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CD Review "Bluesy Sky over Paris"

American  JazzBluesNews  Magazine

August 13, 2022

Interview

American  JazzBluesNews  Magazine

August 04, 2022

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Dr. J.B. Blues: – I was born in a small town in Germany. My father was an excellent violin player, so I grew up surrounded by classical music. I remember listening to Beethovens violin concerto every day as a child. Sadly my father died when I was only 13 years old. After this event I started playing trumpet and my aim was to become a classic trumpet player. Around 16 I became a solo trumpeter in a symphonic orchestra (German Westpfälzisches Symponic Orchestra) and I performed baroque music, trumpet concertos and Bach Oratorias. My love for the guitar started around age 14 and very soon my brother Frank and myself we founded a TOP 40 cover band. By the way  Frank is a great “Joe Cocker cover singer”. I wanted to study music and become a professional musician, but as I had very good grades in school my mother said I should study medicine, what I finally did. Music continued to be part of my life and I never gave up my dream that one day I will produce a record.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

Dr. JBB: – When I started playing guitar at age fourteen, I was a huge Carlos Santana fan, I loved his guitar sound. But I couldn’t afford a Gibson Les Paul, so I played an Ibanez “Les Paul” model. In this time I liked to use a lot of effects like delay, reverb, chorus and I played a lot of rock music with much distortion as one did in the 80’S and 90’s. With time my guitar style was getting more and more bluesy. I decided to play a Fender Stratocaster model and I noticed that I can play more expressively with a Stratocaster and as time went by my love for the “twang and dirt” sound of a Stratocaster grew, especially when playing blues and I liked the way you can form your guitar tone with your fingers. And later I used less effects and less distortion. I studied intensively  the style of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I just love the style and sound of Stevie Ray, he is the one who influenced me the most. Today I am playing my beloved Fender Stratocaster Rory Gallagher model tuned in  e-flat, like Stevie did. Tuning in e-flat gives the Stratocaster a much bigger to huger sound without losing the “twang”. On my debut album “ Bluesy Sky over Paris” I used an original  Marshall 1962 combo “Bluesbreaker’’ amp, the same kind of amp was used by Eric Clapton with John Mayall and the Bluesbrakers on the album “Beano”. Modern digital technic is also on my map. The sound on “ Bluesy Sky over Paris” is a mix of the 1962 Bluesbraker with a digital device, a Fractal Audio FM3. On my record I also mixed different amps of the FM3 (Marshall JCM 800, Marshall Super Lead Plexi 1959, Fender Deluxe Verb, Soldano 100 Lead…) with the real amp, the 1962 Bluesbreaker. For “Tin Pan Alley” for example I mixed the Fender Deluxe with the Bluesbraker and I used a mix with the Soldano on “Cause We Ended As Lovers”. This is how I found my my own sound for the album. It was recorded by Tristan Abgrall at L Áuditorium Studios Paris and mastered by John Davis (“ Led Zeppelin Remasters”) at Metropolis Studios London.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

Dr. JBB: – Most of the time I practice with my Rory Gallagher Stratocaster without an amp and without effects, just the guitar as it is. If one has a good sound and technic in this way, one will have a good sound once amplified. Step by step I learned to use my fingers to form the guitar sound. And I practice with rhythm backups to improve the timing. This is very important especially for studio recordings. Of course I listen to a lot of songs of blues legends like B.B. King, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan to learn about the harmonies and licks they use and eventually I integrate this knowledge to my playing.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

Dr. JBB: – When I was young, I played rock and I used a “sweet” distorted sound. But with time I recognized that blues is the best way to transport emotions and I learned, that less is more. When you are young you love sweet sparkle wines like an Asti Spumante when you grow older you love dry vintage champagnes like a Dom Perignon. The same about music. The style, taste and sound changes with age.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

