LA HORA DEL BLUES
European Blues Union

 

EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE, GENERAL ASSEMBLY & BLUES MARKET. (Riga, April 11 and 12)
GENERAL INFORMATION

Save the dates 11-12 April of the European Blues Challenge + EBU General Assembly + Blues Market in Riga, Latvia.

The rotation of location of our annual event provides the opportunity to discover new regions, new cultures, new people, new cooking… Riga will offer you a variety of different activities. Find general information on Riga at www.liveriga.com

How to arrive to Riga:

- By air from more than 70 international destinations:

More info at http://riga airport.com/en/main/flights/airlines including low/mid price carriers

www.airBaltic.com
www.Ryanair.com
www.WizzAir.com
www.Norwegian.com

Minivan Shuttle services free of charge will be provided for Active Members to/from Airport to Official Hotels.
Minivan Shuttle services free of charge for EBC Artists will be provided to/from Airport to any place in Riga. To book minivan shuttle service you should send an email to gzt@inbox.lv
 including passengers names, flights numbers, arrival and departure flights dates and timetable.

- By Sea, direct ferry line: Stockholm – Riga
www.tallink.com

- By Train: www.ecolines.net/en/
- By Car: Road conditions in Latvia are in relatively good shape. Fuel prices: E95 or Diesel ~ 1,30 EUR per litre.

Additional Information
- Since 1 January, Latvia has euro currency.
- Shopping: In general everything is at same price level as in Europe, except cigarettes & alcohol which are cheaper.

Package deals: Starting from 15 February, Tallink ferry line & Tallink Hotel in cooperation with the promoter plan to offer a limited package deal “sail-enjoy-blues”. This offer might interest our friends in Sweden and rest of Scandinavia

Route from Tallink Hotel (A) to the OldTown (B) (900 m)

Route from City Hotel (A) to the OldTown (B) (2 km)

EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE (EBC)

The Challenge will be held at Sapnu Fabrika, Riga, Friday to Saturday, 11-12 April 2014 starting at 20:00 both evenings
Lacplesa iela 101
Riga LV-1011
http://www.sapnufabrika.lv/?ln=en


Route from Sapnu Fabrika (A) to Tallink Hotel (B) (900 m)


Route from City Hotel (A) To Sapnu Fabrika (B) (2 km)

The venue is located within a walking distance from Tallink Hotel. It features a balcony, which will be a VIP zone, public area and backstage premises. There is a wardrobe, two bars, WC, and a smoking zone outside the venue. The bars offer beer, wine, liquors, cocktails and soft drinks as well as snacks, sandwiches and grilled food. EBU members will get a 10% discount.

Security / Access
The venue will be divided in the following zones
General/public access includes the main hall, bars, WC, smoking zone.
VIP zone (balcony): Access only for EBU Active members, judges, sponsors, artists by appointment only, authorized promoters’ staff.
Backstage: Access for EBU Board members, artists, accredited media, authorized promoters’ staff.
Production office: Access for EBU Board members, authorized promoters’ staff.
Dressing rooms (including WC and shower): Artists (will rotate according to stage time, because there are only five dressing rooms).
Catering hall: Access for EBU Board members, artists, accredited media, authorized promoters’ staff.
Media booth (well-lit): For interviews, hi-res photography, etc promo activities.
Applications for media accreditations will start on 1 February.
All zones are secured areas, with security personnel.
Access will be determined by wristbands in different colours/shapes.

There will be 18 bands from 18 countries.
Showtime is 20:00 sharp.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Saturday 12 April
10:30 – 13:00
Tallink Hotel Riga
Elizabetes iela 24
Riga, LV-1050

Route from Tallink Hotel (A) to City Hotel (B) (1,6 km, 20 min)

13,00: Lunch for EBU members and partners having ordered VIP arrangement (alcohol not included)

BLUES MARKET:
Saturday 12 April
14:00 – 16:30
Tallink Hotel Riga
Elizabetes iela 24
Town Center, Riga, LV-1050

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 soon be downloaded from our website www.europeanbluesunion.com to be sent to Jorden Wouters secretary@europeanbluesunion.com. The only prerequisite is that you have renewed your membership fee for 2014.

