Biography Wentus Blues Band

Finnish group Wentus Blues Band's seventh studio CD "Woodstock" was recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY in the autumn of 2010.
"Woodstock" includes 12 new, original songs. Band members Juho Kinaret, Niko Riippa, Robban Hagnäs and Pekka Gröhn wrote the majority of the material. Producer Clas Yngström penned one song. Lyrics to three songs are written by former Cream lyricist Pete Brown.

Clas Yngström has collaborated with Wentus Blues Band earlier, as he produced their album "No Beginner" (2001). Yngström is a musician himself; he has fronted his own band Sky High for more than 30 years.
Wentus Blues Band was formed in Finland's midwestern city of Kokkola in 1986. Its name derives from the Kokkola village of Ventus, where their rehearsal room is still located. In addition to their own career, Wentus has backed up several world-class blues and rock acts. Tours have taken the band to numerous countries in Europe.

Wentus Blues Band celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a three-night concert in Helsinki in September 2006. Along with Wentus, long-time collaborators like Louisiana Red, Lazy Lester, Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones), and Sven Zetterberg took the stage.
Director Heikki Kossi and his film crew were there to shoot a documentary of the event. The resulting film, "Family Meeting", was nominated for two national film awards in Finland. "Family Meeting" has screened in several European countries as well as at festivals in the USA and Canada.

Wentus Blues Band are Mikael Axelqvist (drums), Pekka Gröhn (keyboards, backing vocals), Robban Hagnäs (bass, backing vocals), Juho Kinaret (vocals, percussion), Niko Riippa (guitar), and Kim Vikman (guitar). Axelqvist, Hagnäs, Riippa, and Vikman are founding members.

Biography Canned Heat

Canned Heat rose to fame because their knowledge and love of blues music was both wide and deep. Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. Hite took the name “Canned Heat” from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, another ardent record collector who was a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans.

The band attained three worldwide hits, “On The Road Again” in 1968, “Let’s Work Together” in 1970 and “Going Up The Country” in 1969 became rock anthems throughout the world with the later being adopted as the unofficial theme song for the film Woodstock and the “Woodstock Generation.”

They secured their niche in the pages of rock ‘n roll history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who) and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. The band can boast of collaborations with John Mayall and Little Richard and later with blues icon, John Lee Hooker, the musician that they initially got much of their musical inspiration from in the first place. This union produced the spirited and revered album, “Hooker ‘n Heat.” The band is also credited with bringing a number of other forgotten bluesmen to the forefront of modern blues including Sunnyland Slim, who they found driving a taxi in Chicago, Skip James, who they found in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi and took to the Newport Festival, Memphis Slim and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown with whom theyrecorded in France and Albert Collins.

On September 3rd, 1970, the band was shattered by the suicide of Alan Wilson. His death sparked reconstruction within the group and member changes have continued throughout the past three decades. On April 5th, 1981, at the Palamino in Los Angeles, gargantuan vocalist,Bob Hite, collapsed and died of a heart attack and on October 20th, 1997, Henry Vestine died in Paris, France following the final gig of a European tour. In 2008, singer/harmonica frontman Robert Lucas passed away from a drug overdose.

Despite these untimely deaths and assorted musical trends, Canned Heat has survived. They have performed at world-renowned venues such as Paris’ Olympia, both Fillmore Auditoriums, The Kaleidoscope, Carnegie Hall (with John Lee Hooker), Madison Square Garden and even Royal Albert Hall and have played more biker festivals and charity events than any other band in the world. They and/or their music have been featured on television (In Concert, David Frost, MervGriffin, Midnight Special, Playboy After Dark, etc.), and in films (“Woodstock,” “Flashback,” and “Forrest Gump”) etc. Their legend has recently been heard and felt in various television commercials (“On The Road Again” for Miller Beer, “Goin’ Up The Country” for Pepsi, Chevrolet and McDonalds, “Let’s Work Together” for Lloyd’s Bank, England’s Electric Company and for Target Stores along with other songs for 7-Up, Levi’s and Heineken Beer).