Dr. JBB: – My time for music is restricted so I have to have a plan. Awareness of what is, is my way of preparation both spiritual and musical. First I prepare the structure of the songs. Then I record the rhythm sections. The most important is, that I perform all solo parts spontaneously during recording. If you want to perform great the moment and the mood counts. I recorded “Little Wing” on the 25th of October but I wasn’t aware of the fact that Jimi Hendrix recorded it on the 25th of October, just some years before me…

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2022: Dr. J.B. Blues – Bluesy Sky Over Paris, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

Dr. JBB: – With my debut album “Bluesy Sky over Paris” I realized a dream. I recorded my favourite songs in my own way. The songs developed spontaneously through the recording after years of preparation. They were recorded at the right time, in the right place and in the right way, from my point of view. And I am very happy that  the album captured top honors at the recent Music Awards (Akademia Music Awards Los Angeles ,  Intercontinental Music Awards  Los Angeles, Global Music Awards La Jolla). I am working on something but for the moment it’s still growing inside of me so I won’t talk about it, I am sure you understand.

JBN: – How did you select the musicians who play on the album?

Dr. JBB: – To make a long story short I live in Germany and Paris. This way I had the opportunity to meet two great French bluesmen Christophe Garreau (bass) and Guillaume Destarac (drums), a veteran rhythm section who’ve recorded several CDs with Paul Personne and Fred Chapellier, two of the most beloved artists in the French blues scene. It was a pleasure to work with these two great musicians. Tristan Abgrall recorded and mixed this set at L’Auditorium Studios in Paris and also played keyboards on the record. It was mastered at Metropolis Studios in London under the supervision of John Davis, who’s best known for remastering early Led Zeppelin releases. I am very happy with the sound of the CD. The album received the American Tracks Music Award Los Angeles 2022 for best studio sound.

JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

Dr. JBB: – Intellect is technic and soul is emotion. The balance is something very personal. Emotions are the most important part for me. Beethoven said: you can play a wrong note, but you should never play without emotions. And a agree totally with this.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

Dr. JBB: – I don’t really think about it. I think in arts its natural that people want something emotional. We are humans that long for spirituality whatever this is for each one personally. I am very happy that people like the music I make and that young people are drawn to it, that don’t necessarily know so much about blues.  My song version of  “Little Wing” reached number one on INDIETOPCHARTS in June 2022 and fact is, I am the only blues musician listed.

JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

Dr. JBB: – Over the years I performed some `bluesrock against cancer` charity concerts. And on one of those charity concerts  in 2019 I played  Stevie Ray Vaughans “Scuttle Buttin” a lot faster than the original, and the original was already very fast… Of course I recorded this song  also on my album “Bluesy Sky over Paris”,but I didn’t get to the speed of light that I had on that particular concert in 2019.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in blues when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

Dr. JBB: – Its a great joy and a little bit crazy to get all this fantastic response for my debut album “Bluesy Sky over Paris “ and particularly for “Little Wing”. Its awesome to create music and people actually listening to it. Honestly, I did not expect such a  response. Even people who never listened to blues, listen to my music. It probably is that way because it’s a step away from classic blues-rock to a kind blues-rock-pop and therefore reaches more people. You get young people interested in what you do when you do it with real interest in something you love. Nowadays as a blues musician it is also important to produce music videos to reach young people. The video for „Little Wing“ for example was directed by 20 years old Frida Beineix and dedicated to her father  ‘Diva’  and ‘Betty Blue’ director Jean- Jacques Beineix. I was delighted that the video got such an excellent resonance on YouTube in such a short time. And that it won different prices internationally, such as the Akademia Music Awards Los Angeles 2022 for best music video alternative rock.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

Dr. JBB: – Oh huge subject, but to make it short: be good, do good and have fun doing what you do.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

Dr. JBB: – Nothing is to be changed, just our way of looking on reality might need a change and adjustment.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

Dr. JBB: – You probably know by now but frankly, I am old school. I listen to everything that is not coming out of a synthesizer.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

 

Dr. JBB: – I am not a politician with a message. Therefore I am just hoping that people get whatever they need from my music to feel good about themselves and others.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

Dr. JBB: – Oh, such a nice thought. Well, yes probably being able to meet Stevie at the concert at El Mocambo and Jimi in Woodstock of course …

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

Dr. JBB: – Where from do you have all this philosophical interest to your questions?