The Blues Market is open to EBC ticket/invitation holders (including partners). It will not be available for people who want to only visit the Blues Market. We are expecting lots of blues friends attending the EBC to come over to 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 2014. It is all free for you, Active Member of the EBU.

Previous time in Toulouse we had more than 50 exhibitor stands. Now in Riga we are expecting even more.

ACCOMODATION:

We have negotiated special rates and pre-booked rooms at two hotels:
1.- Tallink Hotel Riga

The venue of General Assembly and Blues Market.
Hotel restaurant will host EBU Saturday lunch and Friday & Saturday dinners for members and partners (VIP arrangements).
Address: Elizabetes iela 24, Riga LV-1050.
Phone: +371 6709 9760
Fax: +371 6709 9762
E-mail:
booking@tallinkhotels.lv
URL: www.tallinkhotels.com/tallink-hotel-riga
Location: The hotel is located in city centre near the Central Railway Station, within walking distance (900 m) to the EBC venue. The fancy Old Town of Riga is at a same distance.
There are 60 pre-booked rooms for EBU members and visitors.
The booking has already started.
To book a room:
1. Go to the website:
www.tallinkhotels.com
2. Select from the dropdown menu: Tallink Hotel Riga
3. Apply the promotional code for booking: EBC14
Prices: Single room, 1 person – 63 EUR per night. Double/twin room – 68 EUR per night.
Rate includes: Rich buffet breakfast, Finnish-style sauna in the morning, high-speed WIFI, VAT.
Guarantee and cancellation policy: All reservations should be guaranteed with a credit card and will be held until 12 am the day after check-in date. Cancelling of the reservation until 6 pm one day before arrival will be free of charge. Later cancellations will be charged for the amount of the first night.
Children policy: Up to two children under 13 years are welcome to stay free of charge if sharing room with parents. Starting form 13 years the extra person charge of 25 EUR per night will apply.
Pets: No pets allowed.
Parking: There is a parking near the hotel at 10 EUR per 24h.

2.- City Hotel Teater

Recommended for artists, but available for visitors and artists.
Address: Bruņinieku iela 6, Rīga, LV-1010.
Phone: +371 67315140
URL:
www.cityhotel.lv

The hotel is located in city centre within a 25 minute walking distance or 10 minute drive to the EBC venue. The distance from the hotel to the OldTown is almost the same.
There are 30 pre-booked rooms at the limited offer special price until 20 February:
Single room: 46 EUR per night. Double room: 52 EUR per night.
There will be a minivan shuttle service between hotel and venue free of charge for the artists.
Taxis between hotel and venue can be arranged on advance request at a special price of 6 EUR.
The booking has already started
To book a room:
1. Send an e-mail to
gzt@inbox.lv with your booking request, stating the band name, country, check-in / check-out time, how many rooms, and the room type (double or single occupancy).
2. You will receive the confirmation and invoice within 3 working days.
3. Invoice must be paid within 10 days from the date of issue via bank transfer or paypal.
Conditions: Advance booking - special event rate. No changes, cancellation or refund.
Rate includes: Rich buffet breakfast, high-speed WIFI, VAT.
Children policy: Up to two children under 6 years are welcome to stay free of charge if sharing room with parents. Starting form 7 years the extra person charge of 10 EUR per night will apply.
Pets: No pets allowed.
Parking: There is a parking near the hotel at 16 EUR per 24h.


SCHEDULE

Thursday 10th April
19:00: Informal dinner at a downtown restaurant (tba); Self-pay.
21:00: Special activity (tba)

Friday 11th. April
14:00 – 16:00: Installation of the Blues Market by EBU members having requested a table (Hotel Tallink)
15:00 – 17:00: Membership, VIP and Partner badge pick-up at lobby of Tallink Hotel
18,00: Dinner at Tallink Hotel for EBU members and partners having ordered VIP arrangement (alcohol not included)
19:15: Walking promenade to Sapnu Fabrika. Venue is within a 900 m. walk from Tallink Hotel Riga. Minivan shuttles can be arranged on pre-booking basis only for people those physical conditions do not allow to walk. Booking deadline: 20 March

