February 10th, 2001
Stan Webb's Chicken Shack
Paul Lamb & The King Snakes
Blues from East Westfalia
And Blues from Great Britain
Rheda-Wiedenbrück isn't exactly a blues scene insider tip, at least one wouldn't think so. But the Bluesverstaerker's 7th. Blues Lawine that cascaded over the Haus der Jugend taught the public otherwise.
From the beginning of the concert "Blue Soul" from the small town in East Westfalen showed that they really have the blues in their soul. Above all the singer and guitarist Michael von Merwyk with his almost black voice set a very high standard for the evening.
Stefan Volpert on the organ, Klaus Wagemann on bass and Arndt Schlubach on drums produced an appropriate goovy sound frame for the solid vocal work of van Merwyk. This was true for original compositions such as "Bad bad Blues" as well for cover numbers like "As the Years Go Passing By" by "Daedric Malone", which the band dedicated to a friend whose absence because of a wedding the band was just about prepared to accept as an excuse. The public, on their way to a Blues heaven, only agreed to the end of the opening act after several encores.
After a long pause for rearranging the stage it was free for British Blues with "Stan Webb's Chicken Shack" which Osnabück insiders regarded as the absolute top act of the 7th. Blues Lawine. Perfect, well honed team performances from Gary Davies on the rhythm guitar, Jim Rudge on bass and Bev Smith on drums provided the background for Stand Webb and his masterful guitar playing. Numbers like those demanded by the public "Poor Boy" or "The Last Time" and "The House That Love lives In" from his new CD "Webb" provided the proof that Chicken Shack is still rightly considered to be one of the corner stones of the British Blues scene. Unfortunately, this applies less to Stan Webb's vocal artistry. "The man" sometimes sounded somewhat troubled and had to sometimes put his hand to his ear to follow his own notes. Or was this the fault of the loudness of the group? This left absolutely nothing wanting and was a few decibels over the bearable. This definitely has its reason in the small hall that was well filled with an audience of over 600. But unfortunately Chicken Shack here achieved a partial room clearance. Verbatim what the frustrated man on the mixer said in reaction to the criticism of an equally frustrated member of the public: " They are playing so loud! I can't do anything with it!" It's a pity that many people moved to the Foyer to experience Stan Webb's Chicken Shack's finale.
But "Paul Lamb and the King Snakes" can be thanked for the fact that "Blues the Healer" can also resuscitate over-stressed ears. They occupied the last third of the Blues Lawine and turned out to be the absolute favourites in this well-advanced blues night. Johnny Whitehall on guitar, Rod Demick on bass, Sonny Below on drums and the new member of the group Erl Green as vocalist provided the appropriate backing for their prize-winning harp player Paul Lamb. He, on the other hand, left space for his fellow players that "Little John" in particular, with impassive face, used for solos full of expression. Earl Green, too, was able to show his paces. "No Glue in the World" and "Good Stuff" suited him well. He was able to shine with a duo at he end of the concert with the Osnabrück blues matadoress Angela Brown. "Rock Me" was a fine farewell present to the fans of what happily has become an established institution: the Osnabrück Blueslawine
Translation: Dennis Newson
Photos: Eric Schäfer