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World On Your Street: The Global Music Challenge
Little George Sueref
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Musician: Little George Sueref

Location: London

Instruments: guitar, harmonica and voice

Music: downhome blues and Southern soul

Listen  Listen (45'00) to Little George's set at the Europe in Union Concert, October 2003

Listen  Listen (03'41) to Little George Sueref play 'Feel So Lonesome' from 'Little George Sueref & The Blue Stars', Pussycat Records, PCD001

Little George Sueref is showcasing in the Europe in Union concerts.

'I've never really got into the British blues thing; it was straight to the source...'

How I came to this music:

I've always liked music. When I was a kid in Cardiff I used to like the Mowtown stuff, but I never had anything to do with music. My parents really liked music too, but they didn't play. My dad had an accordion but it never saw the light of day much. He was too busy working. I moved to London when I was 17 and used to go out to a lot of shows in the 1980s with a friend. One day he lent me a harmonica and once I picked the harp up I was hooked. Until I took music up, I didn't realise how much I'd missed it. I struggled away for about four months trying to teach myself and eventually got a few lessons from another friend, who (more importantly) also turned me onto the Chicago and Delta blues. I've never really got into the British blues thing; it was straight to the source, and it just happened by accident. When I first started playing in 1987, it just took over my life and everything else suffered, including my day job. Before I knew it, I only had the music. It was tough getting started, but after being with my first band for a year, I wound up joining my favourite blues band, Big Joe's Blues Kings, who introduced me to a lot of other music. Once I joined them, I knew there was no going back. There were no more day jobs. We toured all over and I stayed with them for about twelve years before going solo to concentrate on my own thing. People sometimes ask me about the fact that both my parents come from Greece and how that's affected my music. I heard a bit of rembétika and so on as a kid and though I wasn't interested in it at the time, I think it all goes in, deep in your brain somewhere and stays. Anyway, I'm starting to like it a lot more now.

Where I play:

Touring up and down this country is the most immediate thing I do. Funnily enough, the place I play least is probably London. I make my money from playing clubs all round the country, and in Europe and Scandinavia, where there's a big blues scene. We've played in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Germany and even Russia. Obviously we've also been to the States - this summer was our third trip, and time by time it's getting bigger and bigger over there. I'm also keen to go further to places like Japan and Australia.

A favourite song:

I Feel So Lonesome is from my album Little George Sueref & The Blue Stars. It's kind of an 'early blues'. About the time that I wrote this song, I literally was feeling quite lonesome. I had stuff going down in my life, and the people that I would have liked to have had around weren't around and I didn't feel like going anywhere. I was feeling kind of inward bound, and the words just came right out of my mouth and I knew that was the song. I think the trouble today with a lot of people playing the blues is that they fixate on the misery side of it, and blues and soul music is not really about that. It's about expression and just getting it out of your system. And it's joyful, too. I don't wanna make it a misery, I wanna make it joyfull! Having said that, this song really is kind of blues.
Click here for Hande Domac's storyClick here for Mosi Conde's storyClick here for Rachel McLeod's story

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