13:30 - 14:30 - Dave Warmerdam Band (NL)
15:00 - 16:00 - Vitor Bacalhau (PT)
16:30 - 17:30 - Johnny Burgin and Quique Gomez (USA)
18:00 - 19:00 - Watermelon Slim (USA)
19:30 - 20:45 - Bobby Radcliff Band (USA)
21:15 - 22:30 - Jamiah Rogers (USA)
23:00 - 00:30 - Shemekia Copeland (USA)
13:30 - 14:30 - Stef Paglia Band (B)
15:00 - 16:15 - Dany Franchi (IT)
16:45 - 18:00 - Whitney Shay (USA)
18:30 - 19:45 - Breezy Rodio (USA)
20:15 - 21:30 - Kirk Fletcher (USA)
22:00 - 23:30 - Mud Morganfield (USA)
Steven Troch Band
Steven Troch, who was born in Mechelen, got infected by The Blues virus in his late teens and played in different well-known formations since. He was a public’s sweetheart on the bigger festivals with his former band Fried Bourbon with whom he brought out 4 albums. Steven is one of Belgium’s best harmonica players, a good singer and a clever songwriter. His new band, simply called Steven Troch Band, consists of top musicians and together they put out a hell of a sound. You’ll get to hear roots music, seen from a classic angle but played incredibly original. Guitar player Matt T Mahony dares to go outside of the normal blues grid, Liesbeth Sprangers lays down tight bass grooves and drummer Bernd Coene shakes out a variation of solid rhythms. This band will surely prove that we wanted to open our festival with a European top act.
Lucky Peterson featuring Tamara Tramell
Blues legend Lucky Peterson is only turning 55 years and already he celebrates his 50th year as a professional performer. It was Willy Dixon that recognized his talent and produced Lucky’s debut album when he was just 5 (!). In his teens, Lucky toured and recorded albums with artists such as Etta James, Bobby ‘Blue’ Band, Otis Rush and Little Milton. In the nineties he started to focus on his solo career and with his mix of Blues, Soul, R&B, Gospel and Rock ’n’ Roll he grew to be an international top artist. He excels on the Hammond as well as on the guitar and has a very recognizable, lived through, voice. He will be coming to Swing with a big party and seen his live reputation, this performance will become nothing less than a feast!
Tinsley Ellis had a top year in 2018. He returned to Alligator Records, the label that put him on the world map in the nineties. His Alligator comeback album ‘Winning Hand’, is nominated at the Blues Music Awards as ‘Blues rock album of the Year’, right amongst Billy Gibson, Eric Gales and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Just to point out that Tinsley Ellis belongs to the absolute top of guitar players. The 62-year-old, in Atlanta residing, artist has been professionally active for over 40 years, made 19 albums and still plays at around 150 gigs a year. We’re so proud to finally be able to present him in Belgium again after more than 20 years.
Dave Warmerdam Band
On Saturday we usually like to start with an act from our northern neighbors. 2019 is the year of the big breakthrough for the Dave Warmerdam Band. Their concert calendar is filled with great festivals in The Netherlands and the band is in the finals of the Dutch Blues Challenge. The average age of the five musicians is just 20, but they got their instruments down like real pro’s. Band leader and master on the keyboards is Dave Warmerdam. His co-musicians are future top artists, now studying at the conservatory. Sonny Ray conjures handsome guitar solos with his Gibson and bass player Lars Hoogland and drummer Rick van de Voort lay down the grooving foundation of the band. Along came heart-conquering Janne Timmer in March 2018. The band’s repertoire consists of own songs as well as wayward interpretations of Blues classics. We’re delighted to introduce The Netherlands most promising band to Belgium, and we order you to be here at 13h30 sharp to witness their conquest of our country in person!
