Santos Puertas & The SuitCase Brothers

At the end of the second set a fan approaches Santos and starts a conversation. Santos Puertas senses that at some point in the conversation he is going to be asked:

-Where are you from? Why do you speak with an accent? …Santos is the perfect example that the music chooses you, you don’t choose the music.  When one listens to Santos Puertas singing and playing american music, it’s hard to believe that he was born in a small town called Sant Just Desvern, on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain.

Singing came naturally to him from an early age.It is in his blood. His grandfather and his mother were gifted singers. Santos remembers that they use to sing around the house and at every celebration. Guitar is the instrument Santos chose to accompany his voice.
The story of Santos Puertas (formerly known as Pere Puertas) is a story full of effort, passion and determination. At the age of 16, Santos was loading and unloading trucks to make enough money to pay for his first electric guitar and a little amp.

When he was 18, he worked in a factory, and with the money he earned he went to London, UK. He lived there for a year working as a dishwasher and a waiter during the day and playing guitar at night.
He started his first blues band when he was 19, soon after he came back from England to his home town, and started teaching English lessons for the first time.  When he dropped out of his last year of college at 23, he focused on earning a living and playing music. He was a substitute teacher at the Americ
an school in Barcelona and taught English in Spanish schools.Soon he would start getting paid to play gigs too.

In the year 2000 Santos crossed the pond for the first time and went to Austin, TX. He made a bunch of musician friends and felt very welcome in the blues scene. The same year, together with his brother Victor Puertas, harmonica virtuoso and gifted musician, started the great piedmont blues americana duo called ‘TheSuitcase Brothers’. Also in the year 2000 they cut their first record, ‘Living with the Blues’. Some of Santos’ students are featured in that first recording singing the song ‘Down by the Riverside’.
After playing together for 15 years, 4 recordings, 2 movie soundtracks and hundreds of gigs and venues, the duo has become an important reference in the blues scene in Spain and Europe. They also love to play with a rhythm section when they can. They participated at the IBC (International Blues Challenge) 2013 in Memphis, and ended up winning 2nd place among 100 others international blues acts. They started touring and making U.S. fans.
They have recently released their 4th album, named ‘A Long Way from Home’, recorded in Austin, Texas, which features friend and blues harmonica legend Jerry Portnoy, among others. This last recording has garnered a number of great reviews in Europe and the US and it was among the five finalists for the ‘Best Self Produced CD’ category at the IBC in 2015.
After the first trip to Austin, TX in 2000, Santos continued going back until in the summer of 2003, when he joined the soul singer Miss Lavelle White’s band and toured with her in Texas.

He has also been deeply involved in the blues scene in Barcelona, doing all sorts of collaborations such as: translating the late John Cephas and James Harman workshops, teaching blues guitar, and conducting a blues radio show called ‘Just Blues’ in his hometown for 2 years.
Santos has opened and/or jamed with many blues artists such as: Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin, Hook Herrera, Steve James, Gary Primich, Nick Curran, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, and Hash Brown, among many others Santos has recorded and/or played with Jerry Portnoy, Paul Oscher, Miss Lavelle White, Joel Foy, Christian Dozzler, Fred Kaplan, Mike Morgan, and Nathan James, among others.