JBN: – I’ve recorded with jazz and blues legends like Barry Harris, Chick Corea, BB King, Lucky Peterson, Dave Holland, John Patitucci, many… You can also add it, I think it will be interesting.

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

Dr. JBB: – Once again with expectations you lose the possibility of surprise. You never know what this interview can bring. In any case it was fun and I say thank you for your interest and thank you to Luisa Held Management in Berlin for encouraging me to do it.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Review of my album "Bluesy Sky over Paris" 

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE  June 23, 2022

Dr. J.B. Blues – Bluesy Sky Over Paris

House Master Records LC 05699

www.dr-jb-blues.com

 

 

9 songs – 38 minutes

Based out of Essen, Germany, where he’s a real-life physician who specializes in oncology and hematology, Dr. J.B. Blues – aka Bernd Jung – is a talented guitarist, too, and has made a name for himself producing Blues Rock Against Cancer charity concerts in his homeland. He makes his recording debut with this tasty CD, which pays tribute to two of his heroes, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Dr. J.B. picked up the six-string for the first time at age 14, and, from the sound of his fretwork here, it’s obvious that his six-string – a beloved Fender Rory Gallagher-model Stratocaster tuned in E-flat – has been in his hands steadily when not treating patients.

Like Vaughan, his main influence, the shred-free notes he delivers flow smoothly without the necessity of excessive pyrotechnics. He sings in a strong tenor in English with a slight, but noticeable accent, and his on-the-beat lyrics are counterpoint to his behind-the-beat playing.

Delivered in power-blues trio format, Dr. J.B. is backed by bassist Christophe Garreau and percussionist Guillaume Destarac, a veteran rhythm section who’ve recorded several CDs with Paul Personne and Fred Chapellier, two of the most beloved artists in the French blues scene.

They’re joined by keyboard player Tristan Abgrall, who also recorded and mixed this set at L’Auditorium Studios in Paris. It was mastered at Metropolis Studios in London under the supervision of John Davis, who’s best known in the U.S. for remastering early Led Zeppelin releases for modern consumption. This CD captured top honors in three categories at the recent Akademia Music Awards in Los Angeles — best blues album, blues song and alternative rock video.

While all of the tunes here are covers, they’re far more than that. Most carry forward the spirit of the original while not being note-for-note reinterpretations. Like the award-winning opener, Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” shows, the good Doc may be well-versed in the masters but he makes the runs all his own. This one’s delivered at an slower pace, opens quietly with no backing and soars. It flows effortlessly into a faithful take on Stevie Ray’s “Pride and Joy,” which lopes out of the gate, swings throughout and switches up the breaks enough to offer up a little originality, too.

“Tin Pan Alley” helped make Vaughan a superstar when it appeared on his debut LP, but it takes on a completely different feel here. Penned by West Coast bluesman Bob Geddins in the early ‘50s and a Top 10 R&B hit when recorded by Jimmy Wilson, it’s delivered as a molasses-slow ballad that sears for four minutes with barebones backing. “Texas Flood,” which is up next, follows the same format for to open. Penned by St. Louis bluesman Larry Davis before becoming another Vaughan masterpiece, Dr. J.B. turns it into a unique, instrumental burner for the first two minutes, launching into the familiar lyrics and then ending with 90 seconds more of solid fretwork.

Two more Hendrix numbers — “Red House” and “Voodoo Child” – mirror the same formula with the former taking its sweet time before the latter heats things up – before Dr. J.B. ventures into entirely different territory with “Cause We Ended as Lovers.” Stevie Wonder composed it and it debuted on Motown for Syreeta in 1975 before Jeff Beck made it his own. It’s reworked as a soulful, slow-paced instrumental here. An uptempo take on Stevie Ray’s “Scuttle Buttin’” follows before an extended version of “Little Wing” brings the album to a close.

