OK Edu Manazas (Edu Big Hands) is a bluesman from Madrid. This interview came about because Edu's manager Dina came by our jam looking for a gig for Edu. She liked my harp style and mentioned a duo possibly.
I went to a gig of Edu's when he was in Valencia and we played the blues and had a real laugh. We got off on each others playing, which will possibly lead to more in the future, but right now Edu is all over the country - and I got hungry goats to feed!
Thanks for taking time to chat with us at CBBlues.com. I had a great time with you guys at Green Espai Valencia - ja ja ja (ha ha ha) You were awesome, then again so was I, ja ja. joking...A great night.
BUDDY PAUL: I remember when we spoke a bit, you said you were hooked on the blues guitar right from day one, but how did you get your first taste of this soulful blues background? I mean like the first time you had the shivers down ya backbone? The hairs all standing up like you just met your one true love? Can you talk us through it with your influences?
EDU: Well, the first time I meet the blues, I remember that I heard Howlin Wolf, that song, Moanin’ at Midnight, and WOW that was it. It gave me cold chills up and down my spine man, jajajaja. I was instantly shocked, petrified, that voice, man, Hubert Sumlin’s guitar, the sound, wow, it was something else.
I was already a fan of Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Winter, but that sound, wow, that I never heard before. It was at that very moment that I realized that this was the music I wanted to play. I began to get into the blues more and more, and the more I dug the more I was hooked.
My influences, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Skip James, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Elmore James, Louis Mayers, Lightning Slim, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, to name just a few, there’s too many more.
BUDDY PAUL: Coming from Madrid and travelling all over the place, you are on a non stop circuit of true blues - along with festivals and club night life; Do you have a favorite festival or club in which you love more than others and when and where you there again?
EDU: Well, like BB King use to say, “Night life is not a good life, but it’s my life”. jajajaja. You can imagine, 20 years on the road, I have played almost every club and festival in Spain. There are so many places I like, but to me, the place I love the most is La Coquette Blues Bar in Madrid. I’ve been playing there for the last 20 years continuously and I must say that, and I agree with the great Bob Stroger when he speaks about this club, “It’s one of the best blues clubs in the world”.
BUDDY PAUL: I met you through your Manager Dina. An awesome girl...she came along to our jam at El lloc (every wednesday)..ja ja plug. And, we tried to get you a gig there but licensing and red tape got in the way, but for sure next time.
Dina told me all about you and when I heard you play, oh yeah, i said to myself.there's a goddamned bluesman right there. I know you don't just play solo but that you have a band called EDU Big Hands and Whiskey Tren. Are all the guys from Madrid?
* Members of Whiskey Tren include: Edu Manazas aka. Big Hands: vocal & guitar. Phineas Sánchez: bass. Oskar González: guitar and Enrique Parra Cascales : drums *
How long you guys been together and where did you meet? (There are videos on YouTube. .cool and and tight as hell). I love the way you roll from one track to another. Where can we get cds?
EDU: Yeah, Whiskey Tren have been my family for the last fifteen years. When I meet them, circa 1995, they were the backing band for artists like Ñaco Goñi and Tonky De La Peña. One night at a club in Madrid called Down Town, they came to me with the idea of be my backing band and we’ve been together since then.
In the fifteen years that we’ve been playing together, we become a very solid band. The guys don’t need to know what we’re going to play because I improvise every night and they follow me all the way. Love these guys!!
Well, the cd’s, you have to come to see us in concert to buy the cd’s, that’s the catch, jajajaja.
BUDDY PAUL: Edu could you tell us your favorite artist, guitar and amp? I know the amp, ja ja ja and they are still heavy - ja ja .
EDU: It’s not possible for me to answer that question naming just one artist. There are too many people I admire.
I have been playing my Fender Strat for the last fifteen years and in love with her. And the amp, you know it, my ultra heavy Fender Twin Reverb Silverface from the 70’s, jajajajaja, I’m a Fender guy, jaja…
FULL CONCERT VIDEO
BUDDY PAUL: Can you remember your first live gig and tell us how it went? Were your knees a knocking and all that? ja ja
EDU: Wow, that was long time ago. I don’t remember exactly how it was cause I was a little drunk that night, so, jajajaja, but, it was a great night, that I remember.
BUDDY PAUL: We talked about Paul Orta and Tonky de Pena from Madrid and that you know them well, so is there a cool blues scene in Madrid? Could you let us know who has had the pleasure of accompanying you through your blues time here on earth?
EDU: Yes, today the blues scene in Madrid is so cool with some very talented young musicians keeping the blues alive. However, there’s not as many clubs as years ago to play thanks to the economic crisis, but yes - the blues is alive and well in Madrid.
Along this years I've had the pleasure of meet and play with lots of very fine musicians. I did play with Buddy Miles, Ñaco Goñi, Paul Orta, Tonky De La Peña, Phil Guy, Bob Stroger, Richard Ray Farrell, Lurrie Bell, John Primer and Paul Tidiman, don’t remember everybody. I’ve had also the pleasure of being the opening act for blues legends as Johnny Winter, Billy Boy Arnold, Sonny Rhodes….Ok I will stop at lucky 7.
BUDDY PAUL: Do you have any plans for the future, like playing with me? ja ja ja - Any Cds released, and thanks for mine Edu. its nearly worn out. I think there will be a difference next time we meet, in a good way!
Would you be into playing for us at a CBBlues Social Party? I think it's got to be on the calendar for this year. It would be awesome .If you send your diary of dates when anD where's, we will post them for you, if you like?
EDU: Well, I don’t really care much about the future, jajajaja, nah, seriously, keep on making music, making friends and having fun everyday, that’s all I wish for.
On the business side, jajaja, actually I’m involve in a couple of music projects with very fine musicians that I have the feeling are gonna be something people are going to like a lot. I’m also working in a couple of new albums, one with my band and one alone and acoustic. I will keep you guys posted about any news.
BUDDY PAUL: Thanks again Edu for talking to us, and for making a harp players night in more ways than one...
EDU: Thanks Paul, for your interest, for your kind words and for your efforts in keeping the blues alive.