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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 61-62 | volume XI | July-October, 2008



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 61-62July-October, 2008
Sound Reviews

Skopje Blues & Soul Festival 2008

p. 1
Vasja Ivanovski

Years may come and years may go, but Skopje Blues & Soul Festival is still an institution, undisputed well of great music and positive vibes. This year’s edition was no exception, as anybody in attendance can confirm with ease. Two-night event of cool sounds left everybody happy and wondering if it could possibly be expanded to more days. Great line-up of artists which presented their kind of blues and confirmed their status within blues community and were in great form, doing justice to this musical genre, mother of them all (almost!).

Proceedings on the first night were opened by Venko Serafimov and his band The Bluesfakers, Macedonian all-star line-up featuring veterans and young guns of Macedonian blues scene. Venko Serafimov is an excellent guitarist, composer and arranger of Macedonian legend status. His credits include excellent album by his 80’s rock band “Concord”, music for theatre, movies and TV projects which gained him reputation even outside Macedonia. For this festival Venko prepared a varied set which included material from his rocking days and cool renditions of familiar blues and rock tunes of well known people and all that sounded just fine on this hot Summer night. His band displayed quality musicianship and youthful female vocalist added plenty of fine singing and good looks! Venko Serafimov once again proved his guitar abilities playing as good as ever, even after quite some time. This was the occasion to put him on the stage again, an offer he just could not refuse! His fluid and original style had fellow guitarists in the audience eyes wide open, absorbing his licks and riffs performed with ease of seasoned journeyman. Great start of the evening and well deserved applause for Venko and his band members. We can only hope that this band can record some blues stuff in the near future, because they deserve to be heard by much wider audience.

Lance Lopez and his band came directly from Dallas Texas and started their European tour right here in Skopje, took the stage and set new standards for performing skills which left all attended jaw dropped! This young but already world-class guitar slinger put on a show that will be remembered for its intensity, never-let-go approach, great guitar playing, fabulous vocals and professionalism that goes beyond his age. Cody Norman on drums and Tony Valdez on bass were perfect vehicle for Lance’s music. Indeed we have not

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