When the average fan thinks of hotbeds of the blues, he or she thinks of cities like Chicago, Austin and Memphis, and even such far-flung outposts as London and Paris. That’s all set to change, however, as this red-hot Brazilian guitarist Big Gilson is poised to put Rio de Janeiro on the blues map.
Gilson, TopCat Records and Blues Avenue recording artist, has released thirteen CDs in his native country, and honed his chops the last fourteen years gigging on his own (in South & North America, and also in Europe) and as the opening act for Steve Winwood on his Brazilian tour, Johnny Rivers (70.000 people audience), and twice to the master B.B. King. While touring America, and gigging at such clubs as Florida’s Bamboo Room, New York’s Blue Note, and all over Chi-town, the band knocked out such blues gods as Corey Harries, Duke Robillard, Lonnie Brooks, Magic Slim, Saffire, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy, who extended the Boy from Brazil an open invitation to play his Legends Club anytime.
In 2005 he spent the whole month on May touring in UK and came back there for another tour in September / October this year. In the mean time between those tours in Europe, he toured in the US, performing in four different states in such important venues such as the Blue Note, NY (fifth time), the Bamboo Room, FL (third time) voted four years in the row the best blues club in America, the Tobacco Road (one of the oldest clubs in America, for the fifth time, the best Dallas club, the Deep Ellum Blues among others.
Gilson released, in 2005, LIVE IN TEXAS, a live recording CD produced by veteran player, producer and multiple W.C Handy award winner Richard Chalk, who produced the blues legends Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton and Big Joe Turner, among many others. LIVE IN DALLAS was recorded live at the legendary BLUE CAT BLUES club in Dallas, Texas, on September 23rd 1999.
Lately, Gilson has performed twice at the NAMM SHOW in California – one of the finest musical instruments show in the world, and also at the MUSIKMESS in Frankfurt.
Among other companies from the music industry, this guy has the support from Marshall Amps.
Now, he’s touring all over his country, releasing his new album SENTENCED TO LIVING. August and September is touring USA and Canada and early 2010 in Europe.
This CD is having great reviews such as the one at the BLUES IN BRITAIN magazine:
"There is something about the enthusiasm of the performance that is really pleasing and each song evinces the high-octane Gilson sound while simultaneously having own unique flavor."
FULL MOON CONCERT SERIES opening for JOHNNY WINTER - London, Canada
BLUE NOTE - NY
BB KING’S - NY
BUDDY GUY'S LEGENDS - Chicago
KENNEDY CENTER - Washington DC
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART - Washington DC
BBQUE BLUES BATTLE (50.000 people) - Washington DC
BAMBOO ROOM - Florida
TOBACCO RD - Florida
NAMM SHOW - California
MUSIKMESS - Frankfurt
TRING BLUES FESTIVAL - Aylesbury, UK
BLUE CAT BLUES - Dallas, Texas
MUDDY WATERS - Dallas, Texas
VIII FESTIVAL DE BLUES CIUDAD DE CORDOBA - Córdoba, Spain
SALA ARENA - Madrid, Spain
GUITAR CLUB - Buenos Aires, Argentina
FEATURED ON TV ON WASHINGTON NEWS CHANNEL 4, 6 O'CLOCK NEWS FOR "BLUES FROM BRAZIL"
"There are lots of bands out there, in America and around the world, who play the blues. They play the blues but you can tell they don’t feel the blues. Big Gilson is most definitely not one of those bands. This boy may hail from Rio, but he plays like he was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, and there is no higher testament a native Texan and lifelong blues freak can give".
John Nova Lomax - Music Independent Magazine, Houston, Texas.
"Big Gilson is an excellent guitarist as well as a splendid slide guitarist and a fine song writer in addition. He plays a scorching electric slide. Watch for great things to come in the future from this very fine artist."
Tom Branson - Bluesrockers - 2002
"The United States birthplace and home of the Blues has been invaded again by another bona fide "Blues Man" from a foreign shore: "Blues Man", not just a player of blues but a musician who demonstrates through his interpretation and musicianship that blues courses through his veins with every beat of his heart."
Michael Roberts - The Delta Snake - 2002
"Big Gilson is the Brazilan blues pride."
Bernardo Araújo - Jornal O GLOBO
"It looks like UK blues fans are in for something special."
D.B. - Blues in Britain
"He is a top-notch guitarist with some impressive licks."
Blues & Rytmn Magazine, UK
"BG is the blues spitfire."
Tárik de Souza - Jornal do Brasil
"The Brazilian blues ambassador gets now 10 years of career better than ever".
Gustavo Frank - Revista Vizoo
"His slide playing is disturbingly virtuosic."
Tim Schuller - MET MUSIC, Texas
"This CD confirms Big Gilson as the best Brazilian blues guitarist."
Jornal do Brasil
"Excellent guitar solos full of feelings and powerful slide playing. He’s vibrato is super cool."
Guitar Player Magazine, Brazil
"Good guitar work and nice slide."
Bruce Iglauer - Alligator Records
"The king of the slide guitar."
A Tarde, Salvador, Bahia
"This guy knows what he is doing with his guitar."
Elias Nogueira - Jornal das Gravadoras
"You can’t confine an artistic idiom, or creative spirit. Blues, the quintessential music form of the USA, reached across continents and seized Brazilian singer/guitarist Big Gilson. The music’s good and so is the message. This is cross-culturalism of an inspiring form. A workingman’s musical form from the USA found its way to South America where it was embraced by a dedicated, open-minded musician, who honed his skills in the face of naysayers, and presently enjoys respect from blues communities in two nations. In other words, barriers ceased to be, as art, artist, and folk met on an agreeable common ground. If we could accomplish such melding in other matters in this geopolitical era, we would be on far firmer ground as a species."
Tim Schuller - Dallas, Texas