Biography Eliana Cargnelutti

Electric Woman marks the international solo debut of Italian recording artist Eliana Cargnelutti and once again shows Ruf Records' willingness to think outside the box. The project brings together unique talents from diverse genres and different corners of the world, including acclaimed American bluesman Albert Castiglia, who produced, and rock and metal specialist Timo Rotten, who recorded and mixed the album in his native Germany. It features veteran all-rounders Jamie Little (drums), Roger Inniss (bass) and John Ginty (keyboards) and was mastered by Grammy winner David Farrell (Irma Thomas, Royal Southern Brotherhood) in New Orleans.
Its centerpiece is of course singer/guitarist Cargnelutti, who combines hotshot vocal swagger with impressive technical chops. During her young career, the Udine, Italy native has shared the stage with the best of the Italian blues scene while also dabbling in soul, jazz, funk and heavy metal. "I started out playing rock and metal," she reveals. "They'll always be part of my musical language." Indeed, cuts like "Just for Me" and "Show Me" confirm that hard rock and heavy metal are still very close to her heart. "You can hear many of my influences: Guns N’ Roses, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Sardinas, Susan Tedeschi, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Led Zeppelin."
Though they'd met just once prior to the sessions in the fall of 2014, producer Castiglia was instantly smitten with this young talent from northern Italy. "Eliana is a very technically proficient guitar player, but she can kick you in the ass with her playing as well. She can certainly hold her own with anybody on the guitar end. Her vocal range is very impressive and reminds me of the great female singers of the 80s, like Joan Jett, Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar."
Having only just completed work on Girls With Guitars, her collaboration with Blues Caravan touring partners Heather Crosse and Sadie Johnson, Cargnelutti faced the pressure of creating a strong solo album on the fly. She rose to the challenge, wrote eight new tunes in just three weeks and came into the studio ready to go. "It was a test of me and my abilities," she reflects a few months later. "I did feel some pressure, but only because I wanted a good result. No efforts, no enjoyment!"
Covers of The Allman Brothers' "Soulshine", Savoy Brown's "Street Corner Talking" and AC/DC's "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" round out a diverse track list of rock-, blues- and soul-infused sounds. Castiglia lent a hand with the arrangements, helped polish the lyrics and added his own prodigious guitar talents to "Just For Me," the aforementioned AC/DC classic as well as the sizzling guitar duel that closes the album, "Eliana's Boogie." "My role as producer," says the Florida-based bluesman, "was to help Eliana achieve her vision as an artist. She was open to constructive criticism and was very professional. We worked extremely well together."
The album's most autobiographical cut – drafted by Cargnelutti just one day prior to the recording sessions – poses a key question for any young artist trying to make it in today's blues world: "Why Do I Sing The Blues?" The song reflects openly on a youth well spent ("the best of life under the sun"), her daily struggle to make ends meet as a professional musician ("teaching days and playing nights") and ultimately looks forward with hope and confidence to the opportunities of the future. "I'm ready to take on this great big world, it better be ready for me."
With help from a roomful of world-class studio talents, Eliana Cargnelutti literally broadens her horizons on Electric Woman – a convincing statement of this tough young artist's dedication and will to succeed on the international stage.

Biography Candye Kane

Candye Kane was born and raised on the mean streets of East L.A. She wanted to be a singer from the tender age of 5. As a young girl, she auditioned for countless amateur shows and talent competitions, appearing on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour at 14. She won a scholarship to USC Music Conservatory that same year, but at 17, found herself unwed and pregnant. To support herself and her young son and to escape the welfare rolls, Kane became a stripper and topless model. She appeared on the covers or pages of over 500 magazines including Hustler and High Society. She used the money from the adult entertainment business to subsidize her musical career, hiring top notch musicians to play with her and record demos. Her first band was a country trio called "Haywire". Kane was part of a thriving music scene in Hollywood in the early '80s and shared the stage with punk rockers like Black Flag and The Circle Jerks, as well as roots legends like The Blasters, Los Lobos and Dwight Yoakum. Many of these musicians are still Kane's personal friends and appear on various recordings throughout her career. In 1986, she was signed to a developmental deal with CBS Epic records. Her band, The Armadillo Stampede appeared on vinyl for the first time on the Enigma Records release "A Town South of Bakersfield".

