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Press release

Champagne Charlie produces a new CD for the Roosevelt Study Center

The new album of the Zeeland blues and roots band is going to be called "Hobo Signs & Railroad Lines". Champagne Charlie follows the stories of the "hobos", who traveled around the United States on freight trains, as recorded in traditional and more recent ballads. The result is a musical journey through the wide American landscape, either on board a slow moving train, or traveling next to endless, dusty dirt roads.

Roosevelt Study Center 25 years

Champagne Charlie's interest in American history has been stimulated by its contact with the Roosevelt Study Center, the academic research institute located in the abbey of Middelburg, the capital of the Province of Zeeland. The Center's purpose is to conduct research and raise awareness of and interest in American history and U.S.-European relations, among other things by organizing conferences and seminars that bring scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to Middelburg. On Monday 19 September 2011 the Roosevelt Study Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Champagne Charlie: Highly regarded in the United States Champagne Charlie and the Center have cooperated before, particularly on the CD "Waitin' On Roosevelt" which received good reviews in the Netherlands and, as the reviews below demonstrate, in the United States itself.

Sing Out! Music Magazine:
"They do what they do very well, with some superb playing, deft arrangements and singing that sounds as American as anyone you'll ever hear."

The Old Time Herald:
"Even though English is not the first language for Champagne Charlie's personnel, there is no trace of an accent, and some of these singers sound and play a lot like the musicians whose songs they are covering. If you have an interest in history, you will learn a lot about life during the Roosevelt days. In fact, somebody teaching a twentieth century history course will probably reach students better using this as a "text" than any of the standard histories."

"Hobo Signs & Railroad Lines" will be presented at the Roosevelt Study Center's 25th anniversary on 19 September 2011.

For more information:

Review in the summer edition of Sing Out Magazine.  read it here»

Review Waitin‘ On Roosevelt from ‘Juke Blues‘.

By Ian Marriss - Juke Blues, the leading blues magazine in the world.

Review Waitin‘ On Roosevelt from ‘Block Magazine‘.

Champagne Charlie Waitin’ On Roosevelt Mr. Charlie’s Blues Records 2008-6 (73:38) (

The most prominent Dutch acoustic roots-band Champagne Charlie made this CD in co-operation with the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg (capital of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands)
On this CD they covered songs that were popular during the governing terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt (19331945). The subject of these songs was the president himself.
It is matter-of-course that Guido van Rijn who graduated in 1968 with his dissertation ‘Roosevelt’s Blues, African-American Blues and Gospel Artists on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’ provided the inlay with explanations and text transcriptions.
Just one glance at the packaging tells us that Champagne Charlie did not move in too hurried a manner. On the cover of the booklet, in front of “the Little White House” Roosevelt poses with his daughter Anna and a string-band (Bun Wright’s Fiddle Band) in 1933.
Beside the table of contests are the six gents of CC, sitting in front of a similar “White House”, (still) waiting on Roosevelt.
After just a few songs it is obvious that the Dutch band, who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, delivered their supreme production with this CD.
The executions are crisp and sparkling and the joy of these dedicated musicians virtually jumps through the speaker-boxes!
The virtuosi on strings, Theo de Koning and Geert de Heer - who by the way handle a wealth of vintage string instruments take care of the ever exciting accompaniment and solistic intermezzi.
And then there is Gait Klein Kromhof perhaps the only Dutch harmonica player whose style is drenched in that of the pre-war ancestors of the blues-harp. His playing mixes effortlessly with the sounds of old guitars (Kalamazoo, Hðfner, or National), mandolins and banjos.
The pleasant, “lived-in” voice of Sjef Hermans is the icing on the cake of which Peer Bout (bass) together with Peter Lenselink (percussions) form the bottom-layer.
This cd is produced under direct management and that shows us again that the established companies don’t expect any more financial gain from this type of music.
However, one day it will be clear that this product by Champagne Charlie should be in the top ten of the Dutch (“Neder”-) blues of all times and that within the sector “acoustic” it certainly belongs to the best blues ever produced within our dikes.

Block, Magazine for Blues, number 145, fall 2008 by Rien Wisse.

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