BB and The Blues Shacks - Michael Arlt

B.B. & The Blues Shacks

Blues, Rhythm’n Blues, Soul

(This band also performs with South African singer Bonita Niessen)


Ladies and gangsters, it’s blues time (since 1989)

Formed around the Arlt brothers (Michael on vocals and harmonica, Andreas on guitar and ably supported by Fabian Fritz (keyboards), Henning Hauerken (double bass and electric bass) and André Werkmeister (drums), the band, founded in 1989 in Hildesheim (Lower Saxony), comes into its own on stage, where its vitality explodes. Their repertoire encompasses delta blues, swing, rock’n roll, Chicago style and West Coast jump blues.

More recently, the band has been at the service of Bonita Niessen, South Africa’s queen of soul, with whom they have developed an astonishing complicity.

A cult group, the Shacks have shared the stage with B.B. King, James Cotton, Elvis Costello, Kid Ramos (Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Bob Dylan, performed on five continents and have some twenty albums to their name in stores. And also, on the shelf, a wealth of awards including two “France Blues” trophies.


  • Trophées France Blues: 2003 (Best Band), 2005 (Best Band; Andreas Arlt Best Guitarist).
  • Bluesnews Magazine (Germany) and Concerto Magazine (Austria) Awards: 2007 (Best DVD “Live at Vier Linden”).
  • German Record Critics’ Award: 2008 (Best CD “Unique Taste”).
  • German Blues Awards: 2010 (Best Band; Michael Arlt Best Vocalist), 2011 (Best Band; Best CD “London Days”), 2013, 2015 (Best Band; Best CD “Businesman”), 2018.
  • Blues Lounge Radio Show Award (Great Britain): 2020 (Best Artists).

VIDEO: Live aT Gator By The Bay Festival (USA)

More videos on YouTube…

Play Video about BB and The Blues Shacks sur la scène


With “Lonesome in the Moonlight” (2023, Rhythm Bomb Records), B.B. & The Blues Shacks continue the proven recipe of their more than 30 years of success: original compositions and selected cover versions…

On their 21st album, they bridge the gap between the New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago styles of the 40s and 50s, and the soul of the 60s, offering music that is both familiar and bears the unmistakable signature of the band from Lower Saxony.

Half of the 14 tracks are their own creations, while the band drew on the repertoire of Chick Morris, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Albert King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnnie Taylor and Linda Ronstedt for the cover versions.

The quintet is actively supported by Tom Muller (saxophone), Simon Hartl (trumpet) and Detlef Niesler (accordion), who contribute to the “groove” of the arrangements with razor-sharp “breaks”.

“Simple music is difficult to play and blues is simple music” (Albert Collins)


Play Video about Lonesome in the Moonlight

B.B. & the blues shacks: Discography

B.B. & The blues shacks: the best in Europe

  • “This combo underlines once again that it is Europe’s absolute best blues band.” (Jefferson Magazine, Stockholm, Sweden)
  • “B.B. & The Blues Shacks continue to be one of the best outfits in Europe (bluesinthenorthwest, UK)
  • “Their mix of soul, rhythm’n blues with a pinch of Chicago blues is dynamite.” (Bild Zeitung, Hamburg, Germany)
  • “This band never fails to impress.” (Blues & Rhythm, Bromham, UK)
  • “These blues boys come from Lower Saxony, but are successful all over the world.” (, Berlin, Germany)
  • “A tried and tested recipe for success.” (Bear Family Records, Holste, Germany)
  • “The band really puts an evening on alert.” (Neue Presse, Hannover, Germany)
  • “B.B. & The Blues Shacks may sound crazy retro – but they also sound crazy good.” (BRIGITTE, Hamburg, Germany)
  • “These Germans put on a real high-energy performance.” (BrooWaha Newspaper, Los Angeles).
  • “With B.B. & the Blues Shacks even the November blues become really sunny!” (NDR Television, Hamburg-Lokstedt, Germany)
  • “These guys are in demand worldwide.” (SAT1 Lower Saxony, Hannover, Germany)
  • “The Shacks win over their audiences in no time.” (Radio Bremen, Germany)
  • “They are the best out there.” (Radio KUCI 88.9 FM, Los Angeles)
  • “When they play live, definitely go see them.” (NDR 2, Hamburg, Germany)
  • “Michael Arlt, a fantastic singer with a very distinctive, recognizable voice.” (NDR 1 Welle Nord, Kiel, Germany)
  • “Probably the best blues band we have ever heard in Germany.” (WDR Radio, Cologne, Germany)
  • “One of the swingingest bands in Europe!” (German Blues Circle Info, Frankfurt, Germany)
  • “Five stars. More than worthwhile.” (Bluesboarder, Comines, Belgium)
  • “Germany’s No. 1 blues band.” (CrossCut Records, Bremen, Germany)
  • “B.B. & The Blues Shacks are something special.” (Rolling Stone Magazine, San Francisco)
  • “This band electrifies everyone.” (Rundblick, Hannover, Germany)
  • “The energy flow between band and audience is just right.” (Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, Germany)
  • “The Shacks manage to master the mix of tradition and individual expression.” (Harmonica Player, Munich, Germany)
  • “A listening pleasure.” (BluesBlast Magazine, Creve Coeur, USA)
  • “A repertoire anchored in the 40s and 50s.” (Journal Ventilo, Marseille, France)
  • “The band delights its audience with impeccable musicianship.” (Blues Junction Productions, Atascadero, USA)
  • “The Shacks get by on high notes without breathing aids.” (Rocktimes, Trulben, Germany)
  • “The band will make even the most uninhibited ballroom dancer squirm.” (Paris Move, France)

“You can have the blues one morning because your wife has left you. You can have the blues the next day because she’s come back.” (Willie Dixon)

B.B. & the blues shacks: life snippets