Biography Thorbjørn Risager

Talk about a tough act to follow. Back in 2014, Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado released Too Many Roads: the award-winning ninth album that saw the golden-voiced frontman and his seven-piece lineup showered with global acclaim. For the fans who had followed the Copenhagen band since their formation in 2003, it felt like a career-best release. vBut we were wrong. With Change My Game, Thorbjørn has raised the stakes once again. In a world where most bands are content to tread water, here’s an album that breaks new creative ground, explores fresh musical directions and delivers a bold batch of songs that are at once catchy and immediate, but rich with deeper meaning. Released in January 2017 on Ruf Records, Change My Game is not just an album title, but also the guiding ethos that has driven this band from the start. Since making their first impact with 2006’s From The Heart, Thorbjørn and his all-star lineup have dodged media pigeonholes and broken down the boundaries of genre, their confidence to experiment growing with every year spent together on the road. Now, on this 11th album, their musical leap is greater than ever before, with dynamic arrangements sent through the roof by the band’s musicianship and Thorbjørn’s electrifying vocal. Change My Game finally achieves the studio sound that Thorbjørn has always heard in his head. For the first time, the eight musicians decided to self-produce and mix the entire album, and the result is a visceral production that showcases their best material to date. Rock-influenced songs like Dreamland are hard, fiery and ferocious. Ballads like lead-off single I Used To Love You have an aching emotional power. Meanwhile, for the fans who love the Tornado’s fresh take on classic blues, there’s Train, which opens with a locomotive sound, a lone vocal and an acoustic guitar – before the band turn up the heat and bring the song to its horn-driven climax. At a time when technology rules the music industry, Change My Game is an album that runs on human chemistry, and that’s testament to the 800-plus shows that this lineup has played together in 21 countries from the Canada to India. Firm believers in the power of live music, Thorbjørn and the band will take Change My Game out on the road in 2017, with a touring schedule that will see them raise roofs across the planet and convert countless new fans to the cause. Fourteen years into their career, these are high times for Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado. Perhaps you thought they’d peaked with Too Many Roads. But with Change My Game, the only way is up…

 

FACTS:

#           Despite hailing from Denmark and releasing albums on a small Danish label until 2014, the band have won acclaim in Canada and all over Europe.

#           They have played over 800 shows – more than 200 of these at festivals – in 21 countries including Canada and India.

#           They received a Danish Grammy two years in a row.

#           In Germany, where they recently participated in the legendary TV show Tyskland ROCKPALAST, they received one of the most prestigious awards in the business.