Now, more than forty-five years later and with thirty-eight albums to their credit, Canned Heat is still going strong. They have been anchored throughout the past forty years by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra. Joining “Fito” is original bassist Larry “The Mole” Taylor and New Orleans legend, Dale Spalding on harmonica, guitar and lead vocals. Chicago great Harvey Mandel is the regular guitarist but has been temporarily replaced by John “JP” Paulus while “The Snake” deals with serious health issues.

Fito’s book, “LIVING THE BLUES” tells the complete and outrageous Canned Heat story of “Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival” along with over 100 captivating pictures from their past and is available through the band’s website at www.cannedheatmusic.com and at most popular book outlets.

Biography Big Daddy Wilson

Take a Cadillac ride through the Southern States and you’ll hear a thousand flavours of music on the breeze. Listen to Neckbone Stew and you’ll hear them expertly stirred into one record. “It’s a mixture of all the spices and good stuff you’ll find in most Southern kitchens,” says the award-winning US bluesman Big Daddy Wilson. “To make a good stew, you need a little bit of everything, and this was the idea I went with for my new CD. A beautiful mélange of blues, spiritual, roots, soul and reggae. I just felt like mixing it up this time.” Released in 2017 on Ruf Records, Neckbone Stew is the latest twist in a fascinating life story. Wilson was raised a “real country boy” in Edenton, North Carolina, but fate had other plans. By 1979, the young Southerner had escaped the grinding poverty of his hometown, enlisting in the US Army and relocating to Germany, where he fell for the raw power of live blues. “I met the blues here,” he remembers. “I didn’t know what the blues was before. It was here that I found a part of me that was missing for so long in my life.” Wilson had sung in church as a child – a precaution by his mother and grandma to keep him “away from drugs and off the streets” – but his natural shyness meant he’d never considered stepping onstage. Now, he discovered a talent for songwriting and an unmistakable voice that soon won praise from the iconic Eric Bibb: “As soon as you hear Big Daddy Wilson’s voice, whether speaking or singing, you hear his southern country roots. It’s a voice baptised in the river of African-American song, a voice with the power to heal”. That’s a sentiment echoed by the thousands who have watched the Big Daddy Wilson Trio perform on stages across the USA, Europe and Southern Hemisphere over the last two decades. Working from his adopted home in Germany, meanwhile, the expat bandleader has also earned acclaim for studio albums like 2009’s Love Is The Key, 2011’s acoustic Thumb A Ride, 2013’s I’m Your Man and 2015’s Time. And yet, according to the man in the hat, Neck Bone Stew is the jewel in his back catalogue. “For me,” he says, “it sits on top. The latest is always the greatest. I was in the mood, like John L. Hooker said.” If Neck Bone Stew brings together a variety of genres, then it also unites a dream-team of musicians who helped these 13 songs soar. Led by the multi-instrumental talents of Wilson himself on vocals, guitar and percussion, long-standing Trio members Cesare Nolli (guitar) and Paolo Legramandi (bass) brought fire and flair to sessions at Italy’s Fire Place Room. “These guys are just incredible musicians and great to work with,” reflects the bandleader. “I have some special guests, too. The phenomenal Ruthie Foster. Mr. Staffan Astner. One of my blues heroes, the great Eric Bibb. And this CD is produced by the Goosebumps Brothers. It was a piece of cake – or should I say, Cookies Gone Kill Me. Thanks to the local café who supplied all the cookies…” As for the songs, they run the gamut. There’s the rolling acoustic blues of Cross Creek Road. The exuberant brass lines, wah guitar and bad-luck lyric of 7 Years. The melancholy clipped chords of Damn If I Do, with its depiction of a lover brought his knees (“You got your hooks so deep in my heart/You got me crawlin’, but still you won’t stop”). The album’s musical variety, meanwhile, is exemplified by the magical moment when the title track switches from an aching slide-blues into a reggae strut, with lyrics describing a lover who “got them big old hips, look just like two battleships”. Wilson is equally adept on the sun kissed balladry of I Just Need A Smile, which pairs lush chords with a lyric that implores us to ditch our gadgets and reengage with our humanity. “It’s all about life,” decides the bandleader of the album’s subject matter. “But there are two things you need in a good blues CD – a woman and some food.” At a time when most mainstream music fails to satisfy, Neckbone Stew will give Big Daddy Wilson’s growing army of global fans the soul food they’ve been craving. “Throughout my career and journey,” he reflects, “I’ve been influenced and inspired by so many different and talented people, places and things. And somehow I wanted to bring it all together on this album. To put it all in the Stew…”

