Jan 'Kyks' Skrzek
Apparently, there are no irreplaceable people. Died on January 29, 2015, he effectively denies this shabby adjudication. Never before has there been such a bluesman in Poland as "Kyks". And it will never be again.
And all because Janek was real. He identified with Upper Silesia, where he spent his whole life. He sang a harsh, expressive voice about him, which at times might remind Tom Waits. In his vocal manner, playing harmonica or piano accompaniment was great simplicity, but also honesty. "Kyks" simply understood the secret of the blues and was able to pass it on to the next generations of listeners. And the honesty of his message and the lack of any poses meant that Janek's blues absorbed himself.
He was born on November 21, 1953 in Siemianowice Śląskie, as the brother of Józef, five years younger - a musician known among others with the SBB trio. In the 1970s, he worked on the mine, still keeping in touch with the world of music. He played with the Apogeum and Cancer bands to finally decide on a professional music career at the end of the decade. He started at his brother's side - his harmonica can be heard, among others on the CD "Memento with a banal triptych" SBB. They gave concerts in a duet, Jan also appeared in Józef's band organized for the purposes of the film "War of Worlds - next century".
In the mid-1980s, "Kyks" began his solo career, devoting himself exclusively to blues music. He recorded new albums from time to time, but his element was the scene. It worked perfectly both in the Katowice "Spodek" on the next editions of Rawa Blues, as well as in small clubs. He performed as a soloist, in a duet with Józef (under the banner of "Two Brothers"), but also with larger, electric compositions. For the longest time, until his death, he worked with Leszek Winder and Michał Giercuszkiewicz as part of the Śląska Grupa Bluesowa team, a straight line from the Apogeum and Homeless Dogs projects. He also played with m.in. Andrzej Urny, Ark Skolik, or Ewa Uryga.
Considering the fact that many of his music gained in his stage message, it is not surprising that in retrospect his greatest achievement seems to be the concert album "Bluesman's Prayer on the Train", recorded in 1997 and containing most of the important pieces of "Kyks" in thrilling, expressive versions.
In the autumn of last year, a new album of the Silesian Blues Group with Jan "Kyks" Skrzek "Colors of the Blues" was released. In January, the musicians played a series of concerts promoting this album. "Kyks" felt tired, he did not look well, but on stage he gave, as usual, two hundred percent of the norm. In mid-January, Janek unfortunately suffered a stroke and went unconscious to one of the hospitals in Katowice. When it seemed that his condition was improving, his heart could not stand.
Jerzy Kawalec - Bass Guitar
Leszek Winder - Guitar
Rafał Rękosiewicz - Organ [Hammond]
Michał Giercuszkiewicz - Percussion
Jarosław Kędziora - Saxophone
Bronisław Duży - Trombone
Beata Bednarz, Ewa Uryga - Vocals
Jan Kyks Skrzek - Vocals, Piano, Harmonica
1.Pierwszy Listopada 4:15
2.W Siemianowicach 6:40
3.Nikt Nie Zna Swej Godziny 6:05
4.I Tak Nas Wciąga Kapitalizm 7:40
5.Blues Bardzo Śląski 8:05
6.Slodki Dom 5:15
7.Nikt Nie Zawróci Kijem Wisły 5:00
8.Rajska Kuźnia 8:55
9.Stoja Na Zdjęciu 3:40
10.Modlitwa Bluesmana W Pociagu 8:30