Laurence Jones and Easterfield

When earlier this year the second edition of the Holland International Blues Festival was held in Grolloo, I was in Barcelona, which unfortunately (as a blues lover) means I’ve missed both editions. Apparently a young English blues musician was making quit the impression and was even performing alongside one of the main headliners: Buddy Guy. Last Friday this rising blues star by the name of Laurence Jones was playing to a sold out Vanslag in Borger and I was not going to miss that!

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Ralph de Jongh in Vanslag

Ralph de Jongh might very well be the hardes working bluesman of the Netherlands. Releasing two double albums last year, there’s a triple-album out now: Trilogy – ‘Dancing On a Vulcano’. And the touring schedule with solo performances, duo-performances and full band gigs is long. He performed at Vanslag with full band last Saturday to a well filled venue.

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Luke Winslow-King’s Valentine Blues

Heartbreak hurts, but it can also be the inspiration of terrific songwriting. Luke Winslow-King had to go through some heartbreak when his partner and band-member left him last year. And when you have the blues, when you feel the blues, you play the blues. At least that’s what Luke did and it resulted in a terrific album that’s firmly nestled in blues.

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Starting the new year in Barcelona

Ending 2015 in Barcelona with Monica was a great way to celebrate the beginning of of a new year and so why not repeat it? Luckily Monica agreed, so for the last few days of 2016 and the first four of 2017 I was in Barcelona again.

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Me gusta Guatemala, me gustas tu

There is a song by Manu Chao called ‘Me gustas tu‘ that -Monica once told me- is used by many people to learn words in Spanish. One of the lines in this song is ‘Me gusta Guatemala, me gustas tu’, and I’d get a change to experience that for myself this year. Monica visits her family every year and when deciding on our vacation plans for this year, we came to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to visit Guatemala together. I’d get to meet Monica’s family and friends in Guatemala and see the beauty of Monica’s country. However when it’s summer in Europe, Guatemala has it’s rain season. So we had to wait a while and on October 23 I finally started on an incredible journey…

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Ralph de Jongh in Vanslag

From the first time Ralph de Jongh played in the Vanslag venue in Borger, the combination has been a huge success and so it’s no surprise that Ralph and band came to Borger to present the new album here last Saturday.

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Loop Alley at Vanslag

Together with Roots on the Road the Vanslag stage in Borger is by now a well known stage for Americana and Roots music, but last Friday I saw that is can more than hold its own in popular music too with the ‘deep house’, loops and full band of Loop Alley.

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Chastity Brown at Vanslag

Late last year there was a concert in Veenhuizen, in a place called Coco Maria and to my shame I’ve never been there (yet!). Anyway, this particular concert was held by a certain woman called Chastity Brown and the concert was raved about afterwards, making me wish I’d gone even more. But as luck would have it the great people of Roots on the Road have managed to bring Chastity back. She’s in the Netherlands for three shows and between a concert in Amsterdam and performing on North Sea Jazz (another place I’m promising myself to go to year after year) Chastity came to the musical cathedral of the north: Vanslag!

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