A long, long time ago, not far away from here (in the Witte Bal in Assen actually) I was taking photos at a concert by The Long Winters. It was back in 2004 and there I met Dietmar Leibecke and his wife Marion, who came all the way from Germany for that concert. Dietmar and I have kept in contact over the years via the Facebook and so learned about each others musical discoveries and concert-experiences. And now Dietmar has organised a festival of his own: the Static Roots Festival and he was kind enough to invite me.
A change of scenery was just what I needed: A trip to Oberhausen sounded great. Even my Alfa Romeo GT was purring with anticipation to hit the German Autobahn.
On Friday afternoon I drove over that wonderous piece of asphalt and arrived nicely on time at the hotel, dropped of my luggage and then found my way to the trainstation as for the first two gigs I needed to travel a bit further to Duisburg, a 10 minute train-ride away.
At the lovely Steinbruch I found Dietmar and Marion preparing for the evenings events. It was a really relaxed atmosphere with musicians and guests enjoying a great dinner and eventually the venue-doors openen in the evening and the festival was off!
We started with Anna Mitchell from Cork, Ireland. Anna is a singer-songwriter whose songs have a strong rootsy America feel. The addition of a pedal-steel guitar on stage only adds to that sound. The vocals sound positively Irish and the concert a gorgeous way to start of the evening.
Anna Mitchell’s band consists of musicians that will form ‘John Blek & The Rats’ the next day as Anna plays keyboards in that band too. The combines voices of Anna and John Blek works really well.
Next up was a band I already knew and I was impressed with them a lot when I first saw them in Hoogeveen back in 2014. Meena Cryle an the Chris Fillmore Band are superb for a blues-lover like me. Meena has a terrific powerful voice and her cover of Sam Cooke’s “A change is gonna come” was really impressive.
The combination of her voice Chris Fillmore on guitar is quite simply brilliant, it was amazing to see Chris play guitar. Strong, powerful, but never too showy. Drum and bass were rock-solid and being a blues-lover I had the time of my life. Simply awesome and a perfect start to a musical weekend.