Arts & Entertainment
Mahindra Blues Festival to be held in Mumbai on Feb 15-16
Mumbai, January 6, 2014
The fourth edition of the Mahindra Blues Festival, the largest such event in Asia and featuring an ensemble of acclaimed international and Indian artistes, will be held at the iconic Mehboob Studies in the seaside suburb of Bandra here on February 15-16.
Music lovers will have the chance to listen to a star-studded line-up at the festival, including Grammy Award-winning Jimmie Vaughan, the Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guest Doyle Bramhall II, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Zac Harmon and India’s own bands, Soulmate and Blackstratblues.
Austin, Texas-based Vaughan is a four-time Grammy Award winner and the older brother of the legendary Stevie Vaughan. He has made his mark in the Blues world, winning the 2001 Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues Album category for his album, “Do You Get the Blues?” He has performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in the USA, which has seen the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and other legends.
The remarkable Tedeschi Trucks Band will be a major highlight at the festival this year. Band leaders, and husband and wife, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi gave up their solo bands to form the ten-member Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010.
Though Trucks and Dtedeschi recorded their debut album only in 2011, they have taken the Blues world by storm, winning for Best Blues Album at the Grammy Awards 2012 and successfully touring around the world.
A busy bunch, they also released their second album, “Made Up Mind,” just this summer. This band is probably one of the hottest current acts to tour the country, a big ‘watchout’ for the Mahindra Blues Festival fan base.
At Mahindra Blues Festival, Tedeschi Trucks band will be joined by special guest Doyle Bramhall II, another talented musician from a Blues family, as the son of the late Doyle Bramhall. A multi-talented performer and producer, Doyle Bramhall II recently co-produced and toured the world with Eric Clapton in 2013, and produced American singer Sheryl Crow’s 2010 album, “100 Miles from Memphis.”
Blues lovers also cannot miss Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials band. A Chicago native and a veteran of the Chicago Blues, Lil’ Ed will serve up a dose of the songs of his native city, painting the diversity of the Blues genre today.
Adding to this picture will be Mississippi-born and bred Zac Harmon, a multi-disciplinary giant who has written and produced songs for reggae group Black Uhuru and Rhythm and Blues singer Alexander O’Neal. This Mississippi musician gives a taste of his home state’s Blues style in a famous CD recording of his performance at Los Angeles’ Babe and Ricky’s Inn Blues club. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Blues Foundation.
Meghalaya-based band, Soulmate, one of India's best-known Blues rock bands, consists primarly of singers and guitarists Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar. Formed in 2003, the band has toured music festivals and played concerts around the world, including at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the International Jazzmandu Festival in Kathmandu. They also opened for famed guitarist Carlos Santana at the Formula One Rocks in Delhi.
This year Soulmate adds a touch of ‘new’ into their mix, adding to a line-up of traditional and folk musicians. They will also launch their new album here at the festival.
Blackstratblues, the solo Blues project of Mumbai-born Warren Mendonsa, will be the other Indian act in the event. Mendonsa, arguably one of the finest guitarists in the country, has released two solo albums, “Nights in Shining Karma” in 2007 and “The New Album” in 2009, and comes prepared to wow the crowds with the soul-stirring sounds of his finely tuned axe.
Jay Shah, Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group said “The response Mumbai has given to the Mahindra Blues Festival is indeed heartening. Each year, the iconic spaces at the Mehboob Studios reverberate with the Blues and provide an immersive experience to the participant. The festival offers equal access both to a diverse audience as well as blues bands from India and abroad. The impact of this festival is felt far and wide – as far as the Mississippi Delta in the United States where our tractor customers feel proud of their cultural heritage being appreciated and celebrated in a land far away”.
In 2013, the sold-out Mahindra Blues Festival treated over 3500 fans to international musicians like Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Popa Chubby, the Dana Fuchs band, and Indian Blues group, Big Bang Blues.
Since its start in 2011, the Mahindra Blues Festival has played a major role in promoting Blues as a music genre to Indian audiences.