Monday, March 30, 2015


Interview by Patrick Van Denhove for

Introduction - Just to recall to our readers: my video review introducing Awek in March got very positive reader feedback on the proposed videos, so since I am living close to the French Valence, when not around the Cumbre del Sol, Spain - I jumped on the opportunity to interview the band, when their concert at the Valence South Novotel was announced for March 27th.


Joël FERRON : bassOlivier TREBEL : drums
CBBlues - We're happy to welcome you here at Valence for some exchanges about the news concerning Awek, whose high quality vids impressed our readers. However, I am a bit unhappy that we could not cosily sit in a lounge and make some nice pics all together.

Joël Ferron (bassist) - Yes, we're sorry for being late. 
As you know, we just celebrated our 20 years of shows (and road in the wheels), and we begin again with this 10-gig tour here in Valence, coming from our hometown Toulouse. However, close to here the metal bar of our trailer chose to break at 130 km/h on the highway that was filled with traffic, so it could have been a huge accident. Fortunately, it stayed with minimum damage.  

CBBlues - Yes, I see that the 20 years are underlined by issuing a wonderful book with DVD. Important to notice is that your renown is now well established in France making no special publicity for your gig, the Novotel had to "push the walls" in view of the 100 reservations it got. For us the public it is no surprise.

Once again I appreciated your professionalism in the quick set-up of the show. The Gibson 330 was as crystal clear as ever, your voice and Stéphane Bertolino's harp sounded as bluesy as we can dream.

Bernard SELLAM : vocals, guitars
Bernard Sellam (guitar and vocals) - Unlike some more specialized audiences, e.g. for jazz, sometimes the spectators of our shows are in most cases a mix of blues lovers and newcomers. It is a pleasure to see these newcomers discover the very natural, non-technical flow of the blues. It comes really from the body inside and not only from the brains. And they dance the jive when they realize that played fast the blues becomes rock and roll.

CBBlues - We noticed that your last album Rich and Famous is still the central pivot of the show, in addition to a few hits form blues legends like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Guitar Watson.

We appreciate also that your compositions are of two kinds: a part is pure Awek, I would say, and the others are a tribute to well known styles, like Chuck Berry or Slim Harpo.

Stéphane BERTOLINO : harmonica
Joël Ferron - Yes, but we are working on the next album, which will be the 9th. You heard two new tunes during this first set - The Way You Dance and Pretty Little Liar.  
As you have noticed, besides the 5 last albums, we recently issued a double album called "The Early Years". The reason behind it is that we are seeking  to find back the spirit of our beginning years in the 9th album.

CBBlues - Do you know that Costa Blanca is a dream area to live... and to play blues ?

Bernard Sellam - We were very honored to see CBBlues Webzine talking about us!
We know that there is an important blues loving population living there. The agendas as you know are mostly filled, and 8 hours driving is a long trip... But, if we could combine a gig at a Spanish festival and a jump to your community, then maybe...

CBBlues : Thanks again for these exchanges, and congratulations for your blues.

FOR READERS - Awek band was called back 3 times to encore and got standing ovation, and I got congratulations from the 30 newcomers I invited!!!!

Conclusion : Awek keeps it real, the blues tradition!