European Blues Union



Cross the dates in your calendar:  12-13-14 March 2015 for the European Blues Challenge + Blues Behind The Scenes Awards + EBU General Assembly + Blues Market + 3rd Blues Expo in Brussels, Belgium.
The rotation of the location of our annual event gives us the opportunity to discover new regions, new cultures, new people, new cooking… Brussels will offer you a variety of different activities. Find general information on Brussels:
Brussels is truly honoured to have been chosen by the European Blues Union to host the 5th European Blues Challenge. This jubilee competition – organized jointly by the Brussels Blues Society in cooperation with the Brussels Capital Region – will take place on 13th and 14th of March at the Ancienne Belgique Theatre.
Friday and Saturday, 13-14 March starting at 20:00 both evenings
Ancienne Belgique Theater
Anspachlaan 110
Tel: +32 (0)2 548 24 84
Please find underneath the updated links to the ticketing pages for the general audience. EBU Active Members and their partner need NOT buy tickets thru these links. Please find details about the bracelet distribution for EBU members and their partner further on in this newsletter.
General audience tickets are only available through the Ancienne Belgique website:
Thursday 12 March  click here
Friday 13 March  click here
Saturday 14 March  clik here
On these pages, the audience can also order combi tickets for the EBC on Friday & Saturday or even weekend combi tickets for these 3 amazing blues nights.
Saturday, 14 March
09:30             Registration / Please be prompt
10:00 - 12:30  General Assembly
12:30             Lunch for EBU members & partners having ordered a VIP arrangement
Novotel Centre Tour Noire
Rue de la Vierge Noire 32
1000 Brussels
Tel (+32)2/6200428
Saturday, 14 March
13:30 - 16:30
Novotel Centre Tour Noire
Rue de la Vierge Noire 32
1000 Brussels
Tel (+32)2/6200428
The Blues Market is an exclusively tailored, unique and free opportunity for all EBU Members to present their activities in an informal setting, to meet, interact and communicate with other blues professionals, artists, media and enthusiasts from all over Europe, not to mention the expected overseas blues professionals. The EBU will reserve a stand at your disposal, where you can have your presentation and publication materials on display. The stand space is dedicated to you and only you, distinguished EBU Active Members. A subscription form can be completed on and sent from our website The only prerequisite is that you have renewed your membership fee for 2015.
The Blues Market is open to the public for free. We are expecting loads of blues friends attend the EBC to come and get acquainted with the EBU activities and meet the EBU activists. So why not grasp this opportunity to present and advertise your professional blues portfolio to possibly the largest gathering of European blues enthusiasts in 2015. It is all free for you, Active Member of the EBU. The previous times in Toulouse and Riga we had more than 50 exhibitor stands. Now in Brussels we are expecting even more.
The participants will need to respect the setting plan that is established by the EBU beforehand. A local manager will be appointed by the organizers in order to manage the setting. The rooms will be locked during the General Assembly. The setting up of the market stands will only be possible on Saturday morning (14/03) from 8:30 until 10:00 and between 12:30 and 13:30. The market will be open for the public between 13:30 and 16:30.
Les Halles Saint-Géry
Place Saint-Géry 23
Phone:+32 2 502 44 24
The 3rd European Blues Expo will be held from 4th of March until 27th of April in Les Halles Saint-Géry, a historical hall perfectly located between the Novotel Centre Tour Noire Hotel and the Ancienne Belgique venue. The expo will have exhibits both on the ground and basement levels. The exhibition will showcase various events organized by the EBU like the European Blues Challenge (EBC), the Blues Market, and other cultural activities associated with today’s lively European Blues scene. There will be a photo exhibition by European photographers. The Expo will also cover plentiful information hosted by the EBU members dealing with European Blues festivals, magazines, musicians, radio shows, record labels, etc. Film footage recorded during the past four editions of the EBC (Berlin, Toulouse and Riga, 2011-14). Besides the European Blues Expo, the 2015 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Photography recipient, Pertti Nurmi will exhibit a collection of his photo work from the early 1970s todate. The Baltic Blues Society will lend a collection of photos taken by Aigars Lapsa, that have been signed by the photographed artists.  
The first European Blues Expo was held at Tecla Sala Library in Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, in September-October 2013, and the second edition of the Expo at Bok & Blueshuset library in Notodden, Norway in August 2014.
The EBU will initiate a new award scheme, the Blues Behind The Scenes Awards, to recognize European individuals or organizations that have worked actively and devoted their life, making significant contributions to advance and support the blues in Europe: individual people, record labels, media, promoters, managers, writers, blues researchers. Everyone whose name is not that well-known to the general public but who have always been there “behind the scenes” working seriously and with commitment and enthusiasm to promote the blues in various aspects are potential candidates to receive this award.
Three BBSA categories have been established:
- Media (magazines, on-line media, photographers, radio, researchers, writers...)
- Promoter (clubs, events, festivals, venues...)
- Production (agents, labels, managers, producers, publishers)
The EBU Board had first selected several candidates from different European countries and thereafter voted the final recipients of the Awards. They will be presented during a short ceremony at Ancienne Belgique at the end of the second night of the Blues Challenge, just before communicating the EBC winners, on Saturday 14 March.
Hotels in Brussels are quite expensive. To help you find your lodging we are proposing here three types of accommodation depending on budget and functionality. Naturally there are many other options for you to choose from. There are no pre-made block bookings for the EBC this year! We would like to advise you to book your rooms asap.
The EBU headquarters will be at the Novotel Centre Tour Noire, where the General Assembly and the Blues Market will take place. It is only a five-minute walk from the Ancienne Belgique theater and the Blues Expo location, Les Halles St. Géry. The local promoter has booked rooms here for the jury, staff, etc. Please note that all the rooms at Novotel are identical, whether for single or double use and only equipped with one type of bedding, a double bed, i.e. the hotel does not have rooms with twin beds.
The Ibis Hotel Centre Sainte Catherine is just across the street of the Novotel. The Ibis chain of hotels is well known for affordable rates. Both Novotel and Ibis can be booked through their websites and the relevant links are indicated next to their addresses below.
The affordable Youth Hostel Bruegel is where most of the participating musicians will stay. The management of the hostel is  supporting the EBC and has down-scaled their prices during 12-14 March. Please check the rates and booking procedure below.
1. Hotel Novotel Centre Tour Noire website
Address: Rue de la Vierge Noire 32
1000 Brussels
Tel +32 2 6200428
Fax +32 2 5055000
2. Ibis Hotel Centre Ste Catherine website
Address: Rue Joseph Plateau 2
1000 Brussels
Tel +32 2 6200426
Fax +32 2 5142214
How to go from Hotel Novotel & Hotel Ibis to Ancienne Belgique 
3. Youth Hostel Bruegel website
Address: Rue du Saint-Esprit 2
1000 Brussels
Tel +32 2 5110436
Fax +32 2 5120711
The rooms are for 2 persons or 4 persons. Both types of basic rooms are with shower, but toilet in the hallway. There are still a few rooms available for his special offer. Payment at arrival.
Room for 2 persons:  57,00 € per room, per night, breakfast included
Room for 4 persons:  98,00 € per room, per night, breakfast included
For booking, please send a mail to with 2015 EBC in the Subject and mention in your mail: your name, your arrival date, your departure date and the type of room(s) requested. You will recieve within 24 hours a confirmation by mail. 
How to go from Youth Hostel Bruegel to Ancienne Belgique 
On the opening night, March 12, Brussels will also showcase some of Belgium’s finest Blues and Roots music artists. The opening concert at the Ancienne Belgique will feature Belgian representatives who performed at previous editions of the EBC: Hideaway, Howlin’ Bill (winner of the 1st EBC in Berlin) and Fred and the Healers, the latter act also celebrating their 20th anniversary on the night. EBU members and their partner will have free access to this concert, but need to pick up their bracelets & badges first. Later that evening more Belgian blues and roots artists will perform at various bars around the city centre, in the immediate vicinity of the main event and hotels. These concerts have free access.  
Thursday 12th March
15:00 – 17:00  Membership, VIP and partner badge pick-up at lobby of Novotel Centre Tour Noire
18:00 - 22:00  Membership, VIP and partner badge pick-up at Member desk at the venue
Friday 13th March
15:00 – 17:00  Membership, VIP and partner badge pick-up at lobby of Novotel Centre Tour Noire
18:30 - 22:00  Membership, VIP and partner badge pick-up at Member desk at the venue
18:30  Dinner at the Ancienne Belgique Club for EBU members and partners having subscribed a VIP arrangement
20:00  Romania: Marius Dobra Band
20:25  Denmark: Bound By Law
20:50  Croatia: Delta Blues Gang
21:15  United Kingdom: Laurence Jones
21:40  Germany: Jessy Martens Band
22:05  France: Pillac
22:30  Netherlands: The Leif de Leeuw Band
22:55  Switzerland: The Two
23:20  Hungary: Éles Gabor Trio
23:45  Sweden: Lisa Lystam Family Band

Saturday 14th March
08:30 - 10:00  Installation of the Blues Market by EBU members having requested a table
09:30  Registration of participants for the General Assembly
10:00 - 12:30  EBU General Assembly
12:30  Lunch for EBU members and partners having ordered a VIP arrangement
13:30 - 16:30  Blues Market exhibition and get-together
16:30 - 17:30: Dismantling of the Blues Market stands
18:30  Dinner at the Ancienne Belgique Club for EBU members and partners having subscribed a VIP arrangement
20:00  Luxemburg: Remo Cavallini Band
20:25  Italy: Dave Moretti Blues Revue
20:50  Austria: Herman Posch Duo
21:15  Finland: Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip
21:40  Spain: Travellin’ Brothers
22:05  Slovakia: Jergus Oravec Trio 
22:30  Poland: Drunk Lamb
22:55  Belgium: Doghouse Sam & his Magnatones
23:20  Norway: JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters
23:45  Latvia: Elastic
00:05  Announcement of the 1st Blues Behind the Scenes Award winners
00:20  Announcement of the winner
00:25 - 00:45  Performance of the winner + jam
The awards include performing at the following confirmed festivals:
·         Hondarribia Blues Festival, Spain
·         Frederikshavn Blues Festival, Denmark
·         Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland
·         Notodden Blues Festival, Norway
·         Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland
In addition, half-day (4-hour) recording session at the Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, including the technician's fee and free use of studio backline and the legendary Audiotronix 501 mixing console (previously at Stax Studios in Memphis), a selection of unique microphones and analog processors – plus the sound wizardry of technician Njål Frode Lie. Here is a video from the Rival Sons Juke Joint Sessions.



