CD and Tracks: CD Baby
“Papa John Kolstad’s Gibson dates back to 1935 and when it sings, it moans the old stories of hobos hopping empty trains, grandparents recalling slow dances in dusky bars, a man’s first glass of self-made moonshine. Teaming up with bassist/trumpeter Sam Fiske, jazz guitarist Dean Mikkelson, and Encyclopedia of the Harmonica inductee Clint Hoover, Kolstad swings through early blues, ragtime, bluegrass, and jug-band based tunes like a Dorothea Lange slide show projector. Kolstad’s six string was built to carry that history, and Kolstad himself, a weathered, bearded acoustic blues legend, could be the physical manifestation of his guitar’s long years.”
Melissa Maerz, City Pages
“This CD is guaranteed to make you smile and get on your feet and start shaking your principle and interest.”
Felien, Pulse of the Twin Cities
Papa John Kolstad and the Hot Club of East Lake Street
Peter Krampert, Author, The Encyclopedia of the Harmonica
This time I’ve been listening to Papa John Kolstad and the Hot Club of East Lake’s self-titled CD. It’s not so much like the Hot Club style Jazz that originated with Django, but more like Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, which is still quite awesome. The music is very well arranged and Clint Hoover’s playing of both the diatonic and chromatic show that he’s an utter master of the instrument. The album’s liner notes boast that Clint’s playing has earned him a place in the Encyclopedia of the Harmonica and it couldn’t be any truer.
Papa John introduces the Hot Club of East Lake, an assembly of virtuoso players firmly rooted in early blues, swing tunes, jugbands and jazz.
Oriented toward the small ensembles exemplified by Washboard Sam, Leroy Carr and Django Reinhardt, their music gets its drive and rhythm from the guitars. This creates an openness that allows the lead instruments to shine through, from Clint’s incredible soaring harmonica to Deano’s “note bursts,” to Sam’s big fat trumpet notes and Papa’s guitar licks.
You might remember Papa John Kolstad from his collaboration in the 70’s with harmonica player Mike Turk and their classic record Beans Taste Fine.