Rawa Blues Silesian Sound
October 9th 2021
Katowice Youth Palace
SBB, Dżem, Dudek Big Band, Krzak Legacy, Kapołka Trio, Makaron
Dudek Big Band
On October 9 2021 Rawa Blues brought together many pioneers of the Silesian blues sound. The series of concerts began with an intimate performance by the extraordinary figure of Marek „Makaron” Motyka, No one like "Makaron" has connected blues with Silesia and its culture since the beginning of his career. In a short recital, the singer, accompanying himself on guitar, performed three songs from his latest album. These were blues to poems by Scottish poet Robert Burns, performed in Silesian dialect, translated by Mirosław Syniawa. That evening the artist, was able to create a unique musical atmosphere and move the audience in a special way.
Fully electrified, Grzegorz Kapołka's band also began subtly with the theme of the song „5th Avenue Blues”. Then the guitarist with his trio moved on to blues-rock to freely develop improvisations, together with bassist Darek Ziółek and drummer Alan Kapołka, After the trio's instrumental skirmishes, Natalia Kwiatkowska joined the musicians and sang two songs, including the composition „Friendship” dedicated to the legendary Silesian drummer Michał Giercuszkiewicz.
That evening, the following performers mentioned many musicians from Silesia, who beautifully enriched the "silesian sound" for many years. To mention a whole list of musicians' names, Leszek Winder was especially entitled. After all, in the Krzak band led by Winder, played the cream of musicians headed by Jerzy Kawa Kawalec. During this show, Winder presented a formation called Krzak Legacy with Krzysztof Ścierański on bass and Jan Gałach on violin, as well as drummer Andrzej Ryszka, who came especially from Canada, The concert ran in varying moods of music from lyrical to decidedly strong and offensive. There were well-known themes of songs from Krzak's repertoire, often played in unison by guitar and violin. Krzak Legacy presented a lively, enticing and clear sound. The music sounded remarkably modern.
In the second part of the evening, the stage was filled by the dozen-piece Irek Dudek Big Band. In this case, Dudek's orchestra performed more favorably than a few years back in Spodek. It was not about the level of performance, but the overall impression. In a large space, usually the big band's sound was diffuse and the sounds of saxophones and trombones lacked natural power. This time, the orchestra's block of wind instruments, effectively struck with great power, more brightly exposing the arrangement ideas. Irek Dudek Big Band played songs from the album No1 , including „Everyday I Have The Blues”, „Wiatr się na jesionie wietrzy”, „Tak dobrze mi tu”.
Irek Dudek enriched the singing with his mouth harmonica playing. When the leader invited Henryk Gembalski on stage, the violin duo was revealed. Dudek and Gembalski began the arco by giving the theme of the song Trouble In Love and then came the wonderful unison of the violin pair and further solo improvisations by both instrumentalists. They played the showpiece „From Alojz To Alex” at a frenetic pace. The next surprise came as soloist, Krzysztof Popek, who played „Flute” composition with class. In the big band's final piece, a great boogie-style solo was played on the piano by Krzysztof Głuch.
Excitement among listeners grew as another performer appeared. With the SBB band, we went back to the very roots. SBB, after all, started half a century ago under the name Silesian Blues Band. Jozef Skrzek introduced his current group with a completely new lineup, with a very offensively playing rhythm section, composed of musicians of the younger generation. The new power was given by SBB, Maks Mucha on bass and Paweł Dobrowolski on drums. SBB played like in the best years, the music pulsed rhythmically, the mood changed and, above all, Skrzek initiated successive interactions between the keyboard and guitar parts of Apostolis Anthimos. The sound lost a bit of clarity when the lines of the two basses, Skrzek's and Mucha's, were churning. All in all, SBB played progressive rock, and only at the end did they invoke the pioneer days, playing „Figo Fago” blues with Skrzek and Dudek improvising on harmonica.
The final act of the festival was a concert of the iconic band - Dżem. The sextet kicked off, as if it wanted to prove that it represented the younger generation of Silesian sound. The musicians served - as usual - the most famous songs from the group's extensive catalog of hits. The reggae rhythm was introduced by the song „Lunatycy”, then the vocalist Maciej Balcar intoned the song „Cała w trawie” with sensual lyrics and the energetic „Szeryfie, co tu się dzieje” and the definitely rocking „Nieudany skok”.
The group performed perhaps 10 items with the obligatory song „Czerwony jak cegła” for the finale. Jurek Styczyński's melodic solos and his duets with the second guitarist Adam Otręba were invariably impressive. Dżem played for an hour and a half with such energy that it had to encore with the song „Whisky”. About 50 musicians appeared on stage that night during the unusual Rawa Blues edition. However, it was not at all a sentimental meeting after years, but a review, full of experiences and surprises, of the achievements of artists who, in the course of a few decades, have mostly become prominent figures of the domestic music scene. I had an irresistible impression that the musicians wanted to testify once again to the strength of the Silesian blues sound in an iconic place.