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The Rhythm Junks

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Belgian big beat, blues, and funk combo the Rhythm Junks were formed in 2004 by singer and harmonica player Steven De bruyn and drummer Tony Gyselink. De bruyn had already enjoyed some local fame among blues enthusiasts as a member of a band called El Fish, but after recording two albums with the group he left to pursue his own projects. Planning to step away from a traditional guitar/bass/drums/singer band format, De bruyn itched to try something new -- why not leave the guitar out entirely or, perhaps, replace it with a brass section? Those types of questions led to the creation of the Rhythm Junks -- a freewheeling, anything-goes project, referring to itself as "an ideal band for Tom Waits' golden wedding." Originally the band was called VirusB23 (named after a special funky virus that made people dance), but soon De bruyn and Gyselink rechristened it the Rhythm Junks ("junks" being a verb here, as they insist), and used Virus B-23 as a title for the group's debut record, issued in 2004. In order to perform their material live, De bruyn and Gyselink assembled a rather large cast of backing players, including a double bass player and a brass section of four, and eventually these players became full-time members. The second full-length by the Rhythm Junks, Pop Off, released in 2007, was recorded by a seven-piece band -- the two founding members were joined by Jasper Hautekeit (double bass, electric bass, and backing vocals), Walter Baeken (baritone, tenor, and soprano saxophones), Peter Verdonk (baritone and alto saxophones), Marie-Anne Standaert (trumpet and flügelhorn), and Yvez Fernandez-Solino (trumpet). ~ Sergey Mesenov



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