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27.9.08

Arsen Shomakhov




Arsen Shomakhov - Dangerous - 2006 - Blues Leaf Records

An outstanding blues rock album full of funky grooves and Texas shuffles, with a subtle jazzy style. The album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. There is info on the great "Troublemaker" album by Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime @ Shomakhov/TMAKER Buy his terrific ""Heavy Steppin'" album and support this great artist.

TRACKS

1. Dangerous
2. Too Hot
3. Let Me Be Your Romeo
4. You're the One
5. Low Down Shakin' Chills
6. Troublemaker
7. Rainy Drive
8. Use What You Got
9. The Arsonist
10. Don't Miss Your Train
11. Highway Cruise
12. I Don't Know
13. Beale Street Boogie

All songs composed by Arsen Shomakhov, except Track 5, by York/Busk, & Track 8 by Freddie King

BAND

Arsen Shomakhov (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Aslan Zhantuyev (bass guitar)
Sultanbek Mamyshev (drums)

REVIEWS

People rarely associate Russia with funky blues guitar playing, but Arsen Shomakhov may change a few minds. His album, Dangerous, includes a respectable cover of Freddie King’s “Use What You Got” and many original compositions that demonstrate his legitimate chops and ardent love of the genre. Highlights include: “Let Me Be Your Romeo,” “The Arsonist,” and the title track. © 2006 ONE WAY Online. All rights reserved

"Arsen Shomakhov and his band are obviously heavily inspired by the music of T-Bone Walker...[these] cats can flat-out play! His band is extremely tight; his playing is fast and clean. The crowd was visibly shaken at first to hear such amazing blues coming out of Russia...his music was truly infectious." -WALLA WALLA BLUES SOCIETY

Arsen Shomakhov, singer & guitar player extraordinaire, is a native of Nalchik, Russia. This is his first release on Blues Leaf Records. In the past five years, Shomakhov has become a major force as a Russian blues artist, performing for Russian Federal TV, Moscow's legendary BB King Club and numerous blues festivals throughout Russia. © 1996-2008, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

BIO

Arsen Shomakhov is a songwriter, singer and guitar player from Russia.brbrArsen Shomakhov Russian guitar player, singer and songwriter Arsen Shomakhov formed the blues band Ragtime (after the E.L. Doctorow novel) in 1991, and after relentless rehearsals in the non-blues town of Nalchik, they subsequently became one of the leading acts on the Russian blues scene. In 2001, their participation in the St. Petersburg Neva Delta Blues Festival led to a series of gigs at the best blues venues of Moscow. April of 2002 saw the release of their debut album, “Heavy Steppin’”, which led to gigs at venues such as the legendary B.B. King Club in Moscow. The album received good press and enjoyed international airplay. A performance at the All-Russia Spring 2003 Blues Festival in Moscow prompted an invitation to the first International Moscow Blues Festival in September of 2003. That same month they released their second album, “Troublemaker”, which they presented at the renowned Forte Blues Club in Moscow in December of that same year. “Troublemaker” is now considered to be one of the best Russian blues records, and was included in the Top 25 albums of the Australian “Blues Beat” program in 2003 and 2004. In February of 2005, the band traveled to Memphis to participate in the International Blues Challenge under the auspices of “blues.ru”, the Russian blues community. Listeners at the Blues City Café were stunned as Arsen tore the place up with his original songs, “Don’t Miss Your Train”, “Too Hot”, and “Dangerous”. To use the American vernacular – he killed. Arsen's third album, "Dangerous", was released on the Blues Leaf label in February of 2006, documenting this young player's ever-expanding prowess on both the guitar and in crafting original songs. Featured on playlists such as "ElectricBlues” and “Blue IceWater” Radio, Arsen continues to impress the West as a talent to watch. His move to Moscow in early 2007 places him at the center of Russia’s white-hot blues scene – the sparks are already flying, and it’s going to be a very good year. © http://radio.artistopia.com/Music/Artists/Bio.asp?ID=1351



MORE ABOUT ARSEN SHOMAKHOV / ALBUM

For lots of reasons, blues music got a late start in Russia. Ever mindful of corrupting Western influence, the Soviet censorship endeavored for decades to protect the cultural virginity of the population by severely restricting contact with certain foreign musics media. When Gorbachev’s perestroika brought these barriers down, a powerful movement of youth protest appeared, organized around rock’n’roll. Although a few bands performed the type of blues that they had heard on British recordings - Eric Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac, and so forth - they were generally regarded as rockers rather than as bluesmen. But after communism, that movement disintegrated, and the various musics within it - blues among them - began to precipitate out as distinct forms with their own performers and audiences. Since that time, the music has developed from mimicry of British blues-rock, to a replication of what Russians call the “classical blues” of the Delta and postwar Chicago, to the production of a blues that is increasingly identifiable as “Russian”. Arsen Shomakhov’s musical career would be a singular example of this larger pattern. His band, Ragtime, began with a mixture of rock, jazz and blues in the late eighties, converted to covering straight blues material in the early nineties and, by the end of the decade, was adding more and more original numbers (Arsen’s) to its repertoire. The culmination of that journey has led to this CD. The range of styles included here - pretty much every blues form except the country, bottle-neck variety - handsomely showcases Arsen’s talents. His throaty yet smooth vocals particularly impress on [ name songs that appear as tracks #2, #3 and #8], leaving listeners with no clue that they are hearing a non-native English speaker working in an foreign idiom. His piercing guitar runs a gamut of inflections from funk to jazz to country-western, while never straying outside the borders of the blues itself. This CD also represents an evolution in his tone which now sports an unmistakable twanginess in both the upper and lower registry (check out the licks on track #4). Throughout, Arsen is ably supported by Bek Mamyshe on drums and Aslan Zhantuyev on bass. Arsen and his band spent over a decade in their native town of Nal’chik in Russia’s remote North Caucasus, honing the craft as bluesmen despite the fact that their geographic isolation meant that there was effectively no chance to perform in public. Their commitment to their music eventually paid off, thrusting Arsen into the top ranks of players in Moscow’s sizeable blues scene. This CD now makes his music available to an international audience, reversing the pattern of cultural imports by sending the blues back to us, from Russia with love. © Michael Urban, Author of RUSSIA GETS THE BLUES, © 2002 Blues Leaf Records A Division Loose Leaf Music Corp. All Rights Reserved.