Tomislav Goluban celebrates a career milestone with 20 Years on the Road, his fourteenth studio album, commemorating the 20th anniversary of his first solo concert, held on December 16, 2001 in his Croatian hometown. All music was recorded live in the studio using three different sets of musicians in Croatia and Austria. Guest vocalists from America contributed to all but three tracks, creating these celebratory songs, released a year later than planned due to pandemic challenges.
In addition to recording artist, Goluban is also an international touring blues singer and harmonica player, leader of his own band, blues educator, radio DJ and festival producer. His discography reveals diverse styles including Delta, country and Chicago blues, zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll and world music; recorded in formats ranging from the raw Delta duo sound to full instrumental arrangements for up to 20 musicians. He is the recipient of five Porin, Croatia’s most prestigious national music awards.
“20 Years on the Road” serves not only as riveting refrain of all Goluban’s served before, but also as a stirring introduction for anyone who’s so far unawares. His has been a well-traveled road indeed.
~LIVING BLUES, Lee Zimmerman, January 2023
Being inspired by old school harp masters Tomislav owes his passion for playing the harmonica to the likes of Sonny Terry and Slim Harpo.
In the contemporary world of harmonica players, Tomislav has already found his place among other international artists such as Paul Butterfield and Joe Filisko who he still admires to this day as well as being awarded 4th place at World Harmonica Championship in Germany 2005.
“I believe now, that, when Sonny Terry died, he was thinking on his way Up, well I got to send a little bit of my spirit to the Croatia, and it comes out in Tomislav Goluban”
~Jostein Forsberg, Notodden Blues Festival
HOMEGROWN – WORLD RECOGNIZED
“When I look at the track list of the CD I see that all lyrics are in Croatian. Despite that I still sing the first song out loud. Well, sing along… Tomislav Goluban sings Na Zagorskom Brijegu , over a hill near Zagorje, and I sing Down By The Riverside”
This unique approach to The Blues has resonated well with the Croatian music scene, earning 5 Croatian Music Awards “Porin” as well as 3 Croatian Musicians Union awards “Status”.
BLUES IN THE SCHOOLS
RUKSAK (PUN) KULTURE
This program, supported by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, had a noble goal – to bring music closer to school children through workshops and concerts.
Through interaction with musicians, students are introduced to various genres, instruments, and the history of modern music.
In today’s high-speed world broadening young minds to different cultural and musical forms is very important. It was a delight to see how young people react to music they’ve never heard before, show a genuine interest, and enjoy the experience!
As long as new ears and minds are educated into the wonderful diversity of music we should have no fear of a genre being forgotten or dying out!
And what did the kids say?
“I came to the concert with prejudice. When I heard it was going to be a harmonica concert I thought I’d rather be in math class. But when I heard the phenomenal sound that these two musicians were making all my objections disappeared!
I liked the concert a lot because the music was fun, upbeat, and full of energy. The musicians were so much fun and I love how they brought together music and education.
The music scene and the kids that listen to distasteful music should take a hint from these musicians and learn about good old rock, blues, metal, punk…
I’d love to hear you in our school again before I start high school next year!
P.S. You make me want to pick up my guitar and stop it gathering dust in my room.”
~Senior year student – Kumrovec primary school
CONNECTIONS AND ENDORSEMENTS
The sole Croatian endorsee of the world’s finest and most famous harmonica manufacturer “Hohner”
One of the founders and the first president of the “Croatian Blues Forces” association which has since become the recipient of The Keeping The Blues Alive award given by The Blues Foundation based in Memphis (TN / USA)
“Listening to the “Mr. B.” recording was a breath of clean air in a world of Blues that’s lost a lot of originality. To hear the expression of my culture’s music with the vitality of expression and Croatian feel is one of the reasons I think this CD understands and respects the concept of what we think Blues should be, not to be a carbon of a recording but the expression of your roots – blended with ours. The harmonica playing is truly original, Sonny Terry, Hamie Nixon, Tomislav Goluban – understanding and sympathy and respect. Hats Off to you guys!!”
~“Philadelphia” Jerry Ricks