#           In the UK, they were included on the Classic Rock Blues Magazine’s Best Of 2014 CD.

#           The band was formed in 2003, and all but two of the original members are still in the lineup.

Biography Laurence Jones

Britain’s hottest gunslinger. Blues-rock’s most legendary producer. If the hook-up between Laurence Jones and Mike Vernon sounds mouthwatering on paper, just wait until you hear Take Me High. Released in July 2016 on Ruf Records, this fourth album represents a spiritual passing of the baton, with the producer who recorded everyone from Eric Clapton to Peter Green in the ’60s now working with the cream of the new blues generation. “It was a great feeling,” says Laurence, “to know Mike wanted to make this record.” The pair had discussed a collaboration as far back as 2013, but their conflicting schedules had always scuppered the plan. Mike remains much in demand as a producer, and likewise, since last year’s acclaimed What’s It Gonna Be – #18 in The Blues Mag’s 50 Essential Albums Of 2015 – Laurence has barely stopped, playing everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall. But after Mike witnessed an incendiary set at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, he had to clear a space in his diary. “He watched us in the crowd,” recalls the bandleader, “and he said to me, ‘I think the time is right’.” During preproduction, Laurence and Mike decided on the concept of an album that would flow – “kinda like a book, so you’d listen to it from start to finish and it would make sense” – but also capture the ferocious attitude of a packed club show. “I told him that I really wanted to go for that live feel,” remembers Laurence. “I just wanted to create that same energy.” By January 2016, they were ready to hit Headline Music Studios in Cambridge, with Laurence leading the core band of Roger Inniss (bass), Bob Fridzema (keys/organ) and new drummer Phil Wilson as they tracked live. “We did it the old-school way,” nods the bandleader. “I really feed off an audience, so I remember that Mike said, ‘Just make it as live as you can. Imagine you’re stood in front of a thousand people and give it some…’” At the end of each night, Laurence and Mike returned to a remote cottage outside Cambridge, where the producer regaled the guitarist with tales of his illustrious clients. “There was no Internet,” smiles Laurence, “so we actually had to talk to each other. Y’know, he’d tell me stories about when he worked with David Bowie, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Peter Green.” Needless to say, it’s not easy to impress a producer who has helmed classic albums from 1966’s Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton to Bowie’s self-titled 1967 debut – but Laurence rose to the challenge with the strongest songs of his career. You can hear his momentum in the title track’s brittle blues strut, or “Addicted To Your Love”, with its neck-tingling opening squeal of feedback. The more reflective “I Will”, meanwhile, announces Laurence’s growing maturity as a vocalist. “Mike was really thorough about the vocals,” agrees the bandleader, “because that’s his territory. He’s an amazing singer. He even did backing vocals on this album – we sang them live together.” Elsewhere, the snakecharmer riffs of “Got No Place To Go” reaffirm Laurence’s reputation as a master guitarist, while “Live It Up” features guest backing vocals from Rueben Richards, and “The Price I Pay” sees his stinging fretwork lock in with a stunning harmonica cameo from Paul Jones. “I did a charity night for Paul that he holds every year at the Cranleigh Arts Centre,” explains the bandleader. “I asked Paul to get up onstage with me, and at the end, I said, ‘Well, I’m going in the studio with Mike next week’. And he goes, ‘Oh cool, I’d love to come’. And I was like, ‘That sounds like a good deal!’” Within a head-spinning ten days, the basic tracking was complete – but Laurence wasn’t prepared for just how good the songs would sound after Mike had finished mixing them at his home in Spain. “He sent me the stuff over, and it was like, ‘Wow’. He’d just fattened everything up. It was just a completely different sound because of him. I’m so happy with this album.” Released in July on Ruf Records, Take Me High is another step up for an artist who embodies the best of the modern blues boom. Featuring ten new songs that demand to be heard live, the release will also be supported in 2016 by a heavy international touring schedule that underlines Laurence’s growing popularity across the planet. “We’ve got a UK tour in November,” he reveals. “And we’re gonna be working in Poland, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the Caribbean, Norway, Denmark – and even America. So anyone who says the blues is dead… it’s really not!”

Biography Christina Skjolberg

Born on the tiny Norwegian island of Smøla, at the tender age of twelve, Christina was inspired by fellow left-hander Jimi Hendrix to pick up her first electric guitar. From that day on, she was a lifer, committed to a career in music at any cost, hitting blues clubs across her homeland and grinding out her reputation.  
While her potential was obvious from early cuts like Feel So Free, it was Christina’s discovery by Thomas Ruf that really lit the fuse. Famous for his nose for new talent, the founder of the iconic German record label quickly secured the Norwegian’s signature, booked her a slot on Ruf’s 2014 Blues Caravan showcase tour (alongside fellow up-and-comers Laurence Jones and Albert Castiglia) and set the wheels in motion for her debut studio album "Come And Get It".

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