For Whom The Blues Toll: The Tomas Doncker Interview


Admittedly rock is my first love, by default that also means I have a strong appreciation for blues music. Without the blues there are no Rolling Stones or Beatles, without blues there would be no Elvis, without Elvis, well, you get the picture…

Tomas Doncker has been labeled as a “prime mover” in New York City’s blues scene in the early eighties. He played with groups such as James Chance & The Contortions, Defunkt, J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz and many more. Eventually he went international, touring and recording in Japan, and producing studio and songwriting sessions with Boosty Collins, Yoko Ono, Grammy nominated Reggae vocal group The Itals, and Grammy-winning producer Prince Charles Alexander, to name just a few. Since then, Doncker has continued to work with an A-list of iconic artists including Ivan Neville (on his solo album “Thanks”), Bonnie Raitt, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour lead singer Corey Glover, former P-Funk keyboardist Amp Fiddler, 2013 Grammy award nominee Shamekia Copeland, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

In 2014 he release Moanin’ at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project, which received a big response. His latest release, Big Apple Blues (reviewed here) is his latest release. I got a chance to send some questions to this blues legend and what I got back was exactly what I expected and that’s “real” answers on the new album, New York and what it takes to make it in the blues world.

(Examiner) You are an icon in the industry, why did you make this album, why now?
(Tomas Doncker) An ICON? Well,Thank you that’s Very kind… Why now you ask? Why not NOW! Yusef & I had been knocking around the idea of doing a “Modern urban” Blues album for awhile,and with the momentum “Moanin’ at Midnight” (The Howlin’ Wolf Project) had created,we figured the time was right.

Where does your inspiration come from? A lot of your songs are about New York City. After all these years what is it you like best about the city?
I can be inspired by anything and everything! My favorite thing about NYC is the endless Amount of authentic culture all around us. A new “Flavor” is literally a train ride away.

Read the full interview at


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