Brian Kramer | I Want My Illusion

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Blues: Acoustic Blues World: World Traditions Moods: Type: Acoustic
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I Want My Illusion

by Brian Kramer

Acoustic based blues music, uplifting, original, on National steel resonator guitars. "Brian Kramer lays it down with the real feeling of the blues; communication between people." Great Stuff." -Bob Brozman
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Want My Illusion
3:11 $0.99
2. Mr. Gray
4:09 $0.99
3. Lucky You Are
4:14 $0.99
4. My 2 Cents
5:02 $0.99
5. Reaper
4:56 $0.99
6. What She Would Say
5:56 $0.99
7. *winning Notification*
4:42 $0.99
8. Where There's a Will...
3:04 $0.99
9. Maybe Someday
4:16 $0.99
10. Let It Go
3:22 $0.99
11. Shed a Little Light
3:59 $0.99
12. Ada 548
2:42 $0.99
13. Dala-delta
1:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Latest release from Brian Kramer featuring the incredible
National Slide Guitarist BOB BROZMAN!
" of the most satisfying examples of the
new blues song-writing genre.”

I Want My Illusion makes the top 100 blues CD awards list for 2006
–Real Blues Magazine

“ 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, Roots Time Magazine

"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 continues his investigation into the roots of acoustic blues, folk and the old time music tradition proving he is one of Northern Europe’s most faithful & sensitive performers of Afro-American roots music. This new disc is most likely his most personal and intimate one till now, and represents a step forward not only as a personal search but musical and also human.
A CD to be taken into account for the poetic lyricism, the communication with the listener and especially the amazing feeling of every song included on it.
Taste and enjoy the acoustic guitars, mandolins, National-slides, lap-steel guitars, harps… and forget all your troubles. GREAT.”
-La Hora Del Blues, Spain

When Brian Kramer from Brooklyn was barely out of his teens he was hanging out with legendary blues men, picking up tips and advice from folks such as Buddy Guy and
Junior Wells when they would visit his hometown in N.Y.C.
Junior took a particular liking to Brian and paid careful attention in showing him the right
moves and how to play from the heart.

In 1989:
Junior would join Brian on his first record Brian Kramer and the Bluesmasters featuring Junior Wells, Win or Lose. He backed Brian up on almost every track and Brian backed Junior up on four of his songs.
Former Rolling Stone, Mick Taylor was also part of these sessions as well as a gathering of the finest, most respected sidemen in the U.S.
Throughout the 90’s Brian toured and continued to be a fixture within the New York club scene, performing frequently with the great Blues man Larry Johnson until re-locating overseas, seeking a broader range of opportunities.

In 1998:
Brian was asked by internationally acclaimed artist Eric Bibb to join up with him and perform on the road.
Over the next two years, he accompanied Bibb on four successful coast-to-coast tours of the U.S. and Canada, throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Japan.
Brian is also featured on Bibb’s W.C Handy nominated CD release Home To Me, where from the opening notes of the very first track till the final riff of the last cut, Brian’s National slide guitar is like a thread in the tapestry on some of Bibb’s most important and diverse music.
“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
Brian’s slide guitar can also be heard on Eric’s collaboration with his dad, 60’s icon & folk singer Leon Bibb, called, A Family Affair.

In 2000:
he recorded, Brian Kramer Trio and Friends, Live at the Folklore Center, an intimate, all acoustic recording. This recording has caught the attention of renowned writer-producer Sam Charters who has praised the music saying,
”This is wonderful, spirited music, I’m a sucker for that kind of blues”.

In 2001:
Brian & his band were invited to the UK by Armadillo Records to record with legendary blues man and old friend, Larry Johnson for his CD; Larry Johnson featuring Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizards, Two Gun Green (available internationally). Sam Charters, who wrote extensive liner notes for this project once again praises Brian & his crew, writing;
“The group working with Larry on this album reflects some of the new realities of the blues… Were deeply fortunate he’s here with Brian and the Couch Lizards to lay it down for us”.
“Kramer delivers some fine acoustic slide, sounding a bit like Muddy Waters with his steel bodied National…”.
“Living Blues Magazine” US

In 2002:
Brian, in collaboration with label Armadillo records, released the CD;
Everybody’s Story to positive reviews:
“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

“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

In 2004:
Armadillo Records releases Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizards, No Regrets (ARMD 00019) recorded in the UK and distributed Internationally.
No Regrets has risen to the “Top 25” Roots/Blues chart on National U.S radio, as reported in Living Blues Magazine.
Reviews from around the globe have been outstanding;

“No Regrets is one of the most satisfying examples of the new blues song-writing genre.”
-Recommended with no reserve. Bluestime

"Brian Kramer & The Couch Lizards 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

“Brian Kramer & the Couch Lizards must be one of Sweden’s best kept musical secrets...
Their new record No Regrets shines strongly.”
Jefferson Magazine

“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

In 2006:
Brian releases his new CD: I Want My Illusion … (BKB 0003)
featuring Bob Brozman, unparalleled exponent of the National Slide Guitar & internationally acclaimed world music artist.
"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

“I have to say I like your take on modern life,
email scams etc...
Heading into my late 50's I've heard 50000+
folks trying to refry the old guys
with varying degrees of success,
so your music has a welcome 'fresh' theme.
Bellissima! Another winner!!"
-Colin McCubbin

The Tavla Foundation for the arts in Sweden has awarded Brian a culture prize, in recognition of using his music within the environment with a positive focus.

