Tiger City Jukes
The Tiger City Jukes were founded in 1995 by singer/guitarist Knut Eide and guitarist Harald Stokke. They wanted to make a blues band that could go beyond just playing the good old standards and create a sound of their own. After playing with different rhythm sections the first year, they settled with bassist André Vrolijk and drummer Haakon Hansen. André Vrolijk was also a great singer and songwriter, and now they were three guys in the band to write songs.
Their first fulltime album, “White Line Fever” (Blue Mood/Tiger Records), was released in 1997 after extensive touring in the Scandinavian Countries. Eleven out of fifteen songs were originals, written by Eide, Stokke and Vrolijk. The album got good reviews by the Norwegian press, and gave the band a boost to keep on beating the highway.
In 1998 the band got in contact with harp wizard Rock Bottom from St. Pete, Florida. Bassist Vrolijk and drummer Hansen had been in Rocks backing band on three of his Norwegian tours, and Rock wanted to return the favour, to set the TCJ up with a tour in Florida. The tour came through in Jan/Feb ’99, and it was a great vitamin injection for a bunch of Norwegian blues-guys to get a trip to the US. They made eleven gigs from Tampa to Key West during a two weeks tour, and made a great success with the blues fans in the OJ State.
Their second album, “Ride in Style” (Blue Mood/Tiger Records) came in 1999, and this time, all the songs were originals except the new arrangement on the old standard “You Keep On Knockin’”. The band had now proven themselves as one of the leading blues bands in Scandinavia, and they appeared at all the major blues festivals in the area, besides their regular touring at the club circuit.
In 2000 the TCJ did a couple of tours in Norway with Rock Bottom as a guest star, and the next year Rock arranged a revisit to Florida for the Jukes.
Their third album, “Sex, Money and Violence” (Bluestown Records) was released in 2001. All original songs, and also a couple of steps off the beaten blues track.
For a long time, fans of the TCJ had requested a live album, to capture the energy from their performances. The band has above all, built up their reputation on being a high energy live band. And in December 2002 it finally came through, “Live – Dressed to Kill” (Bluestown Records) was their fourth album, and shows in a great way how an evening with the Tiger City Jukes can be.
In 2003 drummer Haakon Hansen left the band, and Espen Moen took his place.
In 2007, the Tiger City Jukes started working on new material for another album. During this time, bassist André Vrolijk took sick, and sadly he died in May 2008. This was of course a major setback for the band, and they didn’t get back on the road until autumn the same year. After using different bass players for a period, Atle Rakvaag joined the band in 2009, and the band took up the process of composing new material. Helge Hovland also joined as a third guitarist, adding a jagged rocking sound to the band.
The album Moonlight Crying (Tiger Records) was recorded in 2010, with producer Terje Johannesen, who also added brass, strings and keys to widen the sound of the music. Moonlight Crying is a dark, swampy rock album, and not like the latter blues based albums. One of the reviewers describes the music as somewhere in between The Doors and Kurt Weill.
The Tiger City Jukes are currently touring as a quartet: Knut Eide (voc/git), Harald Stokke (git), Atle Rakvaag (bs) and Espen Moen (dr).
Now the Tiger City Jukes have released their sixth album, “Live I Artilleriverkstedet” (Live in the Artillery Workshop). As the name says, its recorded live in a club established in an old navy artillery workshop in the city of Horten, Norway. The band wanted to recreate the vibe from their latter album and extended the band from a quartet to a nine-piece band.
The concert was also filmed, and a forty-five minutes video is available through the band’s YouTube channel.
Preforming on stage: Knut Eide, lead vocals and guitars; Harald Stokke, guitars and backing vocals; Helge Hovland, guitars and backing vocals; Atle Rakvaag, bass and backing vocals; Espen Moen, drums; Terje Johannesen, trumpet, guitar and percussion; Frode Groeting, Saxophones and percussion; Linda Kvam, backing vocals; Marianne Eide, backing vocals and percussion.
Additional backing vocals by Gabrielle Holand.
Recording engineer was Fredrik Fagerli Dahle, and Ulf Holand at Holand Sound did the mixing and mastering.