rendering of classic standards, known to everyone! Michal Müller is returning to BLUES ALIVE after many years, having been playing in various projects (for example, in trio Njorek with cellist Jaroslav Olin Nejezchleba and guitarist Stan Barka). His block will be undoubtedly one of the most anticipated in the whole festival.
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Broken Harp (CZ)

Broken Harp (CZ)
Broken Harp play primarily rural blues, rags, ballads and spirituals. They put the accent on European roots and so in their own words „it strikes back the afro- chauvinism in contemporary blues scene." The band has been active since about 2003, resulting from unplugged meetings of Jan Sobotka, Břetislav Oliva a and Hoochie Coochie Band. Over the years, it has been joined by Ondřej Sobotka, Sixt Pokorny (A) and Andrew Cannawan (IRL). In various line-ups Broken Harp Stringband has appeared at music festivals in Radoštice, Valašský Špalíček, jimramovské Otevřeno or festival Ondřejov. In recent years, the harmonica has been replaced by a more powerful accordion and its string section is dominated by more blaring mandolin – such a line-up will appear in Šumperk this year.

 

Foyer DK - Electric Lady (CZ)
Singer and guitarist Tereza Hrubanová from Plzeň made a name with the band Rubiano, which she also recorded her first acclaimed album with. Shortly before her show at this year's BLUES APERITIV she changed the band and under a new name she showed Šumperk audience her juicy modern blues-rock, based on unique songwriting and especially on excellent singing and instrumental performance. This summer she spent several months in the United States, even in one of the local major music centres of New Orleans, where she was jamming with musicians of all styles in clubs and streets, and so she completed an imaginary practice school. Toughened up, she is arriving in Šumperk again to show that even in the Czech Republic the electric guitar does not have to be necessarily an exclusively male domain.
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Pivnice Holba - Przytula a Kruk (PL)
The Polish duo agreed to play the pre-war acoustic blues in 2008. Since then singer and harp player Bartosz Przytuła and guitarist Tomasz Kruk, recently reinforced with drummer Maciej Kudla, with their repertoire, which blends their own music with classic songs, have been meeting with success. Their recordings have won praise from Polish reviewers and they are very successful at blues band competitions including the most prestigious one, Rawa Blues Festival in Katowice. In addition to the perfect mastery of styles and musical expression itself they are distinctive in the apparent interconnectivity of players and also grace and sense of humour, which is not very common in this music today. It is a combination of all these qualities, which captured the jury´s attention at BLUES APARITIV last year.
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Orchester Ivana Tomoviča (SK)
Although the name of this body promises a large ensemble of musicians, one of the best Slovak guitarists, best known as a member of the band Bluesweiser, has his music partners under his feet and within reach in his magic boxes. With the help of a long line of electronic effects he is able to modulate the sound of his guitar and multiply it into a full band sound. The result is an alternative expression, which is never short of deeply anchored bluesy undercurrent. Ivan Tomovič´s partner in this project is noticeable Juraj " Dura" Turtev, the soul and frontman of Bluesweiser, who does magic in Tomovič´s instrumental escapades with his voice, which is nor even lacking in the exotic technique of throat singing . Poetic dimension of this original bod , which will undoubtedly suit the environment of the monastery church, is supported by texts not only by Juraj Turtev, but also by Slovak poet Judita Kaššovic.
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a další

 

Walter Wolfman Washington & The Roadmasters (USA)
When we together with the BLUES ALIVE founder Petra Matysová visited at that time big and famous Dresden Blues Festival about seventeen years ago, we were absolutely thrilled by the performance of Walter Wolfman Washington. Then we thought how great it would be if we ever managed to get him to the Czech Republic- I think that neither of us even thought about him playing at BLUES ALIVE, which was a very modest festival after its first year," the festival dramaturge Ondřej Bezr recalls the old musical experience. The BLUES ALIVE organizers have yearned for Walter Wolfman Washington (called in their special jargon WWW) actually throughout the existence of the event, but there were no favourable conditions for his arrival, especially time conditions. But this year we can tick off the long-standing debt .
Walter Wolfman Washington is a living legend of New Orleans music. He was born in 1943, in this great American music centre and he is hold in in high esteem by local music scene and community. Last year he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Big Easy Foundation at local prestigious Big Easy Music Awards and he was awarded a day in his honour by the Mayor of New Orleans proclaiming every 30th April Walter Wolfman Washington Day.
He started with music when he was a teenager, backing the great vocalist Lee Dorsey and later today´s rhythm'n'blues New Orleans legend Irma Thoomas.
During the 1970s Washington began his most significant association with one of the most important blues and jazz vocalists Johnny Adams. Being the leader of Adams´s band, he has also been engaged in his solo career. In the course of time he formed his band The Roadmasters, where he created his unique music mix of electric blues, New Orleans rhythm'n'blues and especially funky. Washington's music is deep-rooted and yet it is thoroughly modern, or rather timeless.
Washington, like his lifelong teacher Johnny Adams before him, is a great interpreter of song. He inhabits each number whether it’s a soulful ballad or a funk rave up. His gift of interpretation allows him to bring his own spirit to the composition while always exposing the true sentiments of the lyrics to the audience.
Walter Wolfman Washington is arriving in the Czech Republic as another legendary musician, who is despite of his age of seventy years still on the top. He is not one to sit back on his laurels, he still likes making his fans happy and dancing.

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Rick Estrin & The Nightcats (USA)
Ladies and gentlemen, the best harmonica player of the year is coming! Indeed, Rick Estrin, being one of the main guests at this year's BLUES ALIVE, was again awarded the Blues Foundation’s prestigious Blues Music Award ( formerly known as the WC Handy Awards ) for the best harmonica player. Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward.
In addition to his harmonica and vocal skills, Rick Estrin is a songwriter of unparalleled talent. Critics have compared his original songs to the work of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Willie Dixon and Leiber and Stoller. And his hipster, street-smart vocals are the perfect vehicle for driving those songs home. Besides Estrin’s streetwise signwriting and musical skills, he is among the most entertaining and colourful showmen around. He could be a perfect example of the widespread nonsense that blues music is sad.
Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and as a teenager he fell in in love with records by Ray Charles, Jimmy Reed and Nina Simone. Rick got his first harmonica at age 15 and by age 18 was proficient enough to begin sitting in at black clubs around the city. When he was 19, Estrin moved to Chicago where he was jamming with best local musicians, including Muddy Waters. When Rick moved back to the Bay Area, he met Charlie Baty and formed Little Charlie & The Nightcats . It soon became the pride of the local music scene and also one of the major acquisitions of the most important blues label Alligator. With Charlie’s retirement in 2008, Rick rededicated himself to his craft. He is going to present it in Šumperk for the first time. And we can really look forward to seeing and listening to one of the best concert bands at the contemporary blues scene.

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Tere Estrada (Mex)
She represents the country that has never appeared at the BLUES ALIVE in its rich history. And not only that - Mexican musicians certainly are not frequent guests to other Czech music events. However, the local scene is very rich, definitely not only in local folk bands in sombreros, which are known from many films. Rich blues, rock and jazz scene is flourishing there. Tere Estrada was born in the late 60s in Mexico City and she has been professionally engaged in music as a guitarist and a composer (but she is also a sociologist) since the end of the 80s. In addition to writing her own music she interprets songs by other Mexican female composers of the genre. Feminine view of the world through music is also her research topic as a sociologist and writer. But Tere Estrada´s music is far away from some dry scientific practice. It is no coincidence that with her concerting in full swing and instrumental and vocal abilities she has won the nickname "Mexican Bonnie Raitt." This is certainly a very good reference for BLUES ALIVE festival.
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Paul Lamb & The Houserockers (GB, AT)
BLUES ALIVE Festival boasts the project, which started behind its scenes. A few years ago Austrian band The Roosevelt Houserockers impressed British harp player and singer Paul Lamb, when they met at a jam session on previous year. One thing led to another and since then they have been occasionally crisscrossing the world stages together. This year to celebrate the hundredth birth anniversary of Chicago blues´ father Muddy Waters. Paul Lamb is the real star of the British blues scene. He was Sonny Terry´s pupil and a long-time sideman to anybody. He has been playing at British and international clubs and festivals for over thirty years, standing in his own way somewhere between classic and modern expression. He is particularly active in releasing records and touring – Lamb´s band The King Snakes are one of those bands that do not live from tour to tour, but they are in fact on concert tour all the time. And if they happen to take a few days off, tireless Paul Lamb packs his suitcase with harmonicas and calls to Vienna.
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Jerguš Oravec Trio (SK)
Jerguš Oravec (1989) from Trenčín was interested in both sport and music when he was a child. First he played the piano and when he was thirteen he started the guitar. His first love was Led Zeppelin. His first band was called Next Page, which became stable as a blues band after several style and personnel changes. DVD Just One Night released in 2010 played in this rhythm, too. At the same time he also goes in for acoustic playing and he mixes standards by Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy or Muddy Waters with own songs. In 2011 - "with the vision of connecting to an apt music producer" - he took part in the TV contest Czech-Slovak SuperStar. Although he did not win, he got into the top 16, which has also won him the favour of the audience that would be difficult to find in clubs. With his current trio he blends blues roots with pop, funk, soul and jazz so easily so that he is called Slovak John Mayer. He convinced the international jury of last year's BLUES APERITIV that he is one of the candidates for BLUES ALIVE just after the first tones.
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Bluesraiders (SK)
If we say that the leader of the Slovak band is bassist John Litecký-Šveda Jr., every blues fan should understand that here we are on the right tracks and that the apple does not fall far from the tree. The young band began with blues standards, now own compositions highly prevails in its repertoire, where blues meets other influences, alternative, reggae, ska, but mainly funk. In 2010 the Slovak Bluesraiders were awarded the surprise of the year by Slovak Blues Association and their recordings were included in the compilation album Bluesová spoločnosť 7. Winning BLUES APERITIV is the next step of the Bluesraiders to the (Czecho)Slovak blues top.
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The Golden State – Lone Star Revue feat. Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie (USA)

The Golden State – Lone Star Revue feat. Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie (USA)
This year's first major concert BLUES ALIVE will be finished in a high style. We are used to fact that in similar cases one main star on stage is supported by a more or less nameless backing band. This time we are going to have three main stars, and each of them now counts among the legends of blues genre. Project The Golden State - Lone Star Revue, which aims to link musicians of two different geographical and music regions, namely U.S. West Coast and the State of Texas, came about in the head of harp virtuoso Mark Hummel. He has been one of the main exponents of West Coast Blues since the 80s. He has recorded seventeen albums and is one of the most recognized icons of the instrument with many of his followers. He invited into the project two phenomenal guitarists, known for their own performances and albums and for cooperating with other stars of blues heaven.
Little Charlie Baty had been the leader of the group Little Charlie & The Nightcats for more than 25 years, when he handed over the leadership to harmonica player Rick Estrin, who will introduce the band to us at Saturday primetime. Charlie and the Nightcats have recorded 12 albums with blues label Chicago's Alligator and have been one of the West Coast's most successful blues acts, Little Charlie is indeed a typical representative of the West Coast blues, but his playing is all-embracing and it is often compared with the thumbprint of such celebrities as Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. The other guitarist invited to the project represents Texas blues style - Anson Funderburgh. The musician who won his spurs for playing in the famous band Fabulous Thunderbirds, and he has been playing solo since the mid-80s. For a long time he was playing together with Sam Myers, his inseparable friend, a harp player and singer from Mississippi, who passed in 2006. Since the passing of Sam Myers, Funderburgh concentrated on raising a family, and now he has caught a renewed dose of the performing bug and will begin to perform more regularly with the distinct possibility of regular tours in the coming years. So in addition to the experience of three great blues musicians playing together we are going to witness one big comeback. And to make things better, rounding out the GOLDEN STATE-LONE STAR Revue are RW Grigsby on bass and famed Texas drummer Wes Starr, who played with such stars as Jimmie Vaughan and James Cotton.

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Earl Thomas and His band (USA)
„A writer must write, a painter must paint and I - I must sing ..." says about himself a native of Tennessee, where he was born into a musical family. His mother sang gospels, his father sang blues. It is therefore logical that the main genre of Earl Thomas is soul in the most classic conception. He studied classical singing and as a composer he contributed to songbooks of stars as Solomon Burke, Etta James or Screamin 'Jay Hawkins. But his greatest strength is his voice and stage charisma. He has performed at major festivals around the world including famous Montreux Jazz and he has recorded a dozen albums. He is arriving in Šumperk during his tour in Eastern Europe, where he is going to play with a six-member band including a brass section, which is quite indispensable for a genre that he personifies.
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Heymoonshaker (GB)

Heymoonshaker (GB)
This is something that BLUES ALIVE has not seen yet: beatbox blues! A couple of young guys from London, orthodox blues guitarist and singer Andy Balcon and beatbox master Dave Crowe (beatbox is a form of vocal percussion, which involves singing, vocal imitation of turntables. It is connected with hip-hop culture, although it is not limited to hip-hop music). Surprisingly, they first met and jammed together in New Zealand in 2009 and since then these gentlemen have been travelling around the globe as a great attraction of music festivals and clubs. They do not hesitate to play even in the streets in their free time, as can be seen in some of their videos on YouTube, which by the way have been viewed in total more than ten million times so far. Heymoonshaker´s performance is very raw, most actually continues the Mississippi scene in 90s, the representatives of which we welcomed to Šumperk in the past years. Heymoonshaker have recently released a new album Shakerism and its repertoire will be presented in the Czech Republic for the first time.
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Justin Lavash Duo (GB, CZ)
His American and Irish ancestors apparently predestined British guitarist, singer and songwriter Justin Lavash to be sensitive in perception of classical music sources of contemporary music, especially blues and folk. In his own work he can use not only the classic elements of these roots, but also skilfully reshape them to his own image. Lavash, who lives in the Czech Republic but regularly tours throughout Europe has been recently the pride in many festivals of different styles and on prestigious club stages. Lavash is appreciated as a singer-songwriter and his masterful guitar playing and singing is recognized, too. It is no wonder- his qualities have become stronger in England and the U.S. where he has been active as a sideman and an arranger in many projects of all styles. His frequent visits to France have helped him penetrate to the specific emotionality of chansons, which can be felt in his work. The last two years he has been often seen in the company of local musicians – he has worked together with Lenka Dusilová and this year he has recorded the outstanding album Love Syllables with Monika Načeva. This year at BLUES ALIVE he is going to be paired with a great drummer David Landštof (Radůza, Ďáblovo stádo, Xindl X, Tommy Indian, Oskar Petr, etc.)
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Przytula & Kruk (PL)

Przytula & Kruk (PL)
The Polish duo agreed to play the pre-war acoustic blues in 2008. Since then singer and harp player Bartosz Przytuła and guitarist Tomasz Kruk, recently reinforced with drummer Maciej Kudla, with their repertoire, which blends their own music with classic songs, have been meeting with success. Their recordings have won praise from Polish reviewers and they are very successful at blues band competitions including the most prestigious one, Rawa Blues Festival in Katowice. In addition to the perfect mastery of styles and musical expression itself they are distinctive in the apparent interconnectivity of players and also grace and sense of humour, which is not very common in this music today. It is a combination of all these qualities, which captured the jury´s attention at BLUES APARITIV last year.
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Electric Lady (CZ)
Singer and guitarist Tereza Hrubanová from Plzeň made a name with the band Rubiano, which she also recorded her first acclaimed album with. Shortly before her show at this year's BLUES APERITIV she changed the band and under a new name she showed Šumperk audience her juicy modern blues-rock, based on unique songwriting and especially on excellent singing and instrumental performance. This summer she spent several months in the United States, even in one of the local major music centres of New Orleans, where she was jamming with musicians of all styles in clubs and streets, and so she completed an imaginary practice school. Toughened up, she is arriving in Šumperk again to show that even in the Czech Republic the electric guitar does not have to be necessarily an exclusively male domain.
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Steve Walsh (USA, CZ)
Guitarist Steve Walsh is from Boston and he graduated from Berklee College of Music. He spent ten years playing the guitar, producing albums and composing songs in New York. During his subsequent stay in Nashville he was picked out by Grammy -winning bassist Viktor Krauss (brother of singer Alison Krauss), who offered him to play the guitar in his band after Bill Frisell. Parallelly, Walsh played in the U.S. with group The Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout, whose members were among others the world-famous singer Norah Jones and acclaimed saxophonist Chris Cheek. Since 2007 Steve Walsh has been in lively touch with Czech music scene. In New York's Bitter End club he met Czech band November 2nd, who invited him to Prague to produce their album. In Prague Walsh got to know the jazz and blues scene around Jazz Dock club. "I came across organist Jan Kořínek and drummer Daniel Šoltis in November 2nd, I was introduced to Tomáš Liška in the band Druhá Tráva," Walsh recalls the first meetings. They made up the line-up he recorded the highly acclaimed album Daily Specials for the Czech label (Animal Music ) with and the band has been giving concerts since then. In parallel in the Czech Republic, where he has recently moved, he works together with Druhá Tráva or the songwriter Eliška Ptáčková, who he got married to at the end of this summer holidays.
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Seventh Weapon (SK)
Although this young band from Slovakia has the average age of 16-18 years, its history stretches back four years. Last year they released their debut album Opium and this spring they charmed with young drive not only the jury, but also the audience, who awarded them its prize. Of course, Seventh Weapon are still at the beginning of their career, but they draw on excellent resources – their favourites and examples include rock classics like Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin as well as the blues grandfathers Robert Johnson and B.B. King. Let's pay close attention to the youngests of this festival year - we never know if we are witnessing the first major steps of future stars. Those who still remember the previous years can confirm that it would not be the first time at BLUES ALIVE.
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Mystery Gang (HU)

Mystery Gang (HU)
BLUES ALIVE has not seen anything like this before. Rock'n'roll and rockabilly are no doubt the music styles that are perhaps the closest to blues. They are actually old white variants of black music from the Delta and Chicago. Rockabilly tradition is still alive and it is cherished throughout the world. Mystery Gang is a Hungarian trio of stylishly tattooed guys, playing a classic three-man cast - guitar - bass – drums. They are one of the best representatives of this genre in Europe. Their fifteen years of existence resulted into sophisticated classic sound and together with contemporary energy will not leave definitely anyone in the dark that rockabilly has its right background in blues fans. It is encouraged to dance!
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Druhá tráva (CZ)
There is certainly no need to introduce Robert Křesťan and his instrumentally well-equipped band to Czech music fans. The group, hardened by numerous touring the U.S. and recording in local studios, have already crossed the boundaries of bluegrass, which they began with many years ago. Their repertoire comprises of Křesťan´s songs on the borderland of styles as well as specific modifications of rock and folk-rock classics, especially songs by Bob Dylan with brilliant Czech lyrics by Křesťan. Besides the frontman´s persuasive singing the band also boasts the instrumental parts of a phenomenal dobro player Luboš Novotný and an excellent banjo player Luboš Malina. A surprise of the evening as an interesting guest player is not impossible.
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Los Agentos (PL)
All music activities of the leading Polish harp player Robert Lenert bear this title. The line-up, which performed at the spring BLUES APERITIV and was one of the winners in the jury voting, also includes an excellent singer Bozena Mazur. Music of the quartet is very original, a kind of confluence of blues, jazz, psychedelia and world music and it is also very close to the African desert blues that is well known thanks to the musicians like Tinariwen, last year BLUES ALIVE's guest Habib Koité or the king of this music,Ali Farka Touré.
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Frank Morey and His Band /USA/

Frank Morey and His Band /USA/
Už když na festivalu Blues Alive vystoupil v roce 2007 poprvé, stal se massachusettský rodák Frank Morey miláčkem publika. Není divu, že od té doby jej pozvali různí festivaloví a kluboví pořadatelé ještě několikrát. Při Moreyho poslechu nemohou alespoň průměrně znalého hudebního fanouška nenapadnout jména tří velkých hlasů 20. století: Howlin´ Wolfa, Toma Waitse a Captaina Beefhearta. Podobný chraplák, ale zároveň podobná výrazová šíře, v níž jej dokáže uplatnit, staví Franka Moreyho – jakkoli zatím méně známého než jeho předchůdci – do stejné řady. Nejde ale jen o návaznost hlasovou. Moreyho písně jsou podobně temné a hrubé jako Wolfovy, mají malebnou hospodskou náladu jako Waitsovy a často stejně nevyzpytatelnou stavbu a nadhled jako Beefheartovy. Morey není "čistý" a už vůbec ne konzervativní bluesman, kromě jmenovaných bychom mezi jeho další potenciální učitele mohli počítat třeba i Boba Dylana či Leonarda Cohena.