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Sala Amcienne Belgique. Bruselas . 13/14 Marzo 2015

Incluímos una pequeña presentación de los musicos o grupos que participarán representando a sus respectivos paises en el próximo European Blues Challenge que se celebrará en la sala Ancienne Belgique de Bruselas durante los días 13 y 14 de marzo de 2015. Un acontecimiento único que permite conocer a bandas de blues de toda Europa compitiendo y mostrando lo mejor del blues europeo.


Austria (AT):
“Hermann Posch Duo”
Hermann Posch vocals, guitar. Versatility, that is what Hermann Posch’s middle name should be! Since the beginning of this century, without any hype, the singer, composer, and guitarist -befitting his personality- has left un-erasable musical traces. Hermann Posch does not subscribe to posturing, but relies on emotional depth and intuition.
Christian Sandera vocals, harp. Austrian harmonica player No.1 Christian Sandera's style is country/blues and his musical talent has enhanced the works of many other artists, especially the sound of Hermann Posch´s music. Not only is Christian a top rate harp player, influenced by Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Magic Dick and Charlie McCoy, he's also a very soulful singer.
Together, they mix country acoustic and city blues styles to great effect

Belgium (BE)
“Doghouse Sam & his Magnatones”
An upright bass, drums and a hollow-body guitar, are this band’s weapons of choice. Instruments with which they scrape the music back to the bare essentials, playing their Blues pure and raw; hardly leaving meat on the bone. Sam; a devotee of vintage (but cheap and cheerful) electric guitars (many of them discards he finds on the Internet) was originally influenced by players such as Rick Holmstrom, Junior Watson, Anders Lewén (the guy that wrote "Memphis Guitar Soul" for the very successful video game “Shooter Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam”), Alex Schultz, Jonas Göransson (who played with Chip Taylor and Mike Sanchez), and Danny Kordelius, not exactly your typical household-guitarist names, but hey, by now you’ve caught on that Sam is a different kind of cat…huh…dog! Over time Sam has developed a playing-style very much his own now, and his wailing harmonica and distinctive voice furthermore confirm him as a talented multi–instrumentalist and Bluesman “pur-sang.” And by the way – he writes all the band material: music and lyrics!
Before hooking up with his Magnatones, Wouter Celis, a.k.a. Doghouse Sam, had already established himself on the scene as a member of the acclaimed Blues outfit “The Rhythm Bombs”, with whom he played over 500 gigs around Europe in just a few short years. Today Sam’s doghouse companions, the Magnatones, consist of Jack ‘Fire’ o’Roonie on bass, who ranks among the greats of double bass, having garnered this well-deserved reputation while a member of The Wild Ones before backing the likes of Ike Turner, Ronnie Dawson and a stint with The Seatsniffers. On the drum-stool Sam recruited Frankie Gomez (previously with TEE and TB4Q). Mucho mojo is part of the natural fibre of Doghouse Sam and his Magnatones, and they extract it from the depths of their soul; high-octane fuel powering their energetic performances each and every time they get on stage.

Croatia (CR):
“Delta Blues Gang”
Winners of the 4th Croatian Blues Challenge and semi-finalists of the 29th International Blues Challenge held in Memphis, USA in Feb, 2013.
Delta Blues Gang, band from Pula, Croatia plays its own unique version of blues based from Delta roots sound to electric and Texas blues. In their own compositions, "gang" improvise an energetic performance style with powerful slide resonator guitar, an explosive bluesy vocalist and a dynamic rhythm section. For his first album "It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues" (live recorded) and second album "Electric Driving Blues" (own issue) received very good reviews. Delta Blues Gang is one of the best Croatian blues bands dedicated to the mission to promote his own unique blues style and ready to jump on stage or play in the street at any time. In March 2014, Croatian music label SPONA released a new album of the bend, called “American Mile”. The bend is currently on a regional “American Mile 2014 Tour” that includes a four-state region (Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia).
Elizabeta Petric, vocals
Aleksandar Kajtez, resonator guitar
Kristijan Kajtez, bass guitar
Livio Benčić, drums & percussion 

 Denmark (DK):
“Bound By Law”
Bound by Law is an upcoming Danish band with roots in the heritage of traditional American country, blues and bluegrass. The sound is rough, dusty and honest and is as the name suggests tied to the history and traditions of American roots music. 
Bound by Law has released two self-published albums and tours a wide range of the Danish live venues and festivals always receiving good reviews of their live act. Past live gigs includes Tønder Musikfestival, Jelling Festival and supporting the American blues singer Beth Hart.
Mads Wilhjelm: Vocals/Guitar
Jess Rahbek: Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jon Rahbek: Harmonica
Ulrik Guldin: Drums
Jasper Jagd: Bass/Standup Bass

Finland (FI):
“Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip”
Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip is a well-established name in their native Finland, where they have been Ambassadors of Blues music for over 20 years. The sound of this exciting five piece band consist of the powerful vocals and harmonica of Micke Bjorklof and resourceful guitar playing of Lefty Leppänen, who is regarded as one of the top slide guitarists in Europe as well as percussion and mallet virtuoso Timo Roiko-Jokela who builds up the striking percussion elements with the dynamic drummer Teemu Vuorela and bass player Seppo Nuolikoski. Their energetic live shows have stirred up audiences from smoky Blues clubs to large Festival arenas around Europe. Throughout their career they’ve had the privilege of performing on stages in the presence of B.B King, Solomon Burke, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Feat, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and Robert Plant. Latest and their fifth album “After The flood” were recorded in New Orleans with producer Mark Bingham (Dr John, John Mooney etc.).  Critically acclaimed album did even hit the Finnish charts. Album won the category of the best Finnish blues album of the year 2013 in annual voting at Bluesminister show, YLE Radio Suomi. Compared to the band’s earlier work the album features more percussive, more rhythmic, guitar-oriented material. Band performs unique original material, a contagious mix of groovy rockin’ blues with some “fonky” New Orleans rhythm and soul thrown in to add spice to the recipe with respecting blues traditions. Bjorklof and Leppänen participated at EBC 2011 with their acoustic trio Micke&Lefty feat. Chef. They also represented Finland at IBC 2012 in Memphis being semifinalist. Band is currently working on their sixth album, expected to be released during spring 2015
Micke Bjorklof: vocals, harmonica, guitar
Lefty Leppänen: electric- and slide guitar
Seppo Nuolikoski: bass
Teemu Vuorela: drums
Timo Roiko-Jokela: percussion, malletKAT

France (FR):
Born in Niort (France) in 1976, Xavier Pillac first picked up a guitar at the age of 16. As he got older, he moved forward by investigating the past, falling in love with the blues guitar work of B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert Collins… In 2000, after his first studio album, Xavier started working with the bass player Antoine Escalier. During the next decade, they have made two more albums, a studio cd (2004) and a live cd (2010). In 2013 after joining the French blues label Dixiefrog Records, the band’s name changed for “PILLAC“, their music has become more funky with a flavour of soul. The last album “Nervous Breakdown“ he is backed by a tight horn section. Pillac is working now on his next cd.
Xavier Pillac, guitar, lead vocals
Cédric Le Goff, keyboards, backing vocals
Guillaume Sené, saxophone
Franck Bougier, trumpet
Antoine Escalier, bass, backing vocals
Gilles Delagrange, drums

Germany (DE):
“Jessy Martens Band”
When Jessy Martens & Band steps on stage everybody knows that something special is coming up. What follows is an exciting and overwhelming show with an incredible voice and excellent instrumentalists. Their music: Blues between perfect grooving boogie and rock up to impressive, emotional ballads. In the front Jessy: she´s flirting with musicians and audience, dancing like a wizard and also still standing and just singing. Over all: the unbelievable dynamic voice! It seems that there are no borders when she´s loud and rough rocking, soft and sexy swinging or just singing an emotional ballad. A real Blues highlight made in Germany!
German Blues Award, best voice, 2012+2014
German Blues Award, best band, 2012+2014
German Blues Challenge, best live act, 2014
Jessy Martens, voc.
Dirk Czuya, voc, git.
Kai „Keile“ Stuffel, git.
Markus Schröder, keys.
Malte Zill, b. Christian Kolf, dr

Hungary (HU):
“Éles Gábor Trio"
The group was formed in 2010 by guitarist and singer Éles Gábor. The trio plays a unique blend of soul, jazz and blues music characterized by alternations of thoughtful and energetic performances. The band primarily performs the compositions of Éles Gábor, but also covers songs which have a special meaning to them.
Live performances are what fit best the trio where a wide range of its facets can be witnessed ranging from traditional blues song to experimental free music making. In the past four years the trio has played shows at several international music festivals (Gastroblues Festival in Paks, Lamantin Jazz Festival in Szombathely) and in clubs around Hungary.
Éles Gábor Trió I. 2011
Éles Gábor Trion featuring Tóth Vera: Let Yourself in Groove. 2014.
Éles Gábor – guitars, vocals, composer
Szkladányi András – bass
Móré Attila – drums

 Italy (IT):
“Dave Moretti Blues Revue”
On stage since 2007, Dave Moretti Blues Revue is nowadays considered one of the most interesting blues combo in the Italian blues scene. The band honed its sound on the road night after night, releasing the debut album “Bluesjob” in 2010, warmly received by public and critics. In June 2010 the DMBR received the “Lorenzo Vecchiato Award” as the best debuting blues band in Italy and won the readers’ poll of the prestigious American magazine Blues Revue. One year later, the German label Stormy-Monday-Records decided to reissue the debut cd and in 2014 the DMBR finally released its new album “That’s Swing!”, that represents the turning point of the band: a vintage but contemporary sound, mixing West Coast blues with swing, jump, R’n’B and soul. The band recordings have been reviewed by the most popular blues magazines (Blues Revue, Il Blues, Soul Bag, Blues Matters, etc.) and received extensive airplay all over Europe. The leader Dave Moretti earned a reputation as an interesting young harmonica player -his sound is compared by the critics to that of William Clarke and James Cotton- playing at important festivals and clubs in Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany.
Dave Moretti / vocals and harmonica
Damir Nefat / guitar
Emanuele Pavone / bass
Fabio Brunetti / drums

 Latvia (LV):
Elastic plays Blues and New Orleans style R&B. Originally called Bite’s Blues band, they started performing in 2011. When old friends became united with ‘new blood’, a band was born, a band that no listener can ignore. Mixing years of experience, interest in music and passion, this band is able to transfer you thousands of miles away – across the ocean... Janis Pastars, guitar Oskars Stolse-Semerovs, harmonica & vocals Rihards ''Richie'' Libietis, guitar & backing vocals Roberts Romanovs, bass, backing vocals Raitis Kalninsh, drums, percussions & backing vocals

