What are the essentials of powerful musical expression?
We believe a soulful black female voice and a virtuoso acoustic guitar. Provided they are of the caliber of Friend 'n Fellow.
Depth, class and entertainment from an exceptional duo that plays so efficiently that they actually should be called a "band" with their incredible dynamics and emotionality. The names of these two experienced musicians are:
Constanze Friend (vocals) studied modern voice in Weimar. As the singer of the R&B Band "Mr Adapoe", Constanze was a guest at many European festivals, e.g. as a support act for Alvin Lee and James Brown.
Thomas Fellow (guitars) studied concert guitar for seven years in Weimar. He has won prizes at international competitions and has been on concert tours throughout Europe, the U.S.A. , India and South America. Professor Thomas Fellow is the chairman of the Department of Guitar/World Music at the Conservatory of Music in Dresden, and conducts courses at various other music conservatories and festivals.
Friend 'n Fellow have been performing as a duo since 1991.
Concerts in London, Paris, New York, Peking, Vienna, Zurich, Lucerne Festival (Lucerne, Switzerland), Tollwood-Festival Munich, Festival Internacional de la Porta Ferrada (Spain), 1st Blues & Soul Weekend (Zurich, Switzerland), Simmen Lörrach, Jazzrally Dusseldorf with Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, Simply Red, Marianne Faithful, Maceo Parker.
In the music of FRIEND 'N FELLOW the intensity of blues, the sound of soul and the freedom of jazz unite in a very unique way. Deeply impressed and moved, the audience follows the virtuos way these two exceptional musicians perform together.
What are the essentials of powerful musical expression?
With the April 2006 release of NEW USED CAR, powerhouse singer/songwriter/guitarist Sue Foley has solidified her place as one of the leading lights of the contemporary blues scene. In the male-dominated field of blues music, she's proven she can sling a guitar with the best of them - and she's shared the stage with BB King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and George Thorogood, to name a few. But it's her remarkable songwriting skills and unique vocal style that set her apart from the pack. Foley's music is anything but your standard 12-bar blues; she revs up her tunes with a contemporary twist and moves the music forward. Not that she doesn't appreciate the traditional songs - she plays them as well, and has studied the genre ever since leaving home as a teenager, determined to make a career in music.
Her first new studio work in four years, NEW USED CAR is the most accomplished and accessible album of her career, featuring Sue's smooth purr-to-growl vocals wrapped around original songs, punctuated by her high velocity, shiver-inducing lead guitar work. She wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 tunes on the disc. "I feel this is the best songwriting I've done in my life - the songs just developed so naturally and seemed to write themselves," says Foley, "it was a remarkable process and it is my strongest work and most satisfying album yet."
Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Foley hails from a large, music-loving, working-class family. In her early years she sang with her father, who loved to play Celtic folk songs, while her brothers were in bands hammering out the hard rock covers of the 1970s. Her love of the Rolling Stones and other blues rock bands found Sue checking song writing credits on the albums, where names like Willie Dixon, McKinley Morganfield and Chuck Berry were found, leading to the originators. For her thirteenth birthday, she received her first guitar - "it was my saving grace," she says - and locked herself in her room until she learned how to play. At age sixteen she was gigging around Ottawa clubs, at eighteen she left home for Vancouver, British Columbia, with nothing more than a small suitcase and her guitar.
With determined drive and talent to burn, her first band built a following playing every club in Vancouver. Word spread quickly about the pretty young girl with a wicked guitar style and unique voice - playing blues tunes and her own songs. Soon Foley was out on the road playing across Canada to enthusiastic audiences. An offer to back blues Harmonica whiz Mark Hummel found Foley and her band touring the US and Canada in tandem. During her first trip to Memphis for the Handy Awards, a fated evening's jam found her trading licks with renowned guitar icon Duke Robillard. In the audience was Austin, Texas' blues club and record label owner Clifford Antone.
An offer came from Antone to record an album and play his hallowed nightclub - the regular haunt of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton - Foley jumped, immediately relocating from Canada. "Going to Austin had been a dream of mine...I was so inspired by living and breathing the air there that I stayed for close to seven years and recorded four albums for Antone's Records." Released in 1992, debut album YOUNG GIRL BLUES set Foley's extraordinary vocal character beside her already stunning guitar abilities. It was a solid debut, garnering critical acclaim from the press and nationwide radio airplay. Down Beat magazine said, "Foley plays with almost terrifying ferocity, bending strings as if she's tearing out pieces of her own heart." Her live performances also drew the amazement of the press. "After one performance," said Billboard, "she left the audience flabbergasted."
