Live At Jazzland (2014)

Blind Blake, Primerose, Rufus Thomas, Theessink, Chuck Berry, Traditional, K. C. Douglas

Hans Theessink

The Netherlands are known for many things, windmills for example, tulips and wooden shoes, but blues? And yet one of the most prominent blues musicians of our time comes from there: we are talking about Hans Theessink, who was born on April 5, 1948 in Enschede and who got the blues fever on a school day, after he had Big Bill Broonzey and Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter had heard on the radio.

From then on, there was no holding back, the young Hans started playing the guitar, released his first album "Next Morning At Sunrise" in 1970 and extensively toured Europe. Well, after more than 7000 concerts over more than 40 years of stage presence as well as more than 30 albums, Hans Theessink is well known in blues and worldwide. The most famous Dutch blues musician and now lives in Vienna.

Here he also plays his traditional (three) "New Year's Concerts" in the prestigious jazz club "Jazzland", so happened at the turn of the year 2011/12 on 31 December 2011 and on 1 and 2 February 2012. Fortunately, the last of the three concerts was recorded by the couple Dirk Sommer and Birgit Hammer-Sommer from Sommelier du Son.

Listening to Hans Theessink live is a breathtaking experience; only very few artists have a similar presence. Full of fun and energy, he plays ten songs here, just guitar and vocals, occasionally a little harmonica or foot-tapping, creating a denser atmosphere than most bands. He just got it, the blues. In addition to own compositions and classics, there are also songs from Soul, R & B or RocknRoll, but Theessink manages in his incomparable way to make their blues roots stand out clearly.

So the concert and thus the album is all about the Delta blues and old heroes like Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy (to whom the song "Big Bills Guitar" is dedicated) or Sonny Boy Williamson. The concert recording itself took place at great expense, ranging from deliberate microphone to a "clean" power supply with special network synchronizers and network conditioners. But it has more than paid off, the sound quality is outstanding and the often-tried phrase from the concert in the living room is really true. The concert atmosphere can be relived in a vivid and nuanced way - not only the audiophile connoisseur will appreciate the efforts of Sommelier du Son here. Thus, this is a real treat in both musical and audiophile respects.

Recorded on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the wonderful Jazzclub Jazzland in Vienna.

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Hans Theessink

Like others of his generation, in the early 1960? a love of the Blues took hold of Hans Theessink, the man whom Bo Diddley described as "one helluva guitar player", and it has not let go since. Above all, the country blues with its earthy and heartfelt sound impressed Hans Theessink and played a major role in his development as a musician. His roots are unmistakenly in the blues, but has also been influenced by countless other aspects of roots music. This musical variety has become a trademark of Hans Theessink, who as a songwriter has succeeded in building bridges to the present in addressing issues which reflect the reality of the here and now.

Hans is probably Europe's No. 1 Blues Export.  He is one of the top blues and roots musicians worldwide who has entertained audiences around the globe during a musical career that spans over more than 35 years. The world's leading Blues paper - US magazine Blues Revue wrote: "Hans Theessink is an international blues treasure. He is one of the world's pre-eminent Country Pickers and his warm baritone expresses Blues".

Theessink's first recording was an EP in 1970. Since then his music has continually developed and so far Hans has released 20 albums, a songbook, a blues-guitar instruction video and a DVD. His CDs are guaranteed award winners. "Banjoman", the tribute project to Derroll Adams, that Hans produced with Arlo Guthrie, was nominated for a Grammy.

In 2004 Hans got the Austrian Amadeus award for "Songs from the Southland", a tribute to the music of the American South - a constant source of inspiration and companion on his musical journey. A Danish Music Award for Best Blues Album followed in 2005. His album "Bridges" - a recording with the Hans Theessink Band, was nominated for the Amadeus in the category best Blues-, Jazz-, Roots-, Folk-album. Hans' DVD "Live in Concert: A Blues & Roots Revue" shows the Hans Theessink Band in action + lots of other special features. Hans' productions are known for their excellent sound quality and are also in big demand in Audiophile circles.

Through his unmistakable guitar work, sonorous baritone voice and stage presence, Hans has attained a status which is unique for a European. He has performed at many of the most prominent North American music festivals such as the "New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival", the "Chicago Blues Festival", the "Kerville Folk Festival", the "Toronto Soul & Blues Festival", the "Kansas City Blues & Jazz Festival", the "Edmonton Folk Festival", the "St.Louis Blues & Heritage Festival", the "King Biscuit Blues Festival", the "Woody Guthrie Festival" and the "Ultimate Rhythm and Blues Cruise" to name a few.

Hans Theessink has become one of the most sought-after artists of the international blues scene. He is more or less constantly "on tour" and plays an average of 200 concerts a year - a modern day troubadour and entertainer who keeps on spellbinding audiences all over the world with his rich and emotional sounds. 

photo: from booklet 'Live in Jazzland'

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Live At Jazzland (2014)

Blind Blake, Primerose, Rufus Thomas, Theessink, Chuck Berry, Traditional, K. C. Douglas

Hans Theessink

Analog Tape Recording Equipment: Studer A810 Tape Recorders
Digital Converters: Playback Designs Pinot Analog to DSD 256 Converter
Mastering Engineer: Christoph Stickel and Dirk Sommer at MSM Studios, Munich, Germany (Original Recording), Dirk Sommer - Direct Analog to DSD 256 Stereo Transfer of the Analog Master Tape
Microphones: AKG D7 (Vocals), Rode NT4 (Guitar), AKG Solid Tube (Front of Guitar Amp), Strand (Harp), Sennheiser MD 421-2 (Foot Tapping)
Monitoring Room: Grapevine Headamp 4, Beyer Dynamic Headphones, Amphion Two 15 Speakers, Bryson 2B-LP Amplifier, PS Audio Power Plant
Producer: Dirk Sommer and Birgit Hammer-Sommer, Sommelier du Son in Cooperation with Fink Audio Consulting
Recording Engineer: Dirk Sommer and Birgit Hammer-Sommer
Recording location: Jazzland, Vienna
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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sds0016: Live At Jazzland
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Big Bill's Guitar
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Mercury Blues
K. C. Douglas
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You Gotta Move
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Chuck Berry
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Johnny and The Devil
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Blind Willie
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Walking The Dog
Rufus Thomas
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St. James Infirmary
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Diddi Wah Diddi
Blind Blake
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