Chris Kramer

Biography

"Crazy" Chris Kramer - the many-sided harp-player

Chris went out into the world to "redefine the context of contemporary harp playing", so says Götz Alsmann, who is a very famous artist in Germany and doctor of musicology, when he was asked to give a comment on Kramer's music.

One thing is that Chris is at home when it comes to Blues und he is living it out like only few do in Germany but then again, he is a creative trouble spot giving the word trouble a good connotation. He always comes up with something new no one thought about doing, that's why colleagues started to call him "Crazy" Chris.

And now after being a professional artist for more than fifteen years he can not only retrospect on much more than a thousand gigs and ten CDs but also on the fact that he always accepted a new challenge.

His most-loved project is called "Chris Kramer and his Groove Hands". The line-up seems to be unusual. But the sound of violin together with Chris' harp is fresh, independent and still powerful and virtuoso. Here, Chris can show all of his talent, right through all kinds of styles and rhythms no matter if it is gypsy-swing as of Django Reinhart, Funk, Swing, Bossa Nova or Country. Chris always hits the right tone and is master of all styles music has to offer.

On his CD with the title "Komm' mit!" (2008) he again enters fresh ground singing the Blues in his native language, German. He asserts that he emulated his musical idols for much too long finding now finally to himself as an artist. To express the variety of feelings that are part of his songs in one's mother-tongue is much more comfortable for Kramer. Consequently, he digged his own way, his more than 400 harps always by his side, not caring about clichés.

Turn of the year 2008/2009 should be an absolute highlight on this way. He travelled to the USA to record his new album "...unterwegs". "Crazy" and brave enough to contact some of his musical heroes, he managed to unite them on this record. So every single song could be taped with the instrumentation of his dreams. Amongst others he got the support of: Mel Gaynor - world class drummer of Simple Minds, Chuck Leavell - keyboard Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Allman Bros. Band, and as he wanted to catch the authentic Chicago blues in his album he made no compromises: He brought the original musicians of the Muddy Waters Band on board.

Last but not least he visited Mick Taylor in London, who adds his fulminant slide-guitar as a proper opener for the cd. During this trip Chris was also performing on countless stages together with other artists. Always on his side: a camera team to film all the highlights and bring it to the cinemas as a documentary.

He and his harps though started another new project due to the fact that he cannot stand still and his will to face the challenges wherever sighted. Now, he is also performing chorales on blues-harp at churches whereby he uses the Hohner XB-40 in general.

Alongside to his occupation as an author, he offered all kinds of harmonica workshops. Chris Kramer is also established in the European music scene as a singer and guitar player giving solo and duet concerts as well as going on tour with a band line-up usually consisting of an additional guitar, piano, drums and bass.

 

Chris Kramer PLAYS