Recording Date: Feb - Oct 2009
A life devoted to the blues - Todor Todorovic, nicknamed "Toscho", has been doing that for more than 30 years. The captain of the Blues Company has steered his weatherproof vessel with great care through all the windy trends of the turbulent music market. He and his band have performed at far more than 3000 concerts. Who better then, to raise the "Blues made in Germany" quality seal, than this chiselled, upright guy? Above all Toscho, born in 1951, has done a great job with the Blues Company but not just on the command bridge - he's also an entertainer on the mike, on guitar and an expressive singer.
Two years after the bubbling New Orleans sound mix of "Hot And Ready To Serve", fans can now look forward to another album from the Company. "O'Town Grooves" has the addition of a new studio (the mill of friends in Bad Iburg) and the bassist (the proven jazz musician Arnold Ogrodnik). All twelve songs are also new, for the most part penned by Toscho but some pieces were written by the long-standing band member and guitarist Mike Titre. Two tracks were written by Bucky Lindsey, who has composed several songs for the great Joe Cocker. Thankfully, the style is not new but the familiar mixture of crisp Chicago Blues with furious guitar solos, emotionally moving ballads, a touch of soul, serious jazz grooves, funk and the poignant interjections of the Fabulous BC Horns.
Mike Titre takes his place at the microphone twice (for "Blues In A Bottle" and "Keep On Tryin'" reminiscent of The Stones) - following his debut as a vocalist on the previous album. Florian Schaube on drums performs a solo in "3 Flies On An Empty Plate". Gordon Beadle can be heard in a guest appearance on the saxophone ("Things Won't Be The Same"), as well as the blues lady, Ana Popovic, with a wild guitar ("I'm Scared To Move").
Blues Company presents listeners with the thought-provoking lyrics in "Slaves To The Money" that describe in virtually biblical clarity how we are chained to money from the cradle to the grave and can also be seen as a parable on the still unfolding financial crisis.
Humbly, as if he were not the head of one of the most long-lasting and most successful bands in Germany, Toscho professes in a song: "I'm just an ol' Blues singer, tryin' to entertain." Now, a great tribute is awaiting this blues man: in September 2010, at the Lahnstein Blues Festival in Germany, Toscho will be awarded the "Blues Louis" prize which has previously been awarded to Bill Ramsey, Klaus Doldinger, Fritz Rau and Bill Wyman for their merits in the blues. Without doubt, Toscho deserves this award and we wish him well.
All Music Guide