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ON THE BLUES WAVE
Jul 1, 2019

“Outback Blues Company” from Smolensk is scheduled to take part in the open air project “Festival Picnic” at the Victory Square on 15 July (21.15).

The band, founded by the guitarist and vocalist, the songwriter Dmitry Zhlobnitskiy, gave its first concert in December 1998. In 1999, two songs from the band’s repertoire (“Can You Help Me” and “Night City Lights”) were included in the Smolensk rock collection “Call Waiting”.

The quartet announced its musical concept and name with an ambiguous interpretation. On the one hand, “outback” means a geographical place, a desert area in central Australia (in American slang it is an abandoned area, a wasteland), while on the other hand, the compound of two words reflects the group’s position: “out” of the modern mainstream and “back” to the origins of the blues, jazz, rock and roll.

“Outback” has been true to the chosen style throughout the years, since the blues, as commented by the band’s front man Dmitry Zhlobnitskiy, is “a comprehensive concept, real live music with nothing artificial, and it comes from the soul.”

Today’s repertoire of “Outback” counts over 200 songs including self-written and cover versions of the world-known blues hits.

Over the years, “Outback” has performed at biker shows in Moscow, music festivals “Empty hills”, “Smolensk project”, “The blues on seven hills”, “Country Bridge Moscow”, in Moscow and Smolensk clubs, toured across the Russian cities. The Belarusian blues-lovers could also hear the Smolensk group in the clubs of Minsk and Gomel.

“We’ve performed in Vitebsk more than once, we’ve recently been in “Cherdachok” club, where we played before,” said Dmitry. “I’ve been to the festival “Slavianski Bazaar” to see and listen to what interested me, but, as performers in the center of Vitebsk, “Outback” will appear for the first time. We are delighted to be invited to the festival, of course, and we are ready to do our best, we promise the drive. Our style is a bit of Texan style, it’s hot. We’ll play a program to explore the world of the blues... And we are no strangers to open air, we know it by the festivals in Smolensk.”

- In Smolensk you were visited by American performers, the “bearers” of the blues traditions. Did you have a chance to team up with them for performances?

- Since I deal with the organization of festivals and I’ve got many friends in music community, I have the opportunity to invite foreign performers. We’ve received Phil “Big Daddy Blues” Speat several times, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter Joe Vestich, California Blues musician Chris Cain, who, by the way, was nominated for the Blues Music Awards last year as the best guitarist of the year. We teamed up with them, and it was an exciting experience, expanding the musical boundaries. Especially working with such a luminary as Phil Speat. So, we picked up great experience from, let’s say, the original performers of the blues music.

- The band’s name says that you position yourself outside the mainstream, but it often happens that lovers of the genre appear to exceed the narrow circle of aesthetes. How can you describe your audience?

- That's an interesting question, indeed. We’ve recently been to the festival “Vysokoe fest”. So near the monitors there was a crowd of 3-4 year olds, and the oldest audience members were, most likely, aged about 75. That's it, such a big audience. I'm telling you, the music is real, live…

- Joining is a must! Does “Outback” release albums?

- Our discography is not big, just four albums. The last one, “Rolling man”, was released in 2013. But we’ve recorded a single “Would you gonna be my baby”, it's my song. Just got it from the studio. We should release a new disc, but we somehow got carried away with touring, performances in clubs and had no time to do that.

- So, it is possible that you will present a single in Vitebsk?

- No big deal, we’ll play!

Click to hear the recent single