The end of November marked the end of Blogcritics' Blues Bash extravaganza as far as the calendar was concerned, but I'm pleased to say it appears that the Blues just don't know when to quit and are playing on well after closing time. I've been doing my share to keep the party going and will continue to do so as long as they let me.
In the past week or so I've been focusing on one record label in particular, Ruf Records from Germany. I've given you an overview of their history and reviewed their twelfth year anthology disc. So it seems to me only fitting that we hear from the founder of the label Thomas Ruf to conclude this mini-feature on Ruf Records.
Needless to say Thomas is a very busy man. When I emailed him the series of questions at the end of November, he was actually in the United States overseeing a recording session for their forthcoming Blues Caravan release. (This year's is a Blues Women starring Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman, and Canadian newcomer Roxanne Potvin.) So it took him longer than he expected to send back his answers, but it's all worked out for the best.
Today will be the first half of the interview and you'll be able to read the final bits tomorrow at this same web log channel. Oh one final word; needless to say English isn't Thomas' first language, and he's asked us to correct any errors we think are too glaring. Aside from those few minor fixes, probably far less then editors have to do on my articles on far too many occasions, his answers are reprinted here verbatim. Enjoy.
Could you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your background?
I grew up in the Black Forest on a wine farm. I guess I learned about labour at a very early age as kids are a needed work force during harvest time on a family run farm – a model that still existed back in the 60’s & early 70’s before agriculture changed into a global speculation business at the mercy of the world’s stock markets.