Multiple award winner AJ Plug is a highly talented singer from the Dutch rock and roots scene. Alexandra Jolanda Plug is widely known as one of the most impressive female blues and rock singers to have emerged from the Dutch blues rock and roots scene in recent years.
As well as going on extensive tours with her own band, AJ Plug also joined up with Dutch television celebrity Johan Derksen on his theatre tour “Johan Derksen Keeps the Blues Alive” which was performed in almost every theatre in Holland.
After the release of her debut album “Let Go or Be Dragged” (2014), her career really kicked off. October 2016 saw the release of her second album “Chew Chew Chew” which was also highly praised. AJ’s music rapidly conquered the modern blues scene, with both albums by this tough blonde receiving fabulous reviews.
Music Maker magazine said: “She wrote all twelve songs on the album herself and each one of them was top-notch”. Her mastery of the blues genre and different styles allows her to produce powerful rock and to traverse to a tear jerking ballad. Simply a great album” (5 stars).
Thanks to all this positive publicity, she landed up on the cover of the American blues magazine “Blues E-news”, joining other great artists such as Beth Hart, Susan Tedeschi and Shemekia Copeland who were nominated by the readers for the prize of leading ladies of the blues.
At the beginning of May 2018 AJ arrived at a run-down farmhouse in Grolloo with her partner and guitarist Klaas Kuijt. It was here that they recorded and released the acoustic album “Barefoot, the Grollo Takes” in June 2018. They used minimal equipment but created maximum atmosphere. We can feel the blues, hear the soul on this album and are drawn deep into her sensitivity. A fabulous album recorded in an amazing ambiance.
“Barefoot, the Grollo Takes”. Without fuss, pure and honest. The sound is beautiful, clear and has an analogue shine” (Andre Witterbroek, Blues Magazine).
Unfortunately, the beginning of 2019 saw fate deal a terrible blow. AJ was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus which almost costs her her life.
But now she is back. The illness, Killer King, had been curbed. Logically, this album deals with illness and recovery. The song titles speak for themselves: The Shape I’m In, The Sky Turned Black, Tears Ran Dry, Never Gonna Stop, It’ll Be Alright, Gimme a Smile.
“Writing is therapeutic. During my illness I was not truly aware. I repressed a lot I think. When I started writing songs again I became aware of everything. Now I can give it a place, putting everything in perspective. And now it is behind me”.
Killer King has turned into a very musical and accessible album with a rough edge here and there. “It’s an honest album. No bullshit. No songs about Saturday night partying, that’s pretty clear. Each song has a deep meaning and hopefully offers recognition and comfort”.
In March 2022, Killer King was given the best blues album award, presented in a delayed ceremony by the Dutch Blues Foundation due to the corona epidemic.
Now she has recovered, AJ Plug is on tour again. She smiled radiantly during the first few gigs, singing more freely and more uninhibited than ever.