2004-08-20: Louisiana Red & Wentus Blues Band

Fieberbrunn - Rosenegg, The Tyrol

Fieberbrunn is worth to travel even if you come from far! The countryside is absolutely fabulous and the people there are passionate for really good music, as they prove each year. 2004 was the last but one year when there was also a Friday concert in the course of the Bourbonstreetfestival Fieberbrunn (since 2006 it has been reduced to Saturday!).


This usual place, the Schlosshotel Rosenegg, had a special event in store that night: the Wentus Blues Band from Finland together with the Blues giant Louisiana Red. The Wentus BB alone is worth to be joined, they already worked with Mick Taylor, Eddie Kirkland, the Thunderbirds, and many other Blues greats. They play some direct-coming straight-ahead-Blues, simple but dynamic.


There is another story which is nice to tell: I wrote Red a few days before the gig if we would be allowed to meet him and he agreed. We arrived at the hotel an hour before the concert and were looking for Louisiana Red. Suddenly I saw Dora, Red's wife, and she took us with her. Poor Red, he was sitting in the bar lounge where Austrian trash music was played and the poor bluesman had to listen to "Steirermen are very good, very good for Hollywood". He sat there and hung his head, I don't know if it was because of the music but it seemed that he had the real blues . Talking to him and Dora was very nice and another fine experience although he looked tired and bent. If you know Red's story you understand; if you don't know it: his mother died one week after his birth, his father killed the Ku-Klux-Klan five years later, and his first wife died of cancer – too much for a life.


Getting back to the gig: the Wentus BB played three songs as starters, before Red entered the stage. The first second he held his guitar in hands gave him a boost and the tired-sitting man we met 30 minutes ago played and performed like being 40 years younger. "It's Alright" and "I'm Louisiana Red", both more than six minutes, were the starters of showing Louisiana Red in his best moods. He played in Muddy Waters' Blues Band at the end of the 40s and he also decide to play one of Muddy's most popular songs that night, "Mannish Boy". I think that's what he has been his whole life to get through, so this song was chosen perfectly.  LR never leaves any doubt about what he is: not just one of the Blues' legends but a story of The Blues itself because – look at the story of his life. Be sure that a band or solo performance of LR will change something inside of each bluesfan – in my case he made it!


Songs played:  It's Alright,  I'm Louisiana Red, Mississippi Girl, Mannish Boy, Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke), Blues 2001