 
Garald Clark and Blues Band /JAR/

Garald Clark and Blues Band /JAR/
Tým kolem Blues Alive a souvisejících akcí se snaží rok po roce mapovat nejen aktuální hudební scénu v tradičních bluesových zemích a ve státech sousedících s Českou republikou, ale čas od času také přiváží zástupce bluesových scén více či méně exotických. jedním ze zatím nejvzdálenějších koutů této planety k nám nyní přijíždí kytarista, zpěvák a písničkář Gerald Clark. Přestože jeho jméno by nás klidně mohlo zavést třeba do USA nebo Británie, ve skutečnosti je jeho nositel až z dalekého jihoafrického Johannesburgu. Patří k předním představitelům tamní hudební scény a bývá dokonce označován za její nejnaléhavější hlas. Na kontě má zatím tři alba. Jeho akustické album Sweepslag, nazpívané v afrikánštině, bylo v roce 2009 nominováno na prestižní místní cenu SAMA (South African Musicians and Artists) v kategorii nejlepší afrikánské alternativní album roku 2009. zatím poslední Clarkovo album vyšlo před několika měsíci a jmenuje se Black Water. Na repertoáru má Gerald Clark především vlastní písně, věnuje se ale i klasickým standardům z oblasti amerického delta blues. Na bezmála měsíčním česko-slovenském turné, jehož zastávkou je i vystoupení na Echo Blues Alive, jej doprovodí kapela, sestavená z prvoligových českých hudebníků, kytaristy Lukáše Martinka, baskytaristy Lukáše Kytnara a bubeníka Romana Víchy.

 
Jack Cannon /HU/

Jack Cannon /HU/
V roce 2008 zvítězilo trio Jack Cannon v Blues Aperitivu coby precizně sehraná kapela, věnující se akustickému blues. Jejich následné dvojí vystoupení na Blues Alive z nich udělalo u nás zřejmě nejznámější - a rozhodně nejvíce aplaudovanou - maďarskou bluesovou kapelu, což stvrdilo i další koncertování na více či méně souvisejících akcích (například poznámí na letní scénu Blues Alive v rámci festivalu v Boskovicích). Na letošní Echo Blues Alive ovšem přijíždí poněkud jiná kapela. Ačkoli se tři muzikanti v čele s soukačkářem Györgyem Zoltaiem zdáli jako stvořeni pro své akustické nástroje, Šumperk letos obsadí pod tímto názvem plně elektrifikovaný band. Což bude pro jejich fanoušky jistě velké překvapení. Vlastně jediné, v čem zůstal kámen na kameni, je hráčská kvalita a mimořádně invenční přístup k hudební materii, ať už pochází z vlastní dílny nebo od těch, kteří tady byli před nimi.

 
Krausberry /CZ/

Krausberry /CZ/
"To bylo někdy v létě 1984. Skončil jsem u Intráka, který spolu se mnou vyhodil skoro všechny. Takže to bylo docela snadný. Začali jsem zkoušet u Šimpanze (Ivana Dvořáka) a u jeho bráchy Richarda ve sklepě jejich vilky v Praze Na Babě. Byla to spíš zábava a sranda a nejdůležitější bylo posezení po zkouškách v hospodě, kde se všechno rozebíralo ještě teoreticky... Občas jsme se hádali, občas někdo odešel, někdo jinej přišel, ale furt to byla příjemná zábava. Pak přišel převrat a já jsem měl pocit, že se má chodit na Stouny a Pink Floyd a Jethro Tull a tak. A že český kapely nikoho nemůžou zajímat. No a tak jsme v roce 91 přestali hrát... Jednou jsem vezl Šmardu (Richarda Dvořáka) do Bunkru odkud jel někam se Žlutým psem a tak mi to přišlo líto, že já nejezdím nikam. No a tak jsem pány zase obvolal, dali jsme zkoušku, to bylo myslím v roce 95 a zase to začalo... Občas se hádáme, občas někdo odejde, někdo jinej přijde, ale furt je to příjemná zábava." Tak popisuje "dějiny" svojí skupiny sám její leader Martin Kraus. Není co dodat.

 
Lucky Peterson /USA/   <a href=www.myspace.com/luckypetersonmusic... " />

Lucky Peterson /USA/ www.myspace.com/luckypetersonmusic...
A prodigy does not have an easy life - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could talk. Lucky Peterson is, or rather was, such a blues Mozart. His father owned a nightclub in Buffalo near New York City, where bluesmen used to play the most sparkling blues. When the famous hit maker and blues talent scout, bassist Willie Dixon stopped there in 1969, he invited a five-year old boy on stage. "He took me under his wings," Lucky Peterson says with gratitude. It had taken only a few months before he released his debut album, which was called aptly Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson. The little genius was being invited to radio stations and television shows, he even appeared in the famous programs like Ed Sullivan Show. During his musical studies he devoted himself to classical music for some time but after he graduated, he returned to the organ and the guitar. He was apprenticed to supporting bands of Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland and Little Milton. He stood upon his own two feet at the very end of the 80´s, when he first released two albums with Chicago label Alligator Records, followed by a series of excellent recordings with Verve label, which is primarily focused on jazz and would not normally work with any blues slouch. And that remains true today, when he records for other mainly jazz labels, especially Dreyfus and JSP. Peterson's music is certainly not any intellectual boredom. Quite the opposite. He has a reputation as one of the most charismatic performers on the American scene with his mixture of lusty electric blues, soul and gospel.

He is able to win the favor of the listeners that are tough to please with the blues jests, as walking in audience while playing endless guitar solos, with his responsiveness to his audience. We were allowed to see it at his two appearances in Prague – he was the main blues star at one of the earlier years of United Islands Festival... so BLUES ALIVE this year will certainly be finished by one of the most competent performers.

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Eric Bibb & Habib Koité /USA/Mali/   <a href=www.habibkoite.com... " />

Eric Bibb & Habib Koité /USA/Mali/ www.habibkoite.com...
To have the opportunity to introduce Šumperk audience Eric Bibb has been a longtime desire for the BLUES ALIVE organizers. In the end we managed to do something that no one expected a year ago: to "kill two birds with one stone." This year Bibb, who is diverse in style stabled, has planned to play with music Malian superstar Habib Koité, who has already played several times in the Czech Republic. And so their performance together will not only be the first one of Eric Bibb, Robert Johnson of the 21st Century, at BLUES ALIVE, but also a sort of loose sequel to the projects showing that blues roots, imposed on African soil, is really awesome, after the successful Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara´s project JUJU last year.

Eric Bibb and Habib Koité released the extraordinary album Brothers In Bamako this summer and they also played at the festival Folk Holidays in Náměšť nad Oslavou. For you to get the picture what you can expect form their concert in Šumperk, there is a quote from the review of their first Czech performance: This occasional duo has the ambition to seek a contact area between West African and Afro-American perspectives both on a song itself and the blues genre, which puts both protagonists together. And they managed it well. Two totally different styles of guitar playing (Bibb is actually quite orthodox in blues and folk, Koité has an original playing of a specific rhythm, but with a peculiar, shrouded sound) complement one another, especially in more traditional songs, be it African or American side, and their cooperation was excellent, despite of the fact that they apparently feel music inside in different ways, especially in the rhythmical and the structural sense. They are quite certain to prove this terrific cooperation at BLUES ALIVE.

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Moreland & Arbuckle /USA/   <a href=www.morelandarbuckle.com...   " />

Moreland & Arbuckle /USA/   www.morelandarbuckle.com...   
They are like three musketeers: although the name of Moreland & Arbuckle suggests it is a duo, they will be three on stage - their current concept just cannot do without drums. Guitarist Aaron Moreland (with a passion for old guitars made of cigar boxes) and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle met more than a decade ago in one "open-mik", i.e. a live show where audience members, who feel that they have something to say, may perform at the microphone. In this case the meeting was perhaps sent from above: they both love the interwar blues, but they also can play it very well. As a duo, then toured across America, released two low-circulation albums, then they signed to the prestigious Telarc label, where they have released two albums so far. The last one of 2011 is called Just A Dream and it is a sign of extending their scope to other musical spheres, including compositions by Steve Cropper or Tom Waits. However, Alpha and Omega of trio Moreland & Arbuckle are still mostly raw old original blues, transferred to the 21st century.
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Juicy Band /PL/

Juicy Band /PL/
Silesian band, which impressed the international jury at BLUES APERITIV last year, belongs to the latest representatives of strong Polish blues seedbed. It was established at the turn of 2009-2010, and the current line-up was formed half a year later. The band managed to play at the most important festivals in their country and received a lot of awards in such a short period of time. They are remarkable for several reasons. The band puts emphasis on own production, which is defined as blues, funk and soul. Its compact and rich sound is guaranteed by confident first-class players, especially pianist and Hammond player Jacek Zajac, and last but not least excellent singer Anna Pawlus, who resembles Janis Joplin. So the reasons for you increased attention are more than somewhat.

 
Jerguš Oravec Trio /SK/   <a href=bandzone.cz/nextpage... " />

Jerguš Oravec Trio /SK/ bandzone.cz/nextpage...
Jerguš Oravec (1989) from Trenčín was interested in both sport and music when he was a child. First he played the piano and when he was thirteen he started the guitar. His first love was Led Zeppelin. His first band was called Next Page, which became stable as a blues band after several style and personnel changes. DVD Just One Night released in 2010 played in this rhythm, too. At the same time he also goes in for acoustic playing and he mixes standards by Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy or Muddy Waters with own songs. In 2011 - "with the vision of connecting to an apt music producer" - he took part in the TV contest Czech-Slovak SuperStar. Although he did not win, he got into the top 16, which has also won him the favor of the audience that would be difficult to find in clubs. With his current trio he blends blues roots with pop, funk, soul and jazz so easily so that he is called Slovak John Mayer. He convinced the international jury of this year's Blues Aperitiv that he is one of the candidates for BLUES ALIVE just after the first tones.
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Rolling Stones 50 Anniversary Band /SK/
Slovak bluesmen did not fail to meet our expectations again and they prepared something special. In order to pay tribute to the Rolling Stones celebrating their fiftieth anniversary they formed a "super group" of musicians that love this eternal rock'n'roll band and enjoy the interpretations of their songs. The eleven bluesmen are headed by the pillars of Slovak blues scene Ján Litecký Švéda and Juraj Turtev, singer Jana Ružičková, guitarist and vocalist Milan Konfráter or Kamil Paulovčín, a former member of the legendary band Buttons from the 60´s, which was one of the first groups playing the Rolling Stones songs in Slovakia. Alec Carter from Great Britain will be a foreign guest.

 

Shine A Light (r. Martin Scorsese)
Martin Scorsese's documentary about the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world, which celebrates 50 years this year. Scorsese (who, by the way, has a great attitude to music – do recall his musical film The Last Waltz with The Band, two-part documentary on Bob Dylan, No Direction Home or the revelatory series Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues) put together a very strong team of creative people, many of which received Academy Awards, and filmed the Stones at the Beacon Theater in New York for two days to capture their raw energy and to present viewers this movie / music experience. The film also shows Buddy Guy, Jack White and Christina Aguilera performing with the Stones.

 
Jim Campilongo /USA/   <a href=www.jimcampilongo.com... " />

Jim Campilongo /USA/ www.jimcampilongo.com...
After the BLUES ALIVE program for this year was made public, many famous Czech guitarists declared that this colleague of theirs form New York is the biggest star for them this year. Jim Campilongo is a typical cult figure, who has not penetrated the highest levels of general knowledge, but has more faithful circle of his fans, waiting for his every feat, around the world, the Czech Republic is no exception. Jim Campilongo, who followed the example of famous blues-rock guitarist Roy Buchanan, is the most well-known as a member of The Little Willies, which he founded together with globally renowned singer and pianist Norah Jones.

Campilongo is also undoubtedly the greatest instrumental star at the second album of the all-stars band called For The Good Times. Recently he has also been playing with other interesting singers, for example songwriter Martha Wainwright from a famous musical family. But Jim Campilongo feels most settled in his own projects, especially with his Electric Trio, which is an essential example of his ethereal player skills and original style that uses a palette of the best of Blues, Country, Jazz and Rock with sensitivity and wit that has also earned him the broad fan base most instrumental guitarists never enjoy. Campilongo is also sought after as a guitar teacher, he contributes to the prestigious professional magazine Guitar Player and he Fender Custom Shop bestowed him the honor of the Campilongo Signature '59 Telecaster - a high quality instrument made by Fender’s elite Custom Shop replicating his now famous vintage 1959 blonde Telecaster.

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Mississippi Big Beat Band /HU/   <a href=www.reverbnation.com/mississippibigbeat... " />

Mississippi Big Beat Band /HU/ www.reverbnation.com/mississippibigbeat...
This is a perfect example of how the "old" can be naturally mixed with the "new". The most famous player in this new Hungarian foursome is undoubtedly harp virtuoso Andor Olah, the frontman of the well-known revival party Dr. Valter & The Lawbreakers, but also a musical partner of American singer Karen Carrol, who he played with as a leader of the band Mississippi Grave Diggers at the BLUES ALIVE in 2010. The band includes the second representative of the classic blues school, guitarist and singer Csaba "Boogie" Gál, who likes to be engaged in other music projects, such as soul. Last year the two teamed up with a young electronic generation to pay tribute to Robert Johnson's centenary birthday with a project, which proves that the old Mississippi blues can be restored in the context of contemporary sound, without losing the most important thing, its inner insistence. One of the dark horses this year!
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Hugo Race & The Fatalists /AUS/   <a href=www.hugorace.com.au...   " />

Hugo Race & The Fatalists /AUS/   www.hugorace.com.au...   
„Australia is a tough country, isolated from its European roots. I think blues makes sense in this wild environment. Our large music scene is influenced strongly by American and English music, but thanks to the distance and high travelling costs many foreign bands did not play in Australia, so our scene developed in a considerable isolation."

These were Hugo Race´s words of explanation to the Czech Magazine Crossroads as for the reason why his music even in the most venturous experiments always embraced a noticeable down blues beat, but also why Australian blues, elements of which can be found not only in his music, but even in Nick Cave´s songs, is so original. Generally speaking, Race combines deep blues roots (Son House, John Lee Hooker, etc.) with psychedelic practices.
Race´s career is very rich and it has crossed several times with the artistic career of his more famous compatriot, the aforementioned rock chanson singer Nick Cave. In the first half of the 80´s Race years was a member of Cave´s band The Bad Seeds, which he was a founding member of. But as an occasional guest player he has been playing with Cave till nowadays, as well as with other renowned musicians. However, since 1989 his priority has always been his group The True Spirit, which made a number of very high quality albums that were always highly rated. In 2011 he started a new band with Italian musicians called The Fatalists, which has released two albums so far (the last one this spring).

Hugo Race is not only a bluesman with his music roots, but also largely with his lifestyle. He is a man always "on the road", continuously giving concerts or recording at various places around the globe. During his "endless tour" he has already made several successful stopovers in the Czech Republic and he has a lot of fans in here. But he returns to BLUES ALIVE- believe it or not- after eleven long years.

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The Kingsize Boogiemen /CZ/
Last year the quartet of talented musicians from Prague area captivated the BLUES APERITIV´s jury especially with excellent mastering of classic blues, played with extraordinary energy and finally with staying on top of things. The Kingsize Boogiemen are a seasoned band performing in clubs throughout the Czech Republic. Their repertoire includes the most famous standards, but they also pick up the less known songs by their favorites, which they then play with an authentic original touch. Their concerts bring back the best of the old masters´ legacy, just as their second album Patník Komu Patník, which was released this spring.

 
Przytula & Kruk /PL/

Przytula & Kruk /PL/
Singer and harp player Bartosz Przytuła and guitarist Tomasz Kruk agreed to play the pre-war acoustic blues in 2008. Since then their repertoire, which blends their own music with classic songs, has been meeting with success. Their recordings have won praise from Polish reviewers and they are very successful at blues band competitions including the most prestigious one, Rawa Blues Festival in Katowice. In addition to the perfect mastery of styles and musical expression itself they are distinctive in the apparent interconnectivity of players and also grace and sense of humor, which is not very common in this music today. It is a combination of all these qualities, which captured the jury´s attention at BLUES APARITIV this June.
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Shemekia Copeland /USA/   <a href=www.shemekiacopeland.com...   " />

Shemekia Copeland /USA/   www.shemekiacopeland.com...   
There is not a bigger world star than Shemekia Copeland in the context of the young, and we may also say middle-aged, generation of blues singers. It is a great honor for BLUES ALIVE that her appearance will finish the first main concert in Šumperk. It is a kind of game, but it has its justification:
Shemekia was presented with Koko Taylor’s crown in 2011 at the Chicago Blues Festival and officially given the honor as the new “Queen of the Blues” by Taylor’s daughter, Cookie.