When he’s not touring you can find him every Saturday afternoon hosting his famous
jam session at club Stampen in Stockholm.
The club is packed tight each week and the jammers won’t let Brian off the stage because they all want to trade licks with him.
These jam sessions have also proven to be very fertile ground, nurturing Sweden’s hottest new young blues talent.
Brian has been an active part of Scandinavia’s club and festival scene, often appearing at Club Fasching, also the Stockholm Water Festival and Stockholm’s International Jazz and Blues Festival. Other international events include The Cambridge Folk Festival, Bull Durham Blues Festival, Chicago World Music Festival, Notudden Blues Festival, Portugal Simply Blues Festival etc.
In addition to recording with Junior Wells, Eric Bibb, Larry Johnson & Bob Brozman, Brian has contributed tracks to: Cyndee Peters, Derrick ”Big” Walker & others.
Also a children’s recording, released in the U.S on the Grammy winning, Music for little people label.
He has also sat in the producer’s chair on a number of projects recording some of Sweden’s most unique, talented, blues artists & has been featured on Scandinavian National Television and radio

Brian has opened shows as special guest artist for Taj Mahal, John Mayall and has shared the stage & traded licks with Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bobby Rush, Bernard Allison,
Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges, Bob Brozman, Sven Zetterberg, Otis Grand, Jimmy Dawkins and many others.
He also conducts workshops and performs benefit concerts.
Whether he’s with his full band, acoustic trio, duo or just by himself with his National Steel guitar, Brian will no doubt leave you with an unforgettable impression. His desire is to lift the spirits of his audience, connecting life to life through dynamic music.

“Brian Kramer’s music represents the future of the Blues”
-101 Years Of The Blues, (Radio P2, Sweden) -Thomas Blom



to write a review

Jefferson Blues Magazine

It is hard to find better newly composed music within the narrow path of blues t
There are some records you always return to and each time rediscover & realize just how good they are. Brian Kramer is the originator of two such records:
2002’s "Everybody’s Story" and "No Regrets" that was released two years later.
His new CD "I Want My Illusion" I believe can expand that duo to a trio. That’s how good it feels even in this early stage of listening (it popped into my mailbox just before press-time).

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.

The happy blues that Kramer and his fellow musicians are so good at are to be heard in "Lucky You Are, ADA 548" and "Let It Go", where the latter brings me back to
Ry Cooder´s better days with Bobby King and Terry Evans as background singers.
Here, parts from the Couch Lizards and guest Johan Eliasson account for evocative background singing.
One track that stands as a contrast to this happy blues and that really urges you to ponder and reflect is Mats Qwarfordt´s breathtakingly beautiful "Reaper" that asks unanswered questions about the tsunami in Asia, Christmas 2004.
Another very fine, mellow track is "Mr Gray" that is introduced with beautiful slide,
a slide that just glides the song forward.

Two tracks feature as guest Bob Brozman. In the final instrumental "Dala Delta" a medley of well-known Swedish and American folksongs are played. It’s just over one minute long. A little short, I would have wanted to hear more.
"My 2 cents" starts with a National slide duel/duet between Bob and Brian. It unfolds into a guitar show of the highest order with lots of very quick picking on the strings.

It must be mentioned that the next generation has made entry on one track; Brian’s son Julius handles the violin on the relaxed "Where There’s A Will". Brian has also dedicated "Maybe Some Day" to the son that “suddenly” has become grown.

Brian recorded his first album already in 1989 under the name "Brian Kramer & The Bluesmasters", with by the way a certain Junior Wells as frequent guest on the harmonica. That album is called "Win Or Lose".
Today with the results in hand it’s easy to say, we have a master and a winner.

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-Bosse Majling


Sentational Roots Blues
I thought I had found one of the finest blues artist in the world when I listened to the great Bottleneck John but I must say that Brian kramer comes very close in talent.
Brians vocals clear and heart felt with rich tones that only talented artist posses.
Brians abilitie to combine great backings on resonator guitars and other accoustic styles is just brilliant.

I would recomend any blues fan to make sure you ad this cd to your collection.

Thanks Brian for your talents and I know we will hear more from this talented blues artist.

Western Australia

Erik Strandh (Piano).

Great music and lyrics!
You are my Blues-Mentor,Mr Kramer.
Boogie Bro,Erik.


A brilliant example of what real music should be like: genuine, uplifting and he
I love this CD because every time I listen I get in touch with the best that human nature has to offer: love, joy, optimism. The music is wonderful and the lyrics really have something to say. Thank you Brian for this work of art :)

Richard .G

Great guitar player and compositions, i love that and this happy blues like eric bibb and others...
Well, everybody should buy this album !!

Bert Deivert

Great stuff from the big hearted bluesman who sings about happy things and the small stuff in life. Right in the groove!