20:00: Croatia: 44 Blues
20:25: Denmark: Big Creek Slim & The Cockroaches
20:50: Sweden: The Hightones
21:15: Latvia: Lavrix Band
21:40: Italy: Marco Pandolfi Trio
22:05: Germany: Mike Seeber Trio
22:30: Russia: Bomb Lane Band
22:55: Finland: Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band
23:20: Hungary: T. Rogers

Saturday. 12th. April
9:30 – 10:30: Installation of the Blues Market by EBU members having requested a table (Hotel Tallink)
10:00: Registration of participants for the General Assembly (Hotel Tallink)
10:30 - 13:00: EBU General Assembly (Hotel Tallink).
13:00: Lunch for EBU members and partners having ordered VIP arrangement (Hotel Tallink).
14:00 - 16:30: Blues Market exhibition and get-together event.
16:30 - 17:15: Dismantling of the Blues Market stands (by EBU members having the table).
18:00: Dinner at Tallink Hotel for EBU members and partners having ordered VIP arrangement (alcohol not included).
19:15: Walking promenade to Sapnu Fabrika. Venue is within a 900 m. walk from Tallink Hotel Riga. Minivan shuttles can be arranged on pre-booking basis only for people those physical conditions do not allow to walk. Booking deadline: 20 March

20:00: Spain: A Contra Blues
20:25: Belgium: Fred & The Healers
20:50: France: Shake You Hips
21:15: Switzerland: The Bacon Fats
21:40: United Kingdom:David Migden & The Twisted Roots
22:05: Romania: The Blues Nation
22:30: Norway: Pristine
22:55: Austria: Edi Fenzli Band
23:20: Netherlands: The John F. Klaver Band
23:45: End of competition
23:50-00:00: Performance of special guests during the pause between last contestant and winner announcement: Latvian Blues Band
00:05: Announcement of winner
00:15 – 00:45: Performance of winner + winners’ jam

Awards:
The awards include performing at the following confirmed festivals:
Frederikshavn Blues Festival (Denmark)
Hondarribia Blues Festival (Spain)
Lucerne Blues Festival (Switzerland)
Notodden Blues Festival (Norway)
Puisto Blues Festival (Finland)
Sierre Blues Festival (Switzerland)
Trasimeno Blues Festival (Italy)
Basel Blues Festival 2015 (Switzerland)

PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS:
EBU Active Members should first have renewed their membership for 2014 before buying EBC arrangements.

EBC Challenge
Free entrance to Active Members, covering:
A 100 Euro member, 2 entrance passes for both days
A 200 Euro member, 4 entrance passes for both days

Tickets for the general public:

Both days tickets on pre-sale: EUR 25.61. Sale ends March 20.
Both days tickets on pre-sale (limited quantity): EUR 30. Sale ends April 10.
One day tickets at the door: EUR 18. April 11-12. No bank cards accepted. Cash only!


Tickets for local audience are on sale at
http://www.bilesuserviss.lv/lat/concerts/festivals/visi./?concert=129030

Tickets for international audience are on sale at
http://www.bilesuserviss.lv/eng/concerts/festivals/visi./?concert=129030

Ticket options at the event website http://liverigablues.lv/eng/tickets/
Direct link
http://www.ticketpro.lv/jnp/en/music/1277073--4th-european-blues-challenge-2014.html

There will be 1 and 2 day tickets available. Tickets will be more expensive at the door.

As indicated, EBU Active Members are entitled to attend both nights of the challenge for free. Active Members who paid a 200 EUR membership fee will have 4 free tickets. Active Members who paid 100 EUR membership fee will have 2 free tickets. All Active Members are also welcome to attend the General Assembly without any cost.

VIP Arrangements:

Total price for VIP Arrangements (Active Members and partners) is 95 EUR (including VAT) for: Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and Saturday dinner (alcohol not included).

If you would like to invite a client or a business partner, it is possible to buy an additional Business Arrangement at a price of 125 EUR. This pass will allow your invitee to enjoy all the benefits as described above.


