Charities and Associations

The Soulist “Friends Across Borders (FAB)” Festival – Vol. 3

By Roland Eyerich ….

Friends Across Borders (FAB) Cyprus will be held for the 3rd time in aid of Tulips (Help Those with Cancer Association) in September at The Soulist Coffee and Music House, Alsancak. The Festival will be held from 25th to 27th of September 2020.

Alper Cengiz and myself will be presenting at the Soulist the 3rd Friends Across Borders (FAB), in aid of TULIPS, in a 3 Day Festival again. For the first time with an extended cooperation with Tulips.

The idea behind this festival is to promote above all young artists and to further the “European concept” by overcoming mental borders, be free of prejudices and characterised by mutual respect without fear. The co-existence of the two communities in Cyprus is the aim without prejudice, hatred and boundaries in the minds. Music has no boundaries. This is one objective and the other objective is to create a good result with a donation for Tulips (Help Those with Cancer Association).

Following the big success last year with 50 musicians from both sides of Cyprus, and the good donation to TULIPS, “FAB“ must continue.  Alper and myself will again be organising this unique social bi-communal Festival (FAB) in North Cyprus. A great surprise for the FAB-Team is that musicians from abroad get recognition from articles on CyprusScene website and online Enewspaper and Social Media as a result of being part of this unique festival.

This year FAB will be presenting a band from Germany and also a band from Scotland. From Germany (Münster) one of the best backing bands in Soul and Blues worldwide “The Özdemirs” will be on stage for FAB. In October they are on a European Tour with Johnny Rawls. Also they were part of Shawn Pittman for his new Album “Make it right” – which is being released in April.

From Scotland (Stirling) the best Delta Blues Band “The Blind Lemon Gators” with their new release “Gatorville” in the package will also be performing on the Soulist stage.  CLASSIC ROCK MAG says  “They have the blues under their fingernails and handle these conversational semi-acoustic songs with an old master’s touch” – “An absolute discovery…Gorgeous CD, absolutely loving it – and original too!” – Ashwyn Smyth, Digital Blues (Chair, UK Blues Federation).  The Scottish delta-blues sensations The Blind Lemon Gators have announced plans for a full UK and European Tour following the smash hit success of their debut album ‘Gatorville’. Major festival announcements are forthcoming including trips to France, Netherlands, Cyprus (The Soulist Coffee & Music House, Alsancak, North Cyprus), Belgium, Eastern Europe and of course the UK.

It is so important that it was possible to get musicians from other countries to Northern Cyprus who support the “Friends Across Borders” project with their music transfer. It is also a form of appreciation for the work of Alper Cengiz and myself in the past two years.

The Festival will be held from 25th to 27th of September 2020. Diversity in high quality Live Music is the heart of this year’s Project as always. Blues, Blues Rock, Rock, Reggae, Jazz and Classic are the music genre.

Editor’s Note :

Roland told us that he needs sponsorship for the TULIPS association to realise this event with first time bands coming from Germany and Scotland, with the bands playing for the Project “FAB in Aid of Tulips“. Tulips is helping to organise the hotel accommodation and Roland is looking to obtain donations for the flight tickets for the bands.“

We need you – We need your Sponsorship

Help us to achieve bringing people together through music having no borders.

For the Motto/Theme: Cancer and Music have no boundaries held in North Cyprus

If anyone can offer sponsorship please contact Alper Cengiz. Tel: 0548 839 8994 or email: alpercengiz@yahoo.com or email Roland Eyerich at: rolandeyerich@arcor.de

Biography : The Özdemirs and Blind Lemon Gators

THE ÖZDEMIRS

That is Erkan Özdemir, a very active member of the European blues scene for almost 30 years, and his sons Kenan Özdemir (born in 1994) on guitar and vocals and Levent Özdemir (born 1995) on drums. For more than 25 years, Erkan Özdemir has been on the road all over Europe with the Bluescasters around Memo Gonzalez and various other formations, and has played almost every club and festival.

The young Özdemirs connected with blues music at a very young age and have been able to discover all the fascinating sides of the Genre which can be described as “American Roots Music”. Besides the more traditional blues styles of the 50s and 60s, such as those of Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert Collins, the two young Özdemirs also got hooked on various other styles of American Roots music. Al Green, James Brown, The Meters, Bootsy Collins are just a few names. Soul, Funk. Their enthusiasm grew day by day and their playing skills became better and better and so it was decided to establish a band together with father Erkan Özdemir: The Özdemirs!

This generation-spanning line-up is combining influences from more than 60 years of music history. The juvenile enthusiasm and the energy of the two young Özdemirs combined with the routine and tranquility of the father is a guarantee for a very entertaining concert pleasure. In addition to concerts throughout Europe under their own name, the Özdemirs have also gained a reputation in recent years as a backing band for some renowned US musicians such as Johnny Rawls, Kirk Fletcher, Shawn Pittman, Memo Gonzalez, Sugaray Rayford, Mike Morgan, Holland K Smith, Angela Brown, at clubs and festivals all over Europe from Norway to Denmark, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain!

Kenan Özdemir – guitar and vocals : Levent Özdemir – drums and vocals : Erkan Özdemir – bass

THE BLIND LEMON GATORS

The BLIND LEMON GATORS project came together in 2017 when Greig Taylor reconnected with Iain Donald at a music festival in Italy.

Greig Taylor has been cited many times as not just one of Scotland’s hardest working musicians, but one of the UK’s finest blues vocalists, as first heard with the ‘GT Boos Band’, featuring guitarist John Boos and a stint with the Glasgow based ‘Brian Rawson Band’. But more recently Greig has truly come into his own with a number of projects including ‘The Greig Taylor Blues Combo’, a full electric blues rock and covers outfit. In 2018 Taylor released his stripped back covers album “Songbook”, a soulful blues styled album that included a number of rock and pop classics that you might not expect to be taken on by a blues influenced singer. He’s also recently performed extensively with American blues and gospel singer Earl Thomas as part of the group ‘The Gospel According … ‘ . Iain Donald, through immersive and emotive slide playing, has a bigger musical vocabulary than many an orator has through the spoken word. What makes his expressive playing all the more remarkable is that Iain Donald is from Alloa in Scotland and not Memphis or the Mississippi Delta, where such roots blues talents are usually born. But a family descendancy from Scottish travellers is telling; Iain Donald’s influences span the blues decades (from Elmore James to Ariel Posen) but there’s a little Gypsy-Django in there, too.

Nor was slide guitar his first instrument of choice. Iain Donald played bass guitar before an impromptu party, featuring him on a broken bottle neck with his musical brother in arms Greig Taylor, unlocking a natural understanding of both the instrument and the blues medium. The band began as a two-piece with stomp box but they quickly decided to bring in a drummer/percussionist, the former John Martyn drummer, Dave Cantwell as well as Rod Mackay on bass.

The new album “Gatorville” was recorded at Tolbooth Studios in Stirling by Mark Lough, and mixed and mastered by Wayne Proctor at Superfly Studios.

Blind Lemon Gator doesn’t shed crocodile tears. What you see and hear is what you get, genuine expressive emotion.