She was born in 1979 in the family of Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Copeland, who recognized his daughter’s talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing blues and when she was sixteen he brought her on tour as his support. At only 19, Shemekia stepped out of her father’s shadow with the Alligator release of 1998 debut recording, Turn the Heat Up!, which one Czech reviewer described as follows:
"Besides the fact that Shemekia has an amazingly large and typically black husky voice, she also has a huge sense of urban blues and a sense of emotional gradations of each track without lapsing into overplaying or convulsions." And he finishes his review with an enthusiastic cry: "Bluesmen, go to stores!" Her second album, Wicked, released in 2000, boast with a duet with Shemekia´s example, singer Ruth Brown. The album scored three Handy Awards. The third entry in her discography means an increasing share of famous musicians as producers. New Orleans legend Dr. John stepped in to produce Talking To Strangers and local reviewers stated that those who had prophesied her a great future from the beginning did not have to eat humble pie yet. The recording The Soul Truth was then produced by guitarist Steve Cropper, a member of the Blues Brothers and especially the spirit of the soul label Stax in the 60´s.
The reviews are again more than positive: "I do not want not to be wrong in my predictions, God knows what comes next, but it seems that this position, where she can employ her abundant advantages in the broad arrangements with horns, suits her best." But after Copeland signed with Telarc Records, she took blues music into new directions: she invited guitarist and composer Oliver Wood, half a pair of Wood Brothers, the brother of bassist Chris Wood from glorious jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood. The album is remarkable for extraordinary variety and style spreads, and the reviews talk about it as Shemekia´s best album yet. Just after the album release in 2010 Shemekia Copeland visited the Czech Republic for the first time, she sang in one of the blues bastions, Uherský Brod. The new sixth album is called just 33, and it continues to develop the original expression of the genuine blues queen. This fact was also confirmed this spring by the U.S. President Obama, when he was hosting her together with such legends as BB King or Buddy Guy at a prestigious blues concert in the White House.

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Low Society /USA/   <a href=www.myspace.com/low-society... " />

Low Society /USA/ www.myspace.com/low-society...
Blues played by this married couple form Memphis, guitarist Sturgis Nikides and singer Mandy Lemons is definitely not a bed of roses. Their music sends chills down listeners’ spines and arouses the instincts having been forgotten a long time ago. They actually get the best out of the musical heritage: crudeness and passion of the Mississippi scene (and not only from the inter-war period, but maybe the one that is personified by RL Burnside and T-Model Ford), the blues-rock drive of the sixties, which cannot be missed in Mandy´s Joplin-like voice and performance, but also a punk attitude of Iggy Pop or MC5, the brutal directness, which has no regards for anyone and is able to mop the floor with everything in its way. It is no coincidence that Low Society was recommended to BLUES ALIVE by British rocker Phil Shoenfelt living in the Czech Republic. Although his music is a bit different, it is actually built on some similar principles. So it is no wonder that the Czech mini-tour of Low Society under the auspices of BLUES ALIVE is supported by the rhythm section of Shoenfelt´s band Southern Cross.
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Michal Prokop & Framus Five
Vladimír Mišík & ETC... /CZ/   <a href=www.vladimirmisik.cz... " />

Michal Prokop & Framus Five Vladimír Mišík & ETC... /CZ/ www.vladimirmisik.cz...
There is no need to introduce Michal Prokop to BLUES ALIVE audience: he has been not only one of the biggest Czech music stars ever since the 60´s, associated with the blues one way or another, but he has often appeared on the Šumperk stage, he has also presented the festival several times. There are three highlights in Prokop´s musical career. The first one is at the very beginning, in the late 60´s, when the recorded the albums Blues in Soul and Město Er with the band Framus Five, the second one in the 80´s, particularly in relation to the album trilogy Kolej Yesterday, Nic Ve Zlým, Nic V Dobrým and Snad Nám Naše Děti..., and the third at this moment. Prokop´s existing and increasingly unrestrained wave of popularity was started in 2006 with the album Poprvé Naposledy, which was produced with the support of a similar team as the trilogy mentioned before. Michal Prokop´s latest album is called Sto Roků Na Cestě and it was released this autumn. Besides music, Michal Prokop himself has been being engaged in moderating a weekly show Krásný ztráty - Beautiful losses for 12 years.

Vladimir Mišík is in the context of the scene that BLUES ALIVE covers almost the same as Michal Prokop: Mišík is one of the telamons, carrying the Czech music on their shoulders for over forty years, without becoming caricatures of themselves, but improving with age as wine. There are a many magnum opuses in Mišík´s discography, such as his Blue Effect debut Meditation, glorious album Kuře v hodinkách with the band Flamengo (which was recalled after forty years not only with re-releases on LP and CD this summer, but also with a unique tour) and then a series of albums, recorded with Mišík´s own group ETC ... In the latest album Ztracený podzim of 2010 Mišík proved that he had not lost any of his authorial or interpretive charisma, which is so typical of him.
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Paul Batto jr. /SLO/   <a href=www.batto.org..." />

Paul Batto jr. /SLO/   www.batto.org...
Paul Batto Jr. was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is a typical citizen of the world, travelling across Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic) and he gives concerts everywhere. In 1994 he started the band Riverside Blues Band, which played pure acoustic blues. Long-time visitors to BLUES ALIVE will remember it. The band played at the fourth year of the festival in 1999. He recorded three CDs with this band. In 2003 he opted for a solo career. His current repertoire consists mainly of jazz standards (Ellington, Gershwin, Arlen, Carmichael), ballads and blues songs. But for his concert in the Monastery Church Paul Batto Jr. prepared a theme program compiled mainly from gospels.
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Foyer DK – The Kingsize Boogiemen /CZ/   www.boogiemen.cz...   
Čtveřice talentovaných muzikantů z okolí Prahy zaujala letos porotu BLUES APERITIVU především vynikajícím zvládnutím klasického bluesového materiálu, zahraného s nebývalou energičností a v neposlední řadě velkým nadhledem. The Kingsize Boogiemen jsou zkušený band, čile koncertující po klubech v celé České republice. V repertoáru má nejen ty nejznámější standardy, ale z repertoáru svých oblíbenců si vybírá i méně známá čísla, kterým dokáže vtisknout vlastní autentický punc. Při jejich koncertech ožívá to nejlepší z odkazu starých mistrů a vystoupení kapely ve foyer Domu kultury bezpochyby velmi dobře navodí atmosféru na celý večer.

 

Guitar Shorty /USA/   www.guitarshorty.com...   

www.guitarshorty.org www.guitarshorty.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGfLXi4xFKI

Třiasedmdesátiletý rodák z texaského Houstonu, vlastním jménem David William Kearney, je nefalšovanou hvězdou současného řádně vyšťaveného a energeticky vysokooktanového kytarového blues. Jeho koncerty jsou pověstné nejen samotnou explozivní hrou a vynikajícím zpěvem, ale také obrovskou show, při které často doslova létají z nástrojů třísky. Pseudonym Guitar Shorty si dal už v šestnácti letech, kdy absolvoval ve floridských klubech první profesionální vystoupení. Na rok zakotvil v doprovodné kapele nikoho menšího než Raye Charlese a v roce 1957 nahrál v produkci dalšího velikána Willieho Dixona první sólový singl. V čele vlastní kapely koncertoval po celých Státech, „zezadu“ ale průběžně jistil svou kytarou také řadu dalších velkých jmen: T-Bone Walkera, Big Joea Turnera, Little Richarda či Sama Cookea. Při koncertování ve městě Seattle potkal svou budoucí ženu Marciu, která byla nevlastní sestrou Jimiho Hendrixe, který navštívil několik koncertů svého nastávajícího švagra a jeho styl vystupování měl na budoucí největší ikonu elektrické kytary zásadní vliv. Sedmdesátá léta byla obecně pro bluesovou muziku nepříliš úspěšná a řada muzikantů se musela vrátit ke svým občanským zaměstnáním. Byl to případ i Guitar Shortyho, který se na profesionální scénu vrátil až v polovině této dekády. Na své první dlouhohrající album si ovšem musel počkat dalších deset let, až do roku 1985, kdy debutoval v poněkud pokročilém věku šestačtyřiceti let albem On The Rampage. V následujících letech se jeho nahrávky začaly objevovat u několika prestižních vydavatelství (JSP, Black Top), až zakotvil u chicagského Alligatoru, kterému je věrný dodnes. V březnu 2010 zde vydal svoje zatím poslední album Bare Knuckle.

 

Pat Smillie Band /USA/   www.patsmillie.com...   
Rodák z Detroitu, kterým zpěvák Pat Smillie je, nemohl začít jinak než s uchem přitisknutým na rozhlasový přijímač, ze kterého vyhrávali motownští souloví klasikové jako The Temptations, Marvin Gaye či Stevie Wonder. Vklad z pokladnice černé hudby byl posílen po jeho studentském přesídlení do Chicaga. Nejprve jen "oťukával situaci" návštěvami jamů v tamních klubech, až potkal kytaristu Vance Kellyho, se kterým si sedli tak do noty, že založili kapelu, která se zakrátko stala jednou z nejpopulárnějších ve městě - což už v Chicagu s jeho pozicí na světové hudební mapě něco znamená - a domovskou scénou se mu stal proslulý klub Checkerboard Lounge. Pověst Pata Smillieho se rozšířila natolik, že začal pravidelně předskakovat takovým hvězdám jako jsou či byli Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Robert Cray nebo "Blues Brother" Dan Aykroyd. Obě doposud vydaná sólová alba Pata Smillieho sklidila velmi pozitivní ohlas v žánrových médiích a sám zpěvák se svou kapelou patří ke koncertně nejvytíženějším představitelům současné chicagské scény. Jeho prostřednictvím máme nyní šanci poznat, jak si stojí současná úroveň bluesové muziky ve městě, které je kolébkou jedné z jeho nejvýznamnějších větví.

 

Mátyás Pribojszki Band /HU/   www.pribojszki.com...   
Mátyás Pribojszki je absolutní hvězdou maďarské bluesové scény, jakýmsi jejím leadrem. Jeho hra na harmoniku je považována za plnoprávnou součást výkladní skříně evropského blues. Dobře to ví řada světových muzikantů (Duke Robillard, Tino Gonzales, Paul Lamb a mnozí další), kteří Pribojszkého přizvali ke spolupráci. V roce 1995 postavil svou první kapelu Blues Fools, se kterou koncertoval mimo jiné i v roce 2003 na šumperském BLUES ALIVE, kde sklidil obrovský ohlas a obdiv nejen posluchačů, ale i kolegů muzikantů. Během deseti let existence kapela vydala čtyři umělecky i komerčně úspěšná alba. Současnou kapelu, "napsanou" na jeho jméno, sestavil Mátyás Pribojszki v roce 2004 s představou poněkud rozšířit svůj záběr ve vlastních kompozicích mimo striktní "dvanáctkové" hranice směrem k jazzu a dalším stylům. Tuto vizi naplnil už na několika studiových i živých albech, na kterých se představuje v akustickém i elektrifikovaném složení, vždy ale s plným nasazením, instrumentálním mistrovstvím a originálním autorským vkladem.

 

The Kingsize Boogiemen /CZ/   www.boogiemen.cz...   
Čtveřice talentovaných muzikantů z okolí Prahy zaujala letos porotu BLUES APERITIVU především vynikajícím zvládnutím klasického bluesového materiálu, zahraného s nebývalou energičností a v neposlední řadě velkým nadhledem. The Kingsize Boogiemen jsou zkušený band, čile koncertující po klubech v celé České republice. V repertoáru má nejen ty nejznámější standardy, ale z repertoáru svých oblíbenců si vybírá i méně známá čísla, kterým dokáže vtisknout vlastní autentický punc. Při jejich koncertech ožívá to nejlepší z odkazu starých mistrů a vystoupení kapely ve foyer Domu kultury bezpochyby velmi dobře navodí atmosféru na celý večer.

 

Please The Trees /CZ/   www.pleasethetrees.com...   
Kapela vznikla před několika lety jako spojení táborských postrockerů Some Other Place s nu-folkovým jednočlenným projektem písničkáře Václava Havelky selFbrush. Debutovala v roce 2007 výborným albem Lion Prayer, které vloni následovala ještě dotaženější „dvojka“ Inlakesh. „Prastaré téma duality vzájemných vztahů lidí, člověka s přírodou nebo věcmi, to je pro Please The Trees stále planoucí inspirace. Inlakesh je podání rukou, prolnutím i vzájemnou konfrontací,“ říká sama kapela. Vypadá to sice šíleně "vědecky", ale ničeho přehnaně zaumného se není třeba obávat. Please The Trees hrají sice moderní, ale v hlubokých kořenech tkvící rock, dobře si vědomý, odkud vzešel - především z černého blues a bílé country. Please The Trees v roce 2010 absolvovali úspěšné turné po Spojených státech amerických, kde mimo jiné vystoupili na prestižním mezinárodním festivalu South By Southwest v texaském Austinu. Jejich zaoceánské spády mají letos pokračování v podobě natáčení nového alba přímo v "zemi zaslíbené".

 

The Spermbankers /NL, FIN, CZ/   www.myspace.com/spermbankers...   
Petrně nejdivočejší uskupení, které letos na BLUES ALIVE vystoupí, dali nedávno dohromady v Praze žijící muzikanti tří národností: zkušený český kytarista Martin Růžička (mj. ex-Echt, Sketa fotr), velmi respektovaný holandský zvukař Bert Neven (spolupracující např. s Danem Bártou či J.A.R.), zde figurující na postu bubeníka, a finský zpěvák a kytarista Pasi Mäkelä. The Spermbankers svou hudbu označují jako "dirty gospel", jejím základem jsou ovšem kořenné figury, hrané s na kost ohlodanou syrovostí a drivem garážového rocku. Mezi svými oblíbenci jmenují Blind Willieho Johnsona, Hanka Williamse, Johna Lee Hookera, Reverenda Garyho Davise či Howlin' Wolfa. Vesměs tedy takové muzikanty, kteří kdyby se v mladším věku dožili dnešních dní, v oné pomyslné garáži by bez výjimky skončili s nimi.

 

United Cans Unlimited /CZ/   www.myspace.com/unitedcansunlimited...   
Má něco společného blues z Delty Mississippi s Českomoravskou vysočinou? Psychedelické experimenty kalifornského podzemí s vltavským nábřežím? Alternativa newyorského „downtownu“ s okolím Prahy? A jde to všechno dohromady? To se snaží v různých sestavách zkoumat sdružení United Cans Unlimited. Dosavadní výsledky bádání jisté spojnice potvrzují. Bluesové jamování Manyho Morea & Maxe Brauna na plechové resofonické kytary v šumperské herně Dakota či pražské nálevně U dr. Emila Holuba přerostlo v seriózní a více než méně koncepční činnost a obklopení se několika dalšími odporem k zavedeným hudebním klišé postiženým osobám s hudebními nástroji v rukou. Ze všeho nakonec vyhřezla současná podoba osmičlenné mezinárodní sestavy, jejímž „prvkem s pasem“ je geniální slovenský kytarista Ivan Tomovič. Kapela, jež se cítí být ovlivněna nu-bluesovými celebritami kalibru Chrise Thomase Kinga, Little Axe, Huga Race či Jamese Blood Ulmera, byť jí všichni do omrzení předhazují (k nevoli samotných členů) The Doors a „bluesové Plastic People“, prý hodlá na BLUES ALIVE vytáhnout své nejsilnější zbraně. Které to budou?

 

Feel Like Going Home , USA 2003, režie: Martin Scorsese, hrají: Corey Harris, Taj Mahal, Ali Farka Toure a další
Rok 2003 byl vyhlášen ve Spojených státech Rokem blues a jednou z nejpodstatnějších událostí, které byly na tuto oslavu navázány, byla série dokumentárních filmů předních světových režisérů (mj. Clint Eastwood či Wim Wenders) na bluesová témata. Všechny snímky zaštiťoval svým jménem oscarový Martin Scorsese, jinak též vášnivý hudební fanoušek. Jeho příspěvek do filmové série sahá nejhlouběji. Vytvořil jej ve spolupráci s hudebním odborníkem Peterem Guralnickem (mimo jiné autorem i u nás vydané vynikající knihy Poslední vlak do Memphisu o Elvisovi Presleym). Jejich film Feel Like Going Home pátrá po kořenech blues jak v povodí řeky Mississippi, tak v oblasti Západní Afriky. Ta je totiž podle převládajících teorií skutečnou pravlastí afroamerické hudby. Průvodcem filmu je kytarista a zpěvák Corey Harris, dobře známý šumperskému publiku z hned dvou vystoupení na BLUES ALIVE a jedna z nejvýznamnějších osobností současné scény. Ten se výzkumem bluesových kořenů (a interpretací jeho výsledků) dlouhodobě zabývá. Ve filmu hovoří a hrají nejen američtí hudebníci, kteří patří mezi "opravdové" bluesmany i křížitele různých směrů (jako je třeba Taj Mahal), ale také hvězdy africké world music včetně již zesnulé největší hvězdy tzv. "pouštního blues" Aliho Farky Toureho.

 

Foyer DK – Juicy Band /PL/   www.juicytheband.com...   
Slezská kapela, která okouzlila mezinárodní porotu letošního BLUES APERITIVU, patří k nejčerstvějším reprezentantům silné polské bluesové líhně. Vznikla na přelomu let 2009-2010 a současná sestava se zformovala ještě o půl roku později. Kapela, která za tak krátkou dobu stačila sjezdit velkou část nejvýznamnějších festivalů ve své zemi a pobrat řadu cen je zajímavá z hned několika důvodů. Klade důraz na vlastní tvorbu, která se vymezuje žánry blues, funku a soulu. Její hutný a bohatý sound jistí prvotřídní hráči, mezi nimiž bezesporu kraluje pianista a hammondkář Jacek Zajac, a v neposlední řadě má ve svém středu vynikající zpěvačku "joplinovského" charakteru Annu Pawlus. Důvodů ke zvýšené pozornosti je tedy více než dost.

 

Boogie Chilli /PL/   www.boogiechilli.com...   
A další z letošní silné úderky polského blues, v tomto případě oproti svým ostatním kolegům naprosto stylově čistá. Boogie Chilli se velmi líbili nejen porotě letošního BLUES APERITIVU, ale doslova učarovali i publiku, které je s přehledem katapultovalo ve svém hlasování na úplný vrchol. To jednoznačně nominovalo kapelu, která už v roce 2007 byla v Polsku vyhlášena Kapelou roku v anketě BLUES TOP časopisu Twój blues, k rozjetí pátečního jamu. Můžete se těšit na dokonale "zmáknutého" Dixona, Waterse, Hookera, Mayalla, Hendrixe, ale i Claptona či Dylana. A druhý den si můžete kapánek přispat.

 

JuJu Band – Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara /GB, Gambie/   www.myspace.com/juicybandpolska...   

www.myspace.com/juicybandpolska
www.facebook.com „O tom, jestli blues skutečně vzniklo v Africe, se dodnes někteří muzikologové snaží vést spory, ale tenhle crossover je jasným důkazem. A i z druhé strany: přesně dokládá, že to, co se už někdy od 60. let psalo o Johnu Lee Hookerovi, totiž že je ze všech amerických bluesmanů nejafričtější, je čirá pravda. Právě v jeho hudbě je onen oslí můstek, po kterém se tahle kapela prochází, jako by se nechumelilo. Jenže ono se chumelí!“ Tolik recenzent českého bluesového časopisu CROSSROADS o albu In Trance nového projektu JuJu. "Transovní rytmy Afriky spojené s Led Zeppelin, Doors a The Prodigy," dodává pro změnu britský tisk. Dramaturgie BLUES ALIVE už několik let uvažuje o představení některého ze zajímavých představitelů afrického, tzv. pouštního blues. Projekt JuJu, který stojí kdesi na pomezí tohoto stylu se spoustou dalších odboček, tedy jakoby spadl v pravý čas z nebe. Slučuje (blues)rockový přístup dobře známého britského muzikanta s bohatými zkušenostmi napříč žánry s etnickým vkladem gambijského zpěváka a instrumentalisty, to vše navíc v lákavém psychedelickém oparu. Justin Adams má renomé jednoho z nejoriginálnějších a mimořádně inovativních kytaristů Anglie. Jeho dráha sahá od punkových kořenů k pouštnímu blues Tinariwen, jejichž alba spoluvytvářel jako producent, i k Robertu Plantovi, Peteru Gabrielovi nebo Sinéad O'Connor, s nimiž hrál. Juldeh Camara je zpěvákem gambijských eposů, příslušníkem elitní muzikantské kasty označované slovem griot. Žije už léta v Anglii, kde spolupracuje se špičkovými jazzmany i rockery. Mistr jednostrunných houslí ritti, na které se naučil od svého slepého otce, jehož učitelé byli prý afričtí džinové. Basista Billy Fuller spolupracoval s Massive Attack, triphopery Malachai i Robertem Plantem a jeho kapelou Strange Sensation, v níž Justin Adams hraje sólovou kytaru. Dave Smith je jeden z nejlepších a nejvšestrannějších mladých bubeníků v Británii, ovlivněný jak rytmy západní Afriky tak i jazzovou technikou.