IMPORTANT NOTES:

If you have not yet renewed your EBU membership, we kindly remind that you should first have paid your membership fee for 2014 before booking any other arrangements.

VIP Arrangements are consumption arrangements and should not be confused with membership fees.

 
Please, make your  payment for VIP arrangements to the EBU account by 23 March at the latest. Please, put "EBC + name(s)" of the participant(s) on the bank transfer form.

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

INTERVIEW WITH TOMAS RUF, EUROPEAN BLUES UNION PRESIDENT
BY KASPARS ZAVILEISKIS

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!

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

PRESENTACION GRUPOS PARTICIPANTES EN EL EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE
(Riga. 11 y 12 Abril 2014)

Incluimos una breve presentación de los grupos participantes en el European Blues Challenge que se celebrará en la Sala
SAPŅU FABRIKA http://www.sapnufabrika.lv/?ln=en de Riga, el viernes 11 y el sábado 12 de Abril de 2014

Austria (AT):
“Edi Fenzl Band”
Founded in 1995, this Viennese hippie-western power blues-rock trio have gained a cult status. The exceptionally virtuoso guitarist Edi Fenzl, the groovy bass player Jan Fenzl and the explosive drummer David Fenzl form a perfect symbiosis and play the blues like it’s done in Texas. Their repertoire includes own compositions as well as classics of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top and many more. Their legendary “Fenzl Offroad Equipment” in Fenzl Flames & Chrome Look with Guitar-Longhorn, Suitcase-Drums and a flower on the hat is unique. Not only fans of dusty blues and rock will get their money’s worth.
www.fenz
lexperience.com 

Belgium (BE):
“Fred & The Healers”
Fred and the Healers are a blues-rock trio from Belgium. Fred Lani formed the band in 1994 at the age 17. In 2004, after four albums hitting the Belgian charts and hundreds of gigs in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Italy, Switzerland and Canada, the band took a nine year break. In 2013, they are back with a brand new line-up with a series of gigs in Belgium and France. Right on time to participate and win the Belgian Blues Challenge and get the ticket for the EBC 2014! A new album will be released in early march 2014, followed by a tour. Fred and the Healers play their own songs, a dangerous mix of refreshing blues and laid back rock. Think of Peter Green as front man in Black Sabbath, or Albert King jamming with The White Stripes…
Fred Lani, guitar
Cedric Cornez, bass
Nico Sand, drums
http://www.fred-and-the-healers.be/

Croatia (CR):
“44 Blues”
The band was founded in 2008 in Zagreb with the purpose to give classic blues a bit heavier and stronger sound. The characteristics of 44 Blues are the strong sound, inspiring solos and powerful, very specific male vocals. Critics say that 44 Blues mixes the sounds of the Stones and the Doors and deliver their style through the suburbs and society's loosers. They have made appearances at many blues festivals through Croatia, such as the 2nd Zagreb International Blues Festival, Blue Sax, the Croatian Blues Challenges. They represented Croatia and the Croatian Blues Forces at the 28th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2012. They have created an album that is now in the process of publishing. The members of the band “Moonshine“ (guitar), “Luke“ (bass), “Mark“ (drums) and “Rafter“ (vocal & harp) have been in blues music for years and are totally devoted to this style of music.
Dalibor Skeledžija, vocal, harp, guitar
Damir Gossain, guitar
Boris Luković, bass
Goran Markić, drums
https://www.facebook.com/pages/44-blues-Zagreb/202399893126215

Denmark (DK):
“Big Creek Slim & The Cockroaches”
Big Creek Slim aka Marc Rune is a young, devoted bluesman. In his early teens he discovered the strength and beauty of the traditional bluesmen such as Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. In his early twenties he made a pilgrimage journey to the southern states, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to experience the last remnants of a disappearing world. Since then, life has taken many turns and took him to Brazil, where the blues is little known in art, but very present in life. Now, at age 30 and back in Denmark, he has hooked up with his old gang. Big Creek Slim & his Cockroaches play them mean old, nasty juke joint blues, and they do it with respect to their forerunners.
Marc Rune, guitar, vocal
Morten Rune, guitar
Filip Dybjerg, bass
Kim Thomsen, drums

