1. Introduction by Philip Guy Davis
  2. You Got Me Rollin'
  3. I've Been Thinking
  4. What You're Doing To Me
  5. Greyhound
  6. Angel In High Heels
  7. His Latest Flame
  8. I Wanna Ramble / Feelin' Good
  9. Louisiana Lover Man
  10. You Got What You Wanted
  11. Tell Me What's The Reason
  12. I Wanna Ask You Pretty Baby
  13. Big Time Operator

MEMO GONZALEZ – vocals, harmonica
KAI STRAUSS – vocals (3&7), baritone guitar (3), guitar
ERKAN ÖZDEMIR – Kay bass guitar

Recorded live at The Bullington, Oxford, England, November 2004

Memo Gonzalez and the Bluescasters are swinging like a suspension bridge in a hurricane, declares British music magazine Blueprint, while Texas Blues Magazine is wondering: Who are these guys?

Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters present a rip-roaring mixture of blues, swing, and rock'n'roll that they have branded their own. Their collaboration started in 1995 and resulted in more than 1,000 shows in European clubs and on international festivals. Memo Gonzalez, who hails from Dallas/Texas, and his continental colleagues have worked hard for their inspiring sovereignty which has been stirringly captured on 'Live In The UK'. The album was recorded at various concerts during a tour through England and confirms in evidence Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters excellent reputation as a dynamic live band. “Music's always happening today”, Gonzalez declares. “We ain't no juke box. We want to leave our own imprint on the music.”

The band's history started at the end of the 1980s when Kai Strauss formed the Bluescasters. Already in their early years, the band was invited to perform at festivals, all over Europe. In 1995 the first CD was released, 'Drivin' With …' .

6,000 kilometers away, Memo Gonzalez milled new facets into Texas Blues, supported by Paul Size, Johnny Moeller, Jim Suhler and other guitar greats. After an impressive 'Texas Harmonica Rumble' in Utrecht, The Netherlands ,The Bluescasters invited Memo Gonzalez to join them on their European tours. The debut album 'Let's All Get Drunk And Get Tattooed' was released in 1996. Ten years later the XXL-Texan with the genuine rock'n'roll pompadour easily controls every stage he's on and continues to defend his heavyweight harmonica champion title with every performance.

Kai Strauss is simply a great guitarist whose solos are up there with the likes of American contemporaries like Duke Robillard, Alex Schultz, Rusty Zinn, Charlie Baty and Sean Costello Scott Duncan writes in Blues In Britain. His full-bodied tone and breath-taking intensity has given him a steady position in the hearts of the blues guitar community and made Kai Strauss one of the most respected players on the European scene.

Germany's musician's journal Gitarre & Bass has devoted two pages to the Troja-born bass player Erkan Özdemir in their April 2006 issue. Drummer Klaus Schnirring meanwhile has left the band. Henk Punter from Amsterdam is the new man behind the drums. With this addition, The Bluescasters are 100 per cent an international top band.

“Thirty two years ago in high school when I began taking an interest in music, I fell in love with the rhythm and blues sounds of the local radio stations,” the charistmatic American remembers. During his school days he was not yet known as Three Hundred Pounds of Texas Dynamite. “Later this music did change my life and I've travelled half the world.”

Yes, there’s power in the Blues.

Reviews CCD 11092

Eigentlich sind Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters eine Band der Gegensätze. Auf der einen Seite Schwergewicht Gonzalez, auf der anderen Seite der eher schmächtige Gitarrist Kai Strauss. Zudem steht Memos rauer, aggressiver Gesang im kontrast zu Strauss filigraner Gitarrentechnik. Vielleicht macht genau das den Erfolg der Bluescasters – gemeinsam mit der extrem grovvenden Rhythmusabteilung – aus. Gegensätze ziehen sich bekanntlich an.

Blues News
July-September 2006
Dirk Föhrs