American license tags on the wall of the Motel California, Isernhagen.
Many of the venues we’ve been playing here in Europe are run by families, usually a husband and wife, sometimes with sons and daughters taking part. At the center of each venture you find the passion and unique vision of one person — the kind of person who makes things happen. Audiences will fill a room to see an unknown band from thousands of miles away because they trust that person’s vision.
Sure, there are people and venues like that in the United States, too. I can think of several right off the bat. We treasure them. But any working American musician will tell you those places are getting rarer every day.
Henry Gellrich and his family run the Blues Garage in Isernhagen, Germany. We did well there last year and better this year, with a good door and great CD sales. But that’s not what I think of when I think of playing the Blues Garage. I think of having a wonderful time with wonderful people. That includes the audience, too. I believe that if you make a good experience for people – and with people – the money will usually follow. If you go just for the money, then everyone’s experience will suffer.
“Fuck money,” says Henry, counting out a pile. “It’s only paper.”
Delta Moon with Ramona and Henry at the Blues Garage.