Eutin, Germany Blues Fest by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

Posted on 1/04/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

(Memphis, TN) Here's the author blowing harp through friend Ludo's 1959 Bassman at the Eutin Bluesfest last May. This festival and our Reba Russell Band European tour was the highlight of the past year so I have gone back with pictures, a little prose and a little video from YouTube to take you to the scene of some splendid times, great music and the most beautiful vistas I have countenanced.

Photos of author by Aigars Lapsa

Aigars Lapsa's photos are some of the best photos of BLUES performers you will ever see...seriously.

Visit Aigars' site. You will be truly glad you did. Click here:

Shopkeeper's previous experience creates job for sign-painter

my friend, James Harmon and me

James Harmon is as witty and comedic as he is musically talented Everybody knows that he's a great harp player and singer, but did you know James also plays Hammond B-3? He do!

the author demonstrates deluxe autobahn driving

Wayne Russell in full ostrich mode
(no chloroform was used to produce this photograph...I swear)

It became apparent, after some time, that some white-knuckled vehicle occupants felt the author drove too close to the other drivers on the road. Of course, this was by no means true.

the trusty unscathed Ford Transit brimming with gear and luggage
brings us to the hotel just as Wayne comes up for oxygen

Readying the stage in the afternoon

Josh Roberts, on left, ponders best strategy for the high jump, up and over,
onto the stage...
a bit later we showed him the stage steps.

Shirts for sale to a interesting mix of shoppers, blues fans...
and a rather large contingent of pirates evidently. Who knew?

My dear friend, Helge "Nick" Nickel, who brought us to this beautiful place and allowed us to play for these awesome BLUES fans. Thank you, Nick and Barbara! We love you!

Nick's brilliant and delightful lady, our friend
Barbara. They treated us like family.

Nick feeds us all, yet again, a stunning lunch, cafe style with fresh pickled herring...outstanding!

Doug McMinn scans for Doc Johnson items at the market

Wayne Russell looks for the bass strings on this crazy zither

verdant Germany

Our lovely hotel entrance

The view out my eastern window

canola fields, yellow blooms in full force

looking out my eastern window at future canola oil

View outside my northern window

Running into this room after much food and drink, this would be your view

Walking outside my hotel door...

and down these steps...

then down the hall...

out the hotel door...

past this lantern to...

the courtyard (I was told repeatedly no guests over 120 kilos should get on the slide) and then down...

this flight of steps...

to the foot of the hill south of the hotel...

where down the path... lies the beautiful lake! Sweet, eh?

a Silvan wonderland

hotel at night, peaceful and carjackings, not a one

Josh cases the place. For several days, Nick had provided us with a carte blanche at the Old Windmill, which, with me being in the band, was an extraordinarily brave move on his part.

Everyone needs one of these

Lurking outside of the Old Windmill at sunset, I am hungry and the grillteller awaits! The grillteller (literally "grilled platter") consists of quantities of every meat in the universe...grilled to perfection. That, some calamari, and a few dozen Bitburgers made for a lovely repast and a most pleasantly sated evening in northern Germany.

As an added boon and blessing, there was absolutely no English television in our hotel rooms. I read, pressed up a few gallons of canola oil, and set my alarm so as to avoid missing breakfast which included several kilo-tons of fresh bread, rolls, and muffins, multiple jams and marmalades, eggs prepared in all ways humanly possible, sausages, delicious braunschweiger, salami and carpaccio, fresh fruits and fruit juices, cereal and no grits. I drank lots of coffee, went really heavy on the pig's liver and carpaccio and always had a huge nap after breakfast...always.

A quick sprint in the door...

Now we're talkin'!

Josh Robert's heavy metal guitar for serious shredders only.
Please, bring your own doily.

one of over forty seven thousand pictures I have of Wayne Russell eating,
over 38.7 thousand are dessert shots

most impressive in presentation and flavor

Reba in the roses at the Old Mill

An elegant restaurant, bar and blues a windmill

flowers outside the Old Mill

The next day we are honored to sign the Golden Guest Book at the town hall in Eutin, where many dignitaries were assembled and champagne was served to all. It was a great moment for the band to be shown such love and kindness. Later we go for a bit of shopping in the town square before the vendors depart and the music begins.

Candy, little girls?

now this is a legit post box

Josh Roberts and Doug McMinn, who appears in his new Spiderman line of garments

There was a small undercurrent of giggling and speculation that this was an earlier painting of the band's keyboardist.

my dear friend Horst, who helped us all immeasurably and was the kindest and most considerate of hosts

James Harmon signs the Golden Book in the midst of a host of local dignitaries

view of the town square or centruum, outside of the town hall

Gettin' down to bidness... in the rain. These stalwart BLUES fans stood in the rain for over 3 hours to hear the music! God, I love BLUES fans!

Video time:

And here's Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms blowing some of Little Walter's "Juke":

Later, we jam at the Old Mill...still later, Josh and Wayne discuss wearing plaids and laugh at the keyboard player who has been suckered into taking pictures of these drunken friendly souls...

Doug and Amanda McMinn, Wayne and Reba Russell, Josh Roberts
catch the breeze from the windmill

The next day we strike out for the Baltic Sea and I, having been unfairly prohibited from taking the wheel, sample some of the case of hot beer, labeled "Best Beer," I kid you not, which was given to us by our good friends in Enschede, Netherlands, where we played earlier at the Nix BBBlues Club. this club is also know by the band as the "wall of amps" because they have a ton of ancient old tube amps stacked on one wall. This year I played a 1946 Montgomery Ward amp which I took off the wall and put up on stage. There are no clubs this cool in the United States...none.

Zum Farmer,the home of tasty snacks found on our Baltic Sea journey. German, Chinese, Vietnamese food all under the same roof.

Wayne Russell appears to intensely study blueprints for an atom collider or perhaps is at least acting interested in the GPS before handing it over to the more technologically savvy Josh. I was not consulted on this matter as I made it clear I strictly had dining and libations on my mind. What's that behind Reba's head?

Ah, the origins of the chef become clear now.

This elephant, while not on the menu, was a prominent topiary feature of the beer garden at the the multi-national Zum Farmer. That's zum pachyderm shrubbery you got there, farmer.

Josh re-assembles the GPS and sets our course for water.

Eureka, the Baltic Sea!

Wayne finds the seaside to be sac freezing and retreats forthwith.

Conversely, Josh is either ok with it or protecting himself with a hands-on stance.

Sheep and...

a nearby sign which I conjecture translates "do not molest sheep."

On the drive back, canola-rama

Germany was really too good to be true and our hosts so kind as to feed us in their homes and luxuriate us in magnificent surroundings. This is a magic place full of very kind people and my most sincere hope is that I get an opportunity to return as soon as possible. Thank you all so much.

Here's a link to the festival:

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©2009, Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

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