2010-01-15: Big Joe Louis (P. Müller/D. Gugolz/G. Lülik)

Mank, Lower Austria

Too young and too old – these two impressions I got when meeting Big Joe Louis in person and watching him on stage. He looks too young for his real age (which is, let’s say, close to 50) but his voice sounds “too old“ for a British musican of that age – it would fit like a glove to a black singer from Mississippi or Tennessee, and that’s really meant as a token of esteem. Face-to-face  Joe reminded me much of Spencer Davis but the Blues he plays is authentic  enough for each Delta juke joint and Chicago Blues club as well. Maybe this is the reason why he has recorded with a wide range of legends, from Honeyboy Edwards to the challenging Van Morrison.


Though he founded his band, The Blues Kings, already about 20 years ago, it was the first time for him being to Austria! But he didn’t play with the BK but Austria’s finest rhythm section: Dani Gugolz, the singing piano-bassman from Zürich/Vienna, and Peter Müller, equally high standard Jazz and Blues drummer. This power trio was completed with a young, also Austrian, harmonica player, Gerry Lülik, whose love to his idol Little Walter Jacobs can be heard in each single tune.


Totally the band played three gigs in our country, also at the Davis Club the very next day. Together with two friends, Didi and Werner, I joined the concert in Mank, Lower Austria. The hosts there, Richie and Franz, “The Pharmacist“ who made this concert happen are really nice people and also capable of making music events, the kind of who we‘d need more of in our country.
At first: the band played 3 sets, the gig lasted about three hours and everybody wanted more! Incredible, it was full-service for a bluesfan and the absolutely real deal. You could feel the musicians‘ fun to play, they let their Blues slide and roll, made him swing and explode, boosting the tempo and layed it down near to silence. Hard to imagine Dani, Gerry and Peter met Joe the very first time the day before!  Joe’s acoustic part of the show at the beginning of the second set emphasized his claim of belonging to Britain’s creme de la creme in Blues!


Anyway, I can't help thinking that Joe will be back in Austria soon, maybe at the Vienna Blues Spring 2011? Let’s hope the best!


Please also read the review about his latest CD (name was not yet known when writing this article), see “labels and artists“.


Songs played: Love My Baby Too Much, She Was All The World To Me, Mean Old Frisco, Catfish Blues, and many others.