Rambling with 49 Special

Posted by Dee-Ann On October - 12 - 20114,136 views

49 Special

I saw 49 Special on a Rock around Turnhout compilation DVD and was immediately amazed by their sound and songs. I bought their cd “Trails of Evil” as soon as I got my hands on one. I love the songs and also the cd sleeve. You can call their music, roots, country, rockabilly. This band from Portugal plays regularly in the Northern part of Europe, like Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. They just had a minitour, came back from Germany and “landed” on Eindhoven The Netherlands, to entertain us at The Rambler.

49 Special: Pedro

Cowboyhats, -boots and a steelguitar are the main attraction on stage. The first set they played some songs from the cd Trails of Evil “I don’t believe”, but also their own version of Lovers Rock, Why Baby Why Baby (heard the Secret Sisters version of that song some weeks ago). Singer and frontman Pedro is a very energetic person who sometimes has the moves of a Spanish matador, who makes his own bandmembers laugh. With his voice he growls and yodels. The audience loves his talk and their music too. Their steelguitar player also played the banjo and trumpet.

After the first set I asked their tourmanager Peter about the bands tour. He organises short tours of 3 or 4 gigs a couple of times a year. They just came back from Germany. Pedro had time for a little talk in the dressingroom. The other guys immediately started joking, so I got this first impression that they have fun, not only on stage, but backstage too.

49 Special

Pedro Serra, has been playing in bands for 25 years now. By the way he talks you’d think he is an American guy. He lived in Denver from 1994 – 1995 and played with Mario and Jorge in the Tennesse boys. At that time he learned to pronounce the alphabet with an American accent, so that is why he sounds that way.
His favorite country is Portugal but the Belgian audience, he thinks is the best.
In the meantime all the bandmembers and more, came into the dressingroom to eat. Pedro offers me some food and even a shrimp, but I said “No thank you” everytime so he replied “You’re welcome”. Well, he made me feel very welcome.

The band 49 Special started 14 years ago. Pedro Serra: vocals and acoustic guitar, Jorge Fortunato: steel guitar, mandoline and trumpet, Mario Morais: Lead and acoustic guitar, Ernesto Morais: upright bass, Nuno Gomes: drums.

They have 3 cd’s out. The first is called Cornbread Fred’s Hideaway. A Western Swing cd released by a French label in 1999. That cd is sold out as is their second cd Dark Lonesome Road from 2002. Their third cd was released in 2007.

49 Special

They are working on their forth cd which will be released the first quarter of 2012. Pedro writes all the songs.
When I asked him where he would want to play next, if he could choose, he answered Australia and Japan. Japan because of their culture and deep respect for their parents, grandparents and older people in general.

The Dutch audience is always a bit hard to please, although they enjoy the music very much, it takes a while for them to move. Pedro said he does not care, because he enjoys playing and performing anyway.

After they finished their Chinese food, they started the second set… without their bassplayer. He was standing outside totally unaware of the band starting again. But their sleeve designer Gito (who seemed to be a very talented, award winning designer and also bass playing) was called on stage to play some songs with them, until Ernesto arrived. Never a dull moment with 49 Special!

49 Special





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