Austria (AT): Edi Fenzl Band

Founded in 1995, this Viennese hippie-western power blues-rock trio have gained a cult status. The exceptionally virtuoso guitarist Edi Fenzl, the groovy bass player Jan Fenzl and the explosive drummer David Fenzl form a perfect symbiosis and play the blues like it’s done in Texas. Their repertoire includes own compositions as well as classics of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top and many more. Their legendary “Fenzl Offroad Equipment” in Fenzl Flames & Chrome Look with Guitar-Longhorn, Suitcase-Drums and a flower on the hat is unique. Not only fans of dusty blues and rock will get their money’s worth.

Edi Fenzl, -Guit. voc.
Big Andy Bauer, -Bass
Christian Kurz, -Drums

Belgium (BE): Fred & The Healers

Fred and the Healers are a blues-rock trio from Belgium. Fred Lani formed the band in 1994 at the age 17. In 2004, after four albums hitting the Belgian charts and hundreds of gigs in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Italy,Switzerland and Canada, the band took a nine year break. In 2013, they are back with a brand new line-up with a series of gigs in Belgium and France. Right on time to participate and win the Belgian Blues Challenge and get the ticket for the EBC 2014!  A new album will be released in early march 2014, followed by a tour. Fred and the Healers play their own songs, a dangerous mix of refreshing blues and laid back rock. Think of Peter Green as front man in Black Sabbath, or Albert King jamming with The White Stripes…

Fred Lani, guitar
Cedric Cornez, bass
Nico Sand, drums

Croatia (CR): 44 Blues

The band was founded in 2008 in Zagreb with the purpose to give classic blues a bit heavier and stronger sound. The characteristics of 44 Blues are the strong sound, inspiring solos and powerful, very specific male vocals. Critics say that 44 Blues mixes the sounds of the Stones and the Doors and deliver their style through the suburbs and society’s loosers. They have made appearances at many blues festivals through Croatia, such as the 2nd Zagreb International Blues Festival, Blue Sax, the Croatian Blues Challenges. They represented Croatia and the Croatian Blues Forces at the 28th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2012. They have created an album that is now in the process of publishing. The members of the band “Moonshine“ (guitar), “Luke“ (bass), “Mark“ (drums) and “Rafter“ (vocal & harp) have been in blues music for years and are totally devoted to this style of music.

Dalibor Skeledžija, vocal, harp, guitar
Damir Gossain, guitar
Boris Luković, bass
Goran Markić, drums

Denmark (DK): Big Creek Slim & The Cockroaches

Big Creek Slim aka Marc Rune is a young, devoted bluesman. In his early teens he discovered the strength and beauty of the traditional bluesmen such as Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. In his early twenties he made a pilgrimage journey to the southern states, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to experience the last remnants of a disappearing world. Since then, life has taken many turns and took him to Brazil, where the blues is little known in art, but very present in life. Now, at age 30 and back in Denmark, he has hooked up with his old gang. Big Creek Slim & his Cockroaches play them mean old, nasty juke joint blues, and they do it with respect to their forerunners.

Marc Rune, guitar, vocal
Morten Rune, guitar
Filip Dybjerg, bass
Kim Thomsen, drums

Finland (FI): Ina Forsman & Helge Tallqvist Band

Groovy blues with a killer band and a young outstanding lady on the vocals. Ina’s voice is amazingly strong possessing a lot of unprejudiced courage as her distinctive style brings freshness to the songs. The other band members are well-seasoned professionals in the blues genre, and the outcome is a smooth combination of strong experience and young open-mindedness.

Ina Forsman, vocals
Helge Tallqvist, harmonica
Jonne Kulluvaara, guitar
Iiro Kautto, bass
Harri Ala-Kojola, drums

France (FR): Shake Your Hips

Shake Your Hips is a band that swings with a Chicago Blues sound. Based in the Paris area, the group started in 2005 and had the opportunity to play small venues as well as big international festivals all over France. Shake Your Hips have two albums under their belt: ”Caroline’s Smile”, a CD from 2006 and a double album, ”Blues Twins” (studio + live), from 2009. Shake Your Hips was declared “Best Electric Blues Band” at Blues sur Seine’s contest in 2007, where they also received the Cahors Blues Festival special award. After a Canadian summer tour in 2012 they went to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in 2013. Live, the band delivers a fat blues sound, beautiful feelings with a big stage presence!

Jean-Marc Henaux, harmonica
Olivier Raymondn guitar, vocals
Freddy Miller, vocals
Olivier Ferrié, drums
Jerôme Ferrié, basse & acoustic bass

Germany (DE): Mike Seeber Trio

Mike Seeber has been playing guitar since he was a kid. As a youngster he was drawn to the music of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter. Mike followed closely the East German blues bands and looks upon them as his musical fathers. For years he toured as “Texas Mike” and gained a strong following. In 2012 he founded The Mike Seeber Trio with Philipp Roesch and Tobias Ridder. Press and fans call them “the thunder of the German blues scene”. The band is the winner of the German Blues Challenge 2013.

