MUMBAI: Mumbai’s winter thrill