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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bman's Exclusive Interview: Woody and the Bluepackers


I had the chance to catch up with Maks of Woody and the Bluepackers to see what they're up to:

Bman:Hi Maks. Thanks for taking time out fromyour scuedule to talk with me. So first I've got to ask you... "Woody & the Bluepackers? What's that all about...Who's Woody?

Maks: Yes, it is a kind of silly name for a blues rock band, but we have more or less grown attached to it. The name surfaced in the brain of Harpo, the first singer/harp player of the band. At first we did not like the name, because the association with Woody Woodpecker is way too obvious. But then we remembered this song by Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue, which is all about a father trying to make his son tough by giving him a girl's name. So we decided that "Woody & the Bluepackers" it would be. With a band name like this we would be forced to play well. You have no choice!

Bman: Yes...I get it..like the old Saturday Night Live skit...with a name like Fluckers...It's got to be good!"

Let's talk music. I notice that the members of the band come from a range of different musical backgrounds. What was the binding factor between you guys and what kind of music have you been playing since 2007?

Maks: Well, we started out playing songs by Dr. Feelgood, which we were all familiar with. Then we tried some Red Devils songs and so on, and so on. From 2007 to, let's say, 2010 we were working on our own sound, but still playing covers. Then slowly the need for our own material grew and that is what we are working on at the moment. We have written 10 original songs so far of which 8 will be on our 2nd cd. We will add 4 classic covers to complete the cd.

Bman: A new cd, that's great! Is there any way we can get a sneak preview of the songs that are more or less ready?

Maks: Sure! We have more or less finished one song for an initiative by the Dutch Bluesforum.nl and a radio program on local radio station FutureFM, called Blues@Nine. It is a blues rock cd with 18 of the finest Dutch blues rock bands on it, each of them adding one original song. No covers allowed. The cd will be used to promote Dutch blues rock bands in the world. Another nice thing about this cd, is the fact that from the 18 bands, one will be selected as the opening act for Ribs & Blues 2012, the biggest blues rock festival in the Netherlands. In 2011 they had 45,000 visitors in three days!

Bman: Wow...Nice! I blogged on that festival a few days ago. What's the selection process?

Maks: People can vote for the band they would like to see on Ribs & Blues and, as you can understand,we would love to be the opening act!
The song with which we contribute to this Blues@Nine cd, can be found on Youtube... It is called "A Fistful Of Nothing"...

Bman:I'll include it at the end of our interview for people to review. How can people vote for your band for the Ribs & Blues challenge?

Maks: Go to WWW.BLUESFORUM.NL and create a user account. Nothing fancy, won't cost you anything, it's only to get in. Click on the logo on top and on the next page on the top left corner you will see "Welkom, Gast. Alsjeblieft inloggen of registreren." So, fill in the registration data and you're fine. You will get a confirmation email, click the link and you can log in. Once you are in, click on "Blues Poll", under "Blues Algemeen".
Now look for Ribs & Blues - verkiezing 2012. At the top of that page (beneath "Poll") you will find the list of candidates. Woody & the Bluepackers are there at #5, which is no indication of the actual standings at this moment. Please write one message and you will be able to fill in two tick boxes.
You can also listen to all the other bands, that have their entry for this competition, but do not forget to vote for Woody & the Bluepackers. This may be our step up to greater things!

Bman: Yeah, I went through the process and there is a translator on it so it's pretty straight forward.

So after the festival, what's next for Woody and the Bluepackers?

Maks: We expect the cd will be ready around May 2012. In between writing and recording sessions, we will do some gigs too. Just to keep the fingers from getting rusty and to test drive some of our own songs. We hope our new cd will leave an imprint on the Dutch blues rock scene and lead us to compete for the Dutch blues rock cd of the year 2012!

Bman: I wish you guys all the best! Any last words, Maks?

Maks: "I would like to quote Viv Savage, the keyboard player of Spinal Tap: 'Have... a good time... all the time...'.

And of course Thank you for the interview!

Bman: My pleasure pal. Good luck and stay in touch!
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