Biography Dani Wilde

Young British Blues & Soul Songstress 'Dani Wilde' first broke in to the public eye at the tender age of 17 opening for Steeleye Span's Maddie prior. Having been brought up listening to her fathers record collection ranging from Bob Dylan to Motown, Stax and Chess records, Dani's childhood dreams were always of singing, songwriting and performing.

Dani grew up in Hullavington, a small Wiltshire village, just a few doors down from popular jazz artist Jamie Cullam. Dani says "Jamie is quite a few years older than me so I really don't remember him that well from School. I really admire how he took an un-commercial genre of music and managed to cross over to a mainstream pop audience. I would love to do that with the blues!"

At the age of 18, Dani moved to Brighton where she spent three years achieving her 1st Class Ba Hons Degree in Music whilst also promoting herself as an artist. In 2006, she was noticed by Jools Holland's younger brother 'Christopher Holland'... One thing led to another and by Christmas that year, she was opening for Jools Holland at The Royal Albert Hall.

News of Dani's incredibly soulful voice, unique finger picking guitar style and growing success soon spread and in September 2007 she was picked up by prestigious international blues record label 'Ruf Records'. Dani recalls "Signing to Ruf was a dream come true for me. More than anything I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the contemporary blues women I admire such as Susan Tedeschi and Shemekia Copeland. Thomas Ruf gave me that opportunity!"

In January 2008, with the release of her debut album 'Heal My Blues' , Dani Wilde embarked on the 'Blues Caravan' tour of the UK, Europe and America. Each night she had the opportunity to open up for her hero's Sue Foley, Candye Kane and Deborah Coleman. Following this tour, Dani continued to tour the USA opening for Candye Kane and Robben Ford as well as headlining European tours with her young British band. "Touring 'Heal my blues' was such a learning experience for me. I found myself on the same bill as my hero's, such as Koko Taylor for example, at some of the biggest blues festivals in the world... I had a lot to live up to!"

With regular BBC Radio 2 airplay and magazines from Blues Matters to The Times and Classic Rock giving glowing reviews, Dani Wilde continued to develop as an artist. In March 2010, she went back into the studio to record her second album for Ruf entitled SHINE. The record, produced by legendary British blues producer Mike Vernon really has captured Dani at her very best. "Working with Mike Vernon was such an incredible experience. He is so tremendously talented and creative. I really wanted the new record to capture my vocals at their very best; and from a songwriting and production standpoint I wanted to have a real mix of my blues and soul roots combined with more contemporary influences such as Alanis Morrisette and Joss Stone. I really feel we have achieved just that."

Shine, which features Van Morrison's horn section and pianist, is due to be released in August this year followed by tours of the UK and Europe; and 2011 will see Dani back on the world-wide Blues Caravan tour. In the meantime, Dani is continuing to fundraise for her on-going charity work in the slums of Embu, Kenya... "Every year I visit County Primary school and Toto Love Orphanage in Kenya. The level of poverty there is so horrific. HIV and aids are also a huge problem. Seeing the hardships these kids have to endure is so heartbreaking. With help and donations from my fans, we have been able to improve these children's education and are able to give them opportunities that they will always remember and be proud of. So many more children in Embu desperately need our help. Please do read more about my work in Kenya on my website WWW.DANIWILDE.COM".

Biography Luther Allison

At the time of his sudden death from cancer on August 12, 1997, Allison was finally reaching the mainstream popularity he had always desired. Allison began his major American comeback when he signed with Alligator in 1994, following 12 years of living and performing in Europe, where he had grown from a club artist to a major headliner. 1994's Soul Fixin' Man and 1995's Blue Streak provided a launching pad to American stardom for Allison and his searing brand of hard blues. With the Grammy-nominated Reckless in 1997, Allison soared. He won three W.C. Handy Awards in 1998, five W.C Handy Awards in 1997 (including the coveted Entertainer Of The Year award), scored a total of 15 Living Blues Awards in the same period, and was featured on the covers of the three major national blues publications: Living Blues, Blues Access, and Blues Revue. He appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and The House Of Blues Radio Hour. Even People magazine ran a rave review of his new CD. He was performing in theaters and concert halls rather than small clubs. And no matter where he played, he left audiences open-mouthed in amazement. In just three short years Allison had gone from the latest rediscovery to, as Blues Revue magazine declared, "The New King Of The Blues."