Luxembourg (LU):
“Remo Cavallini Band”
Remo Cavallini is one of Luxembourg's most productive and gifted blues guitarists and songwriters.
Since January 2009 he is the General Manager of the Blues School in Differdange. Later that year he founded the Remo Cavallini Band and released his first album "Authentic South".
Since their beginning, the band has played throughout Europe. In April 2014 Remo released his second album “Self Control”.
His style of music is most definitely rooted in blues, but he often blends in elements of other genres such as rock, jazz and funk.
Remo Cavallini, guitars, lead vocals
Fernand Neumann, alto saxophone
Pit Kuffer, trumpet
René Macri, bass, backing vocals
Joël Heyard, drums
Nelly Pereira, vocals

Netherlands (NL):
“The Leif de Leeuw Band”
The Leif de Leeuw Band is an up-and-coming blues-rock band from the Netherlands. With all band members coming from completely different musical backgrounds, the sound is all but traditional, and makes for instant recognizability. Leif de Leeuw, the guitar player, won the Dutch SENA Guitar Award twice, in two different categories. In June 2014, they have released their first EP, titled “EP Deluxe”, which was critically acclaimed by several music magazines. The band strives for growth, and continues writing new material and working on his own sound.
Britt Jansen, vocals and guitar
Leif de Leeuw, guitar
Eibe Gerhartl, bass
Tim Koning, drums

Norway (NO):
“JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters”
JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters is a Norwegian Blue Eyed Soul blues rock band with a taste of tex-mex and zydeco blues. The band is located around Capitol city Oslo which is south east of Norway. With the big Viking JT Lauritsen in front as the band leader and vocalist but also playing accordion, harmonica and Hammond B3, JT writes the original songs together with Arnfinn Torrisen who is the band lead guitar player and has been working with JT since 1994. They mix up the music they describe as powerful dirty blues, soul, rock and twist it up with some zydeco and tex-mex. The band has self-released 7 album since 1995 where the last album “Play By The Rules” 2013 getting radio play all over the world cause of corporation with Frank Roszak radio promotion (USA) and also received enormous amount of reviews from all over the world and Radio airplays. They have been touring and playing shows all over the world from Australia, to USA, Germany Switzerland and of course all over Scandinavia and regularly in their base in Norway.
J.T.Lauritsen, vocals, accordion, harmonica and Hammond B3
Arnfinn Torrisen, guitars
Ian Fredrick Johannessen, guitars
Atle Rakvaag, bass and vocals
Jon Grimsby, drums and vocals

“Drunk Lamb”
Drunk Lamb is a young blues quartet from Gdansk. The band was formed very recently, in 2014. Quickly winning a competition at the Suwalki Blues Festival in July of the same year, they were chosen to represent Poland at the 2015 European Blues Challenge. The band members are not only musicians but also very good friends. Their main inspirations are Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Allman Brothers.
Filip Kamerath – lead vocals
Michal Zienkowski – guitar
Piotr Gierszewski – bass
Lukasz Lapinski – drums

Romania (RO):
“Marius Dobra Band”
The Marius Dobra band from Romania creates a wonderful combination of the powerful Blues ,RB and Rock. Outstanding bandleader and songwriter Marius Dobra, 40 years on the road with the guitar. He was a professional musician since 1985 -1996. was a band member of the RIFF group from Sibiu. After 10 years of musical break, 2007 Marius suffered from the burn out disease and collapsed because of a lot of stress at work, as businessman . After this health accident Marius started music again. With the very experienced musicians Peter Kovacs (keyboards, vocals), Oliver Zisko (drums), Jòsef Scheer (Pepi) (bass, vocals) and sound engineer Valentin Reuman, Marius Dobra is on the road to play the Blues, his love for Jesus Christ and sing to tell: "The meaning of our texts is to pass on the Christian message. A line of text is : "hearts and hands to Jesus, shining like the of Sunbeam, doing good for all!". "This is our message", so the band leader too. Founded again in 2013 by Marius Dobra, Marius Dobra Band, the Marius his first CD, produced by Marius Dobra and Valentin Reumann was placed on the market. With few exceptions, music and texts are by Marius Dobra. You could feel his love for Jesus, to blues and musical role models such as the big Gary Moore, whose guitar style is an audible influence on him. And that is quite a compliment.Thank God for my family and musical gift.

Slovakia (SK):
“Jergus Oravec Trio”
Slovakian blues singer and guitar player Jergus is currently heavily playing clubs and festivals in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland with his musical project Jergus Oravec Trio. His album “Just Above The Surface” was recently selected among the top 20 best self-produced blues albums from around the world at the International Blues Challenge 2013. Jergus Oravec Trio also opened the central European most famous Blues festival Blues Alive 2013 in Sumperk. His new album “Aries” tends to move more towards his folk and songwriting heritage.
Jegus Oravec – vocal, guitar
Denis Pagac - bass
Matej Ruman - drums

Spain (ES):
“Travellin’ Brothers”
Magnolia Route was the first road ever to be paved which would link Chicago and Gulfport, on the Mississippi coast, two cities that had only been connected by railway. This happened in 1927. In 2014, Travellin' Brothers will celebrate their 10th anniversary in music and using the Magnolia Route metaphor, they will set off on a new musical journey that will take them from Chicago to New Orleans, stopping by in Nashville, Memphis and so many other cities and sounds. A journey throughout the Afro-American music, a journey in time amongst decades.
10 years, 6 albums and more than 600 concerts support this band's career. In these 10 years of non-stopping touring always on the road, they have taken part in the best Blues and Jazz festivals in the country (Cazorla Blues Festival, Hondarribia Blues Festival, Bejar Blues Festival, Cáceres, Barcelona, Yeclajazz in Murcia, Festival Internacional de Jazz de San Javier, Heineken Donostia Jazzaldia, Blues Sur Seine in Paris or Cahors Blues Festival, JazzMinde Festival in Portugal, Summerblues in Basel, Switzerland...) It's a neverending list. In addition to all the clubs and smaller venues that one can think of, they have also been on tour in France, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany and the United States.
From now onwards, the band means to transfer the magic in the album to live shows in every possible format. The whole band will turn up in big venues, with the choir, the Big Band and collaborators, a great show with more than 30 people on stage. However, they are not going to stop performing in clubs and smaller venues, and they will go ahead with their international tours as a sextet and octet.
Jon Careaga – Lead Vocals
Aitor Cañibano – Guitar & Vocals
Eneko Cañibano – Bass & Double Bass
Ander Unzaga – Piano & Electric Piano
Isi Redondo – Drums
Alain Sancho - Alto Sax & Vocals

Sweden (SE):
“Lisa Lystam Family Band”
Lisa Lystam is a new artist on the Swedish blues and roots scene but she has already made a name for herself all around Sweden. The world's oldest blues magazine Jefferson calls her the new Swedish sensation and she has received several scholarships and great reviews.
Lisa Lystam and her family band have surprised the Swedish and Nordic blues and roots scene in a very short time. Not just for the sensation itself that young Swedish musicians express themselves through the blues, but simply because they do it so damn good.
With a warm, confident voice Lisa takes the listener on a journey into the blue heart of the music. Lisa has now also won Janne Rosenkvists memory scholarship -14. Swedish most famous blues price.
During the last year, Lisa Lystam and her Family Band has become a tight, genuine and popular band. They have already managed to play on a lot of famous events and during 2014 you could see them at several large Swedish blues festivals and even abroad.
In the summer of 2013 Lisa Lystam Trio released their first EP, which quickly became popular and in 2014 Lisa Lystam Family Band released their debut album “When Money´s Runnin´ Out.”
"It's not every time I jump out of my shoes, but when I saw Lisa for the first time, it was close" - Jefferson Blues Magazine
Lisa Lystam, vocals
Fredrik Karlsson, guitar
Mattias Gustafsson, guitar
Mikael Fall, harmonica
Bruno Lindström, bass
Patrik Thelin, drums

Switzerland (CH):
“The Two”
The Two is a blues band composed of Thierry Jaccard and Yannick Nanette. The first 
one is from Switzerland, the other from Mauritius Island, but both share the same love for the Blues. In 2014 The Two won the Swiss Blues Challenge, the Verbier Classic off festival contest and released their first album, Sweet Dirty Blues in autumn. Profound, and charismatic, their music is sincere and touching. Their groove invites on a trip which will take one from the Mississippi delta to the less known Creole blues music of the Indian ocean. 
In 2015, The Two will represent Switzerland at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and at the European Blues Challenge, in Bruxelles.
Yannick Nanette, lead vocals, guitar & mouth organ
Thierry Jaccard, lead guitar, back vocals

United Kingdom (UK):
"Laurence Jones"
Laurence was handed the award for "Young Artist of the Year," at the 2014 British Blues Awards ceremony held at the Great British R 'n' B Festival in Colne, Lancashire. Walter Trout invited the band to support them on his 2013 UK tour "Laurence is a cross between Eric Clapton & Buddy Guy he is a genius" - "Walter Trout" "Classic Rock - Blues Magazine" - Call him the "Future of the blues" and the "next big thing". The young gunslinger of the blues Laurence Jones has sensationally signed a deal with "Ruf Records". His Debut album for the label and 2nd album for Laurence was recorded at the Legendary Dockside Studio in Louisiana where artists such as B.B King and Derek Trucks have recorded. A catalogue of big names appear on the album, including Walter Trout, Aynsley Lister, Yonrico Scott, Charlie Wooton and producer Mike Zito. Laurence Jones, vocals and guitar
Roger Innis, bass
Miri Miettinen, drums

El ganador recibirá cobertura en los medios europos especializados y tendrá la oportunidad de actuar en los festivales más importantes de blues europeos durante el año 2014.

¡Mucha suerte a todos y que gane el mejor!

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(Bruselas, Bélgica. 13 y 14 marzo 2015)

Los músicos españoles participantes en la quinta edición del EBC y que han sido elegidos por votación de los miembros del Consejo de Asesores son THE TRAVELLIN' BROTHERS.

