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Steve Brings the Blues to the Netherlands During European Tour

Steve was recently abroad with stops in Netherlands and Italy. The folks at Concert Monkey we kind enough to give Steve a nice review. Check it out!

Steve Arvey. Backing Band; Fat Harry & The Fuzzy Licks.

December 15, 2019 - Zaal Thijssen - Vlierden, Netherlands

REVIEW: Concert Monkey - Berry Rombouts/Photos - Alain Broeckx

The American blues guitarist Steve Arvey made a stop in the Netherlands for his European tour. And in Vlierden of all places. To be honest, I had never heard of the man or read anything about him. He was born in Chicago, has lived in Cuba and currently lives in Florida. He plays Chicago and Delta blues. He has earned his spurs as a bass guitarist with Bo Diddly and Hubert Sumlin. In recent years he has also been known in America as a promoter of cigar box guitars.

I assume that Theo Brouwer once saw Steve Arvey at work during his scouting trips in America. Steve had played with Harold van Dorth in America once (1990s), and that clicked. So Steve now has a good relationship for the Vlierden gig. Harold’s band; I only knew Fat Harry & the Fuzzy Licks by name, so I was very curious about their performance this afternoon.

Steve starts his performance with a sad song; Poor Boy on his Habana Smoke cigar box guitar. Such a guitar sounds especially good when Steve plays a slide there, but also good at Steve’s finger picking game. In the Canned Heat cover Going up the Country Steve continues to enjoy a whimpering slide game on his cigar box guitar.

After these 2 songs I am happy when Steve brings out his Fender, because I love the real guitar sounds more. In the mid tempo song Feel so Bad Steve plays wonderful solos on his Fender, accompanied by sparkling organ playing by Arjen. In the long slow blues Ain’t Nobody’s Business, Steve shows that he also stands his ground vocally, with a few firm blows. He has a pleasant, powerful voice, ideal for singing blues. The string play of Steve and Harold is excellent in this song, and Arjen puts himself in the spotlight with a sparkling piano and driving organ solo. Highlight.

The Fuzzy Licks lineup inlcudes; Harold van Dorth, guitar, vocals * Jacco van den Heuvel, drums * Arjen van de Oever, keys and Donald van der Goes, bass.

Steve’s own swinging song Cold Wind in Chicago has some jazzy influences, with a few breaks in it and subtle guitar playing by Steve and Harold. Harold is partly responsible for the vocals and the guitar solo in the Bobby Rush song Chicken Heads.

Steve now takes a very strange guitar from the rack. It turns out to be a guitar made from an ax handle. This is made from Canadian wood by a Canadian friend of his. Steve plays the slide in the song Rollin ‘and Tumblin’. Steve is really a slide virtuoso. That fact that Steve likes multiple music styles is clear from his own song Too Much Funk in the Trunk. The Fuzzy Licks are also at home playing multiple styles and play this funk great. Technical drumming by Jacco, driving and swirling organ playing by Arjan, grooving bass by Donald and nice guitar reefs by Harold. The tune of the Flintstones is woven into it at the end by Steve. After this funk explosion, it’s time to recover a moment with the slow blues number Hug my Pillow. Steve closes this set with a nice boogie song, Heads in Missisippi. A great applause follows.

The encore is a slow blues, Missisippi Winds. Steve sings raw and conjures up ominous slid sounds from his cigarbox guitar. After 1.5 hours, this great performance by Steve Arvey and his backing band Fat Harry & the Fuzzy Licks comes to an end. The Brouwer Brothers had a good weather with these good bands.

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