Blues from Portugal? Oh yes! Last year, we saw Vítor Bacalhau in Norway at the European Blues Challenge and were so impressed that we just had to get him to Wespelaar. Tons of charisma, savvy guitar playing, and an eloquent voice is owned by this 28-year-old musician. Vítor brings expeditious and ear pleasing Blues rock with his power trio. He‘s making his Belgian debut in our very own Blues village and will prove for sure that he is an asset to the European blues scene. And yes, he’s already heard a thousand times that he’s a Frank Zappa look-a-like..
Johnny Burgin & Quique Gomez
Rockin’ Johnny Burgin is one of the most gifted guitar players there is on earth. As a teen, he went from South Carolina to attend college in Chicago. He was a DJ at a school radio station and came in touch with the Blues that way. His first gigs were accompanying Tail Dagger, Sam Lay and Pinetop Perkins. He gathered encyclopedic knowledge of guitar techniques by listening to every guitarist in Chicago and playing records of Earl Hooker, Luther Tucker and so on. After this schooling, in 1995, he was ready to go solo as The Rockin’ Johnny Band. His first 3 albums were with Delmark Records and became appreciated worldwide. In February of this year, ‘Dos Hombres’ came out, his eighth album and a cooperation with Madrilenian top harmonica player Quique Gomez. This album will be the constant throughout his setlist at Wespelaar, so be prepared for virtuous duels between the guitar and the harmonica.
One of the most intriguing active Blues artists is without a doubt Watermelon Slim. The 70-year-old artist has come a long way. He is a Vietnam veteran and besides a musician, he’s been a truck driver, sawyer and an undertaker. In between all those jobs, Slim got academic degrees in journalism and history. In 2002, he survived a heart attack. This triggered him to enjoy the good things in life and focus on his music. Due to the combination of his raucous voice and ripping harmonica sound, he grew to be one of the most successful top Blues artists of today and won countless awards. Live performing, he’s a true gem!
Bobby Radcliff Band
If you ask American Blues guitarists who they admire most today, many of them will mention Bobby Radcliff. This 67-year-old guitar player discovered the Blues when he saw Magic Sam perform in 1969. Bobby travelled to Chicago to meet his idol. He got befriended with him and Sam’s raw West Side sound remains the biggest influence on Bobby’s guitar sound. End Eighties, beginning Nineties, Bobby recorded 5 albums with well-known label ‘Black Top Records’. These albums are true collector’s items today and were the reason for his international fame. This success brought Bobby to Belgium in 1990 for the first and also the last time. Bobby never stood still though, he has his set gigs in New York and every year he tours the Scandinavian countries. He’s been very active in putting out albums and for Swing he will bring with him a brand new one. Maybe Bobby Radcliff has been out of the spotlights in our country for a very long time, but it’s our duty to bring back all of the credits to this top notch guitarist.
Jamiah Rogers is only 23 but he has worked himself up to the top of the Chicago Blues scene. When he was 16, he started power trio ‘Jamiah On Fire & The Red Machine’ with his two nephews. After performing with his family members for 5 years, he formed ‘The Jamiah Rogers Band’ with his father Tony on the bass guitar and drummer Dionte Skinner. Jamiah is an much booked artist in the better Blues clubs of the Windy City. He first came to Europe in November 2018 as a part of the ‘New Blues Generation’. At Swing, he will perform under his own name. Expect an explosive show of a young guitar God who is often considered as a crossing between Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix. His last album is called ‘Blues Superman’ for a reason.
First and foremost, we’d like to say that we are very proud to have been able to get Shemekia Copeland exclusively to Swing Wespelaar. Used to be announced as the daughter of Blues legend Johnny Copeland, this amazing singer has meanwhile grown to the absolute top. As a 19-year-old, in 1998, her debut album ‘Turn the Heat Up!’ was lightning in a bottle. Meanwhile, 20 years later, Shemekia is living a beautiful career. Equipped with an outstanding Blues and Soul voice, she performs at the biggest festivals in the world and her closet must have become way too small to carry all the awards she earned in the last few years. She chose a broader sound for her recent and eighth album ‘America’s child’, which also contains Country, R&B and Americana. She received five nominations for this album and as an artist at the Blues Music Awards. After Koko Taylor’s passing away, there’s only one lady that earns the title ‘Queen of the Blues’ and that is without a doubt Shemekia Copeland.