 

Hokie Joint /GB/   www.hokiejoint.co.uk...
Bláznivá stylizace britské kapely vyvolává v novinářích odkazy k Tomu Waitsovi, její koncertní nasazení zase výbá srovnáváno s White Stripes nebo The Black Keys. Opravdová síla Hokie Joint, kteří se po světě potulují od roku 2007, ovšem tkví v absolutní a nelíčené syrovosti, kterou navazují na velikány poslední elektrické fáze mississippského blues, ale i na chicagskou klasiku z 50. let. Svědky jsou jim dvě alba, debut The Way It Goes…Sometimes z roku 2008 a letošní horká novinka The Music Starts To Play, ale zejména skvělé koncerty. Velká bluesová show, ale i temně-sarkastické hudební divadlo mimo jakékoli hudební žánry, taková podstata jejich veřejné prezentace jim umožňuje koncertovat společně s tak rozdílnými umělci jako Steve Winwood, Booker T, Solomon Burke, Jamie Cullum, ZZ Top či Moby. ne ne, tohle není žádný ušmrdlaný bluesový revoval. Hokie Joint jsou jedna velká čistokrevná nadčasová emoce, vytažená až odkudsi z pekla.

 

Zuzka Suchánková /SK/   www.zuzanasuchankova.com...   
Bratislavská zpěvačka, kytaristka a v poslední době také autorka zaujala už v 90. letech minulého století jako vynikající interpretka soulově, gospelově a spirituálově laděné muziky. V roce 1999 vydala debutové album Spiritual Way. Svůj zájem posléze rozšířila i na jazz a mezi své posluchačské lásky začala řadit vedle očekávaných Arethy Franklin a Mahalie Jackson také třeba Dianu Krall nebo Cassandru Wilson. A v poslední době také současné mladší bluesové umělkyně typu Susan Tedeschi a Ruthie Foster. Začala se více věnovat kytaře a výrazně se zaměřila také na autorskou tvorbu. Zúročením obého bylo výtečné album Blúzy & Songy v roce 2009, na němž je její vlastní tvorba vyvážena se zajímavými úpravami klasických kousků.

 

Around The Blues /PL/   www.aroundtheblues.ovh.org...   
Žhavé jméno polské bluesové scény bylo stvrzeno letos, kdy zpěvačka kapely Asia Mrozek získala v prestižní anketě časopisu Twój blues BLUES TOP hlavní cenu coby Zpěvačka roku 2010. Jistěže právem – stejným právem, jakým je kapela, pocházející mimochodem z nedalekého Chorzówa, ve kterém každoročně probíhá třetí hlavní koncert BLUES ALIVE, považována za jednu z nejlepších na současné polské scéně. Jejich hudba se sice přísně nedrží stylových škatulek, přesahuje k soulu i rocku, vždycky se ale obtáčí, jak název kapely napovídá, „okolo blues“. Přijímají ji s otevřenou náručí na všech podstatných festivalech v Polsku a kapela si vysloužila ostruhy i v některých dalších evropských zemích. Česko nepochybně bude dalším zářezem do pažby.

 

Louisiana Alley /USA,CZ/   www.bandzone.cz/louisianaalley...   
Jedni z vítězů loňského BLUES APERITIVU jsou seskupeni kolem amerického zpěváka a kytaristy Davida Gorea, bývalého frontmana známých The Cell, se kterými objel kus Evropy i USA a zahrál si před několika hvězdami světových jmen. Pro kapelu je příznačná směs energického a drsného elektrického blues rocku přes jižanské boogie až po nápadité a citlivé balady. Působivé a ostré vokály v jižanském stylu, kytarové dvojhlasy, hammondky a nekompromisně šlapající basa s bicími dodávají Louisiana Alley plný zvuk, který zvedl ze židlí už nejedno hlediště. To šumperské vloni ve foyer nebylo výjimkou a je více než jisté, že velké pódium bude kapele slušet ještě o kus víc.
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Juicy Band /PL/   <a href=www.myspace.com/juicybandpolska ...   " />

Juicy Band /PL/   www.myspace.com/juicybandpolska ...   
Slezská kapela, která okouzlila mezinárodní porotu letošního BLUES APERITIVU, patří k nejčerstvějším reprezentantům silné polské bluesové líhně. Vznikla na přelomu let 2009-2010 a současná sestava se zformovala ještě o půl roku později. Kapela, která za tak krátkou dobu stačila sjezdit velkou část nejvýznamnějších festivalů ve své zemi a pobrat řadu cen je zajímavá z hned několika důvodů. Klade důraz na vlastní tvorbu, která se vymezuje žánry blues, funku a soulu. Její hutný a bohatý sound jistí prvotřídní hráči, mezi nimiž bezesporu kraluje pianista a hammondkář Jacek Zajac, a v neposlední řadě má ve svém středu vynikající zpěvačku "joplinovského" charakteru Annu Pawlus. Důvodů ke zvýšené pozornosti je tedy více než dost.

 

Macmaster and Hay /Skotsko/   www.myspace.com/macmasterhay...   
Originální duo, které patří bez pochyby ke špičce skotské hudební scény. Mají na repertoáru nejen tradiční skotské písně a melodie, ale také vlastní nové skladby, zasazené do emotivních zvukových kreací, tvořených pomocí neobvyklého spojení zdánlivě nesourodých hudebních nástrojů - několika druhů harf, bicích nástrojů, marimby a sampleru. Jako zpěvačka, Mary Macmaster vedle angličtiny používá i starou gaelštinu. Jejich hudba evokuje dojmy nádherné, ale také nebezpečné skotské krajiny, jejich společné živé vystoupení funguje jako nová magická formule pro tradiční hudbu, jako soundtrack k povznášejícímu filmovému zážitku. Mary Macmaster získala světový věhlas díky své hře na clarsach (skotská podoba tradiční „keltské“ harfy) a elektrifikovanou harfu Camac a díky novátorské tvůrčí práci s těmito nástroji. Její profesionální dráha začala v době, kdy studovala gaelskou a skotskou historii na edinburghské univerzitě a spolu s Patsy Seddon založila proslulé duo dvou harf a křehkých ženských hlasů - Sileas. S Sileas a později také s The Poozies, Shine nebo La Boum! procestovala kus světa – od Japonska po Súdán. Nahrávala a vystupovala s mnoha světově proslulými skotskými umělci (např. Phil Cunningham, Kathryn Tickell, Dick Gaughan aj.). Ke spolupráci ji přizval také Sting: v roce 2009 se společně s Donaldem Hayem objevila na jeho vánočním albu If on a Winter's Night. Donald Hay (doma přezdívaný Drummy) je v hudebním světě uznávaný pro svou vnímavost a nápaditost, které uplatňuje při hře na bicí nástroje. Pro jeho umění jej vyhledávají přední britští umělci a skupiny, k nimž patří Eliza Carthy, Kate Rushby, Shooglenifty, Peatbog Faeries, Mystery Juice, Nusa, Sunhoney, Bachue, Kathryn Tickell, The Battlefield Band, LaBoum! a další. Donald se také podílí na velkém projektu Unusual Suspects, ve kterém se spojilo 30 předních skotských muzikantů.

 

Marcel Flemr & Lukáš Martinek /CZ/   www.marcelflemr.com...   www.lukemartin.cz...   
Unikátní projekt, který dali dohromady dva přední čeští kytaristé Marcel Flemr a Lukáš Martinek pouze za účelem prezentace v rámci koncertů pod hlavičkou BLUES ALIVE 2011, vyprovokovalo jméno hlavní hvězdy tohoto mezinárodního hudebního festivalu. Tedy Kennyho Waynea Shepherda, hudebníka, který na vrcholnou kariéru v bluesrockovém žánru nastoupil ještě jako teenager ve svých sedmnácti letech. A právě Martinek i Flemr odstartovali svoje muzikantské dráhy na velkých pódiích (mj. právě i na šumperském festivalu) v podobně mladém věku. Každý prošel jinými skupinami, každý vycházel ze zcela odlišného zázemí a logicky se každý nyní, kdy je kolem třicítky na svém hráčském vrcholu, propracoval k jiné představě hudebního sdělení, byť styčné body jsou mnohé. Zatímco Flemr převážně bádá v oblastech klasického elektrického blues, jehož praktickou znalost propracoval k dokonalosti, Martinek směřuje spíše k modernějším stylům a často v různých projektech překračuje hranice směrem k rocku či jazzu. Jejich muzikantské setkání – oficiálně ve společném projektu vlastně vůbec první – tak slibuje nebývalé pozitivní jiskření mezi oběma kytarovými virtuosy a zajímavé prolnutí dvou osobitých pohledů na hudební materii, jejíž kořeny jsou sice staleté, avšak stále rodí nové výhonky.

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd /USA/   www.kennywayneshepherd.net...   
„O možnost vystoupení Kennyho Waynea Shepherda jsme usilovali řadu let. Ztělesňuje totiž mladou krev a moderní podobu žánru, který už šestnáct let představujeme českým fanouškům. Víme, že Shepherd má i u nás širokou fanouškovskou základnu. Vždy, když jsme si dělali průzkum, o kterého interpreta by měli návštěvníci Blues Alive největší zájem, patřilo jeho jméno k nejčastěji skloňovaným,“ říká ředitel festivalu Blues Alive Vladimír Rybička. Kenny Wayne Shepherd se narodil v roce 1977 v Louisianě a jako samouk se hře na kytaru věnoval už od sedmi let. Jako třináctiletý stál poprvé na pódiu coby "zázračné dítě" a host neworleanského bluesmana Bryana Leeho. Senzací v amerických a posléze celosvětových kruzích se stalo už Shepherdovo debutové album Ledbetter Heights, které se stejně jako všechna jeho další alba ocitlo dlouhodobě na prvním místě amerického prodejního žebříčku ve své kategorii. Album Shepherd vydal jako osmnáctiletý a podnítil - v době nadvlády elektronické hudby - zájem tisíců svých vrstevníků o "rukodělnou" bluesovou a rockovou hudbu. Podobně úspěšná byla i jeho další alba Trouble Is... (1997), Live On (1999) či The Place You're In (2004). Mimořádně zajímavým projektem je CD/DVD 10 Days Out: Blues From The Backroads. V jeho rámci si Shepherd zahrál se svými starými idoly B.B. Kingem, Hubertem Sumlinem, Pinetopem Perkinsem a dalšími bluesovými klasiky. Titul byl nominován na dvě ceny Grammy. S několika svými vzory - včetně Bryana Leeho, jemuž svým způsobem vděčí za svou kariéru - se Shepherd setkal vloni v chicagském klubu The House Of Blues. Výsledkem je vynikající živá nahrávka Live! In Chicago, která si také vysloužila nominaci na Grammy. Začátkem letošního srpna vydal Kenny Wayne Shepherd nové album How I Go. Doprovází jej na něm kapela, se kterou přijíždí i na koncerty do České republiky. Kromě výtečného zpěváka Noaha Hunta je její ozdobou bubenický veterán Chris Layton, bývalý člen kapely Double Trouble předčasně zemřelého texaského kytaristy Stevieho Raye Vaughana, který byl odmalička jedním z největších Shepherdových muzikantských vzorů.

 

JUICY BAND /PL/

 
<a href=Johnny Winter /USA/" />

Johnny Winter /USA/
„Vidina toho, že jednou na BLUES ALIVE vystoupí Johnny Winter, kterého obdivuji už od svých puberťáckých let, byla jedním z hlavních důvodů, proč jsem nabídku stát se členem týmu tohoto festivalu před dvanácti lety přijal,“ přiznává dramaturg BLUES ALIVE Ondřej Bezr. Přestože je slušné přiznat, že šumperské pódium není první v Česku, které tohoto slavného kytaristu a zpěváka hostí, festival je pyšný na to, že jej může letos obsadit do pozice hlavní hvězdy. S takovým jménem je oslava půlkulatého výročí skutečně plnohodnotná. Johnny Winter je totiž jedním z těch, kteří definovali moderní bluesovou kytarovou hru, na jeho jméno přísahají tisíce následovníků po celém světě – ale žádnému z nich se nepodařilo dosáhnout takového věhlasu. Už proto, že Winterův hráčský styl je naprosto originální, nenapodobitelný a snadno rozpoznatelný po prvních tónech. A nejde jen o obdivuhodnou techniku a rychlost jeho pověstných „okovaných prstů“, ale především o stoprocentní prožitek žánru, přímé spojení s jeho kořeny a soulad mezi stylem hry, zpěvu a výběrem repertoáru. Johnny Winter je rodilý Texasan, narodil se v Beaumontu v roce 1944 a už odmalička muzicíroval s mladším bratrem Edgarem, klávesistou a saxofonistou, který si vydobyl velkého uznání zejména v 70. letech. Oba sourozenci se k sobě v různých etapách kariéry nadále vraceli. Výborné debutové album, nazvané stroze Johnny Winter, vydal kytarista v roce 1969, téhož roku, kdy jeho hvězda zazářila i na nejvýznamnějším hudebním festivalu všech dob ve Woodstocku. Postupem času se Winter od ortodoxního elektrického blues, na kterém vyrůstal, mírně odklonil k písničkovějšímu rocku, který hrál s kapelou, jež dala jméno jeho albu z roku 1970 – Johnny Winter And. Divoká doba, divoká hudba a divoký životní styl kytaristu vehnaly do náruče drog, ze které se dokázal vymanit a natočit v roce 1973 comebackové album s příznačným názvem Still Alive And Well, z jeho „nebluesových“ jedno z nejlepších. Ve druhé polovině 70. let Johnny Winter znovu nalezl svoje bluesové kořeny díky producentské a hráčské spolupráci na čtyřech albech génia klasického chicagského blues Muddyho Waterse, z nichž všechna obdržela cenu Grammy. S Watersovou kapelou také natočil roku 1977 vlastní desku Nothin´ But The Blues, jež byla jakýmsi „programem“ pro cestu, již si zvolil, jak se zdá, na celý zbytek kariéry. Zcela zásadním okamžikem pro jeho bluesovou tvorbu byl podpis smlouvy s prestižním chicagským labelem Alligator, u něhož vydal v letech 1984 – 86 postupně tři vynikající alba Guitar Slinger, Serious Business a Third Degree, která patří bez nadsázky k tomu nejlepšímu na poli elektrického blues druhé poloviny 20. století. V souvislosti s narůstajícími zdravotními problémy se Winterova činnost v 90. letech poněkud zpomalila, ještě na začátku dekády nicméně stačil natočit další perlu své diskografie Hey, Where´s Your Brother?. Nepříliš dobrá tělesná kondice se bohužel podepsala i na kytaristově první pražské návštěvě v roce 2002. Album, vydané o dva roky později a nesoucí další výmluvný název I´m A Bluesman, nicméně slibovalo jisté naděje, které vycítila i americká hudební akademie, jež je nominovala na Grammy. V posledních dvou letech Johnny Winter doslova překopal od základu svůj osobní i profesní život: po roztržce s dlouholetým manažerem vystřídal produkční zázemí a změnil i lékařský tým. V posledních letech je na pódiích celého světa jako vyměněný a hodnocení jeho výkonů v odborném tisku často hovoří v superlativech. „Překvapením bylo už to, že se vzápětí po nástupu Johnnyho Wintera na scénu odporoučel druhý kytarista jeho kapely do zákulisí, a téměř celý koncert pak kapela odehrála jen v triu, kde zvuk Winterovy kytary byl zcela dominantním prvkem. To svědčilo o navráceném frontmanově sebevědomí. Co se odehrávalo následující bezmála dvě hodiny, bez nadsázky mnohým divákům (mezi nimiž byla dlouhá řada známých zejména bluesových muzikantů z Moravy i Slovenska, kteří zážitek oslavili dlouhým jamsessionem po skončení) vehnalo slzy do očí. Při jejich zavření totiž velmi často z pódia znělo přesně to, co znali z nejlepších Winterových nahrávek,“ napsal recenzent vystoupení Johnnyho Wintera v roce 2008 v Uherském Brodě. Nepochybujme o tom, že i o jeho vystoupení na závěr patnáctého BLUES ALIVE se bude ještě dlouho hovořit u bluesových „táborových ohňů“.
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The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/
Pověst o BLUES APERITIVU jako soutěži, které má smysl se zúčastnit, zjevně putuje už celou střední Evropou. Z loňských dvou přihlášených kapel z Rakouska porota vybrala právě tuto, trio, které se zvukem inspiruje u těch nejsyrovějších hudebníků z Chicaga: Hound Doga Taylora, Elmorea Jamese a dalších podobných „výtečníků“. Nejen zvukově, ale i vizuálně skupina působí, jako by ji přesadil přímo z chicagské ulice, v lepším (či horším?) případě z laciné nálevny, kde vyhrává za pár drobných nebo aspoň panáka whisky. Muzikanti s rozkošnými přezdívkami Mud (kytara, harmonika, zpěv), Blindfinger (kytara, zpěv) a Ty (bicí, harmonika) už vloni ve foyer nabídli vrchovatý kopec zábavy, o jaké se asi většině bluesových posluchačů zdá v těch nejodvázanějších snech. Letos se totéž pokusí (jistě úspěšně) zopakovat na hlavním pódiu.
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Justin Lavash /GB/
Američtí a irští předkové zřejmě předurčili britského kytaristu, zpěváka a písničkáře Justina Lavashe k citlivému vnímání klasických hudebních zdrojů současné hudby, zejména blues a folku. Ve vlastní autorské tvorbě dokáže nejen využívat klasických prvků těchto kořenů, ale také je obratně přetvářet k obrazu svému. Lavash, který žije v Česku, avšak pravidelně vyjíždí na turné po celé Evropě, je v posledních zhruba dvou letech ozdobou mnoha festivalů různých žánrů i programové nabídky prestižních klubových pódií. Na Lavashově tvorbě je oceňována nejen písničkářská osobitost, ale i jeho bravurní hra na kytaru a zpěv. Není divu, své kvality zoceloval v Anglii i USA coby sideman a aranžér v řadě projektů všech žánrů, při častých návštěvách Francie zase pronikl k specifické emocionálnosti šansonů, kterou lze z jeho tvorby také vycítit. Rozhodně se jedná o jednu z nejzajímavějších a nejkomplexnějších osobností, na které lze na současné scéně v Česku narazit.
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<a href=The California Honeydrops /USA/" />

