Just two days after the Ruben Hoeke gig at Live op Zondag I headed to Borger again for Curtis Salgado in Vanslag. Last year Curtis and band performed at the Holland Blues Festival in Grolloo and was one of the headliners there. On the fifth of November they were at Vanslag!
Last weekend the annual Take Root festival was held in Groningen, an Americana festival that offers a stage to the wide variety of American music styles. Several musicians will take it as the start of a European music tour, others are already in Europe. Doug Seegers was already in the Netherlands and played at Vanslag the Thursday before
The concert season is full steam again with many concerts being held. A true sign of the end of the summer(festival) and the start of a new season. In Autumn the leaves are turning yellow and red and for some reason that feels a really good match to Americana music, maybe it’s the time of year. The Dustbowl Revival at least played every possible color of the musical palette and then some more.
The last concert I saw at Vanslag before it’s summer concert-stop was, halfway May, Fred Eaglesmith who brought his wife Tif Ginn -a seriously good guitarist- along. An evening filled with jokes, stories and a song here or there.
Mid April Laurence Jones returned to Vanslag. I saw him play there before in October 2017. Back then in a tight 4-man formation, this time the group has expanded a bit.
Hearing that Michelle David was coming to Vanslag with the Gospel Sessions was just the best. I mean: The Gospel Sessions in a former church, the ‘Cathedral of music’ of the North, it can’t get much better than that!
Every once in a while it’s nice to visit a concert where you don’t really know what to expect and on March 15 I found myself at Vanslag in Borger for a concert by Marlene Bakker.
In less than a week Eurosonic/Noorderslag will be all over Groningen again: the musical showcase of Europe where all up and coming bands from all over Europe will perform in every location that can have a stage. So it’s nice that a few Dutch bands can have a little extra exposure in some preview-shows. At Vanslag five band from Drenthe had the opportunity to present themselves and as a bonus Hanna Mae performed with band.
This year the second album of Maurice van Hoek -Traveling Man- was released and got some rave reviews. And the announcement that he was coming to Vanslag made me a happy man!
Of all the musicians I’ve seen over the years I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Ralph de Jong the most. However every concert of Ralph is an experience in it’s own and the energy he brings either on his own or with band makes every concert something to experience. It’s going to be hard to top his previous gig in Borger where he actually got married, but that doesn’t mean the concert should stop and so last Saturday Ralph was back in Vanslag and brought both a band and some guests with him.
There are many great musicians that you’ll never be able to see live. Either because the ticket-prices are outrageously high, because the artists never cross that great ocean or because they have sadly passed away. And I’m really quite allergic to the average tribute band, especially when the original is still up and about, but there definitely are exceptions and yesterday was such an exception: the Etta James Experience.
As we’ll never get to see Etta perform live (then again it’s halloween soon and you never know what may come to pass), last night I saw a terrific performance by a huge Dutch band paying tribute to the late and great Etta James.
In the third weekend of September Drentsch Peil -a showcase for new bands from the province of Drenthe- came to Borger to play at Vanslag. A perfect opportunity to see what’s up and coming in my province and to see the good people of Vanslag again at the beginning of the new season.