Roger C. Wade Meets Balta Bordoy – The Schoolhouse Sessions

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Finally! Marion and I had been looking to make these recordings for a long time and, as is so often the case, they got put on the back-burner. We both play in the Houserockers and have other individual projects, so time, energy and money are not always as plentiful as they could be! In 2017, I met and played with Balta Bordoy as part of a harmonica festival in Spain (with the great Victor Puertas and Thomas Toussaint – check them out!) and was sold on the idea of making these recordings when I saw him play with Marion in a small club in Barcelona. The spirit of Otis Spann and Robert Jr. Lockwood – wow! Let’s do it! Old-school, post-war Chicago in the footsteps of Otis, Walter, Sonny Boy etc.

We asked T-Man, the Houserockers guitarist extraordinaire, to join us. I knew he would be the perfect complement to Balta and I was right, as evidenced throughout this album! I decided we should get some drums on some tracks. Two guitars, piano and drums – fantastic! I had met jazz drummer Drori Mondlak many years before when we shared a rehearsal room and had seen him play with his wife, the renowned saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer in the band Klaro! Drori would bring that swinging brush and stick work to the recordings that I was looking for à la Fred Below. The amazing Abi Linden found us the school in Hürth, which had a fantastic Steinway grand and a great room for recording. Two days in various formations, old ideas, new ideas and the result can be heard here. Hope you like this honest, no-frills blues.