Discography & Books
2010: Brian Kramer Solo CD: Myself and Mine (BKB0005)
“This project has been a long time coming… It always starts with just me and my guitar and friends have been urging me to lay it all out like this on one recording for years. Well this has been a very liberating experience and brought me back to the freedom of connecting to the song, to the strings… to tell the stories and let them stand up on their own. This collection of songs span over the past few years, some inspired by my travels, some were written just days before recording, some were sketches and I let the studio environment and the moment guide the song for me, trying to keep a certain ‘immediacy’ to the music as if just written moments before the record button was pushed. I went for the emotional content over the pristine performance. Did very few takes and if it felt right, left it as is. I say this not as an excuse but as an assurance that what I lay before you is as bare as I can possibly get.” — Brian Kramer
“This CD is not what I expected! Listening to it for the first time I was thinking, What is this? But since then it has been growing both when it comes to music and also lyrics. The CD I'm holding in my hand is both naked and sensitive but also full of maturity and reflection. Brian is a very skillful artist! He plays his guitar superbly and he writes very good lyrics. He has a big heart and he is also generous. It is far better than what I expected, In fact it is excellent!” — Bluesdog: Reviewing The Blues
2008: Brian Kramer & the Nights of Blu-topia, Live at Club Stampen (BKB0004)
“I've been performing at the legendary Club Stampen in Stockholm every week for over 10 years. I feel more comfortable in that room than anywhere I have travelled and played during my more than 25 years as a working musician — it's my home away from home. When I was trying to figure out where I wanted to record the next CD with my group, it dawned on me that no matter how good we would sound in a recording studio, nothing ever beats the way we groove and play together live on the Stampen stage. So, with the help of some friends I decided to bring the recording studio to Stampen! This live recording represents the best of our regular Blue Monday gigs with some of the finest musicians in Stockholm. The room was crowded with good friends and family that night on September 1st, 2008 & the vibe was joyous. Welcome to Blu-topia!” — Brian Kramer
“The new album sees Brian's Sat Blues Jam Band (beefed with incredible guitarist Chuck Anthony and mando-player Bert Deivert) run thru a number of songs we've learned to appreciate (and almost learned to grow tired of). It captures the essence of Brian Kramer, the core of his greatness. Being a live-CD and knowing everything kicks louder and livelier live than studio, this is a well-working poster of the greatness of Brian. The CD offers a number of great songs … I enjoy the CD, It's been spinning for a week and I haven't grown tired of it. Au contraire — it makes me wish for another Stampen Saturday. Brian's got this mojo working solid.” — Jonas Almquist (vocalist/songwriter/guitarist of the 80’s group Leather Nun) www.myspace.com/leathernun
“To make it simple – the album is smokin’ hot! I am a big fan of the way Brian Kramer treats acoustic blues, with respect but looking ahead, not back. The live album has all the strengths of his previous, studio CDs plus it gives Brian and his band a lot of room to stretch out and improvise. They sound so well together and the live setting seems to be very natural for Brian’s music. His song selection, his playing, the sound of the recording and people having fun... This is what I call a fabulous album. For those who think that you can’t be creative while playing acoustic blues, “Live At Club Stampen” is a proof of how wrong they are. Great stuff! As with Brian’s previous CDs it will be my pleasure to feature his new album in my shows. Thank you again Brian for sharing your music with me and my listeners, that really means a lot to me.”
— Przemek Draheim, ournalist, Blues.pl & DJ for Radio SFERA, Poland
2006: Brian Kramer, I Want My Illusion (BKB003)
Featuring National slide guitar wizard Bob Brozman, Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizardz make available for a ‘limited pressing’ - 13 new songs with that same, cozy BK & the CLs spirit lifting vibe you've all come to know and love!