Finland (FI):
“Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band”
Groovy blues with a killer band and a young outstanding lady on the vocals. Ina's voice is amazingly strong possessing a lot of unprejudiced courage as her distinctive style brings freshness to the songs. The other band members are well-seasoned professionals in the blues genre, and the outcome is a smooth combination of strong experience and young open-mindedness.
Ina Forsman, vocals
Helge Tallqvist, harmonica
Jonne Kulluvaara, guitar
Iiro Kautto, bass
Harri Ala-Kojola, drums
www.helgetallqvist.com 

France (FR):
“Shake Your Hips”
Shake Your Hips is a band that swings with a Chicago Blues sound. Based in the Paris area, the group started in 2005 and had the opportunity to play small venues as well as big international festivals all over France. Shake Your Hips have two albums under their belt: ”Caroline’s Smile”, a CD from 2006 and a double album, ”Blues Twins” (studio + live), from 2009. Shake Your Hips was declared “Best Electric Blues Band” at Blues sur Seine’s contest in 2007, where they also received the Cahors Blues Festival special award. After a Canadian summer tour in 2012 they went to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in 2013. Live, the band delivers a fat blues sound, beautiful feelings with a big stage presence!
Jean-Marc Henaux, harmonica
Olivier Raymondn guitar, vocals
Freddy Miller, vocals
Olivier Ferrié, drums
Jerôme Ferrié, basse & acoustic bass
http://www.shakeyourhips.fr/
https://www.facebook.com/ShakeYourHips

Germany (DE):
“Mike Seeber Trio”
Mike Seeber has been playing guitar since he was a kid. As a youngster he was drawn to the music of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter. Mike followed closely the East German blues bands and looks upon them as his musical fathers. For years he toured as "Texas Mike" and gained a strong following. In 2012 he founded The Mike Seeber Trio with Philipp Roesch and Tobias Ridder. Press and fans call them “the thunder of the German blues scene”. The band is the winner of the German Blues Challenge 2013.
Mike Seeber, guitar, vocals
Philipp Rösche, bass
Tobias Riddler, drums
http://mikeseeber.de

Hungary (HU):
“T. Rogers”
T. Rogers is a six-piece “joy and blues” band based in Budapest. Their name is based on the Hungarian word "troger", meaning basically someone with a relaxed attitude towards life, one who likes to enjoy each and every day. The band was formed in 2004 and they play both electric and acoustic blues from a wide variety of different influences, reflecting the diverse different musical tastes of each band member. Their style is tight, engaging and exciting. This dynamic and talented group is renowned for their live performances with intense solos and infectious energy gaining them a growing reputation across Europe.
Béla Baráth, drums
Stewart Hay, harmonica
Ferci Kovács, guitar, vocal
Pál Sturmann, guitar
Zsolt Szatai, bass
Vince Széll, percussion, mandolin
http://trogers.hu/bio.html
www.facebook.com/T.RogersBluesBand

Italy (IT):
“Marco Pandolfi Trio”
Marco Pandolfi’s presence on the Italian Blues scene goes back twenty years. He has been playing at the most important events on the peninsula, winning the respect of the greatest blues musicians in Italy and abroad. He is the only Italian blues musician to have participated twice at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, in 2006 as Marco Pandolfi & the Jacknives and in 2011 in the solo/duo category. Pandolfi has performed with some of the most famous bluesmen worldwide, such as Richard Ray Farrell, Paul Oscher, Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore and Willie King among others. His latest CD is "Close The Bottle When You're Done" (2012). During his last tour of the States in May-June 2012 he played Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Bentonia Blues Festival.
Marco Pandolfi, vocals, harmonica, guitar
Federcio Patarnello, drums
Lucio Villani, double bass
www.marcopandolfi.com/marcopandolfi.com 
www.marcopandolfi.com

