This Bio will be divided in “Funny”, “Not funny”, ‘Funny but so What?” and “Funny, however” topics !
Born in Cabinda (Angola), Eastern Africa on Aug. 7 1957, Nuno Mindelis became a guitar enthusiast at the very young age of 5.
(FUNNY, we still think it’s interesting to be born) By the age of 6, 7 he began building and playing self-made guitars. A primary influence at that time was Otis Redding and his great rhythm section, Booker T. & The MG’s.
Formed first band 14 years old, Cavanah Blues Band (and got his first professional fee at the same age, for a studio recording).
Setlist included Sugar Mama (The Taste/Rory Gallagher version), Go Back Home (Stephen Stills), Backdoor Man (Willie Dixon),and bands like Ten Years After, Blindfaith,Gratefull Dead, Doors etc.
1991: records Long Distance Blues. FUNNY. The reason his first record was released only in 1991: there was a gap in Nuno’s life from 1976 to aprox. 1987 due to bloody war, exile, ruin, living in “borrowed” places, sometimes sleeping outdoors, separation from his family things like that. He never stopped playing though. His car’s trunk always had “workers’s cloths” and musician’s cloths, an amplifier and a guitar. Often he’d go from the gig directly to the job and sleep in the car for half an hour. NOT FUNNY 1994: Nuno’s first known recognition by a major American music magazine. “Guitar Player Magazine”. Jas Obrecht (the editor at the time) compared Nuno to Jimmy Page. (“Think Jimmy Page’s I can’t Quit You Baby”). FUNNY, HOWEVER the article and the B&W picture could be a bit bigger and colored and in a bigger section.
Further recognition came in their May, 1998 issue, as Nuno was selected as “Best Blues Guitarist” in the 30th Anniversary Guitar Player Magazine Competition. FUNNY,HOWEVER Nuno goes on being the “awarded music people is not listening to”. What more? It’s like an american musician winning a Japanese competition of Shakuhachi music playing a Ishigenkin. Harder than that, actually. It could have been more noticed.
To make it worse, GP misspelled Nuno’s name (Nino!!??) in a especially-made-for-the-industry CD, as part of the prize. Such an important piece of advertising, ruined by some smart ass bureaucrat who forgot Nuno’s name. (NOT FUNNY) 1995: Invited to play at Antone’s 20th Anniversary in Austin. Junior Wells, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Storyville also performed at this event. The headlines of the Austin Blues newspaper warned “The South American Beast is coming to your town ! “FUNNY BUT SO WHAT? Cool, being in the “Austin Blues’ cover, alongside with Freddie King, but again nothing changed, (except for the really incredible reactions of the texans) during that “starving tour”, (the band came to be arrested by the Texanvacant-psycho cops for the usual reasons, searching for pot in the truck etc. Besides, Nuno is not a South American! Why not putting just Nuno? (-: Later that year Nuno would record his album “Texas Bound”, featuring newly made friends Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, SRV’s rhythm section supreme, “Double Trouble”. (FUNNY) -With this album Nuno gained audiences in the entire world.
FUNNY HOWEVER : Ok, Europe, small blues clubs, sometimes bigger, sometimes a Festival, but generally a starving scene, sleepless nights due to the lack of rooms and food, because the tour was organised by another weirdo psycho who thought people don’t need to sleep and eat, and who ended up by not paying Nuno and his road band. Texas Bound came to be the 12nd top seller in Belgium,Netherlands, Luxemburg) sharing the shelfs with the world’s biggest blues names ,BB King, Robert Cray etc.
FUNNY HOWEVER check those other names bank accounts and the hotels and food they have when they tour there. (-: The song Hugs spontaneously reached number one in charts (remember and all of a sudden some US checks started to arrive in Nuno’s mailbox ! This seemed to be the recognition for years and years of hard working, God’s fairness wouldn’t allow a different finale. FUNNY. HE allowed, though, soon the policy changed, no more checks. (NOT FUNNY) 1999: New release (and tour ) with the Double Trouble guys, album Blues On The Outside. One of it’s songs (The Grass is Greener) was the most played in Electric blues radio stations in 2003.
(FUNNY HOWEVER) No increase in gigs, in exposure, no recognition in the US, no american dream, no lots of chicks jumping on him, no Hollywood, no articles in american mags …
2001:Nuno was invited to play the 25th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival announced alongside with names such as Prince , George Benson, Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson and many others. (FUNNY).
2003 Releases Twelve Hours, a best seller in CDBABY in it’s category. It’s worth to read the (hundreds of five star) customers reviews here : (FUNNY and, again, worth reading) .
2008 Nuno was invited (by The Animals’s bass player and manager) to go to England and play the Great Rhythm Blues Festival in Colne (Manchester) . Announced alongside some of the legendary names he used to listen and learn from when he was a kid (The Taste,The Yardbirds, Steve Cropper,The Animals, Dr.Feelgood, Albert Lee and many others. FUNNY .
2010 Nuno released Free Blues. Some statements : ( “Nuno goes from good to better to best on an album that mixes blues and rock classics… while kicking in a few of his own songs. Both as a guitarist and singer, Nuno is sort of reminiscent of Clapton while his low key, understated and bluesy singing style is sort of a reminder of a modern J.J. Cale… Free Blues will have you coming back for more”.
“You will find some of the best guitaring around “
(Carol Borington, Blues Matters / England) : FUNNY HOWEVER : the album got only a few reviews.
2013 – Nuno recorded Angels & Clowns – Invited to join the cast of great guitar player and producer Duke Robillard and Jesse Finkelstein’s label Duchess Blue / Shinning Stone Records , he records this album in Lakewest studios / Rhode Island with production and participation of Duke in some tracks.
Angels & Clowns got really honoring reviews (permanent comparisons with the greats, SRV, Hendrix, etc..) FUNNY HOWEVER still missing the limos, the chicks, Hollywood and the regular , stable and dignifying tours and career all those guys had.
2018- Nuno releases the album Live At The Suwalki Festival / Poland,the show was so successfull that he deserved a “Walk Of Fame sign alongside Billy Gibbons, Mavis Staples and Eric Burdon. (and other many signs with everyone possible in the blues rock story , from Yardbirds , Canned Heat, Mick Taylor , Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce to Ten Years After, Bonamassa etc.) FUNNY . Not bad, people will step in his name for years, in the company of all those legends.
2020 – Release of Angola Blues, a Rock and bluesifying” tribute to his childhood Angolan heroes and hits !
Lengendary Flora Purim and Airto Moreira (former Miles Davis, Return to Forever, Chik Corea etc..) are special participations.
FUNNY HOWEVER … album release show was coincidentally schedulled to what became the massive Covid Lockdown’s first day.
2022 – The project Singles series – One single every month (or 35/40 days) and an album ahead including such singles and an album with these singles plus other songs already ready and others in progress
Produced, recorded , performed by Nuno (Guitar, vocals, drums, Bass, + invited keyboardists) solitary sessions during lockdowns First one, song That’s What It is. (videoclip / still unreleased but watcheable) : By this time I gave up this classification, everything is FUNNY now, I’m older, no complaints and no more time for jokes.