“As usual it is musicality above the ordinary. Lyrics that are thought through & want something more than to just go in one ear and out through the other. It is seriousness, it is stories, it is life-philosophy and it is reflections that make you want to pick up the booklet to follow along. It is hard to find better newly composed music within the narrow path of blues today than what Kramer and Qwarfordt achieved and the Couch Lizards perform. Yet another knock-out-victory for Brian and his fellow musicians to carve a notch in the master belt.” — Jefferson Magazine
“Brian Kramer lays it down with the real feeling of the blues; communication between people. His easy groove puts everyone in the blues spirit, in the best sense of the word. Great Stuff!” — Bob Brozman
“Brian Kramer keeps pushing the boundaries of himself. His most original, focused and evolved work!” — Kitto
“...one of the most satisfying examples of the new blues song-writing genre” — Bluestime
“...you hear the blues of way back, at a time when Son House, Bukka White were in their prime, or presently Eric Bibb or Keb Mo, but the incredible thing is that the music you listen to here is played with such intensity and power, it is just like you were listening to the great masters recordings but with good hi-fi sound! I had not discovered such great acoustic blues since... A MUST for fans of slide-guitar-blues.” — Celis Freddy, www.RootsTime.be
“Really mature Blues in fairly unpretentious arrangements. Summer-soulful, with carefully placed percussion, harmonica, and a good dose of patio-barbeque atmosphere.” — Patrik Hamberg, Dagens Skiva
Available at live BK performances and through this site, for a limited time!
- US orders via cdbaby.com/cd/bkramer
- Overseas orders via paypal will be re-established soon...
- Also available for download through itunes and greatindi.com
2004: Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizardz, No Regrets (ARMD 00019)
The first official release on Armadillo records. Recorded in the UK during their June 2003 tour in the shadows of Nottingham and Sherwood Forest. Twelve original tunes ranging from stompin' blues to intimate confessions. No Regrets has risen to the Top 25 Roots/Blues Chart on National US radio, as reported in Living Blues Magazine.
“No Regrets is one of the most satisfying examples of the new blues song-writing genre - Recommended with no reserve.” — Bluestime, Italy
“Brian Kramer & The Couch Lizardz live up to their name. This is laid-back, lazy-afternoon, folksy music, well-written and played… and produced with a gentle touch.”— Juke Blues, UK
“Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizardz must be one of Sweden’s best kept musical secrets... Their new record No Regrets shines strongly.”— Jefferson Blues Magazine, Sweden
“Known for his stand-out flourishes on National Steel guitar and bottleneck slide, this album tastefully showcases a surprisingly competent singer, exceptional songwriter and arranger who has clearly learned all the right lessons from his esteemed list of teachers… The focus here is on the songs – and they are clearly Kramer’s ace in the hole… This even-paced recording drifts down a lazy, meandering stream like something out of a Mark Twain novel, pausing to reflect on life and love along the way… The musicianship is spellbinding as dual guitars merge with an upbeat rhythm section. No Regrets is a casual stroll down a country lane in a comfortable pair of shoes… Just pure, subtly delivered material that is artfully played and kissed, as it is, by the soft soul of country blues.” — Eric Thom, Blues Revue, USA
2002: Brian Kramer, Everybody’s Story (BKB001)
The long awaited for, high spirited, ‘alive’ in the studio album with BK and the boys is now available here on-line. With special guests like Jump4Joy's Ulf Sandström, Derrick ‘Big’ Walker & Jane' Kitto... Ten original songs & one old obscure classic, flavored with National slide, vintage acoustic warmth and the Couch Lizardz's crazy, back porch grooves! Everybody's Story, blues from now to the future of a new century.
“Brian Kramer’s new CD is a record of blues based music that makes you happy while listening to it. Depression blues is nowhere to be found, this is music for the party, good love and happiness… It’s a record full of solid and good lyrics plus superb musicianship… RECOMMENDED!” — Jefferson Magazine, Sweden
“Brian has a clear bright style, full of sensitivity and very good taste present throughout this CD’s eleven songs, all performed with a deep feeling that gets inside blues lovers hearts — GREAT!” — La Hora Del Blues, Spain
“Everybody’s Story is executed with magnificent picking and always a merry rhythm… once is definitely not enough… The guitar, slide rather, is to be honored and demonstrates that the blues is not necessarily gloomy…” — La Gazette de Greenwood, France
2001: Larry Johnson featuring Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizardz, Two Gun Green (ARMD00013)
“It's all here - the music that Larry has been singing and playing all his life - and we're deeply fortunate he's here with Brian and the Couch Lizardz to lay it down for us... The group working with Larry on this album reflects some of the new realities of the blues…” — Samuel Charters
“Kramer delivers some fine acoustic slide, sounding a bit like Muddy Waters with his steel bodied National…” — Living Blues Magazine, USA
2000: Brian Kramer Trio and Friends, Live at the Folklore Center (LTFLC)
Featuring a number of special guests like Derrick ‘Big’ Walker, Harmonica Henry, Siwert Brahmstedt, and more. Recorded in an intimate, all-acoustic environment.
