Andres Roots

Muusika 11/2016. Photo by Leif Laaksonen.
Andres Roots is a slide guitarist, songwriter and bandleader based in Tartu, Estonia. Combining pre-war blues and swing with 1960's rock, his Golden Disc-awarded music has received airplay on five continents and featured in TV series and films, including the award-winning "Lonely Island" (2012), directed by the Berlinale-decorated Peeter Simm.

Roots has toured in the UK, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and Finland, played with Honeyboy Edwards (USA) and Tuomari Nurmio (FIN) and opened for the likes of Dr. Feelgood (UK) and Otis Grand (USA). The 2015 Trad.alt.winter Tour saw the press in Finland, Sweden and Estonia greet the former Bullfrog Brown guitarist as the King of Estonian Blues.

The status was confirmed when Roots' vinyl compilation "Roots Music" went to #1 in the official Estonian albums chart in April 2016 and received a "Blues Album of the Year" Golden Disc at the Estonian pop music awards in March 2017. Released to celebrate Roots' 40th birthday and 20 years on stage, "Roots Music" was also the first-ever gramophone record manufactured in Estonia, at the newly established Vinyl Plant. CD album "Winter" featuring various international guest vocalists followed in November 2016, reaching #6 in the French and #9 in the British blues airplay charts for December, staying in the charts for two months.

Preferring a guitar-and-drums duo format that highlights his "excellent slide technique complimented by great chording and simultaneously executed skillful basslines" (Sirp), with "the sound made with just drums and one guitar filling the stage more powerfully than your average rock band" (IDeeJazz), Roots is increasingly in demand as a solo performer and continues to collaborate with harpists Ismo Haavisto (FIN) and Steve Lury (UK) in a more traditional blues vein. February 2017 also saw the first performance of the Sawmill Roots Orchestra: a quartet featuring guitar, drums, trumpet and clarinet.

Roots' festival appearances since going solo in 2010 include the Shetland Blues Festival (UK), Le Blues Autour du Zinc (FRA), Suwalki Blues (PL), Stompin’ At The Savoy (FIN), Lahti Grand Blues (FIN), Ruska Blues (FIN), Saimaa Blues (FIN), Tammerblues (FIN), Louisiana Cajun Party (FIN), Kaavi Blues (FIN), Leppävirta Blues Picnic (FIN), Sigulda Blues (LV), Fontaine Festival (LV), Baltic Blues (LV), IDeeJazz (EST), Jazzkaar (EST), Viru Folk (EST), FiESTa XXX (EST), Tallinn Music Week (EST), Pärnu Kitarrifestival (EST), Mailaul (EST), Intsikurmu Music Festival (EST), Prima Vista (EST), Guitar Jamboree (EST), Pärnu Bluusipäevad (EST), Ugriblues (EST), Augustibluus (EST), UnderGround Blues (EST), Baltic-Nordic Harmonica (EST), Emajõe Bluus (EST) and Linna Pea Rock (EST).