From the authors

Marek Jakubowski & Ryszard Gloger

Presentation of the history of the Rawa Blues Festival seemed like a breakneck task to us. We took part in most editions, registered impressions on an ongoing basis, sometimes shared them in media. However, we didn’t expect that one day we would tell it so that it could reflect the course of events, both for frequenters and occasional guests of the Rawa festival.

It is understandable we have a very private, emotional attitude towards this festival - in its various manifestations. Once it was a moment when Rysiek Skibiński threw himself into the arms of fans after a successful concert. Other time a view of „Hendrix in a skirt”, Joanna Connor, a woman playing blues. And a priceless smile and handshake of Junior Wells, or picture of a humble, quiet figure of Koko Taylor in a hotel elevator and moments of unexpected, private conversations with those legends of Chicago blues. Likewise, the embodiment of subtle sex appeal - Janiva Magness or spontaneous and straightforward Robert Randolph in a hotel lobby...

We tried to collect the richest possible illustrative material diffused in different hands. What we managed to collect was subjected to a selection, also in terms of technical quality. Many of those pictures surely speak louder than words or long stories.

This, obviously incomplete, personal image of the Rawa is composed of the records from our fragmentary memory and the reports of other people we try to recall here. There is no way yet to embrace the entire event woven into the long history of the festival. We want to bring back memories, help to reveal what is hidden behind a dense veil of time marching inexorably. And again the thesis assuming that not everything can be found on the Internet or printed materials proved to be true. Often even the musicians taking part in the first editions of the festival do not remember the details of their performances.

Our record therefore does not aspire to be a complete, comprehensive documentation of the festival. It should be treated rather as a kind of iconic and text medium, encouraging to take a sentimental journey into our life with blues. Nevertheless the Rawa Blues Festival has always been an important part of what we all experienced. It is also clear that it became a kind of animator, determinant of artistic value, quality of scene production. The history of the festival is an example of how an ambitious idea of blues club event can turn into a festival of international class sealed with the prestigious award Keeping the Blues Alive. It is also a story about a musician and director of the festival for whom each twelvemonth, for years, always begins and ends in October. 

We would like to thank for invaluable help to so many people who responded favorably to the idea of album and supported us with information materials and most of all photos. 

Ryszard Gloger and Marek Jakubowski