The California Honeydrops /USA/
Leader kapely, zpěvák, kytarista a trumpetista Lech Wierzynski má sice polské jméno a jako místo rodiště v pase uvedenu Varšavu, už od dětských let ale žije ve Spojených státech a lze prohlásit, že je čistokrevným Američanem. Minimálně co se týče muzikantského projevu, do kterého se promítá skoro všechno, co za něco stojí z odkazu americké hudební tradice: blues, gospel, jazz, zydeco, rhythm´n´blues. Jeho pětičlenná kapela vznikla v roce 2007, nejprve jako pouliční sdružení, vyhrávající na nárožích a stanicích metra v kalifornském Oaklandu. Během usilovného koncertování si vypracovali The California Honeydrops vlastní styl, který jim umožnil stále častěji hostovat v klubech a dalších oficiálních scénách. Šířící se dobrá pověst otevřela skupině posléze i prostor mimo původní domácí působiště. Mají na kontě zatím tři alba B Sides, Soul Tub a Spreadin´ Honey. Zatím největšího úspěchu se bezpochyby kapele dostalo koncem loňského roku, kdy byla nominována v kategorii Debut roku v nejprestižnější světové žánrové anketě Blues Music Awards. Po nějakém čase tedy na BLUES ALIVE budeme svědky vystoupení zatím relativně neznámé kapely, o které možná za pár let budeme slýchat superlativy.
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Juwana Jenkins & The Mojo Band /USA,CZ/
Nový, speciálně pro BLUES ALIVE připravený projekt v Praze žijící zpěvačky, pocházející z americké Philadelphie, a našeho předního harmonikáře Charlieho Slavíka (ten vystoupí na letošním ročníku festivalu už podruhé, po pátečním bloku s kapelou St.Johnny & The Sinners). Charismatická a velmi atraktivní zpěvačka je obklopena „old school bluesovou“ kapelou, která klade důraz na autentický zvuk, ale také energii a průraznost nekompromisního swingujícího buldozeru. Za tím účelem obsadil Slavík novou dvougenerační kapelu vesměs špičkovými domácími muzikanty kytaristou Marcelem Flemrem počínaje a bubenickou legendou Petrem Eichlerem zdaleka nekonče.
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Kŕdel´ divých Adamov /SK/ - foyer
Mladá kapela si dala neobvyklý název podle literární trilogie slovenského spisovatele Ladislava Ťažkého. Vznikla v roce 2006 v Trnavě, místě s nepochybně největší hustotou bluesových hudebníků na metr čtvereční na celém Slovensku. Kapela většinou hraje bluesrock, ale "není to jediný styl, se kterým se její členové ztotožňují", říká o sobě sama kapela na webových stránkách a přidává hrůzyplný zápis zážitků z prvních štací své kariéry. Od té doby se mnohé změnilo a Kŕdeľ divých Adamov dokázali natolik zaujmout mezinárodní porotu letošního Blues Aperitivu, že je vybrala k zahájení finálového koncertu letošního půlkulatého BLUES ALIVE.
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<a href=Jana Šteflíčková /CZ/" />

Jana Šteflíčková /CZ/
Jedna z nejvýraznějších současných českých písničkářek a herečka Studia Ypsilon začala sice svou hudební dráhu před čistě folkovým publikem, o čemž svědčí její vítězství v soutěži největší přehlídky tohoto žánru Zahrada v roce 2006, v posledních letech se ale její tvorba stále patrněji oprošťuje od klasických žánrových vymezení a zcela volně se dotýká i blues, jazzu, šansonu a rocku. Písně Jany Šteflíčkové jsou postaveny na netradiční hře na kytaru, zajímavých harmoniích, textech plných originálních obrazů i slovních hříček. Mezi českými písničkářkami patří i k nejlepším zpěvačkám, na jejím širokém výrazovém rejstříku jsou znát i bohaté zkušenosti s příležitostným zpěvem jazzových standardů, v komunikaci s publikem se zase nezapře herecká zkušenost. V současné době Šteflíčková pracuje na svém druhém albu.
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<a href=Martina Trchová Trio /CZ/" />

Martina Trchová Trio /CZ/
Pražská písničkářka si připsala několik festivalových vítězství (Folkový kvítek, Porta, Zahrada). V roce 2005 vydala debutové album Čerstvě natřeno, na němž se podílela plejáda významných hostů, mj. Vít Sázavský, Zdeněk Vřešťál nebo Žofie Kabelková. Přes nejrůznější personální změny vykrystalizovala současná podoba skupiny, v níž Trchovou doprovází kytarista Patrik Henel a kontrabasista Radek Polívka. Trio letos vydalo album Takhle ve mně vyjou vlci v produkci Michala Němce (Jablkoň). K jeho potemnělému ladění recenzent říká: „Trchová netrpí intelektuálními depresemi, na ty je v sedmadvaceti už pubertě odrostlá a není ani zdaleka žádná ´stará mladá´. Její nejistota je postojem vnímavého člověka, který ví, že ne všechno se ve světě jeví takové, jaké to ve skutečnosti je. A že je ideální se (k) tomu postavit bez póz.“
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<a href=Terezie Palková /CZ/" />

Terezie Palková /CZ/
Patří mezi nejoriginálnější tváře písničkářské scény, jejíž vlna se po roce 2000 vzedmula. Ve svých písních, v nichž se doprovází střídavě na klavír a akordeon, provází posluchače s hlubokým ponorem, ale zároveň znatelným nadhledem a svérázným vtipem nejintimnějšími zákoutími ženského světa. Její projev má hodně blízko k šansonovému „divadlu světa ve třech minutách“ a je výrazně poznamenán bohatou hereckou, ale i klaunskou zkušeností.
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Žofie Kabelková /CZ/
Písničkářka Žofie Kabelková vydala na podzim loňského roku svou druhou autorskou desku Peřiny z vody, za které byla v rámci žánrových cen nominována na cenu Anděl 2009. Ačkoli má písničkářka za sebou minulost v ryze folkové oblasti (včetně účasti na festivalech Porta či Zahrada), její současná tvorba tuto škatulku daleko přesahuje. „Peřiny z vody jsou vynikajícím příkladem toho, že český folk vykročil - alespoň v případě těch nejzajímavějších osobností - z umělého ghetta,“ píše server iDNES.cz. A týden.cz jej doplňuje: „Písničky, které se z alba linou, mají stejně tak blízko k islandské nezávislé scéně jako k tomu, co třeba u nás prezentuje Lenka Dusilová s Eternal Seekers nebo na svých starších nahrávkách nabízeli slovenští Longital.“
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Blues Brothers /film USA z roku 1980/
Jeden z nejvtipnějších hudebních filmů všech dob má na svědomí herecko-muzikantská dvojice John Belushi a Dan Aykroyd spolu s režisérem Johnem Landisem. Snímek inspirovaný zčásti starými groteskami, má kořeny v původně kabaretním programu obou protagonistů, k nimž Belushiho – a teď pravidelní návštěvníci BLUES ALIVE zbystří – inspiroval v 70. letech jeho tehdy mladinký přítel Curtis Salgado, ano, týž, který byl jednou z hlavních hvězd našeho festivalu v roce 2008. Právě podle něj se také ostatně jedna z hlavních postav, ztělesněná swingovou legendou Cabem Callowayem, jmenuje Curtis. Ve filmu ve větších či menších rolích figuruje řada velmi slavných osobností z oblasti bluesové a soulové muziky: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles či John Lee Hooker. Nemluvě o doslova „dream teamu“, který tvoří doprovodnou kapelu Blues Brothers, ve které hraje třeba kytarista Steve Cropper nebo basista Donald „Duck“ Dunn. Film Blues Brothers v českých kinech nikdy nebyl nasazen, jeho projekce v rámci BLUES ALIVE bude tedy jednou z mála příležitostí vychutnat si tuto absolutní klasiku na velkém plátně.

 

St.Johnny & The Sinners /CZ/
Kvarteto českých muzikantů, kteří se zaměřují na různé hudební styly Ameriky padesátých let, především na blues, rock & roll a rockabilly, vloni jednoznačně přesvědčilo porotu BLUES APERITIVU a stalo se jedním z jeho vítězů. Kromě kytaristy a zpěváka Jana Stehlíka a rytmiky kapelu tvoří foukačkář Charlie Slavík, šumperskému publiku dobře známý z kapely Highway 61 a dua s Lubošem Beňou. Kapela čerpá jak z arzenálu známých černošských bluesmanů (Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers), tak z repertoáru jejich bílých kolegů (Hollywood Fats, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley) a ve stejném duchu psané vlastní tvorby. Kapela pod tímto názvem debutovala vloni zdařilým albem Picture Of My Life.
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No Blues /ISR, NL, USA/
Vystoupení mezinárodní skupiny No Blues bylo pro většinu návštěvníků XII. BLUES ALIVE v roce 2007 naprostým šokem. Kapela potvrdila, že blues je ideální prvek pro míchání stylů, žánrů a výrazů. Soubor patří k nejzajímavějším představitelům současné world music, je platformou pro jindy neslýchané křížení blues, country a arabské lidové hudby. U zrodu kapely stál holandský kytarista Ad van Meurs, jeho krajan s kontrabasem Anne-Maarten van Heuvelen a v Holandsku žijící palestinský virtuóz na arabskou loutnu oud Haytham Safia, posléze se základní trio rozrostlo o súdánského bubeníka Osamu Maleegi a zpěvačku a producentku Ankie Keultjes. Pro styl, který „mičurinským“ křížením vypěstovali, používají název „Arabicana“, a skládají v něm vlastní písně i do něj upravují známé bluesové songy, spirituály či americké lidovky. U prestižního vydavatelství Rounder vydali No Blues zatím tři alba: Farewell Shalabiye v roce 2005, Ya Dunya roku 2007 a o rok později zatím poslední Lumen. Všechny desky sklidily nadšené recenze v celém světě, ba i u nás. Recenzent českého časopisu UNI o předposledním albu mimo jiné napsal: „Do arabských melodií se krásně zadírají skluzy Meursova dobra, v bluesových písních zase úžasně perlí Safiův mistrovský oud, ale nejde o účelovou ,hudební kuriozitu´. Nemám tušení, jak tenhle nápad vznikl, ale působí přirozeně jako sofistikovanější výsledek jam sessionu v obýváku některého ze zúčastněných. Variace na zlidovělé bluesovky Rambling On My Mind či Hard Time Killing Floor, původní countryovky typu Hardened World či Black Cadillac, hodně arabské instrumentálky Shurooq nebo Longa Shahnaaz – to všechno drží neuvěřitelně pohromadě, bez ostentativních proklamací. Skvělé, sežeňte si to.“
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<a href=Corey Harris /USA/" />

Corey Harris /USA/
Na tom, že je Corey Harris skutečnou celebritou současné bluesové scény, se shodují kritici renomovaných odborných časopisů, pořadatelé nejdůležitějších žánrových festivalů, stavějící jej do hlavních časů, ale i fanoušci bluesové hudby a představitelé souvisejících uměleckých oborů. I když by mohly některé jeho zvláště rané nahrávky svědčit o opaku, Corey Harris není žádný lidový umělec z lůna bavlníkové plantáže – takoví už se dávno nerodí. Je naopak v nejlepším slova smyslu „bluesovým intelektuálem“, což však v jeho případě ani zdaleka neznamená učeneckou zatuchlost a profesorský přístup k věci. Vystudoval antropologii, na několika cestách do Kamerunu se zabýval africkými jazyky, ale i tamní hudbou ve společenském kontextu, a jak se zdá, životním posláním se mu stalo uvádění svých výzkumů do praxe. V posledních letech do svého arzenálu výrazně přibral i nakažlivé karibské rytmy. Corey Harris se narodil v roce 1969 v Denveru, na kytaru začal hrát ve dvanácti letech jako samouk, inspirován deskami Lightnin´ Hopkinse, které milovala jeho matka. Renomé mu nejprve přineslo pozvání do prestižních klubů v New Orleans, do kterého se přestěhoval, a následně podpis smlouvy s jednou z nejrenomovanějších bluesových vydavatelských firem Alligator. Debut Between Midnight And Day (1995) sklidil značný ohlas – i proto, že se přesně strefil do doby, která po letech opět přála akustickému bluesovému revivalu, představovanému dále osobnostmi, jako jsou Keb´ Mo´, Eric Bibb, Guy Davis či Alvin Youngblood Hart. Další album Fish Ain´t Bitin´ (1997) se neslo v podobném duchu, Harris však zvýšil důraz na vlastní tvorbu a v několika skladbách ke své resofonické kytaře trochu kuriózně přidal neworleanskou dechovou sekci. Zásadním zlomem v jeho kariéře bylo o dva roky později album Greens From The Garden. S kapelou 5x5 (Victor Brown - baskytara, Johnny Gilmore - bicí), s níž se poprvé představil na IX. BLUES ALIVE v roce 2004, začal směřovat k eklekticismu, který je od té doby pro jeho tvorbu příznačný dodnes: již tak široce prezentovaný bluesový idiom je obohacen o prvky karibské a africké hudby. Pro Alligator natočil Corey Harris ještě v roce 2000 poněkud klasičtější, i když opět výborné společné album s neworleanským pianistou Henrym Butlerem Vü-Dü Menz, a s dalším projektem přestoupil k dalšímu význačnému vydavateli Rounder. Na albu Downhome Sophisticate (2002) došel ve své „všežravosti“ ve smyslu komplexního chápání černé hudby zatím nejdále – vedle akustických i plně elektrických bluesovek zde slyšíme i písně ve stylu afrického „pouštního blues“, houpavé karibské rytmy, funkové figury, ba i elektronický experiment. Práce na Scorseseho dokumentárním filmu Feel Like Going Home, součásti slavné bluesové série, přivedla Coreyho Harrise na myšlenku natočit album, které by výmluvně vykreslilo souvztažnost amerického blues a západoafrické lidové hudby. Za spolupracovníka na projektu Mississippi To Mali si vybral malijského kytaristu Aliho Farku Toureho, hvězdu world music, dobře známou např. ze společného alba s Ryem Cooderem Talking Timbuktu (oceněného Grammy 1995). Společné jamy obou kytaristů s dalšími muzikanty jsou nejen jasným svědectvím o společném kořeni geograficky značně vzdálených žánrů, ale také silným posluchačským zážitkem. Poslední album pro Rounder neslo název Daily Bread (2005) a vykazovalo jasné znaky Harrisova stále silnějšího příklonu k fenoménu reggae, v němž kytarista spatřuje paralelu k bluesovému výrazu. Tato tendence se potvrdila i na posledních dvou albech, natočených pro další „lahůdkářský“ label Telarc: Zion Crossroads (2007) a blu.black (2009). Na letošní „vzpomínkový“ koncert BLUES ALIVE ovšem nepřijíždí Corey Harris jako nový vyslanec jamajské hudby, nýbrž – a pořadatelé festivalu věří, že to stálé návštěvníky potěší dvojnásob – se sólovým programem, stavícím naopak na jeho vlastních kořenech a blížícím se obsahu jeho prvních dvou, podle některých kruhů dosud nepřekonaných alb.
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<a href=Johnny Mars and Michael Roach /USA/" />

Johnny Mars and Michael Roach /USA/
Pravidelný návštěvník BLUES ALIVE nejspíš nad tímto spojením překvapeně kroutí hlavou. Johnny Mars, svého času přezdívaný „Jimi Hendrix foukací harmoniky“, byl na III. ročníku festivalu v roce 1998 historicky prvním známým Američanem, který v Šumperku vystoupil – a jeho show, postavená na hypermoderním zvuku nástroje, proháněného lektronickými exekty, do jisté míry předurčila jednu z dramaturgických linií festivalu na léta dopředu. Kytarista Michael Roach, který hrál na BLUES ALIVE poprvé o rok později, je Marsovým pravým opakem. Vyznává tzv. piedmontský bluesový styl, postavený na virtuózní hře na kytaru, v níž jsou velmi podstatné ragtimové prvky, a celkovým stylem svého projevu budí spíš iluzi 20. let minulého století než žhavé současnosti. A přesto se oba umělci už před několika lety ustavili v duo, které s velkým úspěchem míchá oba přístupy, Roachův revivalový a Marsův hledačský, ve prospěch jediného společného jmenovatele: ve prospěch blues.
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Pat Fulgoni and Lukáš Martinek Band /GB, CZ/
Historie bluesového projektu britského zpěváka Pata Fulgoniho je úzce spjata s festivalem BLUES ALIVE. Byl totiž historicky prvním, připraveným přímo pro tuto akci, a to už na třetím ročníku v roce 1998, o dva roky později se opakoval. Mezitím stačil Fulgoni, jinak frontman známé britské kapely Kava Kava, jež se zabývá směsí funky, dubu a psychedelie, natočit v pražském studiu Faust Records čistě bluesové album The Dark Side Of The Blues s českými hudebníky. Fulgoni má ostatně k české scéně velmi blízko, podílel se i na dvou albech alternativní studiové kapely Urfaust (Pražská strašidla a Faust And Margaret), na kterých si kromě českých muzikantů zahrál i americký kytarista Gary Lucas, jeden z dalších hostí letošního ročníku BLUES ALIVE. Pat Fulgoni vystoupí letos opět s kapelou kytaristy Lukáše Martinka, který v době zpěvákova „nárazového“ vstupu na českou bluesovou scénu zastával pozici „zázračného dítěte“. Dnes je Lukáš Martinek etablovaným hudebníkem, jedním z nejuznávanějších bluesových kytaristů, co česká scéna má. Kromě toho se vypracoval i ve velmi vyhledávaného studiového zvukaře, jehož jméno čteme na řadě významných alb zejména z oblasti jazzové hudby.
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Louisiana Alley /USA, CZ/ - foyer
Jedni z vítězů letošního BLUES APERITIVU jsou seskupeni kolem amerického zpěváka a kytaristy Davida Gorea, bývalého frontmana známých The Cell, se kterými objel kus Evropy i USA a zahrál si před několika hvězdami světových jmen. Pro kapelu je příznačná směs energického a drsného elektrického blues rocku přes jižanské boogie až po nápadité a citlivé balady. Působivé a ostré vokály v jižanském stylu, kytarové dvojhlasy, hammondky a nekompromisně šlapající basa s bicími dodávají Louisiana Alley plný zvuk, který zvedl ze židlí už nejedno hlediště – a to šumperské jistě nebude výjimkou.
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<a href=Gary Lucas /GB/" />

