Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime
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Arsen Shomakhov & Ragtime

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The best kept secret in music


"Arsen Shomakhov : Troublemaker"

Arsen Shomakhov hails from Russia & "Troublemaker" is his new 11-track CD album. In his home country he is widely reckoned to be the number 1 hotshot Blues guitar slinger . . . on hearing his playing for the first time you soon recognise that you are listening to an extremely accomplished player. Arsen lines up one track each by Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker & Jimmy Vaughan . . . the remaining 8 cuts are his own compositions, a mix of songs & non-vocal pieces. Notable by their impact & presence are Aslan Zhantuyev (bass) & Sultanbek "Bek" Mamyshev (drums) with very tasteful tenor sax on 3 tracks by Grigory Martirosyan. From swing to shuffle to dirty funk Arsen Shomakhov & his band have all bases covered, I predict that folks further afield will soon begin to experience Mr Shomakhov's soulful delivery. - Charlie Gray,

"Heavy Steppin'"

first recieved a copy of their album entitled HEAVY STEPPIN' back in July 2003, and to tell you the truth all I knew about Russian music at the time was what I had seen and heard in the old movies. When the album arrived I was in for a shock, from the very second the first guitar notes were heard I knew I was in for a treat. Well I guess your saying to yourself at this very precise moment, why should I listen to a Russian blues band when I can listen to the old time favourites well these three guys have achieved in bringing home the sound that many of us only thought about being able to achieve and they do it in style. - Glenn Williams,

"Arsenic Blues"

Being a "Blues" Radio "DJ" for 10 years, you get some great artists that seem to "Raise The Bar" a few notches, and when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes this Russian bluesman, who goes right over the top. Such is young Russian blues player Arsen Shomakhov, and Ragtime. Blues for me is, feel it in the "guts" stuff, and from the first track, that's exactly where it got me. Not only can this guy write great new feel blues material, but sing it, and put his brand on it as well. Two albums I recieved, and they haven't left my player (except for airplay). Now, we all know blues is World Wide "Boy" and aren't we glad. Russian blues has given us Arsen Shomakhov! If you're still a "Non Believer" check out some "Sound Bites" on this website, and your ears will thank you for it. Arsen my "Man", go forth, and multiply, more music of this calibre will only enhance the the way people purceive our great genre of music that we call "BLUES". May You All Have Them... - Terry Iredale, Blues DJ, Australia


Heavy Steppin' - 2002
Troublemaker - 2003
(included in top 25 albums of Australian radio porgram "Blues beat" in December 2003, January-February 2004)
Radio Holstebro (Denmark)
Blues Radio Germany
Radio NRK P-1 (Norway)
Radio Blues Beat (Australia)
Radio RCC (Italy)
Radio Blue Ears (The Netherlands)
Radio Echo of Moscow (Russia)
Radio Arsenal (Russia)
Radio of Russia
Internet radio Atomic Blues (USA)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Arsen Shomakhov formed Ragtime band in his native town Nalchik, Russia, a far cry from the blues mainstream centers. Then he took steps to shorten the distance. The first step made was HEAVY STEPPIN' - an album recorded in 2002 and presented in Moscow at Forte Club which serves as actual Mecca of the middle-class blues-addicted muscovites. The album shocked the audience by inordinate arrangements of the blues classics.

The Russian federal TV channel "Culture" videotaped the performance and showed the cuts in the weekly music program "Jazzophrenia". The tracks from Heavy Steppin’ were broadcast by national and foreign radiostations (English, Danish, Dutch, Argentinian, Australian).The group has entered upon a new phase, taking part in all-Russia blues festivals and making up schedules for the gigs at the best blues venues in Moscow, including the legendary B.B. King Club, blessed personally by the the superstar and since then invariably overcrowded. The club is famous for its wild jam sessions. Arsen Shomakhov too had a chance to jam with some touring blues celebrities (such as Vidar Busk from Norway).

In May 2003 Arsen Shomakhov and Ragtime band opened the festival "Blues in Russia-Spring-2003" and received an invitation to participate in "Ochakovo blues" festival alongside with Jimmy D. Lane (USA), Knock-out Greg & Blue Weather (Sweden) and B.B & the Blues Shacks (Germany).

In September 2003 Arsen Shomakhov produced the second CD - Troublemaker, which revealed his extra aptitude for instrumental composition. The new album also received good press and drew attention of the most acknowleged russian blues journalist and DJ of "All that Blues" radio program Andrei Evdokimov, who interviewed the musician on the air and wrote a favorable review.
Arsen Shomakhov and Ragtime blues band are presently recognised as one of the leading acts on the blues scene in Russia. As for albums, TROUBLEMAKER and HEAVY STEPPIN' lay claim to be the most remarkable Russian blues recordings in recent years