Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
(AUTOBIOGRAPHY) - Hi! I'm Timo Gross. I've been living in Heidelberg for about twenty years. I lately moved to a small village close to the French boarder to raise my family and find some quietness, when I'm off the road.
I got into music, back in the late Seventies, after watching a documentary about the history of modern music on German TV. I saw a backstage interview with Clapton, where he improvised some little Blueslines, and I got hooked. The same year I started playing Gigs and I never stopped again.
Through Cream's "Crossrads" and "Spoonful" I've got connected with the old Bluesguys. But for years I've also been shopping left and right from the Bluespath. Country, Blues, Soul, Funk, Jazz. There is so much inspiring music out there: Prince, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis were sources of inspiration as well as Albert King, Little Walter or countless other heroes. With curiosity I've also been playing in Country-, Soul-, and Rockbands. It all made sense to find myself as a singer, producer, songwriter, guitarist and a person. Finally me and the Blues – it fits like a glove!
So after twenty years as a sideman backing up Major Artists like Kathy Kelly (Kelly Family), Chris Norman (Smokie) or the German-Boy-Band Bed & Breakfast, I finally made my first Blues Record "Down to the Delta" in 2005. It was reviewed very friendly by german press. The renowned (German) Bluesnews Magazine recommended it as Album of the month and considered it as "Modern Blues from Germany with versatile guitars, emotionally played, varied and far off any clichés". The French DNA marked me simply as "Un grand monsieur du Blues". The Mannheimer Morgen added: "His Blues doesn't explode from emotional overheat, but fascinates from glimmering lightness and glowing filigree," while the Meier Magazine simply nailed it as "…cool modern urban City Bluessound".
This lead us into touring national and international as well. We've been playing in France, Switzerland, Easteurope and all over Germany. My new album „Travellin'" resulted from these impressions. Written on the road between homesickness and wanderlust, songs were created about arriving, lingering and parting. The experiences I made, were a kaleidoscope of life. Shallow, fragile, intense and enduring. Smoke-filled clubs at nighttime and coffee bars at day. Encounters with joy and pain. And isn't it the Blues, as one of the most intense and genuine music forms, predestinated to mold these experiences into sound? "Travellin'" should celebrate all these shades of life.
Musically of course I was inspired by the tradition of the great American songbook, but I guess I put my own stamp on it, to keep the music and the spirit alive. I'm not interested in copying the old guys. I can't play like the Kings, the Vaughns or Robben Ford. I just can play like Timo Gross. With my soul, time and phrasing – and I'm proud of it! The same goes for the singing, songs and the arrangements. It's all about soul, emotion and inspiration. I see myself as a part of a small, but growing worldwide Bluesscene, keeping the Blues alive, without loosing the respect to our musical forefathers. Without them we wouldn't play a single song or a single lick.
Now I`m able to present my new album "Travellin'" to my audience in Scotland and North England for the first time. I'm really excited about that, to make lots of new friends and fans out there. On stage I'm supported by two longtime companions on my Blues mission. Michael Siegwart (Drums) und Frowin Ickler (Bass): „Tight and compact, always keeping the groove in the center" (Concerto, Austria) this rhythm section after 500 gigs runs like a machine. "This trio starts where others play their encore" the Rheinpfalz wrote in an euphoric critic. We are a band that's grown, suffered, partied and lived together. A band that interprets the Blues always new, but always remains to be faithful to its melancholic and emotional soul.