Mike Seeber, guitar, vocals
Philipp Rösche, bass
Tobias Riddler, drums

Hungary (HU): T. Rogers

T. Rogers is a six-piece “joy and blues” band based in Budapest. Their name is based on the Hungarian word “troger”, meaning basically someone with a relaxed attitude towards life, one who likes to enjoy each and every day. The band was formed in 2004 and they play both electric and acoustic blues from a wide variety of different influences, reflecting the diverse different musical tastes of each band member. Their style is tight, engaging and exciting. This dynamic and talented group is renowned for their live performances with intense solos and infectious energy gaining them a growing reputation across Europe.

Béla Baráth, drums
Stewart Hay, harmonica
Ferci Kovács, guitar, vocal
Pál Sturmann, guitar
Zsolt Szatai, bass
Vince Széll, percussion, mandolin

Italy (IT): Marco Pandolfi Trio

Marco Pandolfi’s presence on the Italian Blues scene goes back twenty years. He has been playing at the most important events on the peninsula, winning the respect of the greatest blues musicians in Italy and abroad. He is the only Italian blues musician to have participated twice at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, in 2006 as Marco Pandolfi & the Jacknives and in 2011 in the solo/duo category. Pandolfi has performed with some of the most famous bluesmen worldwide, such as Richard Ray Farrell, Paul Oscher, Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore and Willie King among others. His latest CD is “Close The Bottle When You’re Done” (2012). During his last tour of the States in May-June 2012 he played Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Bentonia Blues Festival.
Marco Pandolfi, vocals, harmonica, guitar
Federcio Patarnello, drums
Lucio Villani, double bass

Latvia (LV): Lavrix Band

Lavrix Band was founded in 2012 by the leader of the band Vladimirs Lavrinovičs who is best known as the guitarist of the legendary Latvian band Eolika. He also teaches guitar playing, and many people know him as a dedicated bluesman. He performed at Sigulda Blues Festival in 2011 with his previous ensemble 4 Men Band. The new Lavrix Band has released their debut record, an instrumental CD “My Time”. Vladimirs Lavrinovičs, guitars, vocal

Jānis Neimanis, bass
Rinalds Jukna, drums
Rudolfs Kreicbergs, organ

Netherlands (NL): The John F. Klaver Band

Matt Schofield has said: “John F. Klaver is one of the most interesting guitarists out of Holland”. Klaver is a guitarist, singer, composer and music teacher. He began playing the guitar at the age of eleven, inspired by Gary Moore, Robben Ford and Jimi Hendrix. After graduating for his VWO-diploma he studied in America, attending Stagg Highschool as a “senior” and taking guitar lessons as well as music theory classes at the University of the Pacific.  Back in theNetherlands, he was admitted to the conservatory of Amsterdam and received lessons from Jesse van Ruller, Martijn van Iterson and Eef Albers. In 2007 he started his own band, the John F. Klaver Trio, which would later become the John F. Klaver Band. They have played many big festivals such as Moulin Blues and Big Rivers, won numerous Dutch Blues Awards, and featured as support act for musicians like Dana Fuchs, Matt Schofield and Johnny Winter. They are releasing their 4th CD this year.

John F. Klaver, guitar, vocals
Iris Sigtermans, bass
Eric Dillisse, drums
Rob Mostert, Hammond B3, vocals

Norway (NO): Pristine

Pristine is a psychedelic rock/blues-rock band that hails from the arctic city of Tromsø, which is located in northernNorway. With the charismatic redhead Heidi Solheim in front they forge their music with power, passion and intensity – blues with traces of southern rock, soul and funk. The band leader, singer and songwriter Solheim is responsible for both lyricism and music writing, with the entire band assisting with the arrangements. Pristine released their debut album in 2011 to national critical acclaim and some international notice. The album got airplay in Belgium, Croatia, USA, Australiaand Canada. Pristine also made a big splash at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Their sophomore album “No Regret” was released in May 2013, and as with “Detoxing” the album was embraced by both fans and critics. Radio legend Bård Ose claimed on live radio: “We were impressed by their debut album and their new album is very close to supreme”, and “…some of the best I’ve heard from Norwegian music this year”.

Heidi Solheim, vocals
Espen Elverum Jacobsen, guitar, vocals
Anders Oksal, keyborads
Asmund Wilter Eriksson, bass
Kim Karlsen, drums

Romania (RO): The Blues Nation

Founded in 2012 by Stefan Tudose, Blues Nation is very much a mix of blues and blues rock textures, shaped from the influences of its members. Lead guitar warrior Laci Farkas and young wolf bass player Horatio Silasi joined the project from the start, adding their personal flavour to the mix. Beginning of 2013 the rhythm section was distilled by adding drummer Gabriel Bot. Approaching blues classics in a personal manner, Blues Nation’s gigs radiate rough energy and vibe in the most electric way you can imagine blues being played. After a series of concerts in the club circuit, Blues Nation are planning to work on their first album release in the beginning of 2014.

Stefan Tudose, vocals, guitar
Laszlo (Laci) Farkas, lead guitar, harp, vocals
Horatiu Silasi, bass
Gabi Bot, drums

Russia (RUS): Bomb Lane Band

Bomb Lane Band was founded in October 2009 by two friends and architects from Moscow. Boris Uborevich Borovsky and Dimitry Alexandrov united on the basis of their deep love for the blues and rock. Having started with covers, BLB recorded one year later their first studio album “Up and Down” including their own stuff. Bomb Lane Band has made numerous club gigs in Moscow and in central parts of Russia gathering a large circle of fans. Receiving the Hard Rock Rising Award in 2011 was an important milestone for the band. The follow-up album “Behind The Blues” was released in August 2012. New lead guitarist Denis Shlykov joined them the following year, and they are currently working on a new album project.

Dimitry Alexandrov, keyboards, guitar, vocals, songwriter
Hayk Asatryan, bass
Levon Ayrapetov, drums
Alexander Zagvazdin, vocals
Antonina Barannikova, vocals
Boris Uborevich Borovsky, guitar, vocals
Denis Shlykov, guitar, songwriter
Dimitry Alexeev, percussion

Spain (ES): A Contra Blues

A Contra Blues is a band formed in Barcelona. Since its foundation in 2005 the band has published four albums. Tradition and heterodoxy live side by side in their repertoire and come naturally alive in the band’s fresh and seasoned performances of classics as well as their own songs. The band performances boast both spontaneity and carefully elaborated arrangements. Their energetic shows, sometimes up to three hours long, are filled with strength, solidity and empathy. A Contra Blues live by and for the live scene. In their performances they accomplish strong climax moments and a natural rapport with the audience as much as in the high moments of dynamism like in the more intimate sounds. Their live shows let no one indifferent and have led the group to be rewarded several times.

Alberto Calvillo Mendiola, electric guitar
Héctor Martín Díaz, electric guitar
Joan Vigo Fajín, double and electric bass
Jonathan Herrero Herrería, vocals, acoustic guitar
Núria Perich Chastang, drums

Sweden (SE): The Hightones

The Hightones is a Swedish blues and rock n’ roll band, formed in 2012 in Karlstad. The band originally started off as a trio with Pierre Sjöholm on vocals/guitar, Lucas Lindstedt on drums and Daniel Fredriksson on bass. Later that year they were joined by Fredrick Karlsson on piano who would soon become the fourth member of the band. As for the bands repertoire most of the material are original songs written by Pierre Sjöholm, and in 2013 eleven of these songs were recorded on their first record Oh baby me too at Strawberry Music Studios. Their record has received great reviews from Blues & Rhythm Magazine and Jefferson Blues Magazine where the latter defines the band’s sound as: ”Traditional blues in various tempos, rockin’ boogie and an honest, genuine sound”.

Pierre Sjöholm, vocals, guitar
Daniel Fredriksson, bass
Lucas Lindstedt, brums
Fredrick Karlsson, piano

Switzerland (CH): The Bacon Fats

The Bacon Fats are an award winning rhythm & blues, Swing, Surf and Roots band. Their own blend of styles, what they themselves describe as “Hard Swing Blues” is unique. Rocky, surfy, bluesy, jazzy, rocksteadyish, swingy, it’s not easy to get a descriptive grip on, so have a listen yourself. It’s certainly fresh and driving! The band includes Jan Hartmann, Sleepy Eddie James, Tobias Wirz and Lukas Meier. Founded in 2011, they’ve issued an EP that same year, played a couple of gigs through 2011-2012, went on to win the Swiss Blues Challenge in 2013. So far so good, but we’ll see how they will do at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and at the European Blues Challenge in Riga. Stay tuned.

Jan Hartmann, vocals, harmonica
Edwart Sikora, vocals, guitar
Tobias Wirz, bass
Lukas Meier, drums

United Kingdom (UK): David Migden & The Twisted Roots

David Migden & The Dirty Words are an exciting electric five piece, performing unique original material in a genre-busting crossover of rock, blues and twisted American roots. David Migden was raised in Little Rock Arkansas and moved to theUK as a teenager. After playing and touring around London and Europe, initially in the Lee Sankey Group with Matt Schofield and Ian Siegal. He then teamed up with “The Dirty Words” and released “Second Hand Tattoo” to a fantastic response from critics and fans alike. Gigs across London and the Southeast followed at venues such as The Jazz Cafe, Dean Street Pizza Express, Ronnie Scott’s, the Borderline, and the American Embassy. The band members have played with many other internationally renowned artists including Robert Plant, James Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Snowboy, Matt Berry, Hamish Stuart, Andy Newmark, and have gained a reputation for putting on fantastic shows that focus on David’s incredible songs.

David Migden, vocals, trumpet, piano
Phil Scragg, bass
James Sedge, drums, percussion
Joe Gibson, guitar, backing vocals
Graham Mann, keyboard, trombone, backing vocals, percussion