This DVD is in the NTSC format for use in N.America
For the HANS THEESSINK BAND, Hans is joined by three top Austrian sidemen on drums, bass and keyboards, and three singers from Zimbabwe.
The HANS THEESSINK BAND toured extensively to promote the SACD BRIDGES and the concert on April 3rd 2004 in Vienna was filmed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher of DoRo Productions, who have a long pedigree in the business and a.o have produced videos for Queen, The Rolling Stones, Donovan a.o. Hans and the band were in great form and so was the audience. The result is this DVD: Hans Theessink “Live in concert” “A Blues & Roots Revue”.
The DVD shows a 90 minutes Hans Theessink Band concert plus 60 minutes of special features & bonus tracks, such as:
• The making of
• Interview + photo exhibition
• 2 a capella bonustracks by Zimbabwean singers Insingizi
• A complete discography
• 3 Videoclips (+ a special bonustrack of Hans, Donovan and Arlo Guthrie filmed during the recording for the Grammy nominated album Banjoman).
If Hans Theessink had been born in America, he would now be enjoying the iconic status afforded to the likes of Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder; as he was born in Holland and is based in Austria (if a man touring around 200 days a year can be said to be based anywhere other than the road), it is taking him a little longer to be recognised. Rest assured though that, if there is any justice at all in the world, he will achieve it. For supporting evidence, look no further than this DVD.
With a 95 minute concert at its core, this release demonstrates that ‘the Euro-bluesman’ has a seemingly innate understanding of his chosen metier and the ability to carry his ideas through. There is little here that qualifies as blues pure and simple (though try ‘Dough Roller Blues’ and ‘Little Girl’ if that is what you want); but his warm voice, fierce bottleneck playing or accomplished fingerpicking, plus occasional harp and mandolin, are indeed blues drenched. His accompanying musicians – Roland Guggenbichler on piano, organ and accordion, Erich Buchebner or upright and electric bass, and drummer Harry Stampfer – are totally sympathetic and equally accomplished, and as this was recorded in Vienna in April 2004, when Hans was touring to promote his release ‘Bridges’, the acoustic-based organic sound is augmented by the addition of vibrant and personable Zimbabwean vocal trio Insingizi. Hans understands the links between seemingly disparate roots styles and the results are truly stunning – try the traditional spiritual ‘Jesus On The Mainline’ or ‘Soul On Fire’ which manages to sound like a southern African song and an item from a southern American jukebox at the same time! No mean achievement, I think you’ll agree… But again, no-one should be too surprised; elsewhere, he can touch bases with zydeco, country, rock, folk (American and European), jazz, reggae and gospel, and make it all sound unique and convincing. The professionalism of the DVD direction and production, with its numerous camera angles and crystal clear sound quality, also serves as a timely reminder that blues and roots DVDs need not and should not look like they have just been thrown together.
Extras on the DVD include a documentary on the making of ‘Live In Concert’, interview material including some fascinating song by song commentary, videos from 1989, 1995 and 2003, a ‘Columbus Stockade’ by Hans, Donovan and Arlo Guthrie, a couple of songs by the wonderful Insingizi and a discography. Anyone who has ever seen Hans Theessink live will want this; and those who haven’t yet had the pleasure are advised to buy this anyway (Norman Darwen) BluesArtStudio, A (Feb 06)
Aided by African vocal trio Insingizi and a terrific three-piece band, Dutch acoustic guitarist Hans Theessink delivers a phenomenal show recorded at a 2003 concert in Vienna, featuring a set mostly taken from his Bridges release. This beautifully shot show (professionally recorded in stunning Surround Sound) is a terrific portrait of Theessink's soulful swamp blues. The singer/guitarist's honeyed baritone stays on low boil, but the joyous music shimmers with a dusty quality. There's more than an hour of extras: rare older videos, a probing interview with Theessink as he reflects on his life, a documentary on making of Bridges, and an interactive discography that chronicles Theessink's extensive career. "Live in Concert" is the definitive portrait of one of the international blues scene's most compelling artists. (Hal Horowitz) Blues Revue (USA) Dec. 2005
Hans Theessink has been a one-man European blues and roots music institution for over three decades. His sonorously warm baritone voice and unmistakable, country blues influenced guitar work are in demand around the globe (he’s constantly touring) not only because of the obvious emotional input he invests in his open, naturalistic sound, but for the variety of his material, much of it self-penned.
In 2004, Theessink went on tour in support of BRIDGES and the resultant DVD not only includes his 95-minute, April 3rd Vienna, Austria concert but an hour of special features, highlighted by a lengthy, illuminating interview segment. The camera-angle and close-up rich set opens with eight songs from BRIDGES, followed by six audience favorites – two Gospel-flavored efforts (the fatalistic “Ready For The Ride” and “Call Me”) and smoldering reworkings of “Jesus on the Mainline” and “Dough Roller Blues” are particularly impressive. A video clip of Theessink, Donovan and Arlo Guthrie performing “Columbus Stockade Blues,” in tribute of Derroll Adams, is similarly riveting.
The project is highly recommended because Theessink’s “big ears”. He borrows deftly from everything he’s been exposed to over the years and is still refining his ecumenical, propulsive style. His finger-picking skills alone are full of fresh ideas atop a geometrical clarity that indicates long hours of practice.
(GvonT, Sing Out (USA) Vol.49 no.3 Fall 2005)