Mucha suerte para THE TRAVELLIN BROTHERS que serán los reprsentantes españoles en la próxima edición del European Blues Challenge en Bruselas (Bélgica) los días 13 y 14 de marzo de 2015 en la Sala Ancienne Belgique, Anspachlaan 110, Brussels  

Los grandes Bluesman y las míticas bandas de Blues, han tenido a lo largo de la historia una estrecha relación con las riberas y los deltas de los ríos. Los Travellin’ Brothers no son una excepción. Formados a finales del año 2003 en la localidad vizcaina de Leioa, junto a las orillas de la ría de Bilbao, reciben una gran inspiración del Nervion y de su carácter industrial. Los travellin' se han forjado a sí mismos durante estos años; son seis amigos, seis hermanos, y la complicidad es una de sus grandes virtudes, fácilmente palpable en su actitud sobre los escenarios.

Jon Careaga, voz
Aitor Cañibano, guitarra eléctrica y acústica
Eneko Cañibano, bajo y contrabajo
Ander Unzaga, teclados
Isi Redondo, batería y washboard
Alain Sancho, saxo alto y tenor

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2014 European Blues Challenge, General Assembly & Blues Market
Riga (Letonia), 10, 11 y 12 Abril

Parece que era ayer que estábamos en Toulouse celebrando el tercer EBC y justo acabamos de llegar de Riga en Letonia donde hemos vivido sensaciones y emociones indescriptibles. Un largo viaje que ha valido la pena, por muchos y diferentes momentos que vamos a intentar describir en esta breve crónica de tres intensos días.

Un largo viaje que nos ha permitido ver –que no conocer- una de las ciudades más singulares de las antiguas repúblicas soviéticas, afortunadamente hoy ya occidentalizadas, con gente muy amable que en todo momento han hecho nuestra estancia muy acogedora, especialmente nuestro anfitrión y organizador del evento Nordmunds Kalnins.

Después de visitar el bello barrio antiguo de la ciudad, pasear por sus avenidas y intentar captar toda la atmósfera de la ciudad, los actos propiamente dichos comienzan el jueves con una animada cena para todos los miembros de la EBU ya llegados a la ciudad en el club de blues por antonomasia, el Bites Blues Club, con cena y música en directo a cargo de diversas bandas de blues locales como la Latvian Blues Band entre otras. Un gran ambiente y animada charla aunque en ocasiones, la música no permitía gozar de una relajada charla o conversación.

Un excelente aperitivo, para entrar con buen en el 4º European Blues Challenge. El evento tuvo lugar en Sapnu Fabrika, un local que pese a su aspecto de nave industrial, tuvo una buena acústica. Mención destacada a los técnicos que consiguieron que los intervalos entre grupo y grupo duraran escasamente tres minutos y también a la iluminación y el panel trasero del escenario, muy bien logrado con efectos lumínicos muy interesantes, junto a una dinámica presentación a cargo de Lightnin’ Guy y un presentador local ataviado a lo Blues Brothers.

En mi opinión la edición de este año ha demostrado un alto nivel cualitativo superando ediciones anteriores. Los grupos habrán gustado más o menos, pero todos ellos han estado a la altura y mostrado sus enormes posibilidades para integrarse en un amplio circuito europeo.

Para abrir fuego, los croatas 44 Blues en un set difícil de llevar por ser los encargados de abrir la noche y no estar el público todavía demasiado centrado en el concurso. Buena combinación de rock y blues con algún tema cantado en croata.

Me sorprenden muy gratamente los representantes de Dinamarca y Suecia, para mi dos de los mejores grupos de la noche. Los daneses Big Creek & The Cockroaches nos brindan una actuación muy sobria pero llena de buen blues basado en el Chicago blues con algunos toques a lo Muddy Waters en los solos de guitarra junto a la excelente voz de su cantante Marc Rune. Por su parte The Hightones también nos ofrecen un set basado en el blues clásico, sonando muy conjuntados y demostrando que todos los músicos son buenos instrumentistas y que saben combinar el blues más tradicional con el rockin’ blues, siempre con profesionalidad y elegancia.

Los locales Latvix Band dejan claro que conocen en género en una actuación sobria no exenta de intensos momentos como en un impecable blues lento donde brilla la guitarra de su líder Vladimir Lavrinovics.

Esperaba expectante a Marco Pandolfi venido desde Italia. Intérprete muy peculiar dotado de una voz bonita y a la vez rota, que gradualmente va ganando en intensidad. Poco a poco me va enganchando pues sabe crear una atmosfera a la vez intimista y envolvente. Es un excelente guitarrista y un buen armonicista y me quedo con su impresionante versión de “Last Night” que me llega a emocionar.

La noche está llena de contrastes y Alemania con Mike Seeber Trio nos conducen hacia un blues más poderoso, en la línea de Hendrix o SRV. Mike conoce todos los resortes del power blues y su bajista Philip Rosche es un nervio en el escenario que consigue que no apartemos los ojos de él.

Rusia participaba por primera vez en el Challenge. Bomb Lane Band son un grupo curioso que me dejó algo desconcertada. Su actuación fue una mezcla de rock militar con toques a lo Mick Jagger. En mi opinión quizás se equivocaron al escoger el repertorio pues sonaron alejados de blues y no acabaron de conectar con la audiencia.

Un grupo que había levantado muchas expectativas, eran los finlandeses Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band. Helge es un gran armonicista sobradamente conocido en los ambientes blueseros y demostró un amplio conocimiento de los recursos del instrumento. La banda sonó muy conjuntada y al ser todos sus integrantes excelentes músicos. Por su parte Ina es una jovencísima belleza de 19 años. Ataviada con un sugerente vestido verde, impresionó vivamente al público masculino. En mi opinión se la notó un poco inexperta y me dio la sensación de no estar muy integrada con el resto de la banda. No parecía sentirse muy cómoda cantando blues y creo que se debe sentir más a gusto en otros estilos musicales. De todos modos es encomiable que gente joven como ella haya decidido cantar blues y estoy segura de que si sigue en el camino del blues, en poco tiempo se convertirá en una gran artista.

Cierran la noche los húngaros T-Rogers. Liderados por el incombustible Ferci Kovács a la guitarra y voz demuestran haber bebido de las fuentes más actuales del blues con ricas y variadas influencias como Keb Mo y otros artistas. Construyen una buena actuación basada en el blues más electrificado pero sin dejar de lado aspectos más intimistas.

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En la mañana del sábado se realiza la Asamblea General de la European Blues Union y el Blues Market

Para iniciar la asamblea se presenta el estado de cuentas del ejercicio anterior comentando los ingresos y los gastos, que son aprobados.
También se procede a la votación para la renovación de seis plazas en la Junta Directiva de la EBU que finalizaban su mandato. Además se necesita incorporar un nuevo miembro a la junta por dimisión de Carolin Wobber. Se presentan tres nuevas candidaturas: Mark Stenzler de la Blues & Community Radio (Suiza), Mark Sponza músico (Italia) y Nordmunds Kalnins de La Latvian Blues Society y organizador del evento de este año (Letonia). Una vez realizada la votación Mark Stenzler resulta escogido como nuevo miembro y los seis miembros anteriores de la junta son reelegidos, por lo que la nueva junta queda formada por Thomas Ruf (presidente), Jean Guillermo (vice-presidente), Jorden Wouters (secretario) Winne Penninckx (tesorero), Davide Grandi, Fred Delforge, Jostein Forsberg, Mark Stenzler, Montse Pratdesaba, Pertti Nurmi, Roser Infiesta Zúmel vocales.
Se incluye también a la presentación de Bruselas como la ciudad que acogerá el European Blues Challenge en 2015 y algunas nuevas candidaturas como las presentadas por Mr. Ed Mitchell: London – UK, Mr. Kjell Inge Brovoll: Hell – Norway, Mr. Davide Grandi: Milano – Italy, Mr. A.G. Weinberger: Boekarest – Romania and Mr. Sinisa Bizovic: Split or Rovinj – Croatia.
Una pequeña pausa en la que Honey B & T-Bones nos ofrecen un tema acústico seguido con atención por todos los asistentes a la asamblea.
Se informa sobre las becas europeas y se presentan nuevos proyectos como el impulso y desarrollo de la web o la creación del premio “Blues Behind The Scenes” que reconoce la labor en pro del blues de aquellos que están tras las bambalinas y realizan  un enorme trabajo a la sombra por el blues.
Finalmente en el turno de palabras se discuten temas como las reglas de participación en el EBC y otros detalles.

Tras un agradable lunch se inicia el Blues Market, donde los miembros activos de la EBU presentan sus actividades en el campo del blues e interactúan en el establecimiento de futuros contactos. El mercado esta también abierto a músicos, medios y asistentes al Challenge y durante dos horas se convierte en el centro neurálgico del blues europeo donde intercambiar contactos e información en un encuentro que cada año supera el número de visitantes.

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Después de un rato de merecido descanso y una relajada cena nos dirigimos a Sapnu Fabrika donde con gran puntualidad de inicia la segunda sesión del European Blues Challenge.

¿Qué puedo decir de los A Contra Blues que no sea ya conocido por los aficionados españoles? Simplemente estuvieron magníficos, salieron a por todas y dejaron al público con la boca abierta gracias al chorro de voz de Jonathan Herrero, que inició el set cantando a capella, junto a las bien ensambladas y variadas guitarras de Héctor Martin y Alberto Calvillo, no sin olvidar la sólida base rítmica de Joan Vigo y Nuria Perich. En definitiva, se metieron a la gente en el bolsillo que no esperaba ver una actuación tan tremenda y llena de fuerza y feeling como la que nos ofrecieron.

Si el pasado año los belgas Hideaway me sorprendieron muy gratamente, este año Fred & The Healers también han estado a la altura. Blues rock interpretado con muy buen gusto. Fred posee una bien timbrada voz y demuestra dominar todos los palos de blues rock desde los solos más agresivos hasta el más envolvente boogie blues, además de estar respaldado por un buen bajista y batería que en todo momento realzan la interpretación de Fred.

Otro de los buenos grupos y que pusieron el listón muy alto fueron los franceses Shake Your Hips. Son una banda que rezuma experiencia y buen hacer. Suenan muy conjuntados y se aprecia su profesionalidad y buena presencia escénica. Destaca el buen trabajo del cantante Freddy Miller, bien secundada por guitarra y armónica.

Los suizos Bacon Fat basaron todo su set en la técnica de su armonicista Jan Hartman quien evidenció estar a la altura de las circunstancias. Jan domina a la perfección la armónica cromática y se luce con ella aunque, en mi opinión, debiera haber dado más variedad a una actuación de tan solo 20 minutos. De todos modos, saben estar en escena y muestran buenas maneras.

Otra sorpresa de la noche son los británicos David Migden & The Twisted Roots. Realizan una música diferente a todo cuanto hemos escuchado anteriormente. Con bases muy sólidas, incluyendo diversas percusiones, trombón y teclados, que respaldan perfectamente la ronca y descarnada voz de su cantante David Migden. Banda de gran profesionalidad que saben conducirnos a su terreno en un repertorio de sonidos oscuros y profundos más cercanos al rock y la música americana que al blues propiamente dicho.