She remained based in Austin, released WITHOUT A WARNING in 1993 and BIG CITY BLUES in 1995, all while touring extensively, including overseas to Europe and Japan. And the praise flooded in. "Echoes of Earl Hooker, Bessie Smith, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters and other forebears of the blues filter through the cannon of singer, songwriter and guitarist Sue Foley," said the Los Angeles Times. Q magazine stated, "her singing is not only sexy as hell, but somehow manages to capture the tone of Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, while still sounding contemporary." When she wasn't on the road, she was over at Antone's hanging out -
"I was there every night, sitting in with everyone in town, and all the artists who would come down for the anniversaries." She was soon sharing the stage and opening up for the likes of Buddy Guy, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, Joe Cocker, Koko Taylor. By the time she recorded 1996's WALK IN THE SUN, Foley came fully into her own songwriting style. "I had to start crossing musical barriers and stop being compelled to stay within the boundaries of the blues, and stretch out..." Down Beat raved, "Sue Foley has just started a new chapter in her career, and it's the best one yet."
1997 was a year of change. After ten years on the road, she decided to become a mother, and moved back to Canada to be near to her family. She later remarked "I stopped and decided what I wanted - having a child, learning about life - a lot of that put things back in perspective." A year later she was back in action, releasing 1998's TEN DAYS IN NOVEMBER on the Shanachie label to continued critical and commercial success. Touring took backseat to motherhood, but she still hit out for selected dates and weekenders and enjoyed a high profile on the summer festival circuit.
The year 2000 brought two new releases - most importantly the Shanachie title LOVE COMIN' DOWN, which resulted in her winning a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for Best Blues Album. She also swept the nation's Maple Blues Awards, winning an amazing five trophies for Recording of The Year, Songwriter of The Year, Entertainer of The Year, Guitarist of The Year, Female Vocalist of The Year. France's blues music award, 2000's Trophee de Blues was bestowed on Foley for Best Female Guitarist. Britain's MOJO magazine honored LOVE COMIN' DOWN as one of the top 10 blues releases of the year. JazzTimes remarked, "all the elements - songwriting, playing, soulful conviction - come together for her on this solid outing." Her live performance profile heightened as she opened for BB King and John Lee Hooker among others. 2000 also found the resurrected Antone's label (now owned by the Texas Music Group) releasing BACK TO THE BLUES, a compilation of unreleased songs recorded during her 1990-1996 Antone's years.
2002's WHERE THE ACTION IS marked another highly praised recording and Foley again swept Canada's Maple Blues Awards, bringing home five more trophies, including Recording of The Year. (To date, she has received a record setting 17 Maple Blues Awards, more than any other artist.) She was nominated for a prestigious WC Handy Entertainer of The Year Award. Down Beat said, "The real action comes when she sets down her Telecaster and picks up her acoustic guitar to make the time hallowed "Down The Big Road Blues" her own." The Hartford Advocate chimed in, "Foley digs deep into her vocal range and wrings it for all it's worth."
In 2003, a live performance in Toronto was recorded - with a stripped down band, the mostly acoustic show was an inspired example of Sue Foley's live performance prowess. The intimate and remarkable recording proved so excellent, it was released in the US and Europe in 2004 by Ruf Records and named simply CHANGE. "We did it on the fly without rehearsing," said Foley, "I was playing from memory and trying out songs I'd just written, and of course the songs I love to play at home." Once again, the accolades came pouring in. The Philadelphia Inquirer stated "Foley has a killer voice - an impossibly alluring blend of sex and innocence to go with those blazing guitar chops." The Detroit Free Press added "If you're amongst those folks who get bored with the same 12 bars, this is your kind of action."
With the completion of the CHANGE, Foley turned her attention to a project she started in the late 1990's, when researching women guitar players. Having been inspired in her teen years by the work of Memphis Minnie, Sister Rosetta Tharp and Elizabeth Cotton, she decided to document the relationship of the woman guitar player - from past to present and beyond. "I thought I would research this and looked around to find that there was little to no documentation... it looked like the entire chapter had been excluded on purpose, or to be more polite, maybe just overlooked," noted Foley. She decided to start work on a book - researching female musicians of the past and interviewing many contemporary guitarists. The book is still in the works and there are plans for tours and a documentary. "It's almost like a new mythology for me," she comments, "the lives of these women are unique and inspiring. Seeing as there's no solid literature on women guitarists, I feel an obligation to share their stories with the rest of the world." (see www.guitarwoman.com for more information)
As an aside to the book project, Foley co-produced and wrote extensive liner notes to the Ruf Records album BLUES GUITAR WOMEN, released in late 2005. The compilation consists of two CDs, one featuring contemporary artists and the second featuring traditional players. Foley appeared on the nationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour touting the release and her research. The All Music Guide said of the package "from originals to blues standards, there's something for everyone here. What's most surprising is how little known so many of these fine performers are, and the way the heritage gets passed down, guitar to guitar for over 70 years."