“This is wonderful, spirited music. I'm a sucker for that kind of blues...”— Samuel Charters
“A treasure which will keep the acoustic purists among us smiling with glee.” — BLUES FREEPRESS - Judge Jones
1998: Eric Bibb, Home To Me
“One of the strengths of Home To Me is Bibb’s original blues tunes, such as the bodacious, struttin’ New Shoes, co-authored with Brian Kramer…”— CD NOW, review
1989: Kramer and the Bluesmasters featuring Junior Wells, Win or Lose
Brian's very first album, recorded at age 24, featuring some of his friends and mentors who took him under their wing as he developed his blues playing. Through networking with musicians in NYC, the album became an all-star recording produced by Miles Roston, with pianist David Cohen (Country Joe & the Fish), Mick Taylor, Junior Wells, Steve Jordan... This rare album saw only a short run in the market due to disagreements with the record company. An eerie prophecy from a track on the album titled I Want My Money Back:
Well I dreamed I made this record, it went high up on the charts,
but when I woke I still was broke, it's just a piece of art.
I want my money back. Got to have my money back.
Well it's sad but it's true they don't make nothin'
like they used to do...
In addition to recording with Junior Wells, Eric Bibb & Larry Johnson, Brian has contributed to tracks for a children’s recording released in the US, on the Grammy winning Music For Little People label. He has also produced a number of projects recording some of Sweden’s unique and talented, blues artists.
Brian Kramer with other Artists:
- 2007: Bert Deivert — Takin’ Sam’s Advice
- 2005: Eric Bibb — A Retrospective
- 2004: Eric's Blues Band — There's An Angel In My Tree
- 2004: Speedo Jones — Remembering Bloomfield
- 2002: Dr. Balalajka's Bluesband — Hon Skiner Som En Sol
- 2002: Big Walker — Still Dream Walking
- 1999: Music for Little People — All You need is Love (+ Eric Bibb, Beatles Songs For Kids)
- 1999: Leon Bibb & Eric Bibb — A Family Affair
- 1998: Matti Norlin — Kitchen Sink Blues
- 1998: Cyndee Peters — Music From The Heart
- 1994: Brian Kramer & Blue Heat — Strike While It's Hot
Above CDs are also available at Mega Music, Multi-Kulti, Smokestack Records, Izzy Young's Folklore Center or at Stampen & all Brian Kramer live appearances. For enquiries of all other Brian Kramer recordings, order direct from Brian Kramer through:
Encyclopedia of the Blues by Edward M. Komara (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 2005)
“One important step in broadening the interest in blues music was the starting in the late 1990s of jam sessions at the club Stampen in Stockholm by the American singer and guitar player Brian Kramer. From these jam sessions at least three very popular artists or bands have emerged ….”
excerpted from the chapter “Sweden,” about Brian Kramer’s Blues Jam (page 946)
» read more at Google Books »
Touched By The Blues (Sunhouse press)
Blues for Peace — a book that includes some of Brian's personal, detailed experiences meeting and working with Blues greats over the course of his career:
"My Name is Brian Kramer, I grew up in Brooklyn NY and I have been on this Blues Journey for over 25 years. I never dreamed I would be recording albums or playing along side legends like Junior Wells, Mick Taylor, Larry Johnson, Eric Bibb, etc. as I sat in my little basement apartment as a teenager playing guitar to used blues records. In the..."
excerpted from Blues Dreams by Brian Kramer
» read more at bluesforpeace.com/unsung-heroes/brian-kramer.htm »
Blues Unfolded by Tony Berg & Robert Wangby
Ground-breaking within Swedish music journalism, Blues Unfolded is the first Swedish book published dealing with the blues life in Sweden... top-notch photographs of both international and Swedish blues musicians, exhibiting the intensity and presence of blues music in performance... (Photos of Brian Kramer Trio included)