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Master of guitarists Javier Vargas has presented his latest album, “Love, Union, Peace” to his Madrid fans in a concert that lasted about two and a half hours, during which, as has become commonplace in the extensive career of this virtuoso instrumentalist, the vintage language of the Blues was examined in depth. Accompanied by a band with whom he could go to the ends of the earth with no fear of them missing a note, Vargas performed a repertoire from which, as usual, he has extracted Pop elements in order to lend more relevance to the expressive orthodoxy of a genre in which the songs themselves never seem to be the most important factor. When the band attacked songs such as the legendary “Spoonful” by Cream, which showed off the talent of the Spanish vocalist, and the no less well-known “Roadhouse Blues” by the Doors, which was the last item in the concert before the encores, the result was much more interesting.
It is also worth noting the presence of vocalist Devon Allman, son of keyboard player and vocalist Greg Allman, who appears to have inherited the Soul feeling and depth of his father’s voice. Incidentally, Devon is the boy who appears on the cover of “Brothers & Sisters” by the Allman Brothers Band, which could make him one of the most looked-at boys in the history of rock, along with the boy who appears on the covers of U2’s first albums. To get back to the concert, Vargas’ audience got enormous enjoyment from the performance, devoted as they are to his personal style of getting fire from the guitar.
- EL PAIS, Fernando Martin, 2005


Spain's Javier Vargas is more proof that the Blues thrives around the world. Since he formed his first band in 1991, Javier has played and recorded with Blues legends like Carey Bell, Louisiana Red, Junior Wells, Double Trouble, Lonnie Brooks, Larry McCray, and Sugar Blue. He has traveled to Memphis' Ardent Studios and worked with Jim Gaines, to Chicago to record a live record culled from two nights at Buddy Guy's Legends Club, and to Austin to work with Double Trouble. His close musical friendship with Carlos Santana has put deep Spanish rhythms into Vargas' Blues guitar. And like Santana, Javier is a guitarist who leaves the vocals to various singers while he focuses on his guitar sound.
The first song on Love, Union, Peace, "Tiny Paradise," features the recognizable percussion and rhythms of Santana. Yet Vargas makes sure his music is no Santana cover band; nor is this a record of traditional 1-4-5 Blues. With Blues always at the foundation of Vargas' supercharged guitar, each song delivers an intimate message from Vargas' soul. When you're finished listening you'll feel that this is a record infused with hope and joy. Because Vargas uses eight different vocalists there is a different coloring to each song. "Sunny Day" spotlights vocalist Freddie Kirksey's smokey delivery and Vargas' eloquent string effects. Guests here include Cream bassist Jack Bruce singing on "Pretty Blue," which features Vargas playing slide guitar morphing into a wah-wah attack. The other major guest singing on three tracks is Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman. His singing on my favorite track on the disc, "Dance Away The Blues," shows off a convincing voice. Combined with Vargas' hard-core slide guitar this joyous song can wear out your repeat button. Devon and Javier also proclaim the power of music in "How Verso Are You," a rhythmic Latin tribute to freeing one's self through music.

Three tunes mid-disc celebrate Vargas' Latin roots. He recently told me he'd like to combine traditional Spanish Flamenco guitar with his love of Blues. "Agua Clara" features a beautiful four-minute guitar duet between Vargas and Flamenco guitarist Juan Gomez Chicuelo. It's not hard to picture yourself in a rural Spanish village serenaded by two dear friends. "Celos," the only song recorded in Vargas' native Spanish, features Latin percussions and Vargas' economical guitar. On the instrumental "God Give Me Strength," Vargas, like Ronnie Earl, turns his inner spirituality into sacred notes of joyful release. Vargas continues with more joyful exultation on his ballad to the strength of all mothers on "Mother's Day." Devon Allman returns to sing the closing song; a Blues rocker, "Magic Of The Gods."

Like I previously said, this isn't a 1-4-5 Blues record, it is a CD that contains a variety of Blues-based songs that should strike a contemporary chord in your soul.

Art Tipaldi is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax
- BLUES WAX MAGAZINE, Art Tipaldi, 2006

"Javier Vargas records at Ardent Stuidos with Devon Allman"

Spanish guitar sensation Javier Vargas has returned to Memphis’ renowned Ardent Studios for his new album “Flamenco Blues Experience.” Jason Latshaw is mixing the new album, with Jason Gillespie assisting. Devon Allman, who contributed vocals to Vargas’ 2005 album, “Love, Union, Peace,” returned to Memphis to record vocals for the new release.

In previous albums, Vargas has teamed up with artists such as Jack Bruce, Glenn Hughes, and Elliot Murphy. For years, the Vargas Blues Band has been entertaining audiences throughout Europe at such major venues as Switzerland’s Montreaux Jazz Festival, Germany’s Pop Korn Festival, The Great British R&B Festival, and the Antwerp R& B Festival, as well as extensive touring elsewhere throughout Europe and Latin America.

Carlos Santana, who has performed with Vargas in Spain and France, remarked on the Spaniard’s unique talent to blend Rock, Soul, Flamenco and Latin influences: “Vargas is like a rainbow, he contains all the colors, he feels the same passion as I do when it comes to embracing the music of the world.”