Latvia (LV):
“Lavrix Band”
Lavrix Band was founded in 2012 by the leader of the band Vladimirs Lavrinovičs who is best known as the guitarist of the legendary Latvian band Eolika. He also teaches guitar playing, and many people know him as a dedicated bluesman. He performed at Sigulda Blues Festival in 2011 with his previous ensemble 4 Men Band. The new Lavrix Band has released their debut record, an instrumental CD “My Time”. Vladimirs Lavrinovičs, guitars, vocal
Jānis Neimanis, bass
Rinalds Jukna, drums
Rudolfs Kreicbergs, organ
http://sandrislat.wix.com/lavrix-band 

Netherlands (NL):
“The John F. Klaver Band”
Matt Schofield has said: "John F. Klaver is one of the most interesting guitarists out of Holland". Klaver is a guitarist, singer, composer and music teacher. He began playing the guitar at the age of eleven, inspired by Gary Moore, Robben Ford and Jimi Hendrix. After graduating for his VWO-diploma he studied in America, attending Stagg Highschool as a “senior” and taking guitar lessons as well as music theory classes at the University of the Pacific. Back in the Netherlands, he was admitted to the conservatory of Amsterdam and received lessons from Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson and Eef Albers. In 2007 he started his own band, the John F. Klaver Trio, which would later become the John F. Klaver Band. They have played many big festivals such as Moulin Blues and Big Rivers, won numerous Dutch Blues Awards, and featured as support act for musicians like Dana Fuchs, Matt Schofield and Johnny Winter. They are releasing their 4th CD this year.
John F. Klaver, guitar, vocals
Iris Sigtermans, bass
Eric Dillisse, drums
Rob Mostert, Hammond B3, vocals
http://www.johnklaver.nl/ 

Norway (NO):
“Pristine”
Pristine is a psychedelic rock/blues-rock band that hails from the arctic city of Tromsø, which is located in northern Norway. With the charismatic redhead Heidi Solheim in front they forge their music with power, passion and intensity – blues with traces of southern rock, soul and funk. The band leader, singer and songwriter Solheim is responsible for both lyricism and music writing, with the entire band assisting with the arrangements. Pristine released their debut album in 2011 to national critical acclaim and some international notice. The album got airplay in Belgium, Croatia, USA, Australia and Canada. Pristine also made a big splash at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Their sophomore album “No Regret” was released in May 2013, and as with “Detoxing” the album was embraced by both fans and critics. Radio legend Bård Ose claimed on live radio: “We were impressed by their debut album and their new album is very close to supreme”, and “…some of the best I’ve heard from Norwegian music this year”.
Heidi Solheim, vocals
Espen Elverum Jacobsen, guitar, vocals
Anders Oksal, keyborads
Asmund Wilter Eriksson, bass
Kim Karlsen, drums
www.pristine-music.com 

Romania (RO):
“The Blues Nation”
Founded in 2012 by Stefan Tudose, Blues Nation is very much a mix of blues and blues rock textures, shaped from the influences of its members. Lead guitar warrior Laci Farkas and young wolf bass player Horatio Silasi joined the project from the start, adding their personal flavour to the mix. Beginning of 2013 the rhythm section was distilled by adding drummer Gabriel Bot. Approaching blues classics in a personal manner, Blues Nation’s gigs radiate rough energy and vibe in the most electric way you can imagine blues being played. After a series of concerts in the club circuit, Blues Nation are planning to work on their first album release in the beginning of 2014.
Stefan Tudose, vocals, guitar
Laszlo (Laci) Farkas, lead guitar, harp, vocals
Horatiu Silasi, bass
Gabi Bot, drums
www.facebook.com/bluesnationofficial 

Russia (RUS):
“Bomb Lane Band”
Bomb Lane Band was founded in October 2009 by two friends and architects from Moscow. Boris Uborevich Borovsky and Dimitry Alexandrov united on the basis of their deep love for the blues and rock. Having started with covers, BLB recorded one year later their first studio album “Up and Down” including their own stuff. Bomb Lane Band has made numerous club gigs in Moscow and in central parts of Russia gathering a large circle of fans. Receiving the Hard Rock Rising Award in 2011 was an important milestone for the band. The follow-up album "Behind The Blues" was released in August 2012. New lead guitarist Denis Shlykov joined them the following year, and they are currently working on a new album project.
Dimitry Alexandrov, keyboards, guitar, vocals, songwriter
Hayk Asatryan, bass
Levon Ayrapetov, drums
Alexander Zagvazdin, vocals
Barannikova Antonina, vocal
Boris Uborevich Borovsky, guitar, vocals
Denis Shlykov, guitar, songwriter
Dimitry Alexeev, percussion
http://bomb.domarch.info/
https://www.facebook.com/.../Bomb-Lane-Band/158