Rumania presenta la banda The Blues Nation. Poderoso rock blues en el que toda la banda se pone al servicio de su guitarrista, cantante y líder Stefan Tudose, quien conoce bien los secretos del power blues rock con electrizantes solos de slide y un elegante uso del wah-wah en algún tema, ofreciendo una actuación variada pero que para mí es un “dejà vu” que no me aporta nada nuevo.

Tenía ganas de ver a Pristine, ya que en el año 2012 (concretamente en septiembre) habíamos reseñado su disco “Detoxing” para La Hora del Blues (ver Desde entonces su cantante Heidi Solheim ha ganado si cabe en fuerza y expresividad. Desde su primer tema, un lento cantado con enorme feeling y presencia escénica, nos transmite toda su energía en un repertorio que oscila entre el blues profundo y desgarrado al rock blues, con excelentes arreglos, respaldada en todo momento por una contundente y bien conjuntada banda que dan empaque a toda su actuación en la que Heidi se siente a gusto y establece una buena comunicación con el público.


Los austriacos Edi Fenzi Band son un trío de alto voltaje. La estrafalaria forma de vestir de Fenzi y el hecho de tocar la guitarra con un par de dedos vendados, llama poderosamente la atención y por unos momentos nos distrae de su música que está basada en contundentes solos de rock blues muy bien ejecutados con incendiarios solos y fraseos que ponen en evidencia su conocimiento y técnica a la guitarra aunque, personalmente, su actuación no consigue motivarme.

A Holanda le corresponde cerrar la noche y lo hace con The John F Klavert Band. Para mi es una grata sorpresa ya que, después de más de dos horas de música, me hace disfrutar con su forma tan elegante de tocar la guitarra. El sonido que extrae del instrumento es limpio y a la vez poderoso, interpretado con muy buen gusto. Además posee una bien timbrada voz y está acompañado por una buena banda en la que destaca el trabajo de la bajista Iris Sigtermans y Rob Mostert al órgano. Una muy buena actuación para cerrar el 4º European Blues Challenge.








Después de algunos minutos de intriga, Tom Ruf presidente de la European Blues Union y Nordmunds Kalnins, organizador de todo el evento anuncian a los ganadores…

2º Premio:
PRISTINE (Noruega)

1er. Premio y Ganadores del 4º European Blues Challenge:

Los ganadores participarán en algunos de los festivales de blues más importantes de Europa.

Mucha emoción, abrazos, risas y alguna lágrima que no he podido reprimir al conocer el resultado.

Ambos grupos son justos ganadores y por la parte que me toca, no puedo más que alegrarme y felicitar a nuestros representantes por este premio que realmente merecen por su trabajo constante, serio y sin divismos de ningún tipo. En conjunto el nivel y la calidad de los participantes ha sido muy alto, con varias formaciones que también podrían haberse llevado el galardón, pero el veredicto del jurado me parece justo y ponderado y ambos grupos se merecen el premio obtenido.

Una vez finalizado este evento que nos ha permitido contactar con aficionados venidos de toda Europa y disfrutar de un extraordinario elenco de bandas europeas, sólo nos queda felicitarnos por haber podido vivir estos intensos días en Riga, disfrutando de una buena organización y compartiendo blues y amistad. Y, por supuesto, ¡¡esperando ya el 5º EBC en Bruselas el 13 y 14 de marzo de 2015!!

Texto y Fotos: Roser Blues

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Riga (Latvia) April, 10-12 2014

It seems it was only yesterday we were in Toulouse at the third European Blues Challenge and now we have just arrived from Riga in Latvia where we have lived unbelievable deep feelings. A long but worth journey for many different experiences we will try to describe in this brief chronicle about these three intense days.

A long journey that has allowed us to see -not to know - one of the most unique cities of the former Soviet Union, with very friendly people who have made us feel very comfortable especially thanks to our host and event organizer, Mr. Nordmunds Kalnins.

After visiting the beautiful old district, walking through Riga avenues and trying to capture the city atmosphere, the event acts started on Thursday with a lively dinner for EBU members who had already arrived to Riga, at the one and only blues club in town, The Bites Blues Club. First greetings, dinner and live music provided by various local blues bands like Latvian Blues Band among others. A great atmosphere and happy chat although, sometimes, music did not make us enjoy talking or seeing old friends.

I loved joining and greeting good friends at the hotel on Friday. In the evening we walked to Sapnu Fabrika where the Challenge took place. Despite its appearance of an industrial building, it had a quite good acoustic. Special mention to the technicians who got intervals between group and group last barely three minutes and I also loved the good lighting and rear stage panel which was very well achieved with very beautiful lighting, together with the dynamic presentation and show conduction by Lightnin' Guy together by a local host who looked like a Blues Brother.

This year edition raised a high qualitative level going over previous ones. You may like some bands more than others, but they have all shown their enormous possibilities to become an important part of the European blues and rock circuit.

To start with, Croatian band 44 Blues had the difficult role to open the first night where some of the audience was still not too much focused on the challenge. Good rock blues songs, some of them sung in Croatian.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the representatives of Denmark and Sweden, in my opinion two of the best groups of that first night. Dannish Big Creek & The Cockroaches did a very restrained performance full of good blues, deeply rooted on Chicago blues with some delicious touches of Muddy Waters’ guitar solos together with the excellent voice of their lead singer Marc Rune.
On the other hand The Hightones from Sweden also gave us a very good set based on classic blues with a good teamed sound. All looked very professional musicians who perfectly know how to combine the most traditional blues with actual rockin' sounds on an elegant and tasteful performing.

The local band Latvix show they know what they play in a restrained performance but with some very intense moments, like on a faultless slow blues with the outstanding guitar work of the band leader Vladimir Lavrinovics.

I was looking forward to Marco Pandolfi’s show. He comes from Italy and he is a very peculiar artist gifted with an original broken voice which gradually gained in intensity. Little by little he catches me, because he knows how to create an intimist wrapping atmosphere. It is an excellent guitarist and a good harmonica player and I really loved his impressive version of "Last Night”.

The night is full of contrasts. Germany presents Mike Seeber Trio, which drive us to a more powerful blues in the path of Hendrix or SRV. Mike feels easy playing the most electrifying power blues. Bass player Philip Rosche is pure nerve on stage so we can`t take our eyes off him.

It was the first time Russia participated in the Challenge. Bomb Lane Band is a curious group which left me quite puzzled. The performance was a mixture of military rock with some Mick Jagger’s music influences. Perhaps they did not choose the right repertoire to convince us, because it was far away from blues so they did not connect with the audience.

A group that had generated great expectations was Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band from Finland. Helge is a fine harmonica player well known in European blues circles and I already knew him as once I met him in Barcelona. He showed a broad knowledge of harmonica resources. The band sounded very well teamed as all musicians are excellent performers. Ina is a beautiful young artist only aged 19. Dressed with a suggestive green dress, she strongly impressed the male audience. I personally think she looked a little bit unexperienced and not very integrated with the rest of the band. She also did not seem to feel very comfortable singing blues, so my impression was she came from other musical styles she has grown with. Anyway it is gratifying young people like her have decided to sing blues and I am sure that if she follows on the blues way she will become a great artist on a very short time.

The Hungarians T-Rogers closed the night. Led by firecracker Ferci Kovacs on guitar and voice, made clear they have drunk into the more actual blues sources, with rich and varied influences like Keb Mo and other contemporary artists. They built up a good performance based on electrifying blues but also including some goos intimist details.

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Saturday morning started with the General Assembly of the European Union Blues to be followed by The Blues Market.

To begin with, the treasurer presents previous year balance sheet which is approved.
Six Board members have just ended their mandate. Besides, there is a need to incorporate a new board member due to Carolin Wobber’s resignation. There are three new nominations: Mark Stenzler from Blues Community Radio (Switzerland), blues musician Mark Sponza (Italy) and Nordmunds Kalnins from Latvian Blues Society and Riga event organizer (Latvia). Once voted, Mark Stenzler becomes a new board member and the other six previous board members are re-elected, so the new board includes Thomas Ruf (president), Jean Guillermo (vice-president), Jorden Wouters (secretary), Winne Penninckx (treasurer), Davide Grandi, Fred Delforge, Jostein Forsberg, Mark Stenzler, Montse Pratdesaba, Pertti Nurmi and Roser Infiesta Zúmel.
There is also a small video presentation of Brussels as host city for 2015 European Blues Challenge and some new candidates present themselves to organize it in the next future, like the ones by Mr. Ed Mitchell: London – UK, Mr. Kjell Inge Brovoll: Hell – Norway, Mr. Davide Grandi: Milano – Italy, Mr. A.G. Weinberger: Boekarest – Romania or Mr. Sinisa Bizovic: Split or Rovinj – Croatia.
The assembly takes a small pause where Honey B & T-Bones give us an acoustic song attentively followed by all the Assembly attendants.
Information about European grants is given and new projects are presented to the Assembly, like web promotion and development, or the new "Blues Behind The Scenes" Awards that will recognizes the continuous good work of those who never are ‘on stage’ and do an amazing amount of work to promote the blues.
Finally in the open words turn, some interesting ideas come out, like EBC participation rules and other suggestions.

After lunch, Blues Market opens its doors. All EBU active members present their activities establishing contacts and setting up future relationships. The market is also open to musicians, media and general people attending the Challenge. For about two hours the Blues Market becomes the center of European blues, a place to exchange contacts, gather information or know the latest European blues news, on a meeting that every year exceeds the number of visitors.

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After some rest and a calm dinner we walk to Sapnu Fabrika to follow on the second day of European Blues Challenge.

What can I say about A Contra Blues, Spanish fans do not already know about them? They did an splendid show, they went all out and really impressed the audience with the amazing voice of Jonathan Herrero who started the set singing a capella, to follow on with the well assembled varied guitars of Héctor Martín and Alberto Calvillo, without forgetting the swingin’ rhythm section with Joan Vigo bass and Nuria Perich drums. They really connected with the audience that did not expect such a powerful set.

If last year Belgian band Hideaway was a delicious surprise to me, this year Fred & The Healers have also been really good. They gave us a tastefully performed blues rock. Fred has a good pitched voice and shows a deep knowledge of different blues rock fields, from the most flaming solos to the deep wrapping boogie blues, backed by a good bass player and drummer who enhanced Fred’s performing.

