Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado
As this band enters its fourteenth year, they really seem to be on the verge to a success that will open some new doors, in new territories. And with all the hard work they put into this project, they surely deserve it.
In 2003, singer and guitarist Thorbjørn Risager asked some of his favourite musicians to join him in a brand new band. The picked the band name ”Thorbjørn Risager Blue 7” and started playing round Denmark. A year later they recorded their first album, ”Live 2004”, and in 2005 they met their current agent who also started working with their CD promotion, in connection with the release of their second album, ”From The Heart”, which already got considerable media recognition.
BluesWax, a well-respected US publication, used the headline ”Next big name in blues: Thorbjorn” and the epic quote ”Risager has songwriting skills that match his larger-than-life voice” is from that review.
The same magazine wrote about the next album ”Here I Am”:
Sometimes a singer’s voice just stands out and forces you to listen. Take one part Ray Charles, one part Bob Seger, and one part Joe Cocker and you may have the vocal instrument of Denmark’s Thorbjørn Risager.
By then they had been signed by the Danish label Cope Records, run by the band’s trumpet player. A few albums later, they made a deal with French blues/roots label Dixiefrog, and in 2014 they secured a record deal with Ruf Records, based in Germany but with a very strong position in the international blues world. The same year, before the release of the multi-award-winning album ”Too Many Roads”, they decided to add the band name ”The Black Tornado” – to signify that this is a REAL band and not some random musicians that back up a vocalist. They were also hoping that this new name would be a bit easier to google, for all the listeners that heard the band’s music being played on international radio stations.
Paralel to writing, recording and releasing new material with 12 – 18 months’ interval, they kept touring all over Europe, plus a tour to Canada and a spot at Asia’s biggest blues festival Mahindra Blues in Mumbai, where they shared the stage with Buddy Guy. They play 100 gigs per year, and they have performed in 21 countries. Remarkably enough, only two musicians have quit the band since the start in 2003.
This is a hard-working band, and they really stick together through thick and thin. They are united through their talent, their dedication and their patience!
Grainne Duffy is a blues and roots artist hailing from Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan, Ireland. Described by The Sunday Times as ‘a blues singer of real integrity’, Grainne Duffy is a pioneer of her own style while also paying sincere homage to her roots, soul, blues, country and rock traditions. She is a seasoned artist and has been spending the last number of years touring in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Canada.
Some highlights thus far have included international leading festivals including 3 performances at Glastonbury Festival, U.K., Phuket Festival, Thailand, Notodden Festival, Norway, Dark Season Festival, Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, Tremblant Festival, Canada, Blues du Passions, France, Blue Balls Festival, Switzerland and Tanjazz in Morocco.
In 2015 Grainne was awarded winner in BM Writers Poll in the categories ‘Best Vocalist’ and ‘Best Solo Artist’ in the UK. Her Live album recorded on tour in Germany, released the same year earned her a 9/10 review in Classic Rock sister magazine, The Blues Magazine, quoting ‘This sensational live album confirms Grainne Duffy’s formidable reputation’, ‘few possess her killer combination of vocal strength, range and intensity, guitar virtuosity and ability to engage audiences’, ‘this is one of the best live CDs of 2015’.
Earlier in 2017 Grainne embarked on her 1st ever tour in Australia which included 4 remarkable performances on the blues stage at Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland. This year she was also delighted to be invited to play at the prestigious Mahindra Blues Festival, India and join onstage Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Shemika Copeland for the festival encore.
With a voice that is as passionate as it is raw and honest, accompanied by simple, melodic and well phrased guitar lines, this is what you have in Grainne Duffy. Having worked before with Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Los Lobos & Keith Richards), 2016 and 2017 saw her back in the US recording with producer Justin Stanley (Beck, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow). September 2017 sees the release of her eagerly awaited third album, ‘Where I Belong’, to follow the success of her debut roots album ‘Out of the Dark’ and her second album ‘Test of Time’ which weaved together her contemporary influences of blues and soul roots. It features a stellar line-up of musicians including blues guitarist, Doyle Bramhall.
‘She’s the real deal’ Classic Rock Magazine
‘A blues singer of real integrity’ The Sunday Times
‘Deliciously soulful voice & gutsy blues inflected
guitar work in one compelling
package’ Guitarist Magazine