Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Nuno Mindelis (born August 7, 1957, Cabinda, Angola), nicknamed "The Beast", is an Angolan-born Brazilian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter.
Most of his recorded work has been sung in English; however, he recorded his 2006 album Outros Nunos in Portuguese, his native language. He has recorded two albums with the band Double Trouble. Mindelis counts Otis Redding and Johnny Winter among his musical influences.
Mindelis became a guitar enthusiast at the age of 5. By the age of 9 he began building and playing self-made guitars.
A primary influence at that time was Otis Redding and his rhythm section, Booker T. & the MG's, made up of Booker T., Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Al Jackson. Mindelis continues to enjoy the work of these musicians to this day.
In 1990, an independent recording he had made began to receive airplay on local radio stations. In 1991 he was invited to record his debut solo album, "Blues & Derivados", which received very positive reviews in Brazilian media.
In 1992 he recorded his second solo album, Long Distance Blues for Movieplay Records. In this album Mindelis was joined by Larry McCray, guitarist from Gary Moore's band, and French harp player J.J. Milteau, considered as the best Harp Player in France and one of the most important in Europe. The album received rave reviews from Brazilian media. As part of his promotional tour for the album, Mindelis gained a spot in a blues festival in São Paulo featuring Robert Cray, Otis Clay, Ronnie Earl, Lonnie Brooks and Bo Diddley.
1994 saw Mindelis' first known recognition by a major American music magazine. "Guitar Player Magazine" profiled Mindelis in an issue. In the article, Jas Obrecht (the editor at the time) compared Mindelis to Jimmy Page. ("think Jimmy Page I can't quit you baby") Further recognition came in their May, 1998 issue, as Mindelis was selected as "Best Blues Guitarist" in the 30th Anniversary Guitar Player Magazine Competition. In 1995 Mindelis was invited to play at Antone's 20th Anniversary in Austin, Texas, opening for Guy Forsite, Junior Wells, and others. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Storyville also performed at this event. The headlines of the Austin Blues newspaper warned of Mindelis' forthcoming visit as "The South American Beast is coming!".
Later that year Mindelis recorded his album Texas Bound, featuring Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton, Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, Double Trouble. With this album Mindelis gained audiences in the world, from Brasil to the US and Europe and had all his records licensed for the old continent by Taxim Records/Germany from then on. Texas Bound came to be the 12th top seller in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg).
In 1999 Mindelis released Blues On The Outside. This album was the Mindelis' producer favorite (Eddie Stout, Antone's Records, who produced several albuns of Nunoi) and its first track ("The Grass is Greener") was the top chart in all Internet blues radio stations according to Live 365 (24 hours radio monitoring). A Canadian promoter and record company executive heard the record and invited Mindelis for the 25th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2001 and did other presentations in Quebec, Ottawa. He was considered by the critic as the best blues guitar player of the festival and his presentation one of the best of the latest editions of the festival. Mindelis was once again invited in 2004, after the release of his album Twelve Hours and again played Quebec and Ottawa and also the Montremblant Blues Festival, sharing the stages with Keb' Mo', Jimmy Vaughan and others. The reviews on Twelve Hours were so many and so positive that we may just mention one question that would end an article: "Is the new King of the blues a man based in Brazil?" (Andy Grieg, Real Blues magazine - Canada)
In 2001 and 2004 Mindelis was invited to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 2003 Mindelis released the album Twelve Hours, which is considered by many people[who?] as his best album ever.
In 2005, Mindelis did an album especially dedicated for Brazil. All the songs were sang in Portuguese and Mindelis officially showed his poetical skills for the first time, highlighting the songwriting and the fusion with other musical elements (rap, hip hop, samba) rather than his usual guitar playing. The album received good reviews from the main newspapers and magazines in Brazil and was considered one of year's best album.
Mindelis is considered by the media and fans of his native Brazil as the best blues guitarist. His records are well played on radio stations as well as Brazilian MTV. Fans of British guitar legend Eric Clapton identify with graffiti once spray-painted on a London wall; "Clapton is God". In Brazil the graffiti says "Mindelis - Brazil's Guitar God!".