Spain (ES):
“A Contra Blues”
A Contra Blues is a band formed in Barcelona. Since its foundation in 2005 the band has published four albums. Tradition and heterodoxy live side by side in their repertoire and come naturally alive in the band’s fresh and seasoned performances of classics as well as their own songs. The band performances boast both spontaneity and carefully elaborated arrangements. Their energetic shows, sometimes up to three hours long, are filled with strength, solidity and empathy. A Contra Blues live by and for the live scene. In their performances they accomplish strong climax moments and a natural rapport with the audience as much as in the high moments of dynamism like in the more intimate sounds. Their live shows let no one indifferent and have led the group to be rewarded several times.
Alberto Calvillo Mendiola, electric guitar
Héctor Martín Díaz, electric guitar
Joan Vigo Fajín, double and electric bass
Jonathan Herrero Herrería, vocals, acoustic guitar
Núria Perich Chastang, drums
www.acontrablues.com 

Sweden (SE):
“The Hightones”
The Hightones is a Swedish blues and rock n' roll band, formed in 2012 in Karlstad.
The band originally started off as a trio with Pierre Sjöholm on vocals/guitar, Lucas Lindstedt on drums and Daniel Fredriksson on bass. Later that year they were joined by Fredrick Karlsson on piano who would soon become the fourth member of the band.
As for the bands repertoire most of the material are original songs written by Pierre Sjöholm, and in 2013 eleven of these songs were recorded on their first record Oh baby me too at Strawberry Music Studios.
Their record has received great reviews from Blues & Rhythm Magazine and Jefferson Blues Magazine where the latter defines the band's sound as: ”Traditional blues in various tempos, rockin' boogie and an honest, genuine sound”.
Pierre Sjöholm, vocals, guitar
Daniel Fredriksson, bass
Lucas Lindstedt, brums
Fredrick Karlsson, piano
https://sv-se.facebook.com/thehightones

Switzerland (CH):
“The Bacon Fats”
The Bacon Fats are an award winning rhythm & blues, Swing, Surf and Roots band. Their own blend of styles, what they themselves describe as "Hard Swing Blues" is unique. Rocky, surfy, bluesy, jazzy, rocksteadyish, swingy, it’s not easy to get a descriptive grip on, so have a listen yourself. It's certainly fresh and driving! The band includes Jan Hartmann, Sleepy Eddie James, Tobias Wirz and Lukas Meier. Founded in 2011, they've issued an EP that same year, played a couple of gigs through 2011-2012, went on to win the Swiss Blues Challenge in 2013. So far so good, but we'll see how they will do at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and at the European Blues Challenge in Riga. Stay tuned.
Jan Hartmann, vocals, harmonica
Edwart Sikora, vocals, guitar
Tobias Wirz, bass
Lukas Meier, drums
www.baconfats.com
http://oft.r.mailjet.com/redirect/wg8ohfmvytbozt9g7078wv/www.baconfats.com/

United Kingdom (UK):
“David Migden & The Twisted Roots”
David Migden & The Dirty Words are an exciting electric five piece, performing unique original material in a genre-busting crossover of rock, blues and twisted American roots. David Migden was raised in Little Rock Arkansas and moved to the UK as a teenager. After playing and touring around London and Europe, initially in the Lee Sankey Group with Matt Schofield and Ian Siegal. He then teamed up with “The Dirty Words” and released “Second Hand Tattoo” to a fantastic response from critics and fans alike. Gigs across London and the Southeast followed at venues such as The Jazz Cafe, Dean Street Pizza Express, Ronnie Scott’s, the Borderline, and the American Embassy. The band members have played with many other internationally renowned artists including Robert Plant, James Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Snowboy, Matt Berry, Hamish Stuart, Andy Newmark, and have gained a reputation for putting on fantastic shows that focus on David’s incredible songs.
David Migden, vocals, trumpet, piano
Phil Scragg, bass
James Sedge, drums, percussion
Joe Gibson, guitar, backing vocals
Graham Mann, keyboard, trombone, backing vocals, percussion
http://www.davidmigdenandthedirtywords.com/

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!