Stef Paglia Trio
Each Belgian Blues lover knows Stef Paglia as the guitarist of ‘The Bluesbones’. After 6 years with this successful band, he made time in 2017 to also start doing his own thing. A role as a frontman and a singer were completely new for him, but he made it his own. Playing in this Blues rock trio is also Canadian Joe Purkess (ex-drummer of Sean Webster and Mason Rack Band) and bass player Geert Schurmans. Stef presented his debut album ‘Never Forget’ at the end of March in a full house Muziekodroom in Hasselt. De best way to recover from a hang-over from Saturday is undoubtfully to witness Stef Paglia Trio. Expect some firm and groovy Blues rock!
With Dany Franchi, Italy has finally got a Blues top artist working on an international career again. This 29-year-old, Genua born guitarist started to make professional music after his music studies in 2008. In 2011 he won the ‘Blues for Youth Award’ in Italy and shortly after his debut ‘Free Feeling’ came out. The first international attention he received, was in 2016 when he was the Italian representative in the semi-finals at the ‘International Blues Challenge’ in Memphis. Dany realized that if he wanted to make progression as a musician, he had to perform in America as often as possible. He worked hard to make a name for himself and everything started rolling when he met Anson Funderberg, who produced his 3rd album ‘Problem Child’. This album was released last year, and it got him a European breakthrough. In March of this year, Dany completed his first European club tour and proceeds with the festivals this summer. A stop at Swing is of course a must!
We won’t blame you for not knowing Whitney Shay - yet! This singer is from San Diego and has won the San Diego Music Award for Best Blues Artist for two years in a row. This year she is nominated for the ‘Best Soul Blues Female Artist’ at the Blues Music Awards. This red headed lady brings lovely Fifties R&B accompanied by a very present brass section. The popular saxophone player Sax Gordon played along on her last album, which is called ‘A Woman Rules the World’ and accompanies her as a special guest on her European tour. This is going to mean you will be shaking your legs from the beginning to the end!
Breezy Rodio will be debuting Belgium at Swing Wespelaar. This Rome born Italian has got 20 years of Chicago behind him. When he arrived in the Windy City, he met Guy King and Guy introduced him into the Blues circuit. Breezy got noticed by Linsey Alexander, who took him on as the bandleader. Their working together lasted for eight years. In 2011, Breezy recorded his first solo album. His third album, ‘Sometimes The Blues got me’, was released at Delmark Records last year and brought him international fame. Despite him being located in Chicago, Breezy is more inspired by the sounds of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Albert Collins. Be sure that Breezy will strike your chords with his beautiful Telecaster sound.
Californian Kirk Fletcher is one of our best contemporary Blues guitarists. His coming out as a solo artist was put on hold for a while, when Kim Wilson hired him as the lead guitarist for The Fabulous Thunderbirds. He toured for three years with this legendary band. Furthermore, Kirk is a very wanted musician and has been playing with a variety of artists like Charlie Musselwhite, Eros Ramazzotti and Joe Bonamassa. Kirk received his nomination as ‘Best Contemporary Blues Artist’ at the Blues Music Awards this year. On his album, he profiles himself more as a singer, although his guitar playing remains the most important. His breath-taking guitar work is very varied and evolves from light-fingered string work to ripping and burning riffs.
We end our 32nd edition with classic Chicago Blues that everybody loves. The most well-known legend of Chicago Blues is without a doubt Muddy Waters. 65-year-old Mud Morganfield is Muddy’s eldest son and has made it his mission to keep his father’s musical inheritance alive and going. As a 7-year-old boy, he got a drum set from his father. Later on, he switched to the bass guitar. When he reached the age of 54, Mud exchanged his trucking job to be a full-time professional musician. This step brought him world wide fame. His fourth album ‘They call me Mud’ was released last year and shows his soulful side. We cannot serve The Blues more authentically than with this charismatic front man.