Skopje Blues & Soul
July 3 & 4, 2007 - Skopje, Macedonia
Skopje Blues & Soul festival takes place every first week in July, and
this year is no exception to the rule. Also the high quality of participants
makes no exception, all of them are regarded as some of the best in their
respective fields, thus making this festival one of the best in Europe. Eleventh
in a row, this festival has already created a nice tradition of presenting
variety of blues genres with its best exponents from all over the world,
some of them with legendary status within the idiom. This year’s
edition will take place on July 3 and 4 respectively, so let's see what can
a blues fan expect on these dates.
Festival openers on July 3 will be the fabulous The Nimmo Brothers from
Glasgow, currently one of the best blues outfits on British blues scene.
past decade The Nimmo Brothers have proven themselves as one of the most
respected modern blues bands the UK has seen since the blues boom of the
1960's. Having learned their trade by listening to such greats as Peter
Green's Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, there
was no doubt that, when the time came, they too would produce original compositions
fuelled by that very same passion for the shared by their idols. Brothers
Alan and Stevie Nimmo are already considered as the premier blues guitarists
in Great Britain, which speaks for itself considering the amount of blues
artists working there and headlining festivals and leaving sold out signs
in the windows of blues clubs throughout the UK, Europe and USA. Beside working
as a tight unit, brothers Alan and Stevie Nimmo indulge in thier separate,
mostly acoustic blues work when heavy commitments allow with Alan being also
one of the most sought after blues drummers (!) in the UK. The essence of
their live work can best be appreciated after the band recorded their live
album "Live At Cottiers" in their home town of Glasgow in 2003.
Their brand of blues of original compositions and carefully selected covers
makes for great listening and their explosive stage set add the flavour not
many bands can touch even in their dreams! Miss them at your peril!
July 3 proceeding will be closed with a concert by Sherman
considered as "one of the most important blues artists in blues" (Blues
Revue), an artist who "deserve to have his name added to the short
list of the finest musicians who play electric blues" (Living Blues).
His style is a powerful combination of zydeco, hard swinging Texas electric
blues, R&B and swampy Louisiana blues with a touch of rock edge that
makes him rather unique on contemporary blues scene. Throughout his career
he played and shared the stage with blues giants like B. B. King, Buddy Guy,
Clifton Chenier, Johnny Copeland and appeared on Paul Simon's legendary "Graceland"
album! He recorded material with non less important record producer Mike
whose credentials include John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Fleetwood
Mac, David Bowie... Their collaboration on 1993's "I'm The Man"
(Atlantic) album was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award. Sherman Robertson
is coming to Skopje directly from Houston, Texas and will be backed by an
British band Blues Move he use when touring Europe. He will promote his latest
album "Guitar Man" (Crosscut Records) and Skopje is the first
city of his European tour agenda, which is an honour to Skopje Blues festival
and a rare chance to witness one of the best bluesmen working today.
What makes this year's edition of the festival so special for blues
lovers in Macedonia is a concert by Vlatko Stefanovski Trio, scheduled for
July 4. Listening for the first time to Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper and
their album "Live Adventures" in "Pop Top 50", then
popular radio programme on Radio Skopje (1969), Vlatko Stefanovski was bit
by the blues bug and that excitement followed him throughout his carrer as
a leader of the legendary "Leb i sol" band and solo artists.
Some 30 years and 25 albums later, he felt that the time has come to indulge
his life long dream and close his magical blues circle to perform strictly
blues material in front of his fans. "I have always listened and appreciated
blues and the idea of doing strictly blues concert has been in my mind for
the last 5-6 years and I am happy to be able to pay respect to all my blues
idols from the past, something that had always been a part of my inner world.
Skopje Blues & Soul Festival is a logic place where I want to play the
blues and I am looking forward to do it! I am also thinking and soon starting
to work on my first blues album that will expose another side of my music
Music fans could not imagine a better place to hear Vlatko, great name of
Macedonian music scene and his band play the blues than the stage of Skopje
Blues & Soul Festival, an event not to be missed!
Festival will be closed by another legendary musician, Jan Akkerman will
play and promote his recent live album. What can one say for a musician of
such proportions as he is? Jan Akkerman for a time eclipsed Eric Clapton,
Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page among reader polls in England as the top guitarist
in the world. His time with the great Ducth blues band "Brainbox" in
the late sixties brought him great respect from musicians and blues fans
alike, paving way to another step in his already rich career as a founding
member of "Focus", progressive rock band which successfully
blended various musical styles into some of the greatest music rock scene
had which transformed Akkerman into a superstar guitarist. Many years and
albums later Jan Akkerman is still a name a lot of musicins from different
age groups and fans of fine music worship for his musical abilities, he is
at home within every genre you can imagine (rock, blues, classic, folk),
sheer eclecticism of his work which makes him very difficult to categorize.
In any case, blues fans in Skopje can expect some powerful blues chords that
will shake and resonate in the night for some time after the festival is
Sherman Robertson |
The Nimmo Brothers