B.B. and The Blues Shacks
Rhythm Bomb Records
B.B. & The Blues Shacks were founded in 1989. They are a blues band from Hildesheim, Germany. Their choice of a band name was intended to express a musical closeness to B.B. King. The band’s influences include Little Walter, Walter Horton, T-Bone Walker, Slim Harpo and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. They released their mostly original debut album “Feelin’ Fine Today” in 1994.
Formed by guitarist Andreas Arlt and his brother frontman Michael Arlt, harmonica and vocals; the current lineup includes Fabian Fritz, piano and organ; Henning Hauerken, upright and electric bass; and Andre Werkmeister, drums. Together almost 30 years the band has played over 4000 performances in Germany, Scandinavia, and Europe. In the U.S. they played the Doheny Festival in Los Angeles; and in Australia, the Byron Bay Festival. In 1988 the band toured and recorded “Live At Lucerne Blues Festival” with blues and soul singer Tad Robinson. In 2006 when Michael had to undergo surgery the band toured with Finis Tasby who also fronted The Mannish Boys. “Reservation Blues” is the band’s fifteenth album overall.
All songs are written by Andreas and Michael Arlt. The title track opens the album with a passionate vocal and harp solo from Michael who continues on to “Lay Some Shuffle Down”. Till Seidel, sits in on rhythm guitar on “Year of Strife”.
A horn section consisting of Tom Muller, saxophone; and Stefan Gossinger, trumpet, is added on four tracks: the ballad “Mad About You”; “From Now On”; “Honeycomb” and on “I believe My Time Ain’t Long” with another passionate vocal from Michael and some lounge piano from Fritz.
On the fabulous instrumental “Angry Cat” Fritz switches to organ as guitarist Andreas plays both rhythm and lead. Fritz takes a jazzy piano solo on “Things Won’t Change”. The whole band works out on “look here baby I’m All About That”. Michael is a great vocalist and he shines again on “Not Much to Loose”; on the Sonny Boy Williamson inspired “Little Secrets” and on the closer “Why Can’t I Go Home”.
The photos picture the band in a friendly bar with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the top shelf. The reviews are in: Dave Spector says “passionate and dedicated musicians who play with great style and soul, one of the top tier bands on the international blues scene”.
Tad Robinson states “The Blues Shacks new release, Reservation Blues, is cause for celebration. Bands that stay together play well together; and this band is a blues institution.”
While Phil Pemberton sums it up best: “BB & The Blues Shacks prove once again why they are one of the most outstanding blues bands in Europe today…they are the real deal”.
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