The Blues Casters
Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters present a rip-roaring mixture of blues,
swing, and rock 'n' roll that they have branded their own. Their collaboration
started in 1995 and resulted in numerous international appearances and three CDs.
"Big Time In Big D", was recorded in Texas with guest appearances by Anson
Funderburgh, Mike Morgan and Johnny Moeller.
Though Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters have great respect for the blues as
an institution, as a group they're firmly rooted in the present. "We want to be
a band that's happening right now."
Memo Gonzalez, who hails from Dallas, Texas, has played clubs such as "B.B.
King's" in Memphis, Tennessee, and "Antone's" in Austin, Texas, but he also
commands the stage in European with his fat harmonica ("the juicy tone") and his
powerful voice. Memo's performance proves with every drop of sweat and every
bounce of his slicked back hair that the blues is more than just pain, that it
offers wisdom, wit, and a whole lotta fun. From Texan roadhouse blues that's
heavy on the guitar to spicy Louisiana R&B, Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters
set in motion an earthquake wherever their busy touring schedule (about 120
nights a year) takes them.
In the 1980s Memo Gonzalez co-founded a band that is destined to go down in
Dallas blues history, The Weebads. That band lasted for years with dozens of
the area's best players (e.g. Hash Brown, Paul Size and Johnny Moeller)
rotating through. He also worked with Jim Suhler in one of his early bands, The Road
Hogs. It was in the early 1990s when Memo started to tour in Europe. After
thoroughly stealing the show on a Harmonica Rumble revue in Holland, he met the
Bluescasters' bassist Erkan Özdemir.
The band's guitarist, Kai Strauss, can hold his own on any international
stage. His breathtakingly intense playing mixes blues with everything that America
has brought forth since the 1950s, though Kai prefers the down 'n dirty
greats of the genre.
Bass player Erkan Özdemir is quite a sight, too, with a beat-up bass guitar
that's slung so low, you'd think he's playing an upright. Erkan is one of the
main reasons why the band swings like a suspension bridge in a hurricane.
Drummer Klaus Schnirring propels the group through the set, expending about
as much energy during a concert as a marathon runner.
What makes this band truly great is their style, the fun they have, and their
take on the blues. When the band isn't off touring somewhere, they're busy
working on a new CD, so there's more to look forward to.
To date Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters have released Let's All Get Drunk
and Get Tattooed (Live, 1996), 10,000 Miles (1998) and Big Time In Big D (2003).