Another excellent band which set a high standard was Shake Your Hips (France). The band showed a wide experience and did a good performance. Perfectly teamed and with a good stage presence they caught the audience attention thanks to a very professional performing led by the amazing Freddy Miller’s voice and the good work of guitar and harmonica players.

Swiss band Bacon Fat based their whole set in the technique of his harmonica player Jan Hartman who shined at a very high level. Jan has a good technique of chromatic harmonica even though perhaps he should have given more variety to a short performance of about 20 minutes. Anyway they have a good stage attitude and musical technique.

Another surprise came from British band David Migden & The Twisted Roots. They gave us a very different music from all we had heard till now. Firm musical bases build up original songs that included various percussion instruments, trombone and keyboards, which fully surrounded the hoarse gritty voice of lead singer David Migden. Good musicians who know how to carry us to their own field with songs full of dark sounds closer to progressive rock and Americana music than to the blues.

Blues Nation come from Romania. Powerful rock blues with the whole band working to enhance guitar player and lead singer Stefan Tudose. Stefan knows well the secrets of power blues rock with electrifying slide guitar solos and an elegant use of wah-wah pedal in some cuts. A varied show but that looks like something "deja vu" which does not really give something new.

I was looking forward to Norwegian band, Pristine, because in September 2012 we had reviewed the cd “Detoxing” at La Hora del Blues (see Since then on, singer Heidi Solheim has won in force and expressiveness. They opened with a slow cut Heidi sings with great feeling and delivery, putting all her energy along a repertoire that ranges from deep blues to blues rock, with excellent arrangements by a strong band which makes her feel good and get an immediate communication with the audience.

The Edi Fenzi Band is a high voltage Austrian band. Fenzi’s extravagant dressing together with the fact he plays guitar with two bandaged fingers, drives my attention away from the music. Basically his show consisted in strong rock blues with incendiary solos and phrasing that showed his technical guitar knowledge but, unfortunately, he does not captivate me.

John F Klavert Band from Holland is the last band playing. He is a pleasant surprise because, after more than two hours of music, he really catches me with his elegant guitar playing. He has a clean but at the same time powerful sound displayed with very good taste. He is also good on vocals. The band sounds powerful and teamed with an outstanding work of Iris Sigtermans on bass and Rob Mostert on organ. This was a very good performance to close the 4th European Blues Challenge.







After a few minutes of big suspense, European Union Blues President, Mr. Tom Ruf, and Riga organized, Mr. Nordmunds Kalnins, announce the winners…

2nd Place:

First Place and 4th European Blues Challenge Winners:

The winners will play in some of the most outstanding European blues festivals.

A deep emotion, laughs and some hidden tears come to me after knowing the final result.

Both groups are fair winners and, as a Spanish, I can only feel very happy and congratulate A Contra Blues. They have won and they really deserve it for their continuous and serious work, always with a humble attitude without arrogance or conceit. It must also be underlined the high quality level of most participants. There have been several bands with quality enough to be awarded, but the Jury decision seems fair and I think both groups deserved the award.

Once the event has finished, let me say it has been a great opportunity to contact with blues lovers coming from all over Europe and enjoy an unbelievable casting of European blues artists. I feel happy to have been there and lived these intense days in Riga, supported by a good organization and a warm reception that has allowed me to share blues and friendship. And, of course, I am already looking forward to the 5th. EBC, GA & Blues Market in Brussels on March 13 and 14, 2015!!

Text and Pictures: Roser Blues

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Firstly, on 11 to 12 April, 2014, Riga will become a place for "European Blues Challenge” competition which is rather an important event on European scale. Secondly, on 31 July, the president of European Blues Union Thomas Ruf arrived to Riga for one day, he also organizes the competition. Ruf is also the manager of one of the biggest European blues music record labels "Ruf Records”. Clearly, our conversation went on about (and around) the good new-old blues!

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

"European Blues Challenge” will be held in Riga, in 2014. How did you reached the idea of organizing the event in Latvia?

2014 is a great year for Riga, many cultural events will take place in there focused towards Europe. We have found good promotion partners in Riga, they will help "European Blues Challenge” to happen the best possible way.

You are the president of European Blues Union. What is your daily work routine?

I call myself the main European Blues Union mule who pulls all the weight himself. It's a voluntary work, bringing the good work to community.

So, you're the best candidate who could tell more about "European Blues Challenge”!

We started three years ago with the idea to support European blues artists and new talents. Currently, American artists dominate in this genre, so we try to promote Europeans. For instance, Latvian blues band might find it hard to organize a gig in France, Norway or France, but for Americans it's pretty easy. We try to take down the borders in people's minds in order to make the music market broader.

The strongest argument must be that the origin of blues is in America.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

It is the strongest argument - only American blues can be considered authentic. At the same time we want to tell people that European blues is a new form of blues, no less important. We don't have to hide as it was some second class.

How deep is the stereotype that black blues musicians are better than the white ones? We are not speaking about racism, but the attitude itself towards blues genre.

(Hiding under his shirt.) It had to end a long ago! In 1970ies, Muddy Waters turned his head when he was asked about the same issue. White musicians also played in his band. Muddy Waters supported "The Rolling Stones”. This stereotype should be striked out from people's minds.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

No doubt, it will happen some day. In the end, blues music is when a good man feels sadness.

Yes, that is blues. Everyone may experience hard times. It's emotions.

Let's continue about "European Blues Challenge”.

So, it will be the fourth event in Riga. First two were held in Berlin, Germany, the third one in France, now it's time for Latvia. We have 20 member countries, every member organizes the national competition, and the winner goes to "European Blues Challenge”. Those are great 20 bands from 20 countries.

The concept looks similar to „Eurovision” song contest. Maybe you should call it "Bluesovision”?

"Bluesovision”! What a name!!

Normunds Kalniņš, the chairman of the board of Latvian Blues Society Support (also a member of EBU) and organizer of Sigulda Blues Fest, joins the conversation. Besides, the affinity might be that "European Blues Challenge” will be webcasted online. And in this case, we are talking about show business, not only musical skills.

T.R. We have four criterions when judging the bands: vocal talent, instrumental talent, ability to represent themselves on a stage and originality. The latter mostly is related to musical material if the band performs only covers or has their own pieces. So, we decide if those songs are good, if every piece is composed by one pattern, if musicians are able to vary within their style.

Normunds Kalnins & Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

What are the musical borders that are defined at the competition? Do musicians cover blues rock, blues folk, blues-something?

Blues rock, blues jazz, pretty much everything they like. But music has to be based on blues roots.

What about blues dubstep?

Blues dubstep! Everyone is invited to create something new, that would be original.

Actually, I have heard blues dubstep, it was classic piano blues with a rumbling, roaring electronica basics. Such kind of experiments are allowed at "European Blues Challenge”, or you prefer so called "live” bands?

We had one French band, they played together with DJ mixing hiphop and blues. The band is called "Scarecrow”. They performed with guitars, drums, vocals, vinyl player or turntable... Everything is possible.

It's a nice message to new talents, blues is not only for old people!

Yes, exactly. Blues is not only for old people or slow dance. It's a whole genre with lots of vitality, energy and experiments.
I think blues is very popular in various generations and social groups because emotions dominate. It's not about the fact that you play your guitar fast enough or can perform a complicated song. It's emotions on the stage that matters.

How did you came down to blues and decided to start "Ruf Records”?

I don't think I chose blues. It chose me. It happens that way. As a teenager, I worked some social work, we organized gigs with a youth club. One of the first musicians I met was a bluesman from Chicago, Luther Allison. I left my hometown and went on a tour with them. I learned a lot, and that's how I got into music business.

Can you consider blues record lable a real business? Can you make money from it?

We started in 1994 with the records of Luther Allison. I continued to work with American and British artists. We have only few European musicians. In that form it works out.

Still, you follow the same stereotypes you named before!

I don't deny it. The record label works around the world, so it's hard to offer European musicians in a world market. But I managed to do that. For instance, Ana Popovic, a girl from Serbia who broke out in USA. I also work with Finnish and Austrian girls, but it's realy hard from a business perspective.

As a record label, you release CDs/vinyl or prefer the digital way?

Both. We sign a contract with the artist, produce the music and then sell it any possible form.

Which records are sold the best?

The digital side continues to grow, but our main listeners are middle-aged people who prefer a physical record format. They are record collectors. Digital record sales are only 20 percent. 10 percent are record sales at the concert venues, but the rest is CDs and vinyl at the music retailers.

It has come in fashion to record in vinyls, but it's often just a form without a content. Digital records are released in vinyl, therefore the idea of vinyl saving better quality of some analogue record dissapears. What studios do you use for your artists?

I personally prefer vinyl, but sometimes we are not able to use analogue master copies. Still, analogue records are being made, and there are studios where you can do that.

Tom Ruf- Foto by Kaspar Garda

We have our local rockabilly king Pits Andersons, he just recorded his album in the analogue studio, in Berlin, and will release a vinyl single. It seems that analogue records suit rockabilly genre the most.

I definitely want to know which studio he used. Maybe I can take it for my artists. If it is good for rockabilly, maybe it would suit for blues!

We will find that out and send the name to you. Who is the blues king at your company?

It's hard to name one. Because someone might get offended. But there is a band who uses the king's crown in their image with reason. I am together with them on a tour and I only came to Riga for one day in order to see the places we could organize "European Blues Challenge”. The band is called "Royal Southern Brotherhood” where literally royal blues family members have united. One family is "The Allman Brothers” and the other is "The Neville Brothers” from Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana respectively. Gregg Allman's son Devon Allman and the youngest Neville's brother Cyril Neville are in this band.

It's realy royal!

Yes, a real royal court of blues and rock'n'roll!

You work with such legendary musicians as "Canned Heat”.

Yes, I work with them for many years. Fito de la Parra is totally crazy and he still is an absolute boogie music spirit.
"Canned Heat” will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. Fito told: "I will not advertise! What is it? 50 years on a boogie stage? It makes me old!”
It's wonderful that younger folks still listen to those old men. It means that blues has a future.

N.K. We noticed many young listeners at Sigulda Blues Fest, as well. It made us think of new promoting options.

By the way, which is the most popular German blues band?

T.R. To be honest, I can't really talk about German blues bands, because I know more about Finnish or even Latvian artists. For instance, you have the great "Latvian Blues Band”. The most recognized German band might be "B.B. and the Blues Shacks”. They are on European tour right now and are doing very well. I can't tell who will represent Germany at "European Blues Challenge”, because our national contest will be held in October.

Does European Blues Union continues to grow, new members are joining?