 

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

A CONTRA BLUES REPRESENTARAN A ESPAÑA EN EL EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE
(Riga, Letonia, 11 Y 12 Abril 2014)

Los músicos españoles participantes en la cuarta edición del EBC y que han sido elegidos por votación de los miembros del Consejo de Asesores son A Contra Blues.

Mucha suerte para A Contr Blues que serán los reprsentantes españoles en la próxima edición del European Blues Challenge en Riga (Letonia) los días 11 y 12 de abril de 2014 en la sala SAPŅU FABRIKA
http://www.sapnufabrika.lv/?ln=en

A Contra Blues es una banda consolidada con más de un lustro de actividad y cuatro trabajos discográficos editados.
En su repertorio conviven tradición y heterodoxia, mezclándose de manera natural para tocar con madurez y frescura tanto clásicos de la música norteamericana como composiciones propias. Fruto de estas cualidades sus interpretaciones combinan indistintamente espontaneidad y arreglos elaborados. Sus enérgicos shows, algunos de hasta 180 minutos, son una experiencia llena de fuerza, solidez y empatía.

A Contra Blues vive por y para el directo consiguiendo alcanzar en sus actuaciones un feedback fluido con la audiencia y momentos de clímax tanto en las dinámicas más altas como en los pasajes más íntimos. Una propuesta que a nadie deja indiferente y que ha llevado al grupo a ser premiado por sus directos en varias ocasiones.

Alberto Calvillo Mendiola - Guitarra eléctrica
Héctor Martín Díaz - Guitarra eléctrica
Joan Vigo Fajín - Contrabajo y bajo eléctrico
Jonathan Herrero Herrería - Voz y guitarra acústica
Núria Perich Chastang - Batería
www.acontrablues.com 

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

PRIMERA EUROPEAN BLUES EXPO
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).

BIBLIOTECA CENTRAL TECLA SALA
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
bibteclasala@l-h.cat http://www.l-h.cat/biblioteques/teclasala.aspx 

Alain Hiot (França)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo95280/sets/
Sylvie Bosc (França)
http://sylbmonoeil.com/
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
http://nurmibluesphoto.com/
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
http://www.lahoradelblues.com/
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41420984@N07/
Fred Delforge (França)
http://www.zicazic.com/
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
http://www.skattomatto.net/
Bad Music Blues
http://badmusicblues.blogspot.com.es/

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
www.europeanbluesunion.com
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

FIRST EUROPEAN BLUES EXPO
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)

BIBLIOTECA CENTRAL TECLA SALA
Fondo de Blues / Blues Documentos Unión Europea
AvDA. Josep Tarradellas, 44.
08901 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona (Spain)
Tel.: 00.03.4932602484
http://www.l-h.cat/biblioteques/teclasala.aspx 

Alain Hiot (França) http://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo95280/sets/
Sylvie Bosc (França)
http://sylbmonoeil.com/
Pertti Nurmi (Finlàndia)
http://nurmibluesphoto.com/
Roser I.Valls (Espanya)
http://www.lahoradelblues.com/
Charlie Hussey (Irlanda)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41420984@N07/
Fred Delforge (França)
http://www.zicazic.com/
SKAttomaTTO (Itàlia)
http://www.skattomatto.net/
Bad Music Blues
http://badmusicblues.blogspot.com.es/

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 www.europeanbluesunion.com
(Texto. Montserrat Pratdesaba)

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

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.

 

Hideaway

 

* * * * * * * * *


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

 

CHINO & THE BIG BET (España)

 

1er. Premio… VERONICA SBERGIA & RED WINE SERENADERS (Italia)

 

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.

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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 www.bluesyou.com

- 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 www.bluesuyou.com, 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
E-mail/Feedback