An official Ambassador for the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024,
Andres Roots is an Estonian slide guitarist and songwriter whose music has
received airplay on five continents and whose 2016 LP “Roots Music”
remains the only blues album ever to top the sales charts in the Baltics.
Introduced in the book “100 Years of Estonian Music” as the country’s
“internationally best-known player of pure blues”, Roots’ latest release “Vol.
12” has invoked comparisons with not just the heyday of Mississippi Delta
Blues but also with Davy Graham, Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder – and even acoustic
“Musicians of this sort run counter to all expectations, and upset various
purists,” writes the American jazz critic Ted Gioia in the Honest Broker piece
“12 Outstanding New Albums by 12 Artists from 12 Countries”. “It’s almost as
if muddy waters were flowing into the Gulf of Riga.”
Roots (his real name!) first visited the UK with his then-band Bullfrog Brown in
December 2006 and has since performed everywhere from London to Shetland
– just never in Leeds. His last UK shows were with Dave Arcari in Scotland in
2019, coinciding with a Blues in Britain cover story and producing half of Roots’
2020 live album ”Mississippi to Loch Lomond”; most of the rest of that CD was
recorded at the Deep Blues Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
“Never afraid to experiment and aim for innovation, Roots seems always to be
turning out and delivering fresh blues with its own distinct innovative twist and
purpose,” states Iain Patience in Blues Matters! magazine. “Roots is possibly at
his best armed with a resonator and bottleneck slide where his picking is never
short of top-quality, zinging, rippling, and pushing the edges of true, pure, raw
blues with an apparent self-assurance and ability.”