SIGHIȘOARA BLUES FESTIVAL
The international “SIGHIȘOARA BLUES FESTIVAL” was born in the spring of 2005. It has been organized every year, in the last weekend of March, over 2 consecutive days, with 2 concerts every evening. The concerts take place in the Mihai Eminescu Hall of Sighișoara, which has a capacity of 500 places and very good acoustics. The event is organized by the cultural association SIGHIȘOARA BLUES HOSPITAL. Sighișoara Blues Festival is the only prestigious event of its kind in the country. It aims to promote Blues, a musical gender which, although poorly represented at national level, has reached an ever more numerous audience lately.
“Between 23 and 25 February 2012, the traditional festival organized by the warm-hearted Ioan Lazar and Aurel Hațiegan held its eighth edition, with a full house, at the Mihai Eminescu Hall. The festival was opened by a lonely bluesman – a storyteller, as the presenter Berti Barbera fondly describes him – Samuel James, an American young man singing in the vein of the old acoustic blues.
His third record, from which he played several plays, ends a trilogy which belongs in Europe, where music is taken in from a much more… cultural perspective than it is at home, in the States (he said it!). The evening continued with the recital of the legendary Johnny Winter’s band. With plays from his last record, «Roots» (on which he actually worked in 2004 with the younger guitar player who played along with him – Paul Nelson), the bluesman proved – to himself and to an ecstatic audience – his young heart, paying tribute to the bluesmen of old, respectively from the 50s and 60s, which he feels were the best years of blues. In the interview (which was given in his trailer, over birthday cake brought by Vali Racilă, as Johnny celebrated his birthday at Sighișoara!) he proved to be very ambitious and wanted to record his new composition ideas. On the evening dedicated to the ladies of the blues, the stage hosted the experienced Shakura S’Aida (Canada) who played (together with her guitar player Donna Grantis who is, in her own turn, a composer) between soul (there was even a Nina Simone cover song) funk, rock and, naturally, blues!
Thus, there were songs from the three disks «Blue Print», «Brown Sugar» and, of course, the recent «Time», which rounded up a complete recital, from the mother of rhythm & blues! As for the guitarist-vocalist Samantha Fish, her apparent fragility faded away at her first solo (not affecting her femininity), also evincing the skills of a guitarist and of a composer – as her debut record, « Runaway » undoubtedly proves it. The last evening saw, on the one hand, Corey Harris’ comeback, with his Rasta Blues band (which he did not bring in a previous edition, when he came and made waves by himself), casting a shadow over the first impression, which was truly outstanding. Admittedly, the sometimes rather common music (between blues and reggae) was pervaded by Corey’s special voice the whole time (he also did three soloes). He confessed that he did not abandon his stand as a storyteller, nor his documentation journeys to Africa (he had just been in Mali in January). On the other hand, Bob Brozman’s recital was – and I am not alone in thinking this way – the most interesting one, with his flaunted guitars and the thorough technique for playing each one of them, and also with the peculiar compositions, impregnated with broken rhythms and unexpected quotes.
The one-man-show/entertainer genre suits him very well. A very down-to-earth American, for that matter (tending a large farm at home), who travels the world, doing shows for little or nothing (the only problem is the transport of his multitude of instruments). As a matter of fact, the extremely popular Bob, who had come to Romania once before (primarily for documentation on the music of the gipsies), promised to come back this very spring – not to be missed!”