Blues Caravan 2023
Three guitars, three voices, that’s the 18th edition of Ruf’s Blues Caravan which will take off in mid-February 2023. Thus carrying on a tradition which was established in 2005 when Thomas Ruf, founder of internationally operating German record company Ruf Records, came up with the idea for this kind of package tour and with Sue Foley, Candye Kane and Ana Popovic sent three of his artists on the road together for the first time. This time the line-up will consist of Texan bluesrocker Ally Venable, Chicago-born Berlin resident Will Jacobs and Ashley Sherlock from Manchester in the UK.
Ally Venable was only 19 years old when “Texas Honey”, her debut album for Ruf Records, went on sale in 2019 and together with her then label colleagues Ina Forsman and Katarina Pejak she played her first Blues Caravan tour. In 2021 her second studio album for Ruf titled “Heart Of Fire” followed, and album number three is currently in the making and scheduled for release in early 2023. In addition, the guitarist and singer from Kilgore, East Texas, was featured as a special guest on another Ruf release, Mike Zito’s duet album “Rock’n’Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry”, joining Zito for the Berry classic “School Days”. “When I play live,” Ally Venable says about what she wants to achieve on stage, “I want to connect with people and for them to let go of their troubles.”
Will Jacobs hails from that US metropolis whose name is linked to the blues like no other: Chicago, where in the 1950s the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf or Willie Dixon electrified the country blues of the Deep South from which they had migrated to the Windy City. And he too left his own musical thumbprint in the blues clubs of his hometown before after a couple of whistle stops he moved to the German capitol of Berlin where he still lives today. But even if his Ruf debut album “Goldfish Blues” is audibly rooted in the eponymous genre, Jacobs spices his song material with anything that makes his neck tingle. About the album he says: “I’d describe the music as a funky blues experience.”
Ashley Sherlock is a Manchester-based singer and guitarist whose musical career began with solo performances. Asked for his main inspirations, he cites Jeff Buckley, The Marcus King Band, The Cadillac Three, Gary Clark Jr and Chris Stapleton. After lots of solo gigs he decided to form a bluesrock power trio in 2017 with which he has recorded two self-released EPs and a couple of singles so far. His debut album for Ruf Records is scheduled for release in early 2023. About the Blues Caravan he says: “This package tour is something I’ve wanted to take part in for quite some time. I can’t wait to get on the road and play some music!”