Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rockin' Around Turnhout

Some 15 years ago, I saw DEKE DICKERSON play a fabulous live show with Norton Records recording artists The Untamed Youth and ever since I've become a huge fan of this Californian guitar wizard. A couple of years ago, I saw Deke for the second time in Belgium with his new band The Ecco-fonics when he played a fierce rockin' set with a tight band including standup bass and wild sax at the annual Rockin' Around Turnhout rockabilly festival. The show was so good that I promised myself never to miss the opportunity to see Deke live on stage so I jumped back in my car a few years later to see him play again with the Ecco-fonics in a club in Antwerp. Again, it was a very entertaining & crazy set with an audience that really adored Deke & his band.

Last weekend, I drove again to the Rockin' Around Turnhout festival where Deke was scheduled as headliner on Saturday night. Before the power trio took the stage, THE MEAN DEVILS from Portugal played a wild & reckless set with a boppin' standup bass player and very exciting piano man. The singer was wild as hell: he sounded like a male Wanda Jackson and tore the house down. I was deeply impressed!

After The Mean Devils, DEKE & THE ECCO-FONICS were announced as power trio featuring Deke, Chris "Sugarballs" Sprague, and "Crazy Joe" Tritschler. The show was a blast and will end up high in my personal year end's list with favorite live shows of 2008! Deke has a CD compilation out entitled 'Mr. Entertainment' and I think that's hitting the nail on the head as he is like the ultimate entertainer! For some songs, Deke, Crazy Joe and Sugarballs switched instruments (once in the middle of a song without a break) and at the end of the show Deke & Crazy Joe played the same double neck guitar! One highlight followed the other and fun was had by the band and the audience! A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

The next day, my car broke down while driving back to Turnhout for the bar crawl where some 15 bands play different sets at various small clubs around town. Fortunately, the road assistance installed a new battery and I was just in time to witness the incredible raw juke joint blues of STINKY LOU & THE GOONMAT. This threesome has just released their debut album on the Swiss Voodoo Rhythm record label and on stage they revive 50's juke joint blues in a very fascinating way. The bass player rams a one-string cord attached to a broom that sticks out of a big washtub, the drummer plays guitar and sings while a wild harmonica player goes loose, jumps and shouts. My God, these guys are nothing short of spectacular!!

Before we went to see Sunday's top of the bill, we enjoyed half an hour of Germany's SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN' with Seatsniffers main man Walter Broes on additional guitar. A very nice set witch well-chosen covers by Merle Haggard and Percy Mayfield (the marvelous 'Louisiana', a song he recorded for Specialty Records at the time). Smokestack Lightnin' has a wonderful sound, somewhere between the aforementioned Seatsniffers and Calexico. A great band!

At 11PM, we headed for the main hall again for THE DAVE & DEKE COMBO featuring Deke Dickerson and Dave Stuckey. Many years ago, this hillbilly outfit played at the festival too so this show felt like a homecoming for these boys. With false teeth and barefooted, they played a very funny and swinging set and everybody was having a good time again. Mr. Entertainment did it again!

Three incredible days of high quality roots music: oh what a weekend!!! Don't forget to check out the new Deke Dickerson and Stinky Lou albums!

(As I hate taking pictures at shows, I googled some up for your viewing pleasure)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


If the Anthology of American Folk Music is your musical bible and if you can’t get enough of those amazing old time music compilations on Old Hat Records and Dust-To-Digital, you really own it to yourself to check out a band called CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS. Last Friday, this African-American string trio played a show at my hometown and I am still amazed by their inspired, hearty and genuine performance. The handsome trio played a very varied set that included covers by Jimmy Rogers, Hobart Smith and Othar Turner. Next to the amazing performances, we got to now all kinds of very interesting details like the fact that the banjo originates from Africa and that the Appalachian Mountains are not the real source of traditional banjo and fiddle music (more info on this subject can be found here). All three performers were very devoted professionals but never became pedantic. Although the CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS play music from the 1920-30’s, the band never sounds outdated because the energy level and sheer enthusiasm is unparalleled. What a band!!!

Go to http://www.fabchannel.com/ and typ 'CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS' to see the live show from Paradiso, Amsterdam from 18-03-2008. Thanks to my pal FILIP for the tip!

Carolina Chocolate Drops website
Carolina Chocolate Drops myspace