From our friend Feelgood comes this story about 13’s Jan. 30, 1998, gig at Bolwerk, videos of which are available on YouTube. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a fine read nonetheless. More accurate translations are appreciated.
LESTER BUTLER PLAYS BLUES THE WAY IT SHOULD BE
by Jacob Haagsma, Leeuwarder Courant
Jan. 20, 1998
SNEEK — From Pinkpop to a club room for a few hundred people. Lester Butler is not the first to reverse this road test. Ever since his previous band Red Devils, loudly applauded and enjoined by such greats as Mick Jagger and Rick Rubin. But now this singer-harmonica player is again on his own.
Though that’s not entirely true, because he is supported by a first-rate, bright-playing band. Main playmaker in 13 is guitarist Alex Schultz, with an intensely vicious attitude but at the same time never losing sight of the swing. As befits actually.
Because yes, 13 plays the blues like it actually hears, but as that too little hear. By going to the harrowing intensity that the original black practitioners laid decades ago, at least, these pale boys from Los Angeles are close. And with the raw energy of today, as if they traveled on skateboards to Sneek have rather than in a narrow coach.
Including the brisk rhythm section, with loosely pounding, thundering drums and functional, ie no note-counting, bass. Live the songs are less pointed than the extremely elementary produced, self-titled debut CD. Butler and Schultz let themselves often go into long solos, but they seem to charge less to run than show muscle to pure fun.