Split EP from Black River Bluesman & Big Alligator, Andres Roots & Red Mouth
Friday, January 29th 2021 marks the release of a CD EP on Finland’s Gecko Yell label that features two tracks by the Finnish alt.blues legend Black River Bluesman and his new band Big Alligator – as well as two duo numbers by the Estonian guitarist Andres Roots and the Alabama vocalist Red Mouth.
Finland’s Jukka “Black River Bluesman” Juhola plays Lowebow cigar box guitars and has toured everywhere from Nepal to Brazil, from Mississippi to Russia, occasionally sharing stages with neighbouring Estonia’s Andres Roots. In 2010, they collaborated on “Watcha Do” for Roots’ first solo album “Roundabout”; in turn, Roots provided lyrics for two tracks on the 2016 Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson LP “Moonshine Medicine”, including a song called “Big Alligator”. Juhola’s new band by the same name features former Black River Bluesman & the Croaking Lizard bassist Jussi Konttinen and new drummer Veikka Härkönen, who also recorded and mixed the new songs: “Hollow Sound” and “Back Porch Blues”. Directed by Amir Abdi, the music video for the Sonics-inspired “Hollow Sound” was filmed in Mustio – Finland’s own ‘Black River’: https://youtu.be/iePRl6v3vxc.
Back in 2010, Eric “Red Mouth” Gebhardt added vocals to five tunes on Roots’ “Roundabout” album; cut ‘long distance’ ahead of Red Mouth’s first European tour, video single “Redecoration Day” went to #1 on Estonian national broadcasting’s “Eesti Top 7” chart, remaining in the top 3 for more than three months. “Right Across the Hill” and “In the Dark” on the new EP were recorded last fall to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that first collaboration, with vocals cut in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and guitar in Tartu, Estonia. In 2016, both “Redecoration Day” and “Watcha Do” appeared on Roots’ compilation LP “Roots Music” that earned a Golden Disc award and remains the only blues album ever to top the official albums chart in Estonia – or the Baltics. And to bring things full circle: on Red Mouth’s 2018 European tour, he was backed by Black River Bluesman & the Croaking Lizard.
Please click the photo below to watch the documentary ”Into the Deep Blues”:
Black River Bluesman (Finland)
“Jukka ´Black River Bluesman´Juhola and ‘Andy’ BAd Mood Hudson destroyed the woods and the mountains around their tiny hometown of Mustio Finland by carving their guitars and drums from whole ironwood trees with their bare hands and by using John Henry´s twelve pound hammer (with four foot handle) they beat down those mountains for brass, silver and iron (and coal to fire this thing) to fashion the rest of the parts they needed. When they were finished they stomped their thirst with a bottle of RL Burnside´s Bloody mthrfckr and sat down in the full moon light at that muddy crossroads between Holly Springs Mississippi, Mustio (Black River) to play Their raw dirty beautiful Blues.” Rick Saunders, USA http://realdeepblues.blogspot.com/
Rock critics say: “It is a blues album but we love it!” Blues critics say: “It is not a blues album but we love it!”
Jukka plays Johnny Lowebow’s genuine handmade custom cigar-box guitars that allow him to play bass and lead at the same time. ”The flag-bearer of Finnish alt.blues” Black River Bluesman has always walked his own path, producing his uncompromising and original alt.blues with little regard for the mainstream. The line-ups have changed, but Bluesman’s blues keeps retaining nothing but the most vital elements of the music.
As one gig review put it: “The best two-man trio I’ve heard.” Their main influences might be the rough sounds of the Mississippi Hill Country Blues artists but their unrefined, electric Blues have been compared as well to anything between Black Sabbath and Black Keys or psychoblues and punk blues. They have played festivals and clubs all over the world, from Nepal to Thailand, from UK to USA.
Jukka Juhola also plays the regular electric guitar as the lead guitarist of the more conventional Hard Road Blues Band. They mostly play classic blues covers. However, in 2019 they released a single called ”Burn/Aniwa” both of which songs are composed by Jukka.
- Burn/Aniwa, single (2019) The Hard Road Blues Band
- Moonshine Medicine, album (2016) Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson
- Candy Box Blues/Bucket Hot Water, single (2013) Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson
- Double Headed Trouble, album (2010) Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson duo
- Watcha Do, single/video (2010) Black River Bluesman & Bad Mood Hudson with Andres Roots
- Rat Bone, album (2008) with the Croaking Lizard
- Cardboard and Plastic EP (2006) with the Croaking Lizard
- Ants in my Kitchen, album (2005) with the Cockroach Combo
- Not a Dog-gone Thing, album (2003) with the Cockroach Combo
- Blues from the Tower, album (1998) The Black River Blues Band
Festivals played include:
- Deep Blues Festival (USA) 2019,2016, 2015, 2014, 2009
- Floating Cockroach Festival (Finland) 2018, 2017, 2015, 2009, 2008, 2007
- Gazelle of Death (Russia) 2018 – Finnish Blues Awards (Helsinki) 2017
- Blues Alive Festival (Czech Rep.) 2014 – International Blues Challenge (USA) 2014
- Sziget Festival (Hungary) 2013 – Maryport Blues Festival (UK) 2012
- Boxstock Festival (UK) 2018, 2012 – Lowebow Fest (USA) 2012
- Eslöv Bluesfestival (Sweden) 2012 – Augustibluus (Estonia) 2018, 2011, 2007
- Bari Jazz Festival (Italy) 2010 – Le Blues Autour du Zinc (France) 2010, 2009
- Shetland Blues Festival (Shetland) 2008 – Dundee Blues Bonanza (Scotland) 2008, 2007 – Molinara Crossroads (Italy) 2010
- Himalayan Blues Festival (Nepal) 2007 – Sun7 Festival (Brazil) 2007
- Carelian Faces Festival (Russia) 2006 – Rawa Blues (Poland) 2003
Gigs in France, USA, Germany, Italy, Russia, Czech Rep, Brazil, Nepal, UK, Estonia, Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Bangkok…
Reviews, articles and interviews in dozens of international magazines and newspapers.
Live TV /radio performances and interviews: Finland, Italy, Brazil, Nepal, Poland, USA, Estonia, UK, Czech Rep…
- With ”Double Headed Trouble”, Juhola and Hudson have managed to take the blues right to the edge and in doing so they have managed to also bring us a lot closer to it’s raw origin. They managed to do this by taking the old style Mississippi Delta Blues and basically tearing it a new one, giving us something fresh and new, with the essence and respect for the old and pure. John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)