Yes, it continues to grow, I am glad about that, no doubt. But it still has no Estonian or Lithuanian representatives!

N.K. We have started negotiations with Estonians, I think, they might join soon. In such small countries, blues is mainly concentrated in one or few people's hands. So it depends on them. If they wish to create their blues foundation in order to join EBU.

Thomas, can you name the leading blues country in Europe? Germany? Great Britain?

Great Britain is definitely one of the leaders if not the first one. They had the blues boom in the 1960ies. "American Folk Blues Festival” was quite popular in Germany during the 1960ies, it was American musicians' union who toured in Europe. Scandinavia also has a great blues history. Now it's time for Latvia!

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Biblioteca Tecla Sala (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona)

Entre el 19 de septiembre y 31 de octubre 2013 tendrá lugar la primera European Blues Expo en la Biblioteca Tecla Sala de Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona). Tecla Sala, que es la sede oficial del fondo documental de la European Blues Union así como de la Sociedad de Blues de Barcelona, ofrecerá esta exposición para ilustrar las actividades organizadas por la European Blues Union. Los artistas que han cedido sus fotografías para tal fin son Pertti Nurmi (Finlandia), Alain Hiot (Francia), Sylvie Bosc (Francia), Fred Delforge (Francia), Roser I. Valls (España), SKAttomaTTO (Italia) y Charlie Hussey (Irlanda). Todo el material audiovisual que se expondrá está cedido por Bad Music Blues TV que han grabado las tres ediciones del European Blues Challenge y han realizado diversos programas especiales al respecto. La Biblioteca Tecla Sala cuenta con el apoyo logístico del Ayuntamiento de Hospitalet de Llobregat, y se espera la presencia de su alcaldesa, la Sra. Núria Marín, para asistir a los actos de inauguración de la European Blues Expo el 19 de septiembre a las 19.00 h, así como miembros de la European Blues Union. El acto estará amenizado con la actuación de Cotton Roots (Johnny Pérez, guitarra, voz y Little Jordi armónica).

Fondo de Blues / Blues Documentos Unión Europea
Director: Sr. Pedro Bravo
Avda. Josep Tarradellas, 44. 08901 LHospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona (España)
Tel.: 00.03.4932602484 

Alain Hiot (França)
Sylvie Bosc (França)
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
Fred Delforge (França)
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
Bad Music Blues

La EUROPEAN BLUES UNION (EBU) es una alianza de profesionales de Blues de toda Europa que han decidido unir sus esfuerzos en la promoción de esta música formando una red europea. Para ello, la EBU organiza el concurso europeo de Blues -el European Blues Challenge- y el Blues Market donde todos los miembros asociados pueden compartir contenidos y encontrar fórmulas de cooperación. En la actualidad hay 27 países que constituyen la EBU: Austria, Bélgica, Bulgaria, Croacia, República Checa, Dinamarca, Finlandia, Francia, Alemania, Grecia, Hungría, Irlanda, Italia, Letonia, Luxemburgo, Holanda, Noruega, Polonia, Portugal, Rumania, Rusia, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, España, Suecia, Suiza y Reino Unido. Toda la información sobre la EBU en
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

Tecla Sala Public Library (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona - Spain)

Between September 19 and October 31, 2013 will take place the first European Blues Expo at Tecla Sala Library in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona). Tecla Sala Library is the official home of the European Blues Union Archives and has a Blues Documentary Fund, promoted by Barcelona Blues Society. The exhibition aim is to illustrate the activities organized by the European Blues Union such as the European Blues Challenge and the Blues Market. Artists who have given their photographs for this event are Pertti Nurmi (Finland), Alain Hiot (France), Sylvie Bosc (France), Fred Delforge (France), Roser I. Valls (Spain), SKAttomaTTO (Italia) and Charlie Hussey (Ireland)- All the audiovisual material that will be shown comes from Bad Music Blues TV who have recorded the three editions of the European Blues Challenge and have made special TV programs and radio shows about them. Tecla Sala Library has the logistical support of the Municipality of Hospitalet de Llobregat, and the Mayor, Ms. Núria Marín is expected to attend the opening event of the European Blues Expo in September 19 at 19.00. together with some members of the European Bues Union Board. Sme live blues music will be provided by Cotton Roots (Johnny Pérez, guitar, vocals and Little Jordi, harmonica).
Everybody is invited to come to the opening event and visit it!
(Text by Montserrat Pratdesaba)

Fondo de Blues / Blues Documentos Unión Europea
AvDA. Josep Tarradellas, 44.
08901 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona (Spain)
Tel.: 00.03.4932602484 

Alain Hiot (França)
Sylvie Bosc (França)
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
Fred Delforge (França)
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
Bad Music Blues

The European Blues Union is a non-profit organisation which gathers professional and blues lovers around Europe who have joined forces to promote blues creating an European blues net. Among other promotional actions. the EBU organizes the annual European Blues Challenge or Blues Market where all members can share experiences, contacts or stablish cooperation links. The EBU has now 27 associated countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland an United Kingdom. All related information at
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

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2013 European Blues Challenge, General Assembly & Blues Market
Toulouse, 7 a 9 Marzo 2013
Por Roser Infiesta Valls Mrs. Zúmel, miembro de la Junta de la EBU

Durante unos pocos días Toulouse se ha convertido en la “capital europea del blues”, con la celebración de la tercera edición del European Blues Challenge de la European Blues Union, la Asamblea General de la European Blues Union y el Mercado del Blues, bajo el auspicio de la Sociedad de Blues de Toulouse y France Blues, que han realizado un magnifico trabajo, consiguiendo una perfecta organización que desde estas líneas deseo resaltar.

Músicos y aficionados de veinte países europeos se han dado cita en la bella ciudad de Toulouse para compartir tres días de camaradería y mucho blues.

Los actos comenzaron el jueves por la noche en dos de los mas renombrados clubs de la ciudad –Connexion y Le Dynamo- que abrieron sus puertas para presentar a algunas de las bandas más representativas junto a jóvenes promesas de la escena bluesera del sur de Francia y donde, entre cerveza y cerveza, pudimos disfrutar del buen hacer de grupos como Driftin’ Blues, Jumpin’ to the Westside, Daniel Blanc, Blues Power Band, Mannish Boys o Mountain Men.


Driftin' Blues & Jumpin' To The Westside

Blues Power Band

El buen tiempo y un clima que ya presagiaba la primavera nos han acompañado durante estos intensos días de blues y rencuentros con los buenos aficionados venidos de toda Europa.


Paseo en barca por el Canal de Midi

Por lo que se refiere al III European Blues Challenge propiamente dicho, debo destacar que se celebró en Le Bikini, una sala con buena capacidad y acústica aunque situada algo lejos de la zona céntrica de Toulouse. Ello no impidió que la sala estuviera prácticamente llena durante las dos noches del Challenge, creándose muy buen ambiente en todos los sentidos.

En un concurso en el que cada noche compiten un mínimo de 9 formaciones que sólo disponen de 20 minutos de actuación con un rapidísimo intervalo entre grupo y grupo (desde aquí felicitar a los técnicos de sonido por conseguir que las pausas no se alargaran mas de 5 minutos entre grupo y grupo), se hace difícil poder escribir una crónica mesurada y objetiva de cada uno de los participantes. Simplemente me quedaré con alguna pequeña pincelada que pueda ilustrar una parte de todo lo mucho y bueno que pudimos disfrutar cada una de las noches.

El entusiasmo y la buena disposición de Lightnin’ Guy –presentador y conductor del evento- consiguieron crear inmediatamente la complicidad necesaria entre músicos y audiencia.

Si ya es difícil iniciar una competición, mas lo es si se trata de un trío instrumental con piano, bajo y batería. Concretamente GZT representantes de Latvia, por lo que me quedo con su originalidad de piano blues y boogie, interpretado con gran corrección.

También me llama la atención la voz rota de los Heavypetrol & The Greyhounds (Luxemburgo), y la progresión en el escenario de The Bluesmopolitans (Austria).


Heavypatrol y Bluesmopolitans


Sorprenden por su juventud y su frescura el trío que representa a Rumanía, Soul Serenade, que presentan a una joven cantante de bonita voz que impacta en el público, respaldada por diversos instrumentos como mandolina, guitarra slide o armónica, aunque en su repertorio no faltan guiños a los orígenes, incluyendo un tema de Howlin’ Wolf.

Totalmente diferentes son los británicos BabaJack, que también incluyen a una cantante de voz rota que destaca por su aportación rítmica al cajón, en una mezcla de roots y blues contemporáneo interpretados con varios instrumentos de fabricación casera y una percutante slide en algunos momentos.

Me gustan los Sunnysiders de Croacia por su originalidad, presentándose los cuatro músicos sentados y creando con su interpretación un ambiente festivo, distendido y muy refrescante.


Le llega el turno a Chino & The Big Bet (Spain). A pesar de comenzar de forma muy intimista, rápidamente se crecen y realizan un show electrizante que sorprende a todo el público que se deja arrastrar por el swing y la arrolladora presencia escénica de Chino, muy bien acompañado por Rod Deville al contrabajo y Giggs Nother a la batería. Con solo 20 minutos para mostrar todo su saber, realizan temas muy variados como "Hush", o una tremenda y poderosa versión de "Dust My Broom" de Robert Johnson.


Chino & The Big Bet


Eslovaquia nos presenta a un solvente dúo acústico formado por Bonzo Radvanyi & Lubos Bena. Demuestran su profesionalidad en escena y su amplio conocimiento del blues mas rural y campestre.

La noche finaliza con los representantes belgas Hideaway, en mi opinión y junto a Chino & The Big Bet lo mejor del programa del viernes. Demuestran una gran experiencia y conocimiento del género, suenan empastados y producen un show altamente gratificante que levanta al público con su jump blues de alta calidad.




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En la mañana del sábado se realiza la Asamblea General de la European Blues Union y el Mercado del Blues.

La Asamblea presenta el estado de cuentas del ejercicio anterior comentando los ingresos y los gastos, que son aprobados.

También se procede a la votación para el nombramiento de tres plazas en la Junta Directiva de la EBU que habían quedado vacantes. Se presentan cuatro candidaturas: Antonio Boschi, de la Asociacion Roots & Blues (Italia), Carolin Wobber de Phamosa Music (Alemania), Montserrat Pratdesaba, cantante y artista (España) y Silvio Caldelari, director del Festival de Blues de Sierre (Suiza). Una vez realizada la votación los escogidos han sido Carolin Wobber, Montserrat Pratdesaba & Silvio Caldelari, por lo que la nueva junta queda formada por Thomas Ruf (presidente), Jean Guillermo (vice-presidente), Jorden Wouters (secretario), Winne Penninckx (tesorero), Carolin Wobber, Davide Grandi, Fred Delforge, Jostein Forsberg, Montse Pratdesaba, Pertti Nurmi, Roser Zúmel y Silvio Candelari, vocales.

