Review: Hans Theessink at Garston Royal British Legion, Liverpool – 17th September 2010

Posted on: Monday, Sep 20, 2010

Hans Theessink 01

Dutchman, Hans Theessink, now resident in Vienna, is without doubt one of the finest acoustic blues artistes in Europe. He combines deep, mellow vocals with consummate guitar playing, all wrapped in a laid-back ambience, interspersed with warmly-delivered narrative.

Hans also complements his singing and guitar work with occasional use of rack harp, which was very effectively brought into play on his first number, “Key To The Highway”. Mississippi John Hurt’s “My Creole Belle” was followed by the foot-tapping “Demon”. Other gems of the set included a tremendous version of “St James Infirmary Blues” and tributes to Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Willie McTell, the latter with some lovely 12-string guitar playing, which was continued in accompaniment to Leadbelly’s “Bourgeois Blues”. The excellent first session was concluded with “Slow Train”, the title track of one of Hans’s many fine albums.

Highlights of the second set were a brilliant delivery of “Diddy Wah Diddy”, complete with some masterful guitar work, “Long Black Train”, with a warm reference to James ‘Son’ Thomas of Leland, Mississippi, and a belting rendition of “Statesboro Blues”, adorned with another lovely portion of 12-string magic. The all-too-soon conclusion of the gig comprised “Johnny & The Devil” and a cracking version of Rufus Thomas’s “Walking The Dog” before Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” was given the works as a loudly-demanded encore.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to witness a true master at work, frequently cajoling the highly appreciative audience to sing along and even to attempt harmonies and improvised percussion. Top class entertainment.

Hans Theessink’s Website

LIONEL ROSS

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