When it comes to CDs chockful of covers, this reviewer finds most tedious at best – but this one’s special. Dr. J.B. Blues delivers a treat for lovers of early blues-rock that walked a tightrope between the two artforms, and he does it in his own way. It’s available online from several vendors.

 

Blues Blast Magazine Senior writer Marty Gunther has lived a blessed life. Now based out of Charlotte, N.C., his first experience with live music came at the feet of the first generation of blues legends at the Newport Folk Festivals in the 1960s. A former member of the Chicago blues community, he’s a professional journalist and blues harmonica player who co-founded the Nucklebusters, one of the hardest working bands in South Florida.

 

https://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-16-25-june-23-2022

  

Interview   "Little Wing" 

Marquis Global Network

Juli 06, 2022

Dr. J. B. Blues is a new kind of blues artist - thoughtful, multi-talented and confident. With the debut radio single 'Little Wing' running up the charts, Dr. J. B. Blues is in a unique position to re-define the genre.

Generally speaking, blues artists are highly dependent on relentless commitment and strong musical instincts to succeed in the market, and Dr. J. B. Blues is well-positioned to excel in this regard. Now that the mesmerizing new radio single 'Little Wing' is catching fire on radio, it's clear that we'll be hearing a lot more of Dr. J. B. Blues. Perhaps that also explains why Dr. J. B. Blues was the recipient of the prestigious Akademia Music Award for Best Blues Album on April 15, 2022. Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Dr. J. B. Blues to learn more about this intriguing artist and the inspiration behind what is clearly a captivating new sound.

 

 

LAUREN: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
DR. J. B. BLUES: Its a great joy and a little bit crazy to get all this great response for my album “Bluesy Sky over Paris “ and especially for my song “Little Wing”. Its awesome to create music and people actually listening to my music. I am honest, I did not expect such a great response. Even people who never listened to blues, listen to my music, because I did a step away from classic blues-rock to a kind blues-rock-pop to reach more people. Believe and disbelieve in my music are always close when it comes to potential listeners.

LAUREN: Your song 'Little Wing' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio? 
DR. J. B. BLUES: It was a great joy of course to hear my own song on the radio and a dream came true . To put the radio on and to hear your music is one of the greatest things a musician can experience. Just oneself knows the work it took to get there.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your radio single?
DR. J. B. BLUES: The inspiration for me was Jimmy Hendrix and his great song Little Wing. Its one of the greatest songs in history in my opinion and a very emotional song. Stevie Ray Vaughan did a great instrumental version of this song, which is thought to be one of the greatest blues productions ever. I did my one interpretation of the song. I mixed up the two versions of Jimy and Stevie and slowed it down a little to get more a kind of ballad style to reach more people with this song.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
DR. J. B. BLUES: Its certainly true and in some way I can relate to this saying. In my case it would probably be the fact that I was not pushed to go into music , in spite of having talent. My mother said I should study medicine , what I did and music came always second. But music was my first love and it will be my last. But now music is in the first place and I could realize my dream and I am very happy things came true.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician?
DR. J. B. BLUES: I am grounded and I am a perfectionist, it has to do with my whole personality. So everything has to be perfect. But I am also very sensitive. The most important thing for me is to transport emotions with music. You can play a wrong note, but you should never play without emotions.

  

LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?


DR. J. B. BLUES: It is always a great joy to have talented people in your team. Everything gets better because of the interaction with others and their great talent. It was a pleasure to work together with Christophe Garreau (bass) and Guillaume Destarac (drums), two of the best French studio bluesmen. And the recording by Tristan Abgrall at L Àuditorium Studios Paris and the mastering by John Davis (“Led Zeppelin Remasters”) at Metropolis Studios Paris were an outstanding experience for me. 

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?