To learn more about Javier Vargas, visit: - MixOnline 2007


All around the blues, 91
Madrid-Memphis, 92
Blues Latino, 94
Texa Tango, 95
Gipsy Boogie, 97
Feedback, 98
Bluestrology, 00
Madrid- Chicago live, 99
The best of Vargas Blues Band
Espiritu Celeste, tributo al rock argentino
Chill Latin Blues
Spanish fly DVD
El Alma
Love, union and peace 2006
Lost and found 2007
Flamenco Blues Experience 2008



All Around Blues is the first album of the Vargas Blues Band, edited in 1991. The second LP, Madrid-Memphis, was edited in 1992 and includes collaborations of blues men such as Carey Bell and Louisiana Red, the flamenco guitar player Rafael Riqueni, and the singers Philip Guttman and Jeff Espinoza.These two albums enjoyed continued enthusiastic support in the Spanish musical scene reaching the highest sales figure of any blues album. The third album, Blues Latino, was released in Spain in 1994. The extra instrumental support came courtesy of international artists: Chris Rea, Junior Wells, Flaco Jiménez and Andrés Calamaro. The album “Santana Brothers” was released worldwide, including the song “Blues Latino” by Javier Vargas. Carlos Santana played this song in Woodstock 1994. In October this year, the Band appeared for the first time in Buenos Aires (Argentina) having great success.

Their fourth album Texas Tango, was produced in Austin and Memphis (USA) by Jim Gaines. This album was released in various countries at the end of 1995, and includes collaborations with Double Trouble, (Steve Ray Vaughan Band) Larry T. Thurston and Preston Shannon, among others. In July of this year, Carlos Santana invited him to play two songs together in the concert held at the Zenith, in Paris. The passion and feeling of the guitar duo got the capacity crowd on their feet. In 1998, Santana invited again Vargas to play in his concerts in Madrid and Paris (Bercy).

This experience was repeated in Spain, where Vargas played as a guest of Carlos Santana in his opening tour of “Supernatural” in 2000 . In 1997 his fifth album Gypsy Boogie was released. The album was recorded in Madrid and Memphis, mixed in Florida and mastered in New York. Flamenco artists such as Raimundo Amador, Carles Benavent, La Chonchi and Blues-soul-rock artists such as Chester Thomson, Loonie Brooks, Larry McCray, Little Jimmy King, David Allen and Larry Graham collaborated in the recording. Jim Gaines produced the album. Larry Graham introduced Javier to Prince, who invited him to play in a jam session at his concert during the tour “Jam of the Year” in Spain in December 1998.

The sixth album, Feedback/ Bluestrology (1998) was recorded at Hook End studios in Checkendom (England), and co-produced by Ian Taylor (Gary Moore, Cheaptrick producer etc). This album includes the old collaborators from Memphis: Steve Potts, Dave Smith and Ernest Willimanson and the former singers of the Band, Bobby Alexander and David Montes. Bluestrology was re-released as a solo album in January 2000. Vargas Blues Band’s first USA live appearance took place in November 1999. There were two nights to remember at Buddy Guy’s Legends Club in Chicago. The special guest artists were Larry McCray, Sugar Blue and flamenco singer Elena Andújar. A mobile unit under Ian Taylor´s supervision recorded the sessions. Javier Vargas was invited by the guitar hero from Texas, Chris Duarte to join in his concert, also at Legends. This Live album was completed in Madrid last December 99. The concert was filmed and recorded in a studio in the presence of a limited guest audience. Madrid-Chicago Live was released in May 2000. Chill Latin Blues, Vargas Blues band first solely instrumental album, was released in 2003. In this album the protagonists are Javier Vargas‚ guitar and the fusion of his musical influences: Drum & Bass, Acid Jazz,African & Latin Rythms, Hip-Hop...

During a visit to Madrid, Carlos Santana made the following comments on Javier´s unique capacity to blend different styles: "VARGAS is like a rainbow, he contains all the colours, he feels the same passion as I do when it comes to embracing the music of the world... He has a positive, fruitful and brilliant future ahead. There are very few musicians who can reach out to everybody..." The album includes five songs already recorded in other albums together with nine brand new songs.

In September 2004, Javier Vargas flew back to Memphis with a new project ready to be recorded. The chosen studio was Ardent, sound engineer John Hampton, and the “A-Team” of Tennessee musicians: Steve Potts on drums, David Smith playing bass, Earnest Williamson on keyboards, and the SRV´s Double Trouble´s Reese Wynans performing on keyboards and piano as the master he is. Overdubs were recorded in Madrid, Los Angeles, Memphis and Isla de La Palma (Canary Islands): trips made to include many great musicians. Listeners will enjoy hearing Alex Ligertwood (vocalist of Santana for almost 14 years) performing two songs in “Love Union Peace”; Jack Bruce singing and playing bass in “Pretty Blue” ; Glenn Hughes' awesome performance of a delicious “Sad Eyes” ; Devon Allman (Greg´s son and genuine heir of the soul of his father's voice) sharing his huge talent in three songs; Elliott Murphy´s strenght in “Deep Blue”, and many big Spanish artists.

Love, Union, Peace was release last March 2005. The album is all feeling, and includes 10 new songs, a