Sunday, December 30, 2018

Looking Back On 2018

Photo by Leif Laaksonen.
With the last concert of 2018 now played and done with, it's time to look back on the year - and what a year it's been! 2018 started with the announcement that the listeners of the Gloucester, UK-based Severn FM's Blues Hour radio show had voted Andres Roots "Bluesman of the Year"; the year ended with the news that Andres' is listed in Mart Jaanson's book "100 Years of Estonian Music" as "the internationally best-known player of pure blues among Estonian guitarists." So here's a Muddy Waters number with Anneli Kadakas and Mikk Tammepõld from the Blue Icicle festival in Pärnu in February 2018, as filmed by Kalev Toom and recorded by Priit Pajusalu:

2018 also saw the release of two albums and one limited edition EP: Sawmill Roots Orchestra "Sawmill Roots Orchestra", Andres Roots "Breakfast in September" and Andres Roots "Drum Break". Asko-Romé Altsoo filmed a music video for a track off the Sawmill album - watch "Wagon Swing" below:

Festival appearances in 2018 included the European Blues Challenge in Norway and the Floating Cockroach in Finland, as well as Augustibluus, Viru Folk, Sõru Jazz, Tallinn Music Week, Pärnu Bluusipäevad, Tartu Bluusikuu, Porkuni Bluus, The Blue Icicle and Muuseumiöö in Estonia. Here's "Hawaiian Boogie" with Ismo Haavisto on guitar and Matias Partanen on drums, performed as part of the trio's Tribute to Elmore James tour at the Augustibluus festival in Haapsalu and filmed by Heino Maripuu:

In addition, the Tartu Blues Society celebrated their 15th anniversary with a very special concert in December, and on January 16th, 2019 the music department of the Tartu Public Library will unveil a very special exhibition they've prepared about the society's undertakings since its foundation in 2003. Here's an oldie featuring all three founding members of the society, filmed in Greenwich, London in December 2006 by Andy Wicks:

All in all, there were 52 concerts in 2018 in 3 countries with 12 different band line-ups. Thus, the New Year's resolution must be "more gigs, fewer bands" :) The active line-ups for 2019 are the Andres Roots solo act (with a tour of Finland and Scotland coming up in February - click here for details!), the trio of Andres Roots, Peeter Piik & Les Wilson (next show: the aforementioned exhibition opening in January) and of course the duo of Andres Roots & Anneli Kadakas (next show at the Savonsolmu Winter Blues Party in Finland on February 9 AND a studio EP in the works!). Here's a live recording by Roots & Kadakas from the ETV morning programme in March:

Happy New Year & see you in January 2019!

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