Born in Widener, Arkansas in 1939, Luther Allison (the 14th of 15 musically gifted children) first connected to the blues at age ten, when he began playing the diddley bow (a wire attached by nails to a wall with rocks for bridges and a bottle to fret the wire). His family migrated to Chicago in 1951, and Luther began soaking in the sounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Robert Nighthawk. He was classmates with Muddy Waters' son and occasionally stopped in the Waters' house to watch the master rehearse. It wasn't until he was 18 already in Chicago for seven years that Luther began playing blues on a real guitar and jamming with his brother Ollie's band:

By 1957, Allison had dropped out of school and formed a band called The Rolling Stones. Unhappy with the name, they became The Four Jivers, gigging all over the West Side of Chicago. Before long, Luther was jamming with the West Side's best, including Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Freddie King, who encouraged Allison to sing. "That," said Allison, "was my school." When King began to tour nationally in the early 1960s, Allison took over King's band as well as his weekly gigs at Walton's Corner and became one of the hottest acts on the West Side. For five years, Allison honed his craft. He moved to California for a year and cut sides with fellow Chicagoans Shakey Jake Harris and Sunnyland Slim. He cut his first two songs as a leader on the now-classic Delmark anthology, Sweet Home Chicago, before releasing his first solo album (also on Delmark), Love Me Mama , a record of hard-hitting blues that spoke to the growing rock audience. But even before his debut album came out, Luther landed a headlining spot at the influential Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, and went from relative unknown to major blues-rock attraction. "His guitar riffs seemed to defy the possible," raved John Fishel, the program director of the festival, who brought Allison back to perform at the following two festivals.

Allison signed with Motown Records in 1972 as the label's only blues act. His three records for the Gordy subsidiary led to numerous concert dates and both national and international festival appearances, but domestically, interest in the blues was fading. After finding instant acceptance in Europe, he was convinced that Paris was the place to be. While he gained superstar status in Europe and released a dozen European records, his presence in the American music scene diminished..

With the release of Soul Fixin' Man in 1994, Allison's first domestic album in 20 years, he announced his return. "Fever and chills performances," said Guitar Player, "ferocious solos combine the wisdom of a master storyteller with the elegance of B.B. King, the elasticity of Buddy Guy, and the big sting of Albert King." After three mammoth U.S. tours, America once again was paying attention to Luther Allison. Allison followed up with Blue Streak, and the praise and accolades poured in. "A sonic roar as soulful as his gospel-shout vocals," raved the Washington Post. "Luther Allison's latest is nothing short of a masterpiece by a master," reported Blues Revue. Continued touring brought Allison before raving fans around the world, as he brought his band from the San Francisco Blues Festival to New York's Central Park Summerstage, with all stops in between. With Reckless, Allison reached even greater heights. Guitar World said, "Reckless in the best sense of the word, dancing on a razor's edge, remaining just this side of out-of-control. Hard-driving, piercing West Side Chicago single-note leads with a soul base and a rock edge."Throughout it all, Allison delivered one show-stopping performance after another. His boundless energy and fierce guitar attack combined to make him a blues superstar who reached rock fans like no bluesmen since Freddie King and Albert Collins. When the news broke that Allison had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in July of 1997, the blues world was shocked. When he died just four weeks later, they were devastated. Without a doubt, Luther Allison's death robbed music fans of one of the most exciting and popular blues performers ever. With Live In Chicago, Allison lives on, as he tears through the songs with the single-minded desire to give everything he has to his audience. While listening to the album, fans can immerse themselves in the explosive power of Luther Allison's music and experience the redemptive force of his legendary performances.

Logo Ruf is member...

BluesFoundationlogo kl