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In Pictures: Mahindra Blues Festival 2013 @ Mehboob Studio, Mumbai

  • Mehboob Studios
    The Mumbai film and recording studio was the venue for a third consecutive Mahindra Blues Festival. In 2011, Anand Mahindra had said, "The Blues, an American art form, ironically doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves in the country of its origin, and indeed, around the world. We would like the Mahindra Blues Festival to give this genre of music an overseas platform in the way that Montreux has done for Jazz." Now in its third edition, the festival this year saw performances by Walter Trout & The Radicals, Jimmy Thackerey And The Drivers, Soulmate, Big Bang Blues, Vivienne, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Popa Chubby and Dana Fuchs perform to a healthy blues loving crowd over the weekend of February 16-17.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Soulmate
    The Shillong blues band played day one of the festival. Soulmate have been around for over 10 years, and the band have garnered a dedicated set of fans, who are seen in plenty at their gigs. The band's set included older tracks such as 'I Am' and 'I'll Be Around', along with newer tracks which saw guitarist Rudy Wallang double-up on vocals. Soulmate also confessed that they are working on a third studio record this year, and promised their fans that it would be out soon.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers
    Pittsburgh bluesman Jimmy Thackery played a long and entertaining set with his band The Drivers. A three-piece set up, Thackery and The Drivers powered through their set in front of a comfortably packed venue.

    "I said yeah, how's everyone feeling tonight?" shouted Thackerey, before launching into 'Solid Ice', a track which received the biggest applause from the audience present.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Walter Trout & The Radicals
    This was Walter Trout & The Radicals' third visit to India. During the set, Walter Trout paid homage to Luther Allison, whom he considers to be 'the greatest bluesman of all-time'.

    "Boys, gimme an A minor, with a quick four... Play on Luther / Play your guitar through the darkest night / Because the road has finally taken you / To a place where everything's gonna be all right" sang Walter, as he dedicated his song 'Say Goodbye To The Blues' to the late Luther Allison.

    Walter's set also included his tracks 'Life In The Jungle' and 'Saw My Mama Cryin', the latter being a tribute to his mother.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • People Love the Blues
    Bandra witnessed a lot of blues fans over the two-day festival. The festival at Mehboob Studios was efficiently organised and everyone present at the festival seemed to be having a great time. It was spread across four stages, and Stage 1 and 3 were used as live music venues. One of the remaining stages was used as a showcase library where a number of Gibson guitars were up for display, and the fourth stage was occupied by the bar.

    Check out our notes, from a previous edition of the festival.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Big Bang Blues
    The first band to take the stage on day two was Delhi-based blues/rock band Big Bang Blues. Their set consisted mainly of songs from their EP, Bigger Than Blues.

    The band's brand of blues-rock warmed up the crowd for a taste of what was to follow later in the evening. The band's vocalist, Ipshita Roy, has been nominated for 'Best Female Vocalist' at the Jack Daniels Rock Awards 2013. The Jack Daniels Rock Awards will also take place at Mehboob Studios, on Friday, February 22.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Dana Fuchs
    American singer-songwriter (and occasional actor) Dana Fuchs' set included tracks from her records Love To Beg and Lonely For A Lifetime. Fuchs maintained a high energy level throughout her set, keeping those present at the venue applauding every blues riff played. Dana Fuchs is currently recording her new album Bliss Avenue, which is due to be released later this year through Ruf Records.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Popa Chubby
    American electric blues singer and guitarist Popa Chubby amped up the audience with his blistering solos. "Blues is the music of the people and I have not seen as much soul as I have in India," he proclaimed before going into the aptly titled 'People's Blues'.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Robert Randolph and The Family Band
    Pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph continued the upbeat mood of the evening. During 'Shake Your Hips', he got a few women from the audience to dance on stage and also got everyone to dance along with him to 'The March'. He also performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Voodoo Child'.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
    Bling Uncle was at the Mahindra Blues Festival 2013. Were you?
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • All-Star Jam
    Everyone loves an all-star jam. The 2013 edition of the festival concluded with an all-star jam comprising Popa Chubby, Rudy Wallang, Robert Randolph, Jimmy Thackery and Dana Fuchs (L-R).

    As a whole, we completely enjoyed the weekend we spent at the Mahindra Blues Festival. The annual event seems to be reaching greater heights each year, and we're excited to see what's in store for 2014.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek


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