Gary Lucas /GB/
Vystoupení kytaristy Garyho Lucase je jedním ze splacených dluhů festivalu BLUES ALIVE. Ač není ryzím bluesmanem, nýbrž typickým hudebníkem crossoverovým, ke kořenům americké hudby má mimořádně blízko, což se promítá prakticky celou jeho kariérou. Lucas proslul jako někdejší spoluhráč alternativního guru – ale také zásadního bluesového inovátora – Captaina Beefhearta. Jeho následná kariéra se odvíjela po několika liniích – s jeho vlastní rockovou kapelou Gods And Monsters, v rámci sólových projektů, při kterých bohatě využívá elektroniky, a naopak při spolupracích v rámci tak či onak „kořenné“ hudby, mimo jiné s již zemřelým kultovním písničkářem Jeffem Buckleym nebo slavnou zpěvačkou Joan Osborne. Lucas má v oblibě hudbu bluesovou, jazzovou, country, stejně jako takové kuriozity jako je starý čínský pop. Patří k nemnoha hudebníkům, které posluchač pozná po několika tónech, zejména při hře na elektrickou kytaru. Lucasův specifický zvuk a výraz, stejně jako vyloženě „osobní“ hráčské prvky se vinou celou jeho diskografií bez ohledu na to, zda hraje zrovna blues, alternativní hudbu, tvrdý rock nebo komornější žánry. K Česku má Lucas velmi přátelský vztah – není divu, část jeho předků pocházela právě ze střední Evropy. Už za totality navázal tvůrčí partnerství s undergroundovými legendami Plastic People Of The Universe, Půlnoc a Dg 307, v 90. letech se podílel spolu s britským zpěvákem Patem Fulgonim, českou freejazzovou zpěvačkou Mirkou Křivánkovou a dalšími hudebníky na projektech studiové alternativní skupiny Urfaust Pražská strašidla a Faust And Margaret. Do České republiky rád zajíždí koncertovat, několikrát tu představil mimo jiné i svůj stěžejní opus, živě hranou scénickou hudbu k německému expresionistickému filmu z 20. let Golem, ztvárňujícímu známou pověst z pražského židovského ghetta. Zatím naposledy v Česku Lucas koncertoval vloni v rámci projektu Chase The Devil, ve kterém se zpěvákem Deanem Bowmanem představoval vlastní vizi gospelu a blues. Program, se kterým se představí na letošním BLUES ALIVE, bude připraven přímo pro tuto příležitost a měl by potěšit jak ctitele „dřevních“ podob žánru, tak ty, kteří si libují v experimentování s bluesovým idiomem.
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<a href=ZVA 12 – 28 BAND /SK/" />

ZVA 12 – 28 BAND /SK/
Už bylo mnohokrát řečeno, že „Zetvéáčka“ jsou (zřejmě) nejlepší slovenská bluesová kapela. Pravidelní návštěvníci BLUES ALIVE o tom vědí své, čtveřice kolem kytaristy a zpěváka Nora Červenáka v Šumperku hrála několikrát, poprvé na sedmém ročníku v roce 2002. Od originálního pojetí bluesových standardů se dopracovala k původní tvorbě, osobité jak hudebně, tak textově. Tu zachycují tři dosud vydaná „oficiální“ alba Hrubá múka, Za fúzy ma poťahaj a čerstvé letošní Z ruky zobať. Po výměně foukací harmoniky za housle získal ZVA 12-28 Band další svérázný prvek, který vnáší do groovové stavby písní specificky dřevní rozměr. Skupina je ozdobou klubové nabídky, ale i všežánrových festivalů na Slovensku i v České republice a na BLUES ALIVE patří pokaždé k naprostým posluchačským jistotám.
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Ladě /CZ/

Ladě /CZ/
Když v roce 2010 opavští Ladě zvítězili v BLUES APERITIVU, byla to kapela známá jen úzkému kroužku zasvěcenců. Také se pro ni mezi žurnalisty a pořadateli vžilo označení „nejlepší z nejméně známých českých kapel“. To už ale dávno není pravda. Dnes je band, jehož hlavními oporami jsou charismatický zpěvák a textař Michael Kubesa a kytarista Petr Uvira, ozdobou každého festivalu, který chce držet na patřičné výši svoji kvalitativní laťku. A fanoušci se počítají na tisíce. Pro Ladě je typické, že mohou se svou nezařaditelnou hudbou hrát prakticky kdekoliv – osloví návštěvníky bluesových, jazzových, rockových i alternativních akcí. Každý si v jejich mimořádně osobitém projevu najde to svoje. Pro všechny pak je ale společný vjem až magického prožitku, který je zaklet do potemnělé atmosféry jejich písní.

 

Karen Carrol and Mississippi Grave Diggers /HU, USA/
Kapela, ve které se sešlo hned několik mimořádně zajímavých hudebních osobností. Skupinu The Mississippi Grave Diggers založil v roce 1999 frontman i u nás dobře známé maďarské revivalové party Dr. Valter & The Lawbreakers, harmonikář Andor Oláh. Angažoval do ní mimo jiné houslového virtuóza Frankieho Látó, muzikanta, který bral ve Francii pět let hodiny jazzových houslí od fenomenálního Didiera Lockwooda a který do stávajícího projektu vnáší prvky svého nejmilovanějšího hudebního žánru, gipsy-swingu. The Mississippi Grave Diggers pět let doprovázeli zpěváka Big Daddyho Wilsona, od roku 2007 v jejich „přední linii“ stojí americká zpěvačka a kytaristka Karen Carrol, umělkyně, o které se sami její kolegové neváhají vyjadřovat jako o „černé čarodějnici“ – přičemž bluesová muzika je nejspíš jediný obor lidského konání, kde takový přídomek značí ten největší obdiv a nevyvolává podezření z „politické nekorektnosti
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Boogie Boys /PL/
Polské hosty Boogie Boys jsme viděli na X. ročníku BLUES ALIVE v roce 2005 a řada tehdejších návštěvníků na jejich divoké vystoupení stále s nadšením vzpomíná. Trojčlenná kapela, která u našich severních sousedů patří k nejpopulárnějším a ostruhy už si vysloužila i koncertováním po celé Evropě i zájezdy do bluesové pravdlasi USA, se věnuje hudbě, kterou na šumperské pódiu slýcháme pohříchu zřídka. Kapela, hrající v značně neobvyklé sestavě dvě piana a bicí, vznikla před osmi lety a čtenáři prestižního magazínu Twój Blues ji ve své výroční anketě už několikrát nominovali na její přední příčky. Ideálem Boogie Boys je typická hudba zakouřených černošských náleven, kterou si vepsali do názvu, ale i hudba duchovní – gospel. Nespokojují se ale jen s převzatým materiálem, nýbrž aplikují klasické postupy i na vlastní autorskou tvorbu v polštině. Vystoupení Boogie Boys bude velkým návratem velké (byť početně skromné) kapely.
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<a href=Ondřej Konrád & Gumbo /CZ/" />

Ondřej Konrád & Gumbo /CZ/
Harmonikář a zpěvák Ondřej Konrád patří k veteránům domácí scény, podílel se jako člen Blues Bandu Luboše Andršta a Petera Lipy na nahrávání vůbec prvního československého bluesového alba Blues z lipového dřeva (1984). Prošel mimo jiné kapelami Union Blues, Binder-Konrád Blues Band či Šavle meče, v současné době hraje i v kapele Blues Session a Visegrád Blues Band, je vyhledávaným studiovým hudebníkem. Na konci 90. let minulého století postavil z mladých jazzových hudebníků kapelu Gumbo, se kterou poprvé vystoupil na V. BLUES ALIVE v roce 2000. Tehdy se ještě kapela zabývala takřka výhradně interpretací převzaté tvorby. V současné době většinu jejího repertoáru tvoří původní skladby s Konrádovými českými texty, které byly i základem debutového alba Aspoň jednu krásu světa (2008). Pro Gumbo je typické prolínání žánrů, vedle samozřejmých bluesových prvků v jeho písních najdeme i odkazy k jazzu, rocku, funky či šansonu.
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<a href=ZVA 12 – 28 BAND /SK/ - foyer" />

ZVA 12 – 28 BAND /SK/ - foyer
Už bylo mnohokrát řečeno, že „Zetvéáčka“ jsou (zřejmě) nejlepší slovenská bluesová kapela. Pravidelní návštěvníci BLUES ALIVE o tom vědí své, čtveřice kolem kytaristy a zpěváka Nora Červenáka v Šumperku hrála několikrát, poprvé na sedmém ročníku v roce 2002. Od originálního pojetí bluesových standardů se dopracovala k původní tvorbě, osobité jak hudebně, tak textově. Tu zachycují tři dosud vydaná „oficiální“ alba Hrubá múka, Za fúzy ma poťahaj a čerstvé letošní Z ruky zobať. Po výměně foukací harmoniky za housle získal ZVA 12-28 Band další svérázný prvek, který vnáší do groovové stavby písní specificky dřevní rozměr. Skupina je ozdobou klubové nabídky, ale i všežánrových festivalů na Slovensku i v České republice a na BLUES ALIVE patří pokaždé k naprostým posluchačským jistotám.
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Alibaba /CZ/

 

Second Band /SK/

 

Gee Band /CZ/

 

Manilla Joe /CZ/

 

Kŕdeľ divých Adamov /SK/   www.bandzone.cz/krdeldivychadamov...   
Mladá kapela si dala neobvyklý název podle literární trilogie slovenského spisovatele Ladislava Ťažkého. Vznikla v roce 2006 v Trnavě, místě s nepochybně největší hustotou bluesových hudebníků na metr čtvereční na celém Slovensku. Kapela většinou hraje bluesrock, ale „není to jediný styl, se kterým se její členové ztotožňují“, říká o sobě sama kapela na webových stránkách a přidává hrůzyplný zápis zážitků z prvních štací své kariéry. Od té doby se mnohé změnilo a Kŕdeľ divých Adamov dokázali natolik zaujmout mezinárodní porotu loňského BLUES APERITIVU, že je vybrala k zahájení finálového koncertu loňského BLUES ALIVE. Nedávno se stačila v zajímavé konkurenci prezentovat na prestižní slovenské CD kompilaci Bluesová spoločnosť No. 7 a ke svému vystoupení na velkém pódiu šumperského festivalu přijíždí jako jedna z nejzajímavějších akvizic mladé slovenské scény.

 

Louisiana Alley /USA,CZ/
Jedni z vítězů letošního BLUES APERITIVU jsou seskupeni kolem amerického zpěváka a kytaristy Davida Gorea, bývalého frontmana známých The Cell, se kterými objel kus Evropy i USA a zahrál si před několika hvězdami světových jmen. Pro kapelu je příznačná směs energického a drsného elektrického blues rocku přes jižanské boogie až po nápadité a citlivé balady. Působivé a ostré vokály v jižanském stylu, kytarové dvojhlasy, hammondky a nekompromisně šlapající basa s bicími dodávají Louisiana Alley plný zvuk, který zvedl ze židlí už nejedno hlediště – a to šumperské jistě nebude výjimkou.
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The Cell /USA,CZ/

 
<a href=Ladě /CZ/" />

Ladě /CZ/
Jedni z vítězů letošního ročníku vyhledávací soutěže BLUES APERITIV tradiční bluesovou škatulku překračují všemi směry, ale přitom paradoxně snad nikoho nemůže napadnout, že by jejich účast na scéně, zasvěcené na celý večer bluesové muzice byla nepatřičná: právě kapely jako Ladě totiž posouvají žánry kupředu a dávají jim punc osobitosti. Přesvědčili o tom ostatně nejen ve zmíněné soutěži, ale i na letní části BLUES ALIVE, která se letos poprvé odehrála v rámci festivalu v Boskovicích, kde patřili k nejlépe přijatým účinkujícím. Ladě se dají ve zkratce označit třeba jako „jam session Toma Waitse s Billem Frisellem“. Oním „Waitsem“ je v tomto kvartetu, hrajícím s občasnými dalšími hosty, charismatický zpěvák Michael Kubesa, „Frisellem“ kytarista Petr Uvíra.
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Why Ducky /PL/

 

Hubert Hofherr And The Bottom Line /D/

 

Foyer - JAM SESSIONS

 

Abigail Ybarra /CZ/

 

Bonzo and The Resonators /SK/

 

Foyer DK – The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/

 

Gwyn Ashton /USA/

 

Deitra Farr and Rene Trossmann all star /USA, CZ/

 
Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/: Stawa 14.11., Chorzow 15.11., Tychy 16.11., Badgoszcz 17.11., Malbork 18.11., Gdynia 19.11., Wloclawek 20.11., Ciechanów 21.11., Warszawa 22. a 23.11., Olstyn 24.11., Gomunice 25.11., Kraków 26.11., Pulaw

Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/: Stawa 14.11., Chorzow 15.11., Tychy 16.11., Badgoszcz 17.11., Malbork 18.11., Gdynia 19.11., Wloclawek 20.11., Ciechanów 21.11., Warszawa 22. a 23.11., Olstyn 24.11., Gomunice 25.11., Kraków 26.11., Pulaw
Světovou bluesovou veřejností jsou už léta všeobecně považováni za nejlepší britskou kapelu svého žánru – a mnohokrát byl tento titul stvrzen i odbornými a posluchačskými výročními anketami. Britská bluesová scéna je dnes možná nenápadnější než v 60. letech, kdy do značné míry udávala rytmus světovému dění, nicméně stále se na ní pohybuje řada vynikajících osobností a kapel, mezi nimiž je skutečně tvrdý oříšek prosadit se do takové míry, jako se to povedlo právě harmonikáři Paulu Lambovi. Žák nikoho menšího než Sonnyho Terryho a dlouholetý sideman kdekoho, který se po britských i světových klubech a festivalech pohybuje přes třicet let, stojí svým způsobem hry kdesi mezi klasickým a moderním cítěním. Se svou dnes už dvougenerační kapelou (post sólového kytaristy zastává od roku 2007 Paulův syn Ryan Lamb) slaví na Ostrovech úspěchy už od začátku 90. let. Je mimořádně aktivní ve vydávání desek i koncertování – Lambovi The King Snakes jsou jednou z těch kapel, které nežijí od turné k turné, jsou totiž na šňůře prakticky neustále. A na jejich show je to po čertech znát. Koncertní blok Paula Lamba bude více než důstojným vyvrcholením prvního hlavního festivalového večera.

 
Jiří Míža /CZ/: Mírov 15.11.

Jiří Míža /CZ/: Mírov 15.11.
Muž devatera řemesel, původním povoláním keramik a hlavně zkušený muzikant, který prošel řadou žánrů, je dobře znám publiku BLUES ALIVE už od roku 2001, kdy si coby držitel zvláštního ocenění poroty BLUES APERITIVU zahrál bez obvyklé „mezizastávky“ ve foyer rovnou na hlavním pódiu. Míža je pravděpodobně jediný český bluesman, který se plně věnuje stylu piedmont blues, tedy směsi ragtimu a country blues, typické pro východní pobřeží Spojených států. Jiří Míža se ale nespokojuje s pouhým napodobováním. Naprostá většina jeho písniček je původních s českými texty a jeho autenticita je nepřeslechnutelná. Od dob, kdy hrál v Šumperku poprvé, rozšířil svůj instrumentář o resofonickou kytaru, foukací harmoniku a tzv. stomp box (ozvučenou skříňku, zesilující rytmické podupávání), což jej plně kvalifikuje k zařazení do programu letošního tematického odpoledne.

 
Dave Arcari /UK/: Jeseník 16.11., Mikulov 17.11., Olomouc 18.11.

Dave Arcari /UK/: Jeseník 16.11., Mikulov 17.11., Olomouc 18.11.
Pozor na něj, tohle je opravdu nebezpečný chlápek! Jestliže Britové mají pověst sofistikovaných gentlemanů, což se často promítá i do jejich hudby, tenhle potetovaný maník působí, jako by právě sesedl ze svého harleye a tou plechovou kytarou, kterou třímá v rukou, hodlal vymlátit nejbližší telefonní budku. Ne nadarmo se říká, že Arcari ztělesňuje žánr „punk-blues“, syrovou, naprosto nekompromisní hudbu, pramenící sice hluboko v Deltě, ale využívající všeho, co bylo za posledních sto let vývoje žánru vymyšleno. Arcari je nejen bravurní hráč na resofonickou kytaru a mistr techniky slide, ale také originální bluesový písničkář, s autentickým výrazem, který je na bluesové scéně tak vzácným kořením. Není pochyb o tom, že bude patřit k největším objevům letošního ročníku BLUES ALIVE. A že se na jeho kvalitách shodnou jak bluesoví puristé, tak ti, pro které žádný hudební přesah není dost velký.

 
Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/

Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/
Světovou bluesovou veřejností jsou už léta všeobecně považováni za nejlepší britskou kapelu svého žánru – a mnohokrát byl tento titul stvrzen i odbornými a posluchačskými výročními anketami. Britská bluesová scéna je dnes možná nenápadnější než v 60. letech, kdy do značné míry udávala rytmus světovému dění, nicméně stále se na ní pohybuje řada vynikajících osobností a kapel, mezi nimiž je skutečně tvrdý oříšek prosadit se do takové míry, jako se to povedlo právě harmonikáři Paulu Lambovi. Žák nikoho menšího než Sonnyho Terryho a dlouholetý sideman kdekoho, který se po britských i světových klubech a festivalech pohybuje přes třicet let, stojí svým způsobem hry kdesi mezi klasickým a moderním cítěním. Se svou dnes už dvougenerační kapelou (post sólového kytaristy zastává od roku 2007 Paulův syn Ryan Lamb) slaví na Ostrovech úspěchy už od začátku 90. let. Je mimořádně aktivní ve vydávání desek i koncertování – Lambovi The King Snakes jsou jednou z těch kapel, které nežijí od turné k turné, jsou totiž na šňůře prakticky neustále. A na jejich show je to po čertech znát. Koncertní blok Paula Lamba bude více než důstojným vyvrcholením prvního hlavního festivalového večera.

 

Around The Blues /PL/

 
Music Machine – Jiří Míža /CZ/

Music Machine – Jiří Míža /CZ/
Muž devatera řemesel, původním povoláním keramik a hlavně zkušený muzikant, který prošel řadou žánrů, je dobře znám publiku BLUES ALIVE už od roku 2001, kdy si coby držitel zvláštního ocenění poroty BLUES APERITIVU zahrál bez obvyklé „mezizastávky“ ve foyer rovnou na hlavním pódiu. Míža je pravděpodobně jediný český bluesman, který se plně věnuje stylu piedmont blues, tedy směsi ragtimu a country blues, typické pro východní pobřeží Spojených států. Jiří Míža se ale nespokojuje s pouhým napodobováním. Naprostá většina jeho písniček je původních s českými texty a jeho autenticita je nepřeslechnutelná. Od dob, kdy hrál v Šumperku poprvé, rozšířil svůj instrumentář o resofonickou kytaru, foukací harmoniku a tzv. stomp box (ozvučenou skříňku, zesilující rytmické podupávání), což jej plně kvalifikuje k zařazení do programu letošního tematického odpoledne.

