"...When I see such a young man so far from America, playing the blues so well, I happy and proud that my mission in this life is done..." B.B. King - 2000
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. Brazilian guitarist Big Gilson, a TopCat Records artist, is poised to put Rio de Janeiro on the blues map.
..."This CD confirms Big Gilson as the best Brazilian blues guitarist" Jornal do Brasil - March / 99
"...His slide playing is disturbingly vituosic..." - Tim Schuller - MET MUSIC - Texas - Dez. 99
"...Excellent guitar solos full of feelings and powerful slide playing. He's vibrato is super cool..." Guitar Player Magazine (Brazil) - February / 99
"... Good guitar work and nice slide..." Bruce Iglauer - Alligator Records - 96
"...The crowd got crazy with the talent of this Brazilian guitarist, who had to sign lot of autographs after the show..." Mario Alomar - Diario Hoy En La Noticia - La Plata -Argentina - 2000
"...The king of the slide guitar..." A Tarde- Salvador, Bahia - 2001
"...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.. " The Delta Snake, by Michael Roberts - 2002)
"...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. This CD features Gilson tearing it up at New York's hallowed Blue Note. You hear here is Gilson full-strength, with all the edge and immediacy the Blue Note audience experienced. 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
The most important venues where he played gigs:
NEW YORK - Blue Note and BB King's
CHICAGO - Buddy Guy's Legends
WASHINGTON DC - Kennedy Center, National Gallery of Art and BBue Blues Battle (50.000 people)
FLORIDA - Bamboo Room and Tobacco Road
TEXAS - Blues Cat Blues , The Muddy Waters, and The Bone
SPAIN -VIII FESTIVAL DE BLUES CIUDAD DE CORDOBA - Córdoba and SALA ARENA - Madrid
ARGENTINA - GUITAR CLUB - Buenos Aires
Featured on TV on Washington News Channel 4, 6 o'clock news for "Blues from Brazil
Big Gilson was born in Rio in 1959, and has played guitar since the age of 15, when he first listened to a Johnny Winter's record and instantly knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
Gilson and Co. have released four CDs in their native country, and honed their chops the last ten years gigging on their own in Brazil, Argentina, Europe and America) and as the opening act for Steve Winwood on his Brazilian tour, Johnny Rivers (70.000 people audience), and master B.B. King. While touring America, and gigging at such clubs as Miami's Tobacco Road, New York's Blue Note, and all over Chi-town, the band knocked out such blues gods as Duke Robillard, Lonnie Brooks, Magic Slim, Saffire, Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Buddy Guy extended the Boy from Brazil an open invitation to play his Legends Club anytime.
Cab Driver Blues was released in the spring of 2000 in North America on the Dallas, Texas based blues label, the TopCat Records. Gilson is currently releasing his latest CD, LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE - NY also on TopCat. The CD represents a rare blues appearence at the BLUE NOTE the best known jazz club in the world. The club rarely opens its doors to the Blues, the exceptions being the likes of BB King, Ray Charles and Dr John.
The show is a milestone for BIG GILSON, as it is a testimony and a celebration of his solo career in the US. His all-star band and crew provide an exellent foundation, which allows a musical experience that can only be captured on a live album.
Gilson rips through these CDs as well as his live performances as if his heart (and fingers) were on fire. After hearing his "Cab Driver Blues", with the growling slide riff at the intro of the title track, and after seeing him live, it's clear this is some hot bluesman. Not hot Brazilian bluesman, mind you, but hot bluesman period. Stylistically, his performances range from gutbucket electric blues to blues-rock with stops in New Orleans and Memphis.
There are lots of bands out there - in America and around the world - who play the blues. Big Gilson feels the blues. He mail 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.
This a real live recording of this 5 peace blues band. Considered as one of the top blues band in Brazil, is captured live at his first appearence in the 2002 US Tour. Big Gilson has toured 6 times before in the US, but this is the first one with his own band.