Sue Foley's commitment to music is more intense now than when she first hit the road as a teenager. NEW USED CAR proves she is one of the most creative and intriguing artists on the touring circuit and affirms her rising star burns as bright as ever.
Whether one leans towards the blues, opts for Americana or ignites some special fervour by playing with a garage band, there’s a common bond that suggests a reverence for the roots. Looking back towards an earlier template -- no matter what the genre -- proves the point that appreciating what came before can be a stepping stone for what comes next.
Samantha Fish knows that all too well, and it’s been evidenced in the music she’s made her entire career. While she’s well known as a purveyor of blues, having been lauded by such legends as Buddy Guy, the Royal Southern Brotherhood and Luther Dickinson, her real love is simply raw, scrappy rock and roll. “I grew up on it,” she insists. “Working with Luther on my last album further instilled that spirit in me. It made me realize just how much that basic, unfettered sound means to me, and how well it ties into soul music, R&B, country and so many other forms of music that are essential even today.”
It’s little wonder that when it came time to record her new album, Chills & Fever (released March 17, 2017), Fish set her sights on Detroit, the home of soul, Motown, legendary R&B as well as the much edgier rock-n-roll of Iggy Pop, Jack White, and The White Stripes. It was there that she joined forces with members of the Detroit Cobras, a band whose insurgent ethic has made them darlings of the Midwest punk/blues scene. The two entities -- which included Joe Mazzola on guitar, Steve Nawara on bass, Kenny Tudrick on drums with Bob Mervak on keys, and the New Orleans horn section featuring Mark Levron and Travis Blotsky on trumpet and saxophone -- bonded over a common love of classic soul and rollicking rhythms, so much so that the results testify to a seemingly timeless template. Covering songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s -- indelible melodies from the pens of legends like Jackie DeShannon, Jerry Ragavoy, Bert Berns and Allen Toussaint -- along with producer Bobby Harlow (King Tuff, The Gap Dream, White Fang) a member of the Detroit band The Go, which also featured Jack White prior to his stint with the White Stripes. With that as her starting point, Fish and the band then created an album that’s best described as a pure slab of rocking rhythm n’ blues.
“I listened to a lot of soul music, and I dug deep into people like Otis Redding and Ray Charles,” Fish recalls. “I was also influenced by people like North Mississippi's R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. It’s a less restrained style of music than the sound people may be used to hearing from me, it’s definitely a different facet of my personality.”
The fact is, Fish has never been bound by any expectations whatsoever. Growing up in Kansas City, she switched from drums to guitar at the tender age of 15. She spent much of her time in local watering holes listening to visiting blues bands. Samantha caught the attention of Ruf Records. The label subsequently released her album, Girls with Guitars, which found her co-billed with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde. That led to her forming her own trio and recording three more albums, Runaway (2011), Black Wind Howlin’ (2013) and Wild Heart (2015), as well as reaping an award for Best Artist Debut at the 2012 Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Along the way she found herself working with other artists as well -- Jimmy Hall, Devon Allman, and Reese Wynans, among them.
Still, nothing she’s done before can prepare her faithful fans and followers to the seminal sounds of Chills & Fever.
I don’t think I ever enjoyed making a record quite as much as I enjoyed making this one,” Fish insists. “I love the sound of the brass and the edgier intensity. Channeling timeless artists who sang like their lives depended on it. To me, that's what this music is all about."
Colosseum made their live debut in Newcastle and were promptly recorded by influential BBC Radio One DJ John Peel for his Top Gear Radio program. This appearance gained them valuable exposure and critical acclaim.
Colosseum's first album, Those Who Are About To Die Salute You, was released by the Fontana label in 1969. Colosseum also played the "Super Session" program produced by BBC with Modern Jazz Quartet, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Roland Kirk Quartet, Eric Clapton, Steve Stills, Juicy Lucy. Colosseum's second album, also in 1969, was Valentyne Suite, notable as the first release from Vertigo Records, the first label to sign heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. Vertigo Records was a branch of Philips, established to sign and develop artists that did not fit the main Philips Records brand.
Dave "Clem" Clempson replaced James Litherland for the third album, The Grass Is Greener, released in 1970 and only in the United States. Louis Cennamo then replaced Tony Reeves on bass, but was replaced by Mark Clarke within a month, and Hiseman recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe to enable Clempson to concentrate on guitar. This is considered to be the definitive Colosseum line-up, which partly already recorded the 1970 album Daughter of Time.
In March 1971, the band recorded its concerts at the Big Apple in Brighton and at Manchester University. Hiseman was impressed with the atmosphere at the Manchester show, and the band returned five days later for a free concert that was also recorded. The recordings were released as a live double album in 1971, Colosseum Live, shortly before the original band broke up.
