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July 31, 2009

Part one - Russia

Besides being thrown out of the VIP lounge at the Moscow airport for extended stay, it was nice to be in Russia in the summertime. Bassist John R and drummer Alex “Tetris man” picked me up at the airport, we had plenty of time to enjoy the sight seeing and sunshine during our 2h city commute to the hotel.

It was a pleasure to play the Jazz Town Theater again. This time we had the Russian national TV there to film our performance and chat to us after the show. We were greeted by Mr. Konoplev who conducted the interview for the network. John R simultaneously translated the conversation...

Photo credit: Alexey Skirdov - Jazz Town Theater, Moscow, Russia

For the second year in a row, we took our 10h train ride to the Ukrainian border and played a sold out performance at the Art Club in the city of Belgorod.

Official poster from the Art club in Belgorod, Russia          Alex "Tetris man" - Wolf - John R

We closed the Russian tour with a concert and party at the BB King Club in Moscow. A big thank you to Dimia for the backline, Alex Sechkin and Svetlana for the visas.

As we were traveling we were sadden to hear that the man responsible for recording our live album, Live Blues in Red Square, Vladimir Mazaev, had passed away. A man of great talent that will be sorely missed.

Part two - Europe

A few days vacation was forced upon us after one of our agents tried to blackmail us and sabotage our tour when we would not put up with his demands. This resulted into a little detour via the city of lights, Paris and catching with some old friends there.
One of the highlights of the tour was our performance at the Grolsch Blues Festival in Germany. We had a chance to meet with former band member, and friend, Rick Melick. Rick currently plays piano for Joe Bonamassa. It was also great meeting Joe and bassist carmine Rojas.Three incredible musicians.

Carmine Rojas - Rick Melick - Wolf Mail in Germany          Wolf Mail & Band performing at the Grolsch fest in Schoppingen

Whilst on tour in Dusseldorf, we got a phone call from Bernd at the Moist-Corner in Suhl,Germany saying that the show had sold out in less than an hour, he had booked 10 tickets over capacity and asked us if we wouldn’t mind having those 10 people sitting on stage with us while we played...of course we obliged.

The Village, near Munich was a very unusual venue. We drove about 30kms outside of Munich in the country side, in the middle of nowhere and arrived at this big roadhouse around 2am. The place had a downstairs bar, a big stage and some 15 rooms upstairs for people to stay. Best was the top of the line 24 track analog recording studio in the attic, where the likes of Canned Heat and Ten Years After had played before. Thanks also to Dieter for fixing Wolf’s guitar.

While taking a few days off in Avignon, France, we ran into Walter Trout. We had a bit of a chat and could possibly do some shows together sometime in the future.

Our last show was in Montpellier, south of France, for a jam with my old friend and very talented guitarist Francois Poussereau at the prestigious Place De La Comedie. Thanks to the thousands of fans who attended this event, it was the best way to close this journey, or like Tetris man would say " it was verrry grrrreat!

Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas - Francois Poussereau - Wolf Mail - Montpellier, France

Chillin' in Grasse near Monte-Carlo after the tour