February 10th, 1996
Blues again ...
Have Mercy with Abi Wallenstein
Bubbly Bottle Bass
3. "Blueslawine" in Haus der Jugend
The stake of the Osnabrücker "Bluesverstärker" paid off again. The "Association for the Promotion of the Local Blues Scene" arranged the "Blueslawine" in the "Haus der Jugend" for the third time. A night filled with Blues in all its variety again tempted numerous fans of the Blue Note. The four invited bands managed to win the audience right from the start.
"Strange Brew" from Osnabrück opened the festival as early as 19:00. The four very young musicians had to get on stage that early to leave some time for a jam session at midnight. Their fresh approach to unite Blues and Rock, use the Hammond for the rhythmic drive and the heritage of Jimi Hendrix on the guitar, while having the bass accentuate the music with keen riffs was thrilling. Their gig was a very promising debut - the band had its first performance in this set-up.
As the evening wore on, the harp became the dominating element. Holger Brinkmann played the little instrument in the Trio "Blues again . . ." from Münster. Acoustic bass and guitar supported this set of acoustic Blues. Occasionally the 12-string or the dobro appeared, to give the "Hoochie Coochie Man" the right trot.
The "Blues Mafia" from Münster proved to be well at home in all departments. Their electrified and technically sound gig went from C&W over Rn'B to classic Chicago Blues. The cigar smoking drummer and the harp player, who produced a new harp from a kind of cartridge belt at the change of key, added a visual bonus to the captivating music.
The top act of the evening - "Have Mercy", supported by the Hamburg Blues guru Abi Wallenstein - have devoted their music to the Memphis Jug, an earthenware jug on which bass lines are blown.Two furious harps, mandolin, slide guitar and - in place of the original jug - and empty bottle of bubbly, made the appearance of this international quartett a very special experience. Outright harp duells, prominent vocals and the authentic approach of Wallenstein provided several high-lights.
The audience had to surrender to the "Blues Lawine" as musicians from the bands were joined on stage for a jam session by Osnabrücks own Chicago-Queen Angela Brown, who grabbed the mic and set a brilliant finale with her smoky, massive voice and highly-strung appearance.
NOZ on 12.02.1996
Translation: Tom Carlsson
Photos: Hans-Jürgen Weis/Wolfgang Lampe