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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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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blues For The Blues - The Hamsters

Our guitarist/singer Slim is featured in a new bookazine from Guitarist magazine which was released on 3rd December 2010, called 'Guitarist's Blues Guitar Heroes'. Slim's been asked to contribute a monthly column in 2011 to Guitar Buyer magazine (available in WHS) on all aspects of forming, rehearsing, performing, marketing and running a band - in order to pass on our 24 years of experience to a new generation of musicians. He also participated in an event at London Olympia in November 2010 called 'Guitar Nation', with Steve Vai (Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth), Steve Lukather (Toto) and more. Rather than just being a live music event, it gave aspiring musicians the opportunity to attend seminars and discussion panels, in order to give an insight into the performer's professional life. Our guitarist Slim was interviewed again in the 'Seasick Steve' edition of Guitarist magazine. He's also contributing a lesson to Guitar Techniques magazine later in the year. We released a new three-hour live double DVD set in September, titled 'Curse Of the Killer Hamsters!' The title track to our Album 'Route 666' is to be used in a forthcoming comedy-horror movie. titled 'Stag Night Of The Dead'... The band are appearing in a new three-hour DVD documentary about the Fender Stratocaster titled 'Strat Masters'. Some players featured in the film are Ry Cooder, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, Chris Rea, Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Robert Cray, Rory Gallagher and others. The makers have also filmed the USA and Japanese Fender factories. The track 'Taxi Driver' from our latest album 'Open All Hours' has been included in Classic Rock magazine's '100 Blues Anthems'. We were recently mentioned on BBC1's 'Bargain Hunt' programme... we thought it was weird too.... From the hinterlands of the Thames River Delta come THE HAMSTERS: Now in their twenty-fourth year together, having performed over 4,000 concerts and with a national mailing list exceeding 20,000, the Hamsters are established as one of the UK’s premier blues-rock attractions. This has been achieved purely by hard work with the band handling all of their own affairs. The Hamsters have been voted one of the UK‘s best unsigned bands by Kerrang magazine. (We already have a record deal, but it’s a nice compliment). Even BBC’s Top Gear magazine recognises the band as the UK’s hardest working, and featured them in an article on in-car entertainment, the Hamsters being the ideal people to ask as they’re always travelling somewhere. Although primarily performing their own brand of material, they are also widely regarded as our leading interpreters of the music of Jimi Hendrix and more recently ZZ Top. Originally forming for their own amusement (and taking their name from the Sex Pistols, who once used it as a pseudonym to outwit hostile councils), the Hamsters enjoy the irony of being an aggressive band with a cuddly name. Although serious about what they do, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Members have performed with artists such as Eric Clapton, Alison Moyet, Doctor Feelgood, Walter Trout and the late, great gentleman of British Blues, Alexis Korner. World Champion Formula 1 driver Damon Hill is a fan, and was spotted wearing a Hamsters tee shirt at the Hungarian Grand Prix! Slim has been voted one of the top 100 guitarists of all time in a radio poll on LBC . Our version of Hendrix’s "Voodoo Chile" has been used in an edition of BBC TV’s Top Gear. We performed a series of open-air shows Summer 2004 as special guests to Status Quo. We’ve been voted the UK’s best blues-rock band by the readers of Blueprint magazine. Our second session for Paul Jones' Radio 2 Blues show was broadcast September 2004. We contributed a track for inclusion in the BBC Radio 2 series "Bright Lights, Big City". It documents the story of British Rhythm and Blues from the fifties to the modern day. It’s presented by former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, and was broadcast in the Autumn of 2001. We recently conducted an interview for the Sunday Express, and were also the week’s featured concert in The Times ‘Play’ section, December 2002. A member of Natalie Imbruglia's band was spotted wearing one of our t-shirts on an appearance on Graham Norton's show on Channel 4. We performed at 2003,4,5,6 & 7's London Guitar Show at the Wembley entertainment complex, attended by over 15,000 guitar players - aspiring and professional alike. Slim is featured in a book called "17 Watts? The First 20 Years Of British Rock Guitar", talking about his early musical experiences alongside Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, George Harrison and David Gilmour. The band’s album "The Jimi Hendrix Memorial Concerts" was rated Album Of The Month in Germany’s leading musicians’ magazine, "Guitar and Bass". Their version of Bob Dylan’s "All Along The Watchtower" is included on an album of Dylan cover versions, featuring artists such as Bryan Ferry, Joe Cocker, The Byrds and many others, released throughout Europe by Polygram in ‘93. Slim was interviewed for the Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison editions of "Mojo Working", a Channel 4 TV series broadcast through Summer ‘92 documenting the most influential figures in popular music. Slim also writes for Guitarist magazine when he has time, and was featured talking about his equipment(!) in the September ‘94 edition of Guitar Techniques magazine. He has also been included in the "Guitarist Magazine Book of Guitar Players", published in ‘94. In addition, Guitar Techniques has asked Slim to contribute a recorded lesson on how to play the Blues each month, for inclusion on the CD which accompanies every issue. The band have been interviewed and filmed live by MTV Europe and German national TV, as well as being featured in session and interview on Radio One for Bob Harris and Johnny Walker, Radio Two for Paul Jones, for GLR in London, B.F.B.S in mainland Europe and Dutch national radio. Early in ‘95, the band released ROUTE 666 which entered the New Musical Express chart at number 7. The Observer newspaper even pinched the idea from the CD booklet, for the cover of a colour supplement! Photographs for the album were taken by the celebrated snapper, Gered Mankowitz, who is especially known for his seminal photographs of Hendrix and the Stones, among many other Rock icons. The Hamsters are: Slim — Guitar, Singer / Rev. Otis — Drums, Sings a bit / Zsa Zsa — Bass, Sings a bit If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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