Raphael Wressnig - Playin' like a Rock star.Story, interview and photo by Chris Koppers
Raphael Wressnig is a self-made organ player from Austria. He earned the British Columbia Music Award - best Blues album of the year 2009. Moreover, he also earned best critics from Concerto (Austrian magazine for Jazz/Blues). His sturdy organ, built in the 1970's, enables him to transmit his vision of music. Rapheal joined Larry Garner Blues band for several gigs worldwide.
Additionally, he shared his musical experience with Louisiana Red, Sugar Blue, James Armstrong, John Mooney and many more.
How was your “I become an organ player”?
I early commenced playing piano and I eventually switched over to organ, because this instrument ignited a passionate and dynamic fire in me. The Hammond organ is transmits my music I want to express.
Your Hammond organ seems to be a vintage instrument. Why do you play with this kind of organ?
It grants me the opportunity to play in “orchestral” mode. I really appreciate playing in a trio, and moreover, producing vibrancy and intensity. Naturally, there are newer instruments with all the possibilities what an old organ can do, albeit the old Hammond organ creates a sound, which is matchless. It should be a reason why well-known fiddlers, for instance, take a Stradivarius and defer a modern plastic fiddle.
Your career shows a lengthy list of collaborations with top-notch musicians. Is there sill someone you would like to be on stage with?
I am a gleeful musician and I appreciate collaborations with folks I currently have gigs scheduled and I am always pleased to learn new people and I am always thrilled to work with them. Speaking of that, it is regretful, because they passed away, but I would like to have an organ combo with Albert Collins (guitar) and Al Jackson Jr. (drummer of MG’s). That would be it!
What are your plans for the upcoming months?
A full schedule with awesome gigs in Germany, Austria, Letvia, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Where will you see yourself in 2013?
I will be on stage with euphoric people/audience – hopefully.