 
Pivnice Holba – Kulturní úderka /CZ/

Pivnice Holba – Kulturní úderka /CZ/
Brněnská kapela, působící na hudební scéně už od poloviny 90. let, je typickým příkladem, že se vyplatí přihlašovat na jarní BLUES APERITIV víckrát, byť třeba s několikaletým odstupem. Už na třetím ročníku této soutěžní přehlídky v roce 2002 získala zvláštní cenu poroty a zúčastnila se satelitních koncertů. Vloni byla jedním ze dvou zcela přesvědčivých vítězů a podle zavedených pravidel tedy dostává šanci prezentovat se letos v úvodu večerního koncertu na hlavním pódiu. Její směs elektrického blues, funky a rocku je nabita mimořádnou energií, hráčskou invencí a kapela prezentuje bluesové cítění v kontextu toho pozitivního ze současného hudebního vývoje.

 
Foyer DK – The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/

Foyer DK – The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/
Pověst o BLUES APERITIVU jako soutěži, které má smysl se zúčastnit, zjevně putuje už celou střední Evropou. Z letošních dvou přihlášených kapel porota vybrala právě tuto, trio, které se zvukem inspiruje u těch nejsyrovějších hudebníků z Chicaga: Hound Doga Taylora, Elmorea Jamese a dalších podobných „výtečníků“. Nejen zvukově, ale i vizuálně skupina působí, jako by ji přesadil přímo z chicagské ulice, v lepším (či horším?) případě z laciné nálevny, kde vyhrává za pár drobných nebo aspoň panáka whisky. Muzikanti s rozkošnými přezdívkami Mud (kytara, harmonika, zpěv), Blindfinger (kytara, zpěv) a Ty (bicí, harmonika) slibují vrchovatý kopec zábavy, o jaké se asi většině bluesových posluchačů zdá v těch nejodvázanějších snech.

 
Lurrie Bell and His Chicago Blues Band /USA/

Lurrie Bell and His Chicago Blues Band /USA/
Letošní hody ve stylu pravověrného chicagského blues vyvrcholí vystoupením jednoho z jeho největších exponentů střední generace, celosvětově proslulého kytaristy a zpěváka Lurrieho Bella, jehož jméno a nahrávky nemohly uniknout nikomu, kdo se o blues byť jen trochu zajímá. Už třeba proto, že je synem jednoho z největších hráčů na foukací harmoniku, co jich kdy bluesová scéna měla, Careyho Bella. Ten během svého života stačil spolupracovat s takovými hvězdami jako John Lee Hooker, Robert Nighthawk, Lowell Fulson, Willie Dixon, Louisiana Red, Honeyboy Edwards, ale hlavně natočil nespočet sólových alb pro Alligator, Blind Pig, Delmark či JSP. Stvrzením jeho postu jednoho z králů foukací harmoniky byla účast na nahrávání slavného harmonikářského „summitu“ Harp Attack! s Juniorem Wellsem, Jamesem Cottonem a Billym Branchem pro Alligator v roce 1990. Lurrie Bell se tím pádem narodil 13. prosince 1958 do rodiny, v níž si podávala dveře jedna bluesová hvězda za druhou – Lurrie nejčastěji vzpomíná, jak si ve svých muzikantských začátcích měl možnost zahrát třeba s harmonikářem Big Walterem Hortonem, pianistou Sunnyland Slimem nebo kytaristou Eddym Clearwaterem. V sedmnácti letech spoluzaložil s dalšími dvěma syny slavných otců, harmonikářem Billym Branchem (jehož tatínek Ben byl mj. dlouholetým saxofonistou kapely B.B. Kinga) a basistou Freddiem Dixonem (který podědil geny po slavném hitmakerovi a producentovi Williem), kapelu s příznačným názvem The Sons Of The Blues (Synové blues). Ta rok po svém založení v roce 1978 přispěla třemi nahrávkami na legendární kompilaci Living Chicago Blues pro vydavatelství Alligator a uvedla de facto nastupující chicagskou muzikantskou generaci do světa. Paralelně byl Lurrie Bell čtyři roky členem doprovodné kapely samotné Královny chicagského blues Koko Taylor (hleďme, jak se nám pěkně kruh letošního ročníku uzavírá...), kde vychodil pomyslnou bluesovou univerzitu na nejvyšší úrovni. Další léta doprovázel svého otce, se kterým průběžně spolupracoval až do jeho smrti v roce 2007. Sólově Lurrie debutoval albem Everybody Wants To Win pro prestižní label JSP v roce 1989. Divoký život na nekonečných koncertních šňůrách ovšem Bellovi způsobil několikaleté vážné problémy s drogovou závislostí, ze které se „vyhrabal“ až v polovině 90. let, kdy podepsal smlouvu s dalším významným vydavatelstvím Delmark – a od té doby se jeho kariéra v první bluesové lize odvíjí jako na drátkách. Lurrie Bell natočil celkem něco kolem padesáti desek, z toho devět sólových (poslední nese název Let´s Talk About Love a kytarista ji věnoval své předčasně zemřelé dlouholeté partnerce Arii) a deset společně s otcem Careym (včetně krásného akustického dua Second Nature a Careyho labutí písně, živáku Getting Up Live, natočeného krátce před jeho smrtí). Do Šumperka Lurrie Bell přijíždí v čele svého stabilního Chicago Blues Bandu s Darylem Couttsem na klávesy, Melvinem Smithem na baskytaru a Kennym Smithem na bicí.

 
Zac Harmon & Diunna Greenleaf and Gregg Wright /USA/

Zac Harmon & Diunna Greenleaf and Gregg Wright /USA/
Chicago Blues Festival Tour : Zac Harmon Band feat.Diunna Greenleaf & Gregg Wright /USA/ Už počtyřicáté se do Evropy vydává „spanilá jízda“ hvězd pod souhrnnou hlavičkou Chicago Blues Festival Tour a festival BLUES ALIVE je poctěn, že bude letos jednou z jejích zastávek. Systém vystoupení je snadno představitelný: na pozadí hry jednoho „home bandu“, kterým je v tomto případě kapela Zaka Harmona (Corey Lacey – klávesy, Cory „Buthel“ Burns – baskytara, Cedric Goodman – bicí) se představí hned několik frontmanů, v našem případě tři. Samotný Zac Harmon je dlouholetým kytaristou, skladatelem a producentem s mississippskými kořeny, který velkou část života prožil v Los Angeles, kde spolupracoval s dlouhou řadou tamních muzikantů a přičichl i k filmové hudbě. Věnoval se různým druhům hudby, vždy ale toužil postavit se „na bluesové nohy“, což se mu povedlo v roce 2002, kdy debutoval živým albem Live At Babe & Ricky´s Inn. Syrová nahrávka, na které se propojuje originální skladatelský rukopis s mississippským cítěním a elektrizujícím chicagským zvukem vybudovala v bluesových kruzích Harmonovi značné renomé a otevřela mu dveře do nejlepších klubů i na pódia hlavních bluesových festivalů. Druhým sólistou tohoto „bluesového cirkusu“ bude Gregg Wright, považovaný za jednoho z nejinovativnějších kytaristů ve svém žánru. V mládí v 70. letech se mu poštěstilo několikrát předskakovat doma v Louisianě takovým hvězdám, jako byli Albert nebo Freddie King, a možnost sledovat zblízka tyto bluesové velmistry považuje za svou nejlepší školu. Stejně jako Zac Harmon je ovšem i Wright univerzálním hráčem, který se nikdy neuzavíral do ulity jediného stylu. Hudbu pro film Ocean Oasis (IMAX) natočil společně s Pražskou filharmonií a jako člen doprovodné kapely dokonce absolvoval turné se samotným Michaelem Jacksonem. Není však třeba se bát nějakého uhlazeného zvuku: už titul Wrightova posledního, skvěle přijatého alba hovoří za vše: King Ot The Rocking Blues! Ozdobou tohoto bloku bezesporu bude vystoupení Diunny Greenleaf, zpěvačky, kterou lze bez nadsázky nazvat „sběratelkou cen“ za poslední léta. Její jméno několikanásobně figuruje i na soupisce nejprestižnějších bluesových ocenění Blues Music Awards – letos, vloni i předloni v nominacích kategorie ženských interpretek tradičního blues, vloni si odtud odnesla vavříny v kategorii nejlepšího debutu. Kořeny Diunny Greenleaf sahají do Texasu, od mládí byla ale především obdivovatelkou Koko Taylor a Arethy Franklin, podstatný vliv na její současný projev měla i výchova rodičů, profesionálních gospelových zpěváků. Na pódiu už stála skoro s celou americkou bluesovou špičkou včetně několika hvězd, známých z šumperského festivalu (Hubertem Sumlinem, Bobem Margolinem, Jamesem Cottonem, Smokin´ Joem Kubekem a – přirozeně – i Lurriem Bellem). Je více než pravděpodobné, že vystoupení Diunny Greenleaf bude velmi důstojným pokračováním loňské „dívčí války“ na BLUES ALIVE, kterou svými skvělými vystoupeními vyhlásily mužům Sue Foley, Wanda Johnson a další.

 
Dave Arcari /UK/

Dave Arcari /UK/
Pozor na něj, tohle je opravdu nebezpečný chlápek! Jestliže Britové mají pověst sofistikovaných gentlemanů, což se často promítá i do jejich hudby, tenhle potetovaný maník působí, jako by právě sesedl ze svého harleye a tou plechovou kytarou, kterou třímá v rukou, hodlal vymlátit nejbližší telefonní budku. Ne nadarmo se říká, že Arcari ztělesňuje žánr „punk-blues“, syrovou, naprosto nekompromisní hudbu, pramenící sice hluboko v Deltě, ale využívající všeho, co bylo za posledních sto let vývoje žánru vymyšleno. Arcari je nejen bravurní hráč na resofonickou kytaru a mistr techniky slide, ale také originální bluesový písničkář, s autentickým výrazem, který je na bluesové scéně tak vzácným kořením. Není pochyb o tom, že bude patřit k největším objevům letošního ročníku BLUES ALIVE. A že se na jeho kvalitách shodnou jak bluesoví puristé, tak ti, pro které žádný hudební přesah není dost velký.

 
Longital /SK/

Longital /SK/
Posluchači, který se rozhlíží i po jiných hudebních stylech než je blues, nemohlo slovenské duo Longital (dříve známé jako Dlhé diely) uniknout. Se svou hudbou, kterou označují „east beat“, jsou stále oblíbenější koncertní atrakcí všemožných festivalů i klubových programů. Protagonisty kapely jsou kytarista – a bez nadsázky lze říci přímo kytarový virtuos – Dano Salontay (hudebník s minulostí jazzmana a bluesmana, mj. bývalý spoluhráč Silvie Josifoské) a baskytaristka, říkající si Šina. Za pomoci svých nástrojů a přednatočených rytmů i konkrétních zvuků spřádají tu průzračně křehké, tu psychedelicky zamlžené písně, které je složité zařadit ke konkrétnímu stylu. A právě to je na nich to pěkné. Na BLUES ALIVE si nicméně Longital připravili mimořádný program, ve kterém hodlají mimo jiné oprášit písničky ze svých začátků, tedy z doby, kdy ještě působili jako živé, téměř folkrockově znějící kvarteto s repertoárem, který s bluesovými náladami (ale i hráčským výrazem) velmi koresponduje.

 
Kulturní úderka /CZ/

Kulturní úderka /CZ/
Brněnská kapela, působící na hudební scéně už od poloviny 90. let, je typickým příkladem, že se vyplatí přihlašovat na jarní BLUES APERITIV víckrát, byť třeba s několikaletým odstupem. Už na třetím ročníku této soutěžní přehlídky v roce 2002 získala zvláštní cenu poroty a zúčastnila se satelitních koncertů. Vloni byla jedním ze dvou zcela přesvědčivých vítězů a podle zavedených pravidel tedy dostává šanci prezentovat se letos v úvodu večerního koncertu na hlavním pódiu. Její směs elektrického blues, funky a rocku je nabita mimořádnou energií, hráčskou invencí a kapela prezentuje bluesové cítění v kontextu toho pozitivního ze současného hudebního vývoje.

 
The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/ - foyer

The Roosevelt Houserockers /AT/ - foyer
Pověst o BLUES APERITIVU jako soutěži, které má smysl se zúčastnit, zjevně putuje už celou střední Evropou. Z letošních dvou přihlášených kapel porota vybrala právě tuto, trio, které se zvukem inspiruje u těch nejsyrovějších hudebníků z Chicaga: Hound Doga Taylora, Elmorea Jamese a dalších podobných „výtečníků“. Nejen zvukově, ale i vizuálně skupina působí, jako by ji přesadil přímo z chicagské ulice, v lepším (či horším?) případě z laciné nálevny, kde vyhrává za pár drobných nebo aspoň panáka whisky. Muzikanti s rozkošnými přezdívkami Mud (kytara, harmonika, zpěv), Blindfinger (kytara, zpěv) a Ty (bicí, harmonika) slibují vrchovatý kopec zábavy, o jaké se asi většině bluesových posluchačů zdá v těch nejodvázanějších snech.

 
Circus Ponorka /CZ/

Circus Ponorka /CZ/
Kytarista Honza Ponocný zahájil svou profesionální kariéru na začátku 90. let jako člen kapely Ivana Hlase. Posléze s Američanem Bradem Strattonem (kterého jsme viděli v Šumperku před několika lety jako frontmana Snake Eaters) založil velmi úspěšný funkrockový Circus Praha. Po Strattonově návratu do USA se Honza začal plně věnovat hráčské, skladatelské a producentské spolupráci převážně s domácími poprockovými hvězdami. Teprve před pár lety, aby tuto profesi vyvážil také nějakým „koníčkem“, vymyslel unikátní projekt Circus Ponorka, ve kterém je pouze sám sobě pánem. Obklopen elektronickými krabičkami v reálném čase (kdy nic není předem připraveno) na sebe vrství živé samply a smyčky a vytváří si několik kytarových partů i vokálů zároveň až do výsledné podoby celé kapely. Tímto způsobem pracuje ve světě několik známých hudebníků (mj. Elliott Sharp, Gary Lucas, Hugo Race, Andrej Šeban), žádný z nich ale nepoužívá tuto techniku k prezentaci opravdových písniček, většinou se jedná o alternativní plochy a stěny. V tom je s největší pravděpodobností Honza Ponocný světovým unikátem. Ten, kdo ještě neměl tu čest, bude patrně zcela okouzlen.

 
Stoker One Man Band /CZ/

Stoker One Man Band /CZ/
Václav Blabolil, jinak basista dobře známého Dead Camel Blues Bandu, se „udělal pro sebe“ před několika lety, když si koupil resofonickou kytaru, zastavěl půlku bytu aparaturou a bicími a začal vymýšlet, jakým způsobem ovládnout všechny nástroje tak, aby...no, zkrátka, aby to byl co největší nářez. Podařilo se. Kytaru prohání zároveň přes kytarové i basové kombo, nohama rozehrává téměř kompletní bicí soupravu a ještě stihne dout do řádně vyšťavené harmoniky. Výsledek není nepodobný hudbě mississippských drsoňů z okruhu Fat Possum Records – s tím rozdílem, že oni na to musejí být vždycky nejméně dva...

 
Jiří Míža /CZ/

Jiří Míža /CZ/
Muž devatera řemesel, původním povoláním keramik a hlavně zkušený muzikant, který prošel řadou žánrů, je dobře znám publiku BLUES ALIVE už od roku 2001, kdy si coby držitel zvláštního ocenění poroty BLUES APERITIVU zahrál bez obvyklé „mezizastávky“ ve foyer rovnou na hlavním pódiu. Míža je pravděpodobně jediný český bluesman, který se plně věnuje stylu piedmont blues, tedy směsi ragtimu a country blues, typické pro východní pobřeží Spojených států. Jiří Míža se ale nespokojuje s pouhým napodobováním. Naprostá většina jeho písniček je původních s českými texty a jeho autenticita je nepřeslechnutelná. Od dob, kdy hrál v Šumperku poprvé, rozšířil svůj instrumentář o resofonickou kytaru, foukací harmoniku a tzv. stomp box (ozvučenou skříňku, zesilující rytmické podupávání), což jej plně kvalifikuje k zařazení do programu letošního tematického odpoledne.

 

film Cadillac Records, USA 2008 Režie: Darnell Martin
Režisérce Darnell Martin se v tomto hraném celovečerním filmu podařilo takřka nemožné: velmi věrně a zajímavě vylíčit historii vůbec nejdůležitějšího hudebního vydavatelství v dějinách bluesové hudby, chicagských Chess Records. V dramaticky vystavěném příběhu jsme svědky začátků kariéry Muddyho Waterse, jeho soupeření s Howlin´ Wolfem, divokých eskapád Little Waltera a Chucka Berryho i nástupu hvězdné kariéry Etty James. Fiktivním vypravěčem této velké bluesové story není nikdo menší než chessovský hitmaker, producent a kontrabasista Willie Dixon. Před divákovýma očima jako na dlani ožívá spousta slavných bluesových historek, legend, mýtů i drbů, doprovázená samozřejmě spoustou skvělé hudby, vesměs písní, které vešly do zlatého bluesového zpěvníku jako standardy, bez jejichž znalosti se žádný současný bluesman, hodný toho jména, neobejde. Snímek v Česku není v běžné distribuci a návštěvníci BLUES ALIVE tak mají skutečně výjimečnou příležitost podívat se na něj na velkém plátně kina. Tato šance se už nejspíš nikdy a nikde nebude opakovat.

 
Music Machine – Jack Cannon /HU/

Music Machine – Jack Cannon /HU/
První maďarští účastníci v historii BLUES APERITIVU – a hned vítězství u poroty i návštěvníků. Není divu, tak precizní pojetí akustického blues (ale i kousků spíše z hájemství soulu) se příliš často nevídá ani v americké kolébce žánru. Trio, jehož hlavní hvězdou je foukačkář a zpěvák György Zoltai, ovšem otrocky nepřehrává vzory, nýbrž přistupuje ke standardům tvůrčím způsobem a v neposlední řadě prezentuje i vlastní autorskou tvorbu. Tím, co porotu Aperitivu oslovilo na kapele Jack Cannon nejvíce, je ovšem dokonalá vzájemná souhra až jakási prorostlost všech tří muzikantů, která jim umožňuje zcela „volně dýchat“ i v rámci jasně vymezených pravidel. Za poslední rok od svého vítězství se na české scéně zdárně etablovali a jejich letošní vystoupení na hlavním pódiu bude jistě lahůdkou pro bluesové fajnšmekry.

 
Pivnice Holba –  Dan Hot Drum and Blues Band /USA,CZ/

Pivnice Holba – Dan Hot Drum and Blues Band /USA,CZ/
Velmi mladá kapela vznikla začátkem roku 2009, v červnu se zúčastnila BLUES APERITIVU - a hned zvítězila v hlasování diváků, což jí otevřelo dveře na pódium nočního jam sessionu v rámci BLUES ALIVE, který bude mít možnost samostatným blokem zahájit. V repertoáru kapely, která si pojmenovala vlastní styl termínem "drum&blues", zní písničky Robbena Forda a dalších interpretů, ale také vlastní skladby. Zpěv a hra na foukací harmoniku je doménou Turnera Harrisona, světoobčana s americkým pasem, druhou hlavní postavou kapely a jejím zakladatelem je Dan Horký, který si, jak sám přiznává, svou první elektrickou kytaru koupil ve čtrnácti letech pod vlivem návštěvy festivalu BLUES ALIVE.

