The Swedish duo of Baba Blues
is famous for on stage sounding like a whole big band going on with the
minimalistic settings of voice, harmonica and two acoustic guitars put
into a PA-system.
No faking machines or synthesizers, just pure handmade music…
When they make records they use a little more of technique and
instruments as they make them for a different audience and listening
They want to bring a story into your living room.
Richard Danielson and Clas Gustavsson (then
mainly a drummer) met in 1984 as members of a touring blues band called
“Diving Duck”. A little fed up with the cover-mentality of the ordinary
blues band-concept they started to play acoustic on late hotel nights
after the gigs to get the music out of their system. There they founded
a form of blues rooted in the early pre-war blues, with no bas and
drums, but with a modern rock attitude. In 1988 they started to play and
make gigs under the name of Baba Blues duo and decided to make a tape to
sell after the gigs.
They had both played in several band for many years being parts of the
Swedish “progg-scene” going on in the seventies, with lyrics in Swedish
and slightly psychedelic “make your own thing”- approach.
When they, in the early 90:s, started to
write and record their own blues songs in Swedish and put them on the
debut-album “Fishermen” the radio stations immediately started to played
it. TV- shows invited them and they became favourites of the newspapers
critics that put it on “the best of the year lists”.
They made two albums “Kompassernas man”(-93) and “Den rasande balansen”
(-96) in Swedish with hits on the radios play-lists before they decided
to try to communicate with the world outside of Sweden.
In 2000 their album “Excavations: blues is
a rainbow” knocked the critics who again put them on “the best of the
year lists”. This time the songs were in English, some of their own,
some old blues stuff and unexpectedly a Motorhead song. All in very
personal way with their very unique approach left.
"Deep down in the mirror" was released in
2005, with expressive lyrics, experimental settings (kora, violin and
brass arrangements) and together with heavy touring they received the
Swedish Blues Award of Jefferson Bluesmagazine in 2006.
vocal. A real deep down heavy blues-voice,
bleeding harmonica and acoustic guitar (that sometimes sounds very
electric with the feedback from the monitors).
acoustic guitar with wha-wha, and backing
vocals. On stage the engineer often puts a microphone to his foot. He
has got rhythm…On the records he also occasionally plays bas, percussion
Sometimes they work with one or two more
musicians, then the extended duo is calledBaba Blues XL.Very
often it is these ones:
Klas Jervfors (trombone), Kai
(Picture from Mosebacke Stockholm 2006)
Jo Husmo (
bass) and Dan Magnusson (drums)
(picture from Amal BluesFest2005)
Sometimes even bigger settings of Baba
Blues XXL is
with six or seven musicans on stage.
During periods they have made co-operation
with the gambian master Tata
Din-Din on the
harp-like string-instrument kora and digging in the West-African
traditional music that is closely related to blues and made them
sometimes plaing with other African musicians like Dembo&Roots