Rene Walks

René walks
I remember that I came with my Hammond organ and Leslie to Cognac for the first time in 2000 ... From 2001 on I made every year more and more efforts to achieve a better and covered stage , quality instruments and sound and standby musicians. I baptised it XO JAM SESSION . I am very proud and thankful to all the people who made a contribution and I hope we can continue in Cognac as long as possible to keep the Blues alive !
Henri Van Raemdonck
Newspaper article about the XO Jam Session

X0 Jam Session, the scene of the "pilgrims" who worship the blues

The X0 Cognac Blues Jam Session is an institution on the fringe of the festival carried by enthusiasts

"We're back, like pilgrims! Henri Van Raemdonck recalls the formula, covered in an accent from Antwerp. His religion is the blues. And to say mass, he carries a Hamond organ from 1963. He sits until Saturday on the aloft of the "XO Cognac Blues Jam Ses-sion", Place du Canton.

The open stage has become an institution on the sidelines of the eighteen-year-old festival that Van Raem-sok has launched. "It was hard at first, but starting in 2006, a core group of people formed themselves. René Van den Hoven is one of them. "Elsewhere, everything is done for money. Here, nobody wins anything! " says the Dutchman, adept of the guitar.

A dedicated website

The "XO jam Session" grows without fading. In recent years, it has a real scene. Costs are shared between the Canton Coffee and the Olympia Crêperie. This year, the team donated t-shirts to his name. There is even an Inter-net site, "It was created for free by English people. There is the history of the session, in English, French and Flemish," smiles Henri Van Raemdonck.

"An international language"

Professional engineer, Bruno Van Reeth has brought back a sono of excel-slow bill. A dozen musicians follow each other on the set, from 13 hours "until more thirsty", from yesterday until Saturday. "It also depends on whether there are con-certs next to them that interest them," says Christian Truffi, the boss of the café.

Everyone can get started. "Music is an international language. For Europe, this is an example, it shows that we can live together without problems," laughs René Van den Hoven. "Here, it's a big festival, the second blues in the world after Chicago. But there is also the possibility of playing for people like us. This does not exist elsewhere. When I see musicians, I want to play. Here, it's possible. "We pray for an orthodox blues but open to the world.

Philippe Ménard