“We are better known there than here”

“We are better known there than here”

It’s not every day that a Dutch blues band is nominated for a major prize in Hollywood. That prize is actually won, and that too for members

A surprise from North Holland. “We were already in America for shows and we only stuck with it for a week.”

Strickstad spoke with Claudio Guliger, bassist of the band Central JVD. He lives in Heilou, “but before that in Alkmaar” – so a native of the area. At the same time the American blues became world famous. Because HIMAwards, it is nothing. “It’s the Grammys for independent music. But because the major labels aren’t involved, there’s less publicity,” explains Guliger. That’s not to say there wasn’t a big unpacking on site, the red carpet was literally rolled out for the blues rockers from North Holland.

“We’re better known in America than we are here,” says Guliger. The band JVD is named after Jeroen van Duijl, a singer and guitarist from Enkhuizen. “At first it was Jeroen Van Duyl Band, but Americans can’t pronounce it. JVT Band, it’s getting better.” The JVT Band plays the blues, but firmly. “In the Netherlands, you hear people think it’s too loud, too rock for the blues. But in America that’s not a problem. They think it’s good that we don’t sound American. A little bit different.” According to Guliger, the JVT Band owes its accolades at the HIMAwards. (Text continues below image)

This is what HIMAward looks like. (Photo: Facebook/JVT Band)

The song ‘Blues Moon Shines’ from the Southern Comfort album caught the attention of the band JVT. American guitarist Tommy Stilwell played the song. “Southern Comfort is our fourth album,” says Guliger. “We’re working on a fifth now.” That fifth album may score high on the other side of the big puddle, as the JVD band took the spotlight. In Francine Marseille they found a lawyer who could bring the band a lot of new shows in America.

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After Thursday evening’s award ceremony, Guliger was already on a plane to the Netherlands. But the gift is still in America: “There is our guitarist, who will take it with him.” Although America is calling now, of course. In principle, the JVT band plays there every year, says Guliger. But that might be a bit much now.

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