DR. J. B. BLUES: Yes totally. My father was a great violin player. My brother plays guitar and sings and my sister plays sax and sings, a family of musicians.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?


DR. J. B. BLUES: Rewarding is probably the smile on someones face listening to your music. Challenging is the fact that it is difficult to make music as a professional. Very few have the possibility to live from what they do.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?


DR. J. B. BLUES: I have been influenced by blues and most by Jimy Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, two of the greatest guitar players and musicians of all time. The last five years I studied the work of Stevie, what had a big influence on my album “Blusy Sky over Paris”.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.


DR. J. B. BLUES: It was on a charity show “Blues against cancer “ in 2019. I played Stevie Ray Vaughans “Scuttle Buttin” a lot faster than the original. It was a great success. I recorded this song also on my album “Bluesy Sky over Paris”.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?


DR. J. B. BLUES: This is such a personal question. One advice is probably to listen to your instincts. Do what you feel and most important believe in yourself and don’t give up until you have reached what you want.

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there an album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?


DR. J. B. BLUES: I am preparing another blues album in the style of “Bluesy Sky over Paris” to reach many people and not only blues fans. And I am working on some unusual idea. “Dr.J.B.Blues sings Sinatra”. Let’ s see where it goes…

LAUREN: That sounds great! Thank you for giving us more insight into your life as an artist. I wish you much continued success in your career!

https://www.theakademia.com/artistkit/DrJBBlues-LittleWing.html

https://www.dr-jb-blues.com

https://youtube.com/channel/UCywBd_id0wXyez3utXaXwjw

DR. J. B. Blues - bluesrock - Awards

"Little Wing"

Finalist - Bronze Medal Winner

in the

GLOBAL MUSIC AWARDS 

La Jolla CA

July 18, 2022

"Little Wing"

Finalist

in the

INTERCONTINENTAL MUSIC AWARDS 

Los Angeles

June 30, 2022

IMG_4510.JPG

"Little Wing"

Winner

in the

AKADEMIA MUSIC AWARDS 

Los Angeles

April 15, 2022

The album "Bluesy Sky over Paris" received the Akademia Music Award Los Angeles April 2022 in the categories Best Album Blues „Bluesy Sky over Paris“, Best Song Blues „Little Wing“ and Best Music Video Alternative Rock „Little Wing“.

Akademia: "This stylish blues brew is an awesome experience. Dr. J. B. Blues carves guitar with mesmerizing skill and everyone pulls together on cuts like "Little Wing" to deliver the kind of art that could reconceive the genre."

Akademia: "Dr. J. B. Blues' distinguished vocal style and masterful instrumentation impart a shimmering authenticity to this hypnotically artful blues narrative."

Akademia: "Dr. J. B. Blues' charisma is well attested by this lavishly emotional music video, directed by Frida Beineix, carefully glued to a transcendent blues jam. "Little Wing" never hits a wrong note."

DR. J . B. BLUES was invited for the „Artist of The Year honors“. These awards will be conferred by genre during Akademia Music Awards Gala Event next year on May 19th 2023 in Los Angeles.

„Little Wing“  received the

American Tracks Music Award Los Angeles

April 2022

in the category best studio sound.

The video for „Little Wing“ was directed by young Frida Beineix and dedicated to her father, the director Jean-Jaques Beineix.

 

The video was finalist in the International Music Video Awards London 2022, in the International Euro Music Video Song Awards Paris 2022 and in the International Rome Music Video Awards May 2022.

The video received the International Munich Music Video Award 2022 (Best Cover Song) and was winner in the International Sound Future Awards New York 2022 in the categories Best Femal Director Music Video, Best Cover Music Videi and Best Sound Design. 

"Little Wing" reached number one of the

INDIETOPCHART OFFICIAL

> 500000 votes

 June-July  2022

IMG_4030.jpg

"Little Wing" 

 hit the #1 position on the Jazz / Blues Charts 

KMIX Radio Los Angeles, California USA

 June 2022