Michael Roach is a regular performer at the annual Kastav Blues Festival in Kastav, Croatia. Michael is the founder of the European Blues Association and serves as its director of development, secretary, and newsletter editor. He specializes in acoustic blues and is a real good guy to know. Some of his music can be found here:
Jerry Ricks was another acoustic Delta bluesman whom I had the pleasure of knowing before his unfortunate death in 2007. He had recently moved to Croatia and was planning to call Kastav his official hometown. Jerry mastered his craft under the guidance of some of the greatest legends in the history of the blues, including Son House, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Libba Cotton, Jesse Fuller, Mance Lipscomb, and Lonnie Johnson. A glorious recording of his can be found here:
A klapa is a harmonized singing group, similar to a barbershop quartet, usually consisting of between five and fifteen members. Klapa groups are indigenous to Croatia and are most popular along the Dalmatian coast. The songs they sing are usually traditional Croatian ones and, while the music may not be to everyone’s taste, I have come to enjoy listening to this unique style of music. In fact, I can remember many fine evenings drinking wine and eating cheese and olives while enjoying the performance of a klapa.
This CD of the Klapa Maslina is a good example of a traditional Croatian klapa and would be an appropriate representation for a new listener of this style of music.