February 7th, 1998
Jekyll & Hyde
Crow & The Big Time
Spooner & Wilmking
Dave Myers with Tom Vieth & Friends
Blues legends in Osnabrück
Blues sounds float in the air. Many of the over 300 hundred visitors are already sipping beer, wine or coffee in the entrance hall to the twelve-bar sound of the 4th. Blues Lawine.
Most of them want to be in the concert hall as the Osnabrück band "Jekyll and Hyde" begin the show in the Haus der Jugend with powerful cover versions from Eric Clapton to ZZ. Numbers written by band members Antonius Geers, Christoph Plüschke (both guitar/vocals), Günther Merker (bass) and Christoph Rocholl (drums) are stylistically related to blues rockers like Walter Trout. "Jekyll and Hyde" quicklyget the audience dancing and singing.
"Crow and the Big Time" with powerful boogie numbers and bluesstandards from the Chicago blues tradition as well as songs influenced by jazz and swing produce a fantastic atmosphere in the hall. The expressive voice and piano style of Horst Bergmeyer impress the public as well as the well-balanced rhythm group with Michael van Merwyk on bass and Arndt Schulbach on drums.
The first high-point of the programme is definitely the duo "Spooner and Wilmking". Varied instrumentation and a large repertoire as well as the abilities of the two full-blooded musicians contribute to their effect on the public. The Welshman Gerry Sponer with his individualistic, raw voice and his excellent work on the acoustic guitar and Dobro and his singing partner Volker Wilming on piano, saxophone and flute produced new, exciting sounds on their journey through the world of blues. The public follows with bated breath, when they aren't wildly cheering. They are treated to a programme including, amongst others, Muddy Waters "Mojo Working" in which Spooner (Spooner isn't his nickname) reached for the spoons and the percussive fireworks flew!
"Tom Vieth and Friends" then prepared the stage with numbers in typical Chicago style for the star guest of the evening Dave Myers, the blues legend from Chicago. The 72-year-old is one of the most important representatives of the Chicago blues of the 40s and 50s still living. [He died in 2001]. As guitar and bass player of the best rhythm group in the history of the blues, "The Aces", he recorded with, amongst others, Muddy Waters and the recently deceased Junior Wells. Dave Myers wearing a leather cap and occasionally laughing, created expectancy and took plenty of time to tune his guitar. Cat-calls from all too impatient members of the audience were halted with a relaxed: " I'm an old man. Sometimes I can still do it with my guitar, sometimes I can't. Let's hope that today I can do it." The public was lucky, today is, naturally, a good day. Myers began his performance in country blues style with only guitar and vocals with this very original blues form impressively done really gave the audience quite something.
With the return of Tom Vieth and Friends there was, as advertised by the presenters, "the atmosphere of a Chicago blues club." The band knew how to feelingly accompany Myers rhythmically accentuated guitar playing that revealed his years of bass guitar playing as for example in "Blues with feeling." Mirko Bartolcic (Bass) and Peter Samland (drums) provided a solid rhythmical basis while Gerd Gorke (harmonica) , Tom Vieth (guitar) and once again Horst Bergmeyer on piano took up the phrases and licks from Myers and developed them without pushing him into the background. Chicago blues at its best! An all too short session with other musicians ended an excellent blues concert.
The Osnabrück Bluesverstärker as presenters of the 4th. Osnabrück Blues Lawine, with the support of the city of Osnabrück and the LVO were pleased with the way the festival had gone. "Our idea, to present a top act together with groups from the region was justified. Many of the numbers played at the festival were standards that were first made hits by Dave Myers. One can say that in the person of Dave Myers someone has appeared in Osnabrück who helped to create this music. The other bands have shown that we in this region have a live, high-class blues scene."
(Kultursignale) Werner J. H. Hülsmann/Gabriele Janz
Photos: Eric Schäfer
Translation: Dennis Newson