Listen to Richie Arndt & The Bluenatics while reading the text and enjoying the photos              (All Songs (C) by R.Arndt)

You've done me wrong.mp3  (3:43)

When the Train comes.mp3  (6:31)

The Bad Thang.mp3  (3:23)

The Best,

 The Busiest,

and The Hardest Working

German Blues Band


performed at Elfenbein

Herford, Germany,

December 6th, 2002

Richie Arndt

Jens-Ulrich Handreka


Frank Boestfleisch






This CD from Richie Arndt and the Bluenatics is their very first release and features Richie Arndt all Guitars and Vocals, Detlef Blanke on Bass and Vocals,and Frank Boestfleisch on Drums and Vocals. This CD was recorded March / April / May of 1997,and the liner notes state the following: "Although it may not be authentic enough for the purists or hip enough for the kids of the 90's we hope you like the way we play the blues" This is the attitude of Richie Arndt and the band,it is that plain,simple and honest. No frills or wasted space of any kind,the songs flow and you never get the feeling that they are fighting to get to the end of one song and on to the next,as with some bands we have heard in the past.

That is what makes this band stand out as something special, in simple terms the music is performed in a mixture of different styles,funky,rock,blues with a ballad kind of song that is their trademark, called "When the Train Comes". Once you've heard this song you'll never forget it, or get it out of your mind. On this CD there are two versions of this excellent song, the first is in the studio length and is 6:31 long, the other is the Radio version which is 3:42.
First song on the CD is a cover version of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Tightrope", which is a great opener followed by "Letter to My Girlfriend" (great mouth Harp by Dieter Kropp on this track and on "Help Me").   Track 4 is "You've Done Me Wrong",  another catchy little tune,and track 5 is called Fool for Ya Stockings. Track 6: a song called "Anything You Want Me To Do", written by Ted Horowitz who is better known to most Rock and Roll Blues fans as the one and only Popa Chubby who is the King of the New York City Blues.Track 7 is "Sweet Little Angel", track 8 is "Need Your Love So Bad" and track 9 is "Too Hot to Handle". Track 10 is "Make your mind up" which leads right into the classic tune called "Help Me" which is a great song anytime / anywhere  but the way Richie delivers the vocals and guitar work he makes it an extraordinary piece. 
 As if this wasn't enough to make you want to go out and purchace this CD it is also layered with great Organ and Piano work performed by Achim Meyer and Backing Vocals by Britta Niemann.   In conclusion this CD is not intended to knock you off of your feet but that's exactly what it does.  


This is their second CD release recorded in Delmenhorst, Germany on February 6th and 7th 1999 the liner note states "It was meant as a documentation of our live program and we added only a few guitar and backing vocal overdubs in the studio"  For those of you that are not very fond of live recordings for one reason or another you will find this the exception to the rule,for those of you who do like  the live sound of a good concert this CD is for you without a doubt. This captures the live enviroment of a good band in a perfect venue,and at their very best. Once again the songs are not rushed along and they flow very well into each other,Richie's voice is mellow at times and only as strong as needed to support the song, and to get the feeling accross.That's what is so impressive about the second effort of this band, it is in control at all times,it is dynamic and in good taste for all listeners. The line up is the same on this outing as on their first recording,the sound quality is the best we have ever heard for a live gig,and there is not one flaw in their performance. The standout's on this CD are "Love is a Fire", written by Richie,a great version of "Little Wing" and "Third Stone From the Sun" by Jimi Hendrix and "Nightlife" by Willie Nelson and my favorite is Peter Green's (early Fleetwood Mac blues band) "Black Magic Woman". There is a good Bass Solo by Detlef Blanke,and also a good Drum Solo by Frank Boestfleisch. All in all it is fifteen tracks from a great German  Blues Band playing good Rock and Roll to a crowd of happy fans,friends and family. Attend one of their concerts and you too will feel like a part of this wonderful family.        