Se incluye también a la presentación de Riga (Estonia) como la ciudad que acogerá el European Blues Challenge en 2014 y las candidaturas de Milán y Bruselas para 2015.

Finalmente en el turno de palabras se discuten temas como las categorías del próximo EBC o la presentación de la nueva web de la EBU.

Tras una pequeña pausa se inicia el Mercado del Blues, donde los miembros activos de la EBU presentan sus actividades en el campo del blues e interactúan en el establecimiento de futuros contactos. El mercado esta también abierto a músicos, medios, aficionados y publico en general y durante dos horas y media se convierte en el centro neurálgico del blues europeo.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Si los artistas participantes en el EBC de la jornada del viernes fueron altamente gratificantes, los del sábado no se quedan atrás.

Abren el fuego los finlandeses Honey B & The T-Bones. Su carismática cantante se encarga de calentar al público en una actuación de va ganando enteros con una más que interesante y original mezcla de blues psicodélico y genuino Mississippi blues, acabando su set con un impresionante blues lento.

Deslumbran los Shaggy Dogs (Francia) por su energía sobre el escenario. Poderoso rock blues interpretado con electrizantes solos de guitarra y armónica aunque, en mi opinión, los temas suenan demasiado iguales.

Le llega el turno a Holanda, representada por Sugar Boy & The Sinners. A pesar de su juventud me convencen plenamente, suenan empastados y tienen “el sonido” de las bandas americanas. Conectan inmediatamente con el público gracias a su ritmo bailable y a la vez poderoso de la guitarra y armónica perfectamente respaldada por contrabajo y batería. Sin lugar a dudas se convierten en mis favoritos (después de Chino & The Big Bet, por supuesto).


Shaggy Dogs y Sugar Boy & The Sinners


Suiza compite con Fabian Anderhub. Sorprende por sus calientes y poderosos solos de guitarra y una puesta en escena muy estudiada y cuidada que inmediatamente engancha con el público mas joven y rockero de la sala.

Completamente diferente a la anterior es la actuación de los italianos Veronica Sbergia & Red Wine Serenades. Veronica aparece como una cantante muy naif pero no exenta de una gran sensualidad. Veronica nos transporta a épocas lejanas de los años 20 y 30 del siglo pasado con su blues de vaudeville. Destaca también el contraste interpretativo de la bajista del grupo, mujer de voz rota y poderosa y el acompañamiento de variados instrumentos como la tabla de lavar a cargo de la propia Veronica, kazoo, ukelele, contrabajo y guitarra en una actuación totalmente original que sorprende a más de uno.


Veronica Sbergia & The Red Wine Serenades

Otra banda que sorprende por su puesta en escena son los noruegos Yhgve & His Boogie Legs. Estos jóvenes noruegos, con una presencia que recuerda a los adolescentes de los años 40, demuestran una gran soltura y fluidez con un repertorio que se mueve a medio camino entre el rock and roll y el swing. Suenan potentes y muy conjuntados y hacen las delicias del público, aunque particularmente me impactaron más en sus actuaciones de hace un par de meses en el International Blues Challenge de la Blues Foundation en Memphis.

Dinamarca presenta a Chris Grey & BlueSpand, trío que sorprende por su autenticidad y su fuerza en escena. Suenan poderosos y auténticos con guiños al power blues pero también al blues más auténtico y original.

Le llega el turno a Polonia con Harpcore que, como su nombre indica, van de armónicas. Cuatro armonicistas liderando la banda con un total de siete músicos en escena ya es garantía de espectacularidad y aunque empiezan un poco fríos, a medida que transcurre su actuación van ganando en seguridad y subiendo enteros, proponiendo una actuación no exenta de riesgos, pero que atrae por su singularidad.

Tommuy Schneller Band, de Alemania, son otros de los favoritos de la noche. Avalados por una dilatada carrera, incluyen una poderosa sección de vientos, lo que les da fuerza y empaque en el escenario. Se nota que están muy rodados y que tienen recursos suficientes como para atraer a cualquier audiencia. Una actuación muy completa y que se hace corta.

El concurso finaliza con el poderoso blues de los suecos Matti Norlin & Badge, un trío que practica un blues rock sin concesiones, electrizante y muy actual, con algunas incursiones a la slide. Nada mejor que la fuerza de estos músicos para finalizar una noche llena de buenos momentos.


Ihgve & His Boogie Legs


La calidad ha sido mucha, por lo que imagino que va a ser una dura labor para los jueces decidir sobre los ganadores. Después de algunos minutos de suspense y de la presentación de los jueces a cargo de Lightnin’ Guy, Thomas Ruf, presidente de la European Blues Union y Jean Guillermo, vicepresidente de la EBU, suben al escenario y anuncian…


2º Premio… ex aequo para SOUL SERENADE (Rumania) y






No puedo discrepar de la valoración de los jueces, ya que los tres grupos tienen calidad y originalidad suficientes como para haberse proclamado vencedores y como es lógico me siento orgullosa y satisfecha del premio conseguido por nuestros representantes Chino & The Big Bet. Personalmente, creo que también sobresalieron Hideaway de Bélgica, Tommy Scheller de Alemania y Sugar Boy & The Sinners de Holanda que bien podrían haberse llevado algún galardón.


Después de esta tercera edición, creo que el European Blues Challenge se está consolidando como un gran evento europeo que, poco a poco, va ganando en prestigio y solera. No sin pena, nos despedimos de Toulouse, agradeciendo el gran trabajo de France Blues y la Sociedad de Blues de Toulouse y nos emplazamos para la cuarta edición del EBC en Riga.


Texto y Fotos: Roser Blues.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Estatutos de la European Blues Union
(Resumen realizado por Big Mama según información de Jorden Wouters)

Gracias a la iniciativa de una serie de personas implicadas en el blues en diferentes países de Europa, surgió la idea de la creación de la European Blues Union, una asociación sin ánimo de lucro cuya finalidad es la promoción del blues a nivel europeo. A continuación se incluye un resumen de los estatutos de la asociación. Mas información en la web de la EBU

- Conveniencia de establecer un marco legal que dote de entidad y rigor a la EBU.

- Naturaleza de la EBU: ser una asociación sin ánimo de lucro que promueva el Blues europeo en todo el mundo, en particular en Europa, cooperando entre festivales, promotoras, entidades, discográficas, artistas, medios  especializados, expertos en la materia,  impulsando la difusión del Blues a todos los niveles, apoyando proyectos educativos para las escuelas, intercambiando ideas o experiencias, consiguiendo el soporte de las autoridades, creando premios o eventos relacionados con el blues, captando nuevos miembros en la EBU, etc

- Miembros. Pueden ser de tres tipos: Activos, Asociados y Honorarios.

MIEMBROS ACTIVOS: Tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General y suscribirán los estatutos. Pagarán una cuota anual que se fijará en la Asamblea General y que no podrá superar los 500 euros, según fija la ley belga. Podrán acceder a ser miembro activo las asociaciones registradas, las empresas legalmente constituidas o los individuos que tengan algo que ver con el Blues & Roots. Si un miembro activo no paga la cuota en el término de un año dejará de serlo. Los votos serán de 1 miembro = 1 voto.

MIEMBROS ASOCIADOS: No tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General pero podrán asistir como oyentes. Pagarán una cuota anual inferior a la de los miembros activos que se fijará en la Asamblea General. Al igual que los miembros activos, serán afiliados a la EBU y podrán acceder y beneficiarse de las actividades de la EBU así como tener un espacio propio en la web, con blog individual para difundir su obra y/o actividad profesional.

MIEMBROS HONORÍFICOS: Serán designados por la EBU y no pagarán ninguna cuota. No tendrán derecho a voto en la Asamblea General y podrán asistir como oyentes. Podrán beneficiarse de las ventajas de ser de la EBU cómo si estuvieran afiliados.

- Requisitos para ser MIEMBRO ACTIVO.

a) Ser músico de blues (Blues & Roots) en el propio país o en el extranjero.

b) Ser organizador de un festival, promotor de conciertos, representante artístico, realizar un programa de radio y/o de televisión, una web, revista en papel o en soporte digital cuya actividad se base en el blues (Blues & Roots)

c) Ser aficionado al blues (Blues & Roots) y estar bien informado del ambiente musical de esta música en su propio país, o disponer de materiales o información sobre músicos, compositores, locales, radios, festivales, etc., de blues (Blues & Roots) en el propio país.

- Obligaciones administrativas de la EBU.

a) Disponer de un número fiscal (V.A.T.) en Bélgica

b) Llevar una contabilidad.

c) Dar cuenta anual en la Asamblea General del "financial rapport", detallando los ingresos y los gastos.

d) Pagar los impuestos pertinentes en Bélgica.

- Organigrama.

a) La Asamblea General de la EBU se celebrará una vez al año, pero se podrá convocar a petición del 20% de los miembros activos.

b) Se elegirán: Presidente/a, Tesorero/a y Secretario/a General de la EBU mediante votación en la Asamblea General anual.

c) Los elegidos como Presidente/a, Tesorero/a y Secretario/a General de la EBU podrán delegar poderes ejecutivos a un "board" o equipo de miembros activos también consensuados en la Asamblea General.

- Los Estatutos de la EBU se aprobaron en la Asamblea General Constitutiva que se celebró en Berlín entre los días 18 y 19 de marzo de 2011.

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Pagina Principal/Home
El Programa de Radio/The Blues Radio Show - La Programación/Playlist - Novedades Cds/Cds Received - Criticas de Discos/Actual Cd Reviews - Criticas Discos Antiguas/Old Cds Reviews - Reconocimientos/Show Aknowledgements - Links de Interés/Logo Links - Posters Blueseros/Blues Posters

Quien es Zúmel/Who is Zumel - Las Fotos/Blues Gallery - La "Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band"/The late "Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band" - La Sociedad de Blues de Barcelona S.B.B/Barcelona Blues Society SBB

Los Conciertos de Blues/Blues Gigs Calendar - Las Noticias Nacionales/Spanish Blues News - Los Artículos/Articles -
Colaboraciones/Contributions - El Diccionario de Blues - Las Entrevistas/The Interviews

Las Noticias Internacionales/International Blues News - Articulos Internacionales/International Articles - Entrevistas desde USA/USA Interviews