 
Foyer DK – Charlie Slavík a St. Johnny Band /CZ/

Foyer DK – Charlie Slavík a St. Johnny Band /CZ/
Kvarteto českých muzikantů, kteří se zaměřují na různé hudební styly Ameriky padesátých let, především na blues, rock & roll a rockabilly, letos jednoznačně přesvědčilo porotu BLUES APERITIVU a stalo se jedním z jeho vítězů. Kromě kytaristy a zpěváka Jana Stehlíka a rytmiky kapelu tvoří foukačkář Charlie Slavík, šumperskému publiku dobře známý z kapely Highway 61 a dua s Lubošem Beňou. Kapela čerpá jak z arzenálu známých černošských bluesmanů (Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers), tak z repertoáru jejich bílých kolegů (Hollywood Fats, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley). Vloni v prosinci vydala velmi dobře přijaté debutové album These Times Are Gone.

 
Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/

Paul Lamb and The King Snakes /UK/
Světovou bluesovou veřejností jsou už léta všeobecně považováni za nejlepší britskou kapelu svého žánru – a mnohokrát byl tento titul stvrzen i odbornými a posluchačskými výročními anketami. Britská bluesová scéna je dnes možná nenápadnější než v 60. letech, kdy do značné míry udávala rytmus světovému dění, nicméně stále se na ní pohybuje řada vynikajících osobností a kapel, mezi nimiž je skutečně tvrdý oříšek prosadit se do takové míry, jako se to povedlo právě harmonikáři Paulu Lambovi. Žák nikoho menšího než Sonnyho Terryho a dlouholetý sideman kdekoho, který se po britských i světových klubech a festivalech pohybuje přes třicet let, stojí svým způsobem hry kdesi mezi klasickým a moderním cítěním. Se svou dnes už dvougenerační kapelou (post sólového kytaristy zastává od roku 2007 Paulův syn Ryan Lamb) slaví na Ostrovech úspěchy už od začátku 90. let. Je mimořádně aktivní ve vydávání desek i koncertování – Lambovi The King Snakes jsou jednou z těch kapel, které nežijí od turné k turné, jsou totiž na šňůře prakticky neustále. A na jejich show je to po čertech znát. Koncertní blok Paula Lamba bude více než důstojným vyvrcholením prvního hlavního festivalového večera.

 
Marcel Flemr Blues Band /CZ/   <a href=www.marcelflemr.com...   " />

Marcel Flemr Blues Band /CZ/   www.marcelflemr.com...   
Kytarista, který patří k nejpřesvědčivějším hvězdám mladé české bluesové generace, začal sklízet vavříny s kapelou Buddy Wonders, již zachytilo síto BLUES APERITIVU už v roce 2002. Přes několik mezizastávek se Marcel Flemr „udělal pro sebe“ a dnes kromě žánrově všežravé skupiny Grape (v níž figuruje i bývalá frontmanka Buddy Wonders Hanka Říhová, oblíbená ozdoba šumperských jamsessionů a jedna z protagonistek čtvrteční Pocty Koko Taylor) stojí už dva roky v čele vlastního Blues Bandu. Kapela se hlásí k odkazu velkých mistrů elektrického blues T-Bone Walkera, Lowella Fulsona, Earla Hookera, Huberta Sumlina či Magic Sama a koření svou hudbu i modernějšími prvky. Jako zvláštní host s Marcelem Flemrem a jeho Blues Bandem zahraje velmi respektovaná dechová sekce Bucinatores, složená z předních pražských jazzových muzikantů mladé generace.

 
2Wings feat. Blanka Šrůmová a hosté /CZ/

2Wings feat. Blanka Šrůmová a hosté /CZ/
V 90. letech byla Tichá dohoda jednou z nejpopulárnějších a na českou scénu nejvlivnějších kapel. Se zlomem desetiletí se kapela stáhla z pódií, zpěvačka Blanka Šrůmová se vydala na sólovou dráhu a mozek souboru, kytarista Dan Šustr, na hudbu zcela rezignoval. „Až v roce 2005 mě kámoši z reklamní agentury ukecali, ať udělám hudbu k reklamě na pivo, takovou půlminutovou kytarovku, a díky tomu jsem zase dostal strašnou chuť se k muzice vrátit,“ říká jeden z našich nejlepších kytaristů, který vždy jako o svých vzorech mluvil nejen o The Edgeovi z U2, ale také Jimmym Pageovi a starých bluesových hráčích. Šustr dal dohromady kapelu 2Wings, ve které uvolnil stavidla přímočarému rock´n´rollovému výrazu, který má k blues odedávna tak blízko, začal znovu, tentokrát jako ryzí amatér, dělající hudbu z potřeby a lásky k ní samé, nikoli k penězům, brázdit české kluby a festivaly. Stačil vydat dvě alba, znovu najít uměleckou cestu k někdejší zpěvačce Tiché dohody Blance Šrůmové a přesvědčit, že kdo je opravdovým muzikantem, zůstane jím navždy, i kdyby už stokrát nechtěl. Na BLUES ALIVE si připravili 2Wings s Blankou Šrůmovou a zvláštním hostem, kytaristou Honzou Ponocným (Circus Ponorka), speciální set, určený jen šumperským posluchačům.

 

Abigail Ybarra /CZ/
„Letos začátkem léta jsem se nachomýtl k polosoukromému koncertu několika kapel v Úněticích u Prahy a byl jsem naprosto šokován,“ vzpomíná dramaturg BLUES ALIVE Ondřej Bezr. „Pod jakýmsi nevyslovitelným názvem tady vystoupila dvojice kytaristy a bubeníka, která rozpoutala naprosté peklo. Takhle nějak se museli cítit před více než čtyřiceti lety západní fanoušci, když poprvé viděli Jimiho Hendrixe: obrovská energie, hráčská virtuozita, naprosté propojení muzikantů... Jak to, že je neznám? Jak to, že je – nejspíš – nezná vůbec nikdo? S tím se musí něco udělat!“ Kapela si zvolila název podle stejnojmenné dámy, která – podle jejich vlastních slov – „od roku 1956 motá snímače v továrně Fender Company a jejíma rukama prošla historie rock´n´rollu.“ Bubeník Pavel Attel (ex-Rowdies, Tichá dohoda, Pumpa ad., v současnosti zároveň Vladivojna La Chia & Banana) a kytarista a zpěvák Prokop Tomášek (ex-Hey Baby, Dirty Train, Grand Buffet) jsou prostě dvojice, která se hledala, až se našla. Svou hudbu definují jako „průzračnou esenci energie, primitivismu, ryzího zvuku, muzikantské empatie a nasazení na hranici šílenství.“ A dodávají, že vždycky hrají tak, jako by to bylo naposledy. Má-li letošní ročník BLUES ALIVE černého koně, jmenuje se jednoznačně Abigail Ybarra.

 
Hoodoo Band /PL/

Hoodoo Band /PL/
Sedmičlenný polský band nadchl porotu letošního BLUES APERITIVU svou naprostou profesionalitou, zasahující nejen hudební projev, ale i pódiové podání výborného rhythm´n´bluesového, soulového a funkového repertoáru. Mladí wroclawští muzikanti se inspirují u širokého spektra známých muzikantů od Rolling Stones přes Sly & Family Stone až po Buddyho Guye, přesto je v jejich hudbě originální „šmrnc“, a především energie. Přes nepřeslechnutelné kvalitní muzikantské výkony jednotlivců funguje Hoodoo Band především jako dobře promazaná mašina, která smete všechno, co jí stojí v cestě. Ideální prostředek k rozhýbání kloubů.

 
Jack Cannon /HU/

Jack Cannon /HU/
První maďarští účastníci v historii BLUES APERITIVU – a hned vítězství u poroty i návštěvníků. Není divu, tak precizní pojetí akustického blues (ale i kousků spíše z hájemství soulu) se příliš často nevídá ani v americké kolébce žánru. Trio, jehož hlavní hvězdou je foukačkář a zpěvák György Zoltai, ovšem otrocky nepřehrává vzory, nýbrž přistupuje ke standardům tvůrčím způsobem a v neposlední řadě prezentuje i vlastní autorskou tvorbu. Tím, co porotu Aperitivu oslovilo na kapele Jack Cannon nejvíce, je ovšem dokonalá vzájemná souhra až jakási prorostlost všech tří muzikantů, která jim umožňuje zcela „volně dýchat“ i v rámci jasně vymezených pravidel. Za poslední rok od svého vítězství se na české scéně zdárně etablovali a jejich letošní vystoupení na hlavním pódiu bude jistě lahůdkou pro bluesové fajnšmekry.

 
Charlie Slavik a St. Johnny Band /CZ/ - foyer

Charlie Slavik a St. Johnny Band /CZ/ - foyer
Kvarteto českých muzikantů, kteří se zaměřují na různé hudební styly Ameriky padesátých let, především na blues, rock & roll a rockabilly, letos jednoznačně přesvědčilo porotu BLUES APERITIVU a stalo se jedním z jeho vítězů. Kromě kytaristy a zpěváka Jana Stehlíka a rytmiky kapelu tvoří foukačkář Charlie Slavík, šumperskému publiku dobře známý z kapely Highway 61 a dua s Lubošem Beňou. Kapela čerpá jak z arzenálu známých černošských bluesmanů (Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers), tak z repertoáru jejich bílých kolegů (Hollywood Fats, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley). Vloni v prosinci vydala velmi dobře přijaté debutové album These Times Are Gone.

 
Gospel Limited /CZ/

Gospel Limited /CZ/
Vůbec poprvé se v rámci BLUES ALIVE budeme moci seznámit s moderní podobou gospelu, a to přímo v podání jednoho z nejuznávanějších představitelů tohoto stylu na našem území. Přímým předchůdcem moderního gospelu je tradiční gospel, hudba, kterou bylo možno slyšet v mnoha amerických černošských kostelech od začátku minulého století. V 60. letech Edwin Hawkins svojí úpravou původně baptistického žalmu Oh Happy Day odstartoval zcela nový vývoj. Gospel se časem stal žánrem ovlivňujícím i další hudební proudy, jako soul nebo hip hop, a sám byl jimi opět zpětně ovlivňován a obohacován. V repertoáru Gospel Limited je řada moderních gospelů od světoznámých amerických i evropských gospelových autorů jako Kirk Franklin, Richard Smallwood, Edwin Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Willie Small, Clarence Eggleton, Maria Nordenback a mnoho dalších. Sbor spolupracuje s kvalitními jazzovými hudebníky, zvuk sboru významně spoluvytvářejí také sólistky Lucie Motošická, Kateřina Dlouhá, Libuše Vyšínová, Zuzana Raušová a Christina Chick.

 
Hanka Dundrová a Trouble Heroes /CZ/

Hanka Dundrová a Trouble Heroes /CZ/

 
Hanka Dundrová and Trouble Heroes /CZ/

Hanka Dundrová and Trouble Heroes /CZ/
Když před lety postavil jeden z protagonistů mostecké bluesové scény Petr Karkoška (ex-Blues Bujon) první verzi své kapely Blues No More, největším zjevením byla zpěvačka Hanka Dundrová, ztělesnění bluesového drajvu, energie, zkrátka odvazu. Po několikaleté spolupráci se Hanka – ovšem jen zdánlivě – „vyklidnila“ a spolu se svým partnerem, kytaristou Vladimírem Orlovským, založila akustické bluesové duo Tone Down, které zvítězilo na BLUES APERITIVU v roce 2004. V dalších letech Hanka své pěvecké aktivity musela omezit zejména kvůli – jak už to tak u zpěvaček bývá – mateřským povinnostem a v současné době se zvolna vrací na scénu. Na BLUES ALIVE ji doprovodí kapela, speciálně sestavená pro tento večer (a páteční výchovný koncert pro šumperské školy) ze severočeských bluesových hudebníků.

 
Petra Börnerová Band a Miloš Železňák /CZ,SK/

Petra Börnerová Band a Miloš Železňák /CZ,SK/
Po rockových začátcích a pěti letech, strávených na postu zpěvačky v kapele Hand´s Free Blues Band, se Petra Börnerová, jinak žákyně české jazzové legendy Jany Koubkové, seznámila s profesionálním slovenským bluesovým bubeníkem a aktivním manažerem Tomášem „Bobkem“ Bobrovniczkým (ex-Bluesweiser, ZVA 12.28 Band ad.), se kterým založili mezinárodní česko-slovensko-maďarský projekt Petra Börnerová Band feat.: Benkő Zsolt, se kterým se výrazně dostala do povědomí české posluchačské veřejnosti. Po třech úspěšných letech kapela ukončila činnost a přerodila se v současný projekt, kde post hlavního instrumentálního sólisty zastává významný slovenský kytarista Miloš Železňák. Kapela se nevymezuje čistě bluesově, ve svém projevu míchá i prvky jazzové a folkové, dostává se až takřka do šansonových poloh, jak víme i z loňského debutového alba.

 
Koko Taylor Tribute Band feat. Hanka Říhová /CZ/

Koko Taylor Tribute Band feat. Hanka Říhová /CZ/
POCTA KOKO TAYLOR Zpěvačka Koko Taylor, přezdívaná „Královna chicagského blues“, zemřela 3. června tohoto roku ve věku 80 let v chicagské nemocnici. Až do nástupu do nemocnice však byla ve formě a pravidelně koncertovala. Naposledy to bylo 7. května při předávání nejprestižnějších žánrových ocenění Blues Music Awards v Memphisu. Zpěvačka získala cenu pro nejlepší interpretku tradičního blues za minulý rok a zazpívala svůj největší hit Wang Dang Doodle. „Možnost vystoupení Koko Taylor jsme domlouvali několik let, nikdy jsme se bohužel nestrefili do správného termínu. Je mi velice líto, že už další možnost nebude. České publikum by si bývalo zasloužilo tuto hvězdu bluesového zpěvu vidět na pódiu,“ řekl po její smrti ředitel BLUES ALIVE Vladimír Rybička. Krátce poté iniciovala zpěvačka Petra Poláková – Uvírová a její skupina Mothers Follow Chairs poctu zemřelé zpěvačce, jejíž písně má v repertoáru, na festivalu BLUES ALIVE. Počáteční nesmělý nápad se v průběhu příprav programu rozrostl do podoby celého jednoho koncertního večera, na kterém se představí čtyři z nejvýznamnějších českých bluesových zpěvaček současnosti. Každá z nich vliv Koko Taylor na svůj hudební vývoj plně přiznává. Všechny se představí se svými stálými koncertními kapelami, případně v čele jen pro tuto akci sestavených bandů. V rámci svých setů, složených z běžného repertoáru, zazpívají podle svého uvážení jednu nebo více písní ze zpěvníku Koko Taylor, celý večer pak vyvrcholí jamsessionem všech zpěvaček a některých zúčastněných hudebníků. Koko Taylor Narodila se roku 1928 jako Cora Walton na farmě nedaleko Memphisu, přezdívku Koko získala podle své oblíbené čokolády. Začínala jako kostelní gospelová zpěvačka, ale oblíbila si rozhlasové bluesové pořady B.B. Kinga a zamilovala se do bluesové hudby. V roce 1952 se svým manželem, muzikantem Robertem „Popsem“ Taylorem, odešla do Chicaga, kde právě nabírala na síle velká vlna elektrického blues. Koko se přes den živila jako uklízečka, po večerech zpívala v bluesových klubech a barech. V jednom z nich ji objevil slavný hudebník, producent, hitmaker a hledač talentů firmy Chess Willie Dixon. Ten zprostředkoval zpěvačce smlouvu s tímto labelem, patrně nejdůležitějším v bluesových dějinách, a zároveň jí napsal několik písní, které se staly hity. Největším z nich byl Wang Dang Doodle z roku 1965, který zaznamenal milionové prodeje. Poté, co firma Chess ukončila činnost, a po mezidobí u různých labelů zakotvila Koko Taylorová u firmy Alligator, nejvýznamnějšího bluesového vydavatelství posledních desetiletí, a zůstala mu věrná až do smrti. Natočila pro něj nejen devět řadových alb, která přinesla prvotřídní stylově čisté chciagské blues, ale účastnila se i dalších tematických projektů a přispěla na řadu kompilací. Koko Taylor byla jednou z nemnoha žen, kterým se podařilo velmi úspěšně prosadit v jinak převážně maskulinním světě elektrického blues. Stala se stejně uctívanou osobností tohoto žánru, jakými byli či jsou Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King či Buddy Guy. Jako jeden ze zdrojů inspirace ji uznávaly i bílé bluesrockové hvězdy kalibru Rolling Stones či Led Zeppelin. Za svůj život obdržela řadu ocenění. K nejvýznamnějším patří cena Grammy za album Blues Explosion (1984). Na tuto cenu byla mnohokrát nominována (z devíti alb, vydaných u Alligator Records, se jich do nominací dostalo osm). Několik poct včetně „Dne Koko Taylor“ vzdalo zpěvačce i město Chicago. Koko Taylor Tribute Band feat. Hanka Říhová Také Hanka Říhová patří mezi objevy festivalu BLUES ALIVE. Poprvé na něm zpívala v roce 2002 jako frontmanka skupiny Buddy Wonders, kterou vedl kytarista Marcel Flemr. S ním také po roce spoluzaložila skupinu Roadcasters a opět sklidila zasloužený úspěch u šumperského publika. V dalších letech cestovala po světě a věnovala se jiným druhům hudby. V současné době je jejím hlavním úvazkem nadžánrová kapela Grape, v níž účinkuje opět, jak jinak, po boku Marcela Flemra, s jehož Blues Bandem dodnes občas pohostinsky vystupuje. Ačkoliv na BLUES ALIVE oficiálně koncertovala naposledy před šesti lety, pokud jí to čas trochu dovolil, vždy byla přítomna na dalších ročnících a nikdy neváhala účastnit se nočních jamsessionů. Asi málokoho překvapí, že hudebním leadrem speciálního Koko Taylor Tribute Bandu bude opět – Marcel Flemr.

 
Petra Poláková - Uvírová a Mothers Follow Chairs /CZ/

Petra Poláková - Uvírová a Mothers Follow Chairs /CZ/
Přerovská blues-soulová skupina vznikla v roce 1999. Už rok po svém založení se díky vítězství ve vyhledávací soutěži BLUES APERITIV a účasti na BLUES ALIVE zařadila mezi nepřehlédnutelné interprety tohoto žánru. Následujícího roku zazářila i na hlavním pódiu BLUES ALIVE a krátce poté se na několik let odmlčela. Důvodem byly mateřské povinnosti zpěvačky. Hrát začala až v roce 2005 v obměněné sestavě, drásavě temný soulový projev zpěvačky Petry Polákové-Uvírové však jejím hlavním poznávacím znamením zůstal. Skupina čerpá z bluesových standardů, které přetváří vlastními aranžemi. „Jde většinou o dávno zašlý song v nové a živější úpravě,“ říká zpěvačka, podle níž kapelu lákají jak klasické bluesové standardy, tak i skladby, které nejsou moc známé. „Důležitý je pro nás náboj, který píseň má,“ dodává.

 

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