Richie Arndt and the Bluenatics „RORYMANIA“

Featuring: Henrik Freischlader – Gregor Hilden – Alex Conti



  1. Laundromat - 4:16
  2. Hands Off – 4:07
  3. Ain’t Too Good – 3:40
  4. Too Much Alcohol – 6:01
  5. Bankers Blues – 3:18
  6. They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore – 3:44
  7. Calling Card – 4:55
  8. Pistol Slapper Blues – 2:19
  9. I Fall Apart – 5:46
  10. Cruise On Out – 3:21
  11. Wave Myself Goodbye – 3:27
  12. Rory – 5:27


1. Laundromat – Starts off with a kick ass guitar riff that swings as much as it rocks in true Rory style. Richie’s vocals are forceful, strong and powerful. The band is in total sync and rolls along perfectly from beginning to end. Not only on this song but throughout the entire cd.

You’ll be really disappointed that this song has to end.

2. Hands Off – is one of my all time favourite Rory tunes, and Richie and band do it proper justice. The keyboard work is as refreshing as the guitar work itself.  The drum work gives the song a real walking shuffle feel and adds the perfect accents to the structure. The bass guitar is strong and supportive, but lays low as needs be and lets the others get a good workout.

Each musician does the same, backing off temporality, slowing the pace down and then kicking it alive, bringing it back up again. Far from an easy task, but it really shows the professionalism of the entire band. It’s individual expertise through a collective effort, that brings it all together for one hell of a  brilliant performance. 

3. Ain’t Too Good – Brings the proceedings back down to reality for a few minutes, for a bittersweet blues ballad. Richie’s vocals keep the slow number interesting, as well as his guitar playing. The rhythm guitar work on this number is extraordinary, each instrument supporting the other which makes this song a ballsy ballad. It’s so well executed that if forces you to give it your undivided attention – it’ll suck it right in, and the reverb will make you tap your feet and make your body sway. That’s how good it is.

4. Too Much Alcohol – This song was a favourite on Rory’s Irish Tour Album 1974, and once again Richie and Band kick some new life into an already good song and make it a great one besides. The reason being, Richie’s vocals are loud and strong and with the extra echo being added, it gives the number an authentic pleading sound that reflects the meaning of the lyrics, an I’ll tell the world my story. The subtle background guitar work is impressive, as is Frank’s drums and Jens bass work. The credit goes to the band for professional restraint and mutual respect. The lead guitar work is sensational.

5. Bankers Blues – A beautiful acoustic number, the guitars sing right along and the keyboards excellent. Put on a set of good headphones and try to pay attention to just one instrument – it’s virtually impossible. There’s so much going on here.

6. They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore – A Jazzy – Swinging number – I defy anyone to sit still during this song. As if the first five songs weren’t good enough, this one really turns the entire band loose for a type of short jam session…..the song should have been about eight minutes longer in my opinion. When a band is this good, they make it sound so easy, when in fact it’s really very intricate and complicated, just in the rhythm and tempo changes alone will make your head spin in amazed delight.

7. Calling Card – A smooth slow blues. Once again the band is in exceptional control here and that makes all the difference in the world. One guitar working off the other, and no one trying to top the other, it’s so damn exciting to listen to.

8. Pistol Slapper Blues – A drum shuffle like a train on a track, a wonderful guitar picking rag and band interaction. Richie sings with real emotional emphasis. The guitars are many and varied, so much going on all the time, for a song that’s only 2:19 long. So enjoyable.

9. I Fall Apart – This song just proves to me that there isn’t a weak number on this cd. Guitars wail, vocals are clear and precise, drum and bass build to climax and the feedback helps the song to its conclusion.

10. Cruise On Out – Is very much in the same line with Laundromat, where Rory is saying come on with me, lets have some fun, and leave your blues far behind, at least for a little while.