Interim and reunion
After the band split, Jon Hiseman formed Tempest with bassist Mark Clarke; Dave Greenslade formed Greenslade with Tony Reeves; Clem Clempson joined Humble Pie; Chris Farlowe joined Atomic Rooster; and Dick Heckstall-Smith embarked on a solo career.
Hiseman reformed the group as Colosseum II in 1975, with a stronger orientation towards jazz-fusion rock and a new lineup, featuring guitarist Gary Moore, and Don Airey on keyboards. Colosseum II released four albums before disbanding in 1978.
Colosseum reunited for a tour in 1994, the catalyst for a live CD, DVD releases, and new studio releases. Expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live were also released, as well as several compilation albums.
Hiseman's wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, joined the band on various occasions before the 2004 death of Dick Heckstall-Smith and is now a permanent member of the band.
Jack Bruce and Robin Trower for the first time performing live! The news spread like wildfire, the sensation was perfect.
The legendary Cream bassist and singer, all his life striking new paths in blues and jazzrock, and the immense talented guitarist of Procol Harum fame who left the chains of 5-minute-pop behind him very early and who never followed any mainstream cliches: Both musicians have written history in rock for more than 40 years.
It was at the beginning of the 80s when they first worked together in a studio with two remarkable records resulting (B.L.T. 1981 and Truce 1982), but the fans had to wait for another meeting of the titans 27 long years: It was not until last year when "Seven Moons" came out.
The Veterans had formed a power trio; together with the a few years younger drummer Gary Husband (Level 42, Gary Moore, John McLaughlin), they recorded exclusively own material. Trower had come up with some basic ideas and Bruce and he worked them out: Fine bluesrock painted in psychedelic colours und wonderful sounds - a record transporting the living spirit of the creative seventies in to the third millennium. "Seven Moons" is the third joint venture of two aged musicians - and it is their masterpiece.
A few months later a fansite announced: "Bruce, Trower & Husband to take ´Seven Moons´ into orbit! For a few nights only, Robin and Jack will get to play live together for the first time ever in late February 2009."
As a matter of fact: After only two gigs - Karlsruhe and Cologne - the trio was ready to play the dutch town Nijmegen, where the concert would be filmed by a big camera crew. Fans from France, England, Germany and elsewhere arrived in order to enjoy the event together with the dutch devotees of the band.
Somebody placed a notice in the fanblog: With cameras filming the event it might be guaranteed that Bruce, Trower and Husband would play a good concert. Well, this night had something really special, but not because of the camera crew and their equipment. It was only the third joint venture show of the trio, but these guys had found out something meanwhile: They belonged together. They formed a unity. Moments like these bring joy, joy of playing (musicians and footballers know that for sure). You don´t need cameras then.Let´s take a look into the concert.
It´s 8:45 pm. The historic night at the mighty and majestic Concertgebouw De Vereeniging begins on the tick. Jack Bruce, 65 meantime, greets the audience with a short "Good evening" and the band jumps off with the title track of "Seven Moons". Four minutes later the first solo from Robin´s axe, who ist just a little younger than Jack. Both have become lined with age, but it seems as if they will never make old bones. Bruce´s delight about the fascinating little solo is written in his face; Trower notices that he´s doing more than a good job and is all smiles. Solo finished, rhythm change and the trio sets off for the next song, the bluesy "Lives Of Clay". Some time later Bruce makes a little comment with understatement: "Now we are beginning to get somewhere."
They are going to play nearly the whole "Seven Moons" album, they will present a wonderful and easy going version of "Carmen", a song from ways back, off the "B.L.T." album, not as glassy as in 1981 but soulful, very deep. And you bet, there are the signature tunes from Bruce´s famous catalogue. "Sunshine Of Your Love", the song with the legendary bass riff. Here Trower stays true to his own way of playing, no way a Clapton copy but a confident collector of melodies working on his WahWAh without any gimmickry at all. And this version of "White Room" with the "white Hendrix", as they call Robin in the U.S.A., hasn´t ist been remade into something secial here? The bonus "Politician" shows his full artistry during a great solo.
It´s not only striking in what a laid-back way the trio work the themes of this evening, considering that Nijmegen is only the third live show they have staged together so far. To share the joy the musicians show while performing makes this DVD a document of classic, everlasting rock music. Having Jack Bruce on stage again after some heavy blows of fate is particularly heart warming, the more so as he is laughing away at things. What does the scot tell who´s ever so economical in his choice of words? "It is fantastic to be here. For me personally ist is fantastic to be anywhere, actually..." It feels good to have musicians of that kind among us.