Abi Wallenstein (English)
Abi Wallenstein can be called the "living legend" of Hamburg's music scene. No German musician within the last 30 years plays the blues so authenticly. Since 1966 the "father of the Hamburg blues scene" played in several bands (Pussy, Bad News Reunion) and with some famous musicians like Vince Weber, Inga Rumpf, Axel Zwingenberger and others.
Abi had his first performing expierences during the early 60's in North-Rhine-Westphalia where he played in several rock bands. In the mid-60's he moved to Hamburg and started to play on his own with his 12-string guitar in Danny's Pan, Jazzhouse and Onkel Pö. Later he was joined by harmonica player Tiny Hagen and keyboardist Peter Urban. Soon he started to play in rhythym-and-blues bands with Gottfried Böttger and Vince Weber, to name a few.
Throughout the years Abi developed a characteristic guitar style wich combines rhythmic blues lines with chord and melody lines at the same time. His guitar playing seems to be simple but at a closer look it proves to be very complex and multi-layered. There is a swinging groove, wich makes you forget about normal rhythm sections like bass and drums.
Even though it could be an awkard cliché to label the voice of a white singer "black", Abi sings the blues naturally overdoing it. He captures the audience in no time because of his magnetic stage presence. When he's not touring he plays in the streets. "The street is his own testing ground and practica area" Uli Lemke writes in the liner notes of Abi's new CD "Blues Avenue". He is the only famous European musician who is constantly looking fot the closest contact to his audiance on toughest stage of the world.
He's played many blues festivals like Ascona Jazz Festival, Gaildorf Blues Festival, Lahnstein SWF Blues Festival, Kemptener Jazzfrühling, Lehrter Blues Festival, Unna Blues Festival, Breminale to name a few. He is also a well liked guest on TV and radio shows. He opened up very successfully for Joe Cocker, Christie Moore, Daniel Lanois, Fats Domino, Robben Ford, George Thorogood und Jonny Winter.