11. Wave Myself Goodbye – This tune is a perfect beauty. The keyboards are very prominent, as is the excellent slide guitar work, guitar picking and vocals.

12. Rory – “The Restless Man Wouldn’t Talk But He Would Play” is the truth.
“Your Life Will Come and Your Life Will Go But Your Music Is Still Here”  is more truth. The rhythm section of this song is reminiscent of the Doors “The End”. From the quietly haunting introduction sounding like a foggy Ireland shoreline in first morning light, to the eastern sounding guitar work that slips insidiously into a sullen lament to our beloved Rory.

Fading away into the sunset and right into an Irish sea. What a fitting tribute and vision the music creates to honour our fallen hero of the blues.

This song is a real emotional tear-jerker, and it doesn’t take much at this point after listening to all this heartfelt Rory music.   

Rock In Peace Rory!


Rory died on June 14, 1995 at the young age of 46.
I don’t think there were any of us that weren’t surprised and in total shock upon hearing the sad news of his passing. How could this be possible? It was true, and it was indeed a very sad day for the blues.

I would bet that my first memory of Rory’s passing was the same as thousands of others. That beat up, wood-bare fender Stratocaster  guitar and his wearing that red flannel shirt. But that memory was back in 1972. His band “Taste” and his performance at the historic Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 stand out.. His Irish Tour and two album record release in 1974 was a brilliant representation of the man and his music. At this point in time he was established as a serious musician, honest real - dedicated, a genuine performer giving heartfelt performances the music of his life and ours.

Dead at 46, it’s now thirteen years later, and it still hurts. I never met Rory, only through his music. Never sent him an email or knew someone who knew him – nothing of the sort. But just as with John Lennon’s death we know them as a part of us, and that’s all we need to know.

Rory was private, only his music was public.

He wore his heart on his sleeve, he was a rare talent.

He ain’t no saint, and don’t start him to talkin´.

He read crime stories, liked mysteries and paid tribute to Dashiell Hammet in his song Continental Op.

The rest of Rory’s personal life, his likes and dislikes and all the rest is for those who knew him personally to explain and fill in the blanks. This is as far as I can go without getting into ignorant and worthless speculation. 



When I listen to the beginning of Richie’s song “Rory”, it reminds me of the Vikings ceremony for the death of a friend or fellow warrior. They place the corpse into a boat, set it on fire and then push it out into the open sea. The final act for a hero. Fire and water, dust to dust but the music lingers on, long after all is gone. 



What Makes This A Very Special Tribute: 

Richie, like Rory himself, is a happy blues player. Both their vocals are strong and honest while telling any story - sad / happy - or event, they sound so enthusiastic and eager to please. Both represent great performers on stage and die-hard perfectionist in the recording studio. Both are exceptionally talented and proud of their craft and accomplishments. Both men, live for the music!

  I have heard no other Rory Tribute that covers the mans essence perfectly. Richie and his Bluenatics have nailed it. All twelve tracks on this collection are in respect to the man, his music and his life. Richie doesn’t dwell on the sadness and sorrow of Rory’s passing, but instead he offers up just the opposite, a celebration and joyful exuberance of Rory’s short existence here on earth.

  As you listen to the songs on this collection, you’ll find yourself being diverted from any feelings of melancholy or remorse, instead, you’ll find joy and happiness and be transformed into Rory’s Special Positive Light.

Knowing Richie personally, and being able to call him a good friend, I can say in all honesty and candour, no one could have done it better or from the heart and soul – from one musician to another – Richie, band and featured friends carry the scared torch further on down the road!

Rory would be very proud, and I’m sure he is smiling!    



            CD Reviews by Dave and Brigitte




  “Richie Arndt and The Bluenatics” with very special guest “Big Bones”:

  The Venue: Is located in Minden, Germany and is called “Bunker” and that’s exactly what it is, an old world war two military bunker, it is all brick and cement, and as Richie informed us it is similar to the “Cavern Club” in England where the Beatles first got their start. Through a doorway down a hundred foot narrow hall that looked like a dungeon, then left and up four largely spaced metal stairs and into the main room of the bunker, picture yourself as Johna inside of the great whale and that’s what it looks like from one end to the other. A bar in front of us and fifty foot high ceiling but the sound is as dead as King Tuts Tomb, the acoustics and overall atmosphere is perfect for any kind of concert to take place in here,to be sure it is a poor man’s Carnegie Hall. The funny part is I can envision a three piece classical quartet or the London Symphony Orchestra performing here but the fact is it is the home of a German motorcycle club called “The Flying Eagles”, and on tap this evening is Rock and Blues for all ages. 

  Richie, Frank and Jens have invited us to attend this gig, having all become good friends from December 6th of last year, it is our great pleasure to be their guest on this special occasion.  Tonight it is a double treat due to the fact that “Richie and the Bluenatics” are the headliners and also support band for blues star “Big Bones”.       

  “Big Bones”: Is from the west coast of America, San Francisco, California to be exact and I (Dave) am from the east coast New York State, so speaking English is perfect for both of us, Brigitte, Richie, Jens and Frank are German so communication is not a problem, it is all covered. “Big Bones” also looks like a cross between Mr.T, Scat Man Cruthers, and Duke Ellington, Richie invited us downstairs to meet “Big Bones” in person and spend an hour with him alone in that silent bomb shelter enviroment, another perfect situation to get the proper results that we are always looking for. I sat down about two and a half feet from this famous blues man and watched him intently for the full hour, sometimes watching him put paper cd covers meticulously into packages with his cd’s that were for sale, and most of the time staring him right between the eyes and  listening as he gave me a real first hand education in human nature and the life of a real blues man. My first question for him: was his style of playing the Harmonica similar to that of say Sonny Terry, his quick reply was “although I respect Sonny as a real blues master my style is all my own”. I then asked him: who have you had the pleasure to play together with over the years, this time he was thoughtful and reflective before answering and he just spoke very matter of factly as he said---well I opened for John Lee Hooker, Gatemouth Brown, Booker T. and the MG’s and Chick Willis—I worked with Alvin Youngblood Hart, Ike Cosey, Joe Lewis Walker, Drawback Slim, Melvin Seal, Willie Dixon, Dr. John, Honey Boy Edwards, Homesick James, James Cotton, Bonnie Raitt, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Hornsby, Butch Mud Bones, Johnny Otis, and Preacher Boy.

  My next comment to him was that I personally like the German audiences that we have had the pleasure to have contact with over the last year, they are polite when we need to take photos or move through the crowd, unlike what I was used to in America where they were harsh, rude and sometimes downright beligerent, he said “where are you from”, I said “New York State”, he gave a nod of understanding. He then informed me that certain things are at work during a concert such as ticket prices, weather (rain, snow or heat) the day of the week it all has an effect, he said “I take it as I find it because I have no control over these factors and I do the best I can to overcome any of these adverse conditions”. Big Bones continued, sometimes the audience is very reserved, their hand clapping is very restrained and polite but this does little to inspire the artist on the stage. With this comment my mind started to wander to thoughts of the Beat Generation and the coffee houses in Greenwich village where the applause of the day in 50’s America was the snapping of the fingers in a cool respectful fashion.  Now Big Bones and I are in a flowing exchange of information, we started talking about Junior Wells and I told him that Junior Wells version of Good Morning Little School Girl was on the soundtrack of a movie called Heaven’s Prisoners from 1996, at this point he stopped working on his cd’s for a moment just to absorbe this new information,I stated that it was the very first song—“I didn’t know that” he said. This is the point where he and I connected for the first time and he really looked at me undistracted and totally interested in our conversation. My knowledge of harmonica players I explained to Big Bones consist of Junior Wells, Little Walter, Sonny Terry, Little Sonny,Magic Dick,Alan Wilson and a few other less famous artists, this led us to a brief discussion about our website concerning Ten Years After again, he stopped what he was doing and looked me in the eyes and said you and Brigitte have a website dedicated to them, “they’re huge”.   Richie came over and showed us his new shirt that he was going to wear that night and informed us that it was ten minutes until show time, Brigitte took some photos and we returned back upstairs to await the show.        


  On Stage: I was wondering just how Richie, Frank and Jens were going to react to sharing the stage with Big Bones and how he was going to work with them. Richie and the Bluenatics opened the show and then after two or three songs  Richie introduced the special guest for the evening -  Mr.Big Bones from the USA. This is the first time that I got to see the band supporting another star and Big Bones supported them as well, it was a perfect combination, part of this is due to the fact that they all played on Big Bones new CD. They played two long sets, and two encores, but the highlight came when Big Bones did a harmonica solo on the second encore, and this is how it went: He made his harmonica buzz like a Bumble Bee or a huge June Bug as he performed a twenty minute skit about this insect that was annoying him to no end. He kept swatting it away but with no effect it kept coming back to bother him, so after ten minutes of this activity Big Bones has had enough, he knocks it out of the air, it hits the stage floor and he stomps it with his big foot (all done pantomime) there done now it’s dead--- SILENCE--- he picks it up, places it in the palm of his hand and then realizes what he has done, Big Bones now starts to cry and at the same time begins to play taps for the deceased critter, the audience laughs out loud, after a minute of this a happy music mood starts to grow again, Big Bones is jumping up and down and moving from one side of the stage to the other in total joy. After a big dramatic finish the story is complete---a ten mimute roar from the crowd and then Big Bones invites Richie and the Bluenatics to join him for one last song.      

  Epilog: Big Bones is one of the most articulate,thoughtful and honest people that we have ever met, we enjoyed our time together and the chance to get to know this great talent better.


  CD Reviews: As stated Big Bones was putting together his cd’s for sale as we talked, Brigitte and I bought both that he was offering and here is our review: The first is called Giant Killers it was recorded in February of 1991 at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, Californa. It contains fifteen songs performed by Big Bones and Paul Pena (Paul Pena who is now known through his Genghis Blues fame). It is a very good material and it resembles a good bootleg recording, but it is only recommended for die hard blues collectors and fans of Big Bones and Paul Pena. The collection of songs is impressive but it is a little weak in some areas (to be honest) it is still worth adding to any good blues collection, if only for the moment it captures of these two in action. The strong songs to us are Bring Me My Shotgun,Terra Plane Blues, Too Poor to be Rich and Sitting On Top of the World (are my two favorites), and Untitled with Alvin Young Blood Hart on mandolin is a favorite of the fans.    

  Second CD: This brings us to Big Bones new effort released in 2002 titled “So Low”.

  Eleven new songs with soul, power, spunk, energy and passion in every song. Out of other peoples shadows and into his own light is what this cd is all about. Big Bones is in the prime of his life and this material reflects his new found freedom, it is strong, un-compromised and from his heart and soul. Every song has some twist or turn, a hook or a story to relay to the listener---listen.  This one has horns, a grand piano, and Richie Arndt on guitar on some of the songs. There is a booklet with all the words and stories of each song by Big Bones himself. More songs on this cd would make it no better, 11 is the right number and quality over quanity is better any day of the week as far as we’re concerned. Personally I would have liked the title song “So Low” to be about fifteen minutes long, it has all the makings of a number one hit to my way of thinking, on cd it is great but performed live it is even more impressive in it’s intensitiy. Date with the Blues is Brigitte’s favorite, and the Ghetto is reflective of what Big Bones told me is known as Harlem West in San Francisco.   

  This is the cd to purchase this year to add to your blues collection.  

        Concert Review, CD Review and all photos by Brigitte & Dave

for more photos click page 2  


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