It’s been a year since the cafe Lodewijk Napoleon opened its doors and they decided to celebrate that moment with a concert by Ralph de Jongh, fantastic idea! Back in the day when the Cosy Corner cafe was in that location it already had some great concerts and I well remember seeing Bradley’s Circus there in a blues route. With a raised floor in the cafe it’s perfect for concerts there and having a concert in Assen for a change is really nice :)
Ralph was introduced by city poet of Assen Egbert Hovenkamp II and set out in a great first set with some powerful blues and a superb solo-version of ‘Harry’ from his album Sun Coming Up. Ralph plays the blues with raw emotion and it bursts from the stage, with clogs a stompin’. Whether it’s small and fragile or loud and rocking, you feel the blues pouring out.
After a short break the former manager of Cuby + Blizzards introduced Ralph with a story about the formation of Cuby’s band, the addition of Hermand Brood to the band with his piano skills and bags of various powders, the chance meetings and tours with Van Morisson and Eddy Boyd and walking in on a jamming session with a beautiful piano intro by Herman and an emotional song by Harry Muskee (who’s relationship had just ended, always a good moment for writing blues songs) that would eventually become ‘Somebody will know someday’ that was then performed by Ralph as the start of the second set. The whole cafe held it’s breath as the song was played, just incredible!
Simply a terrific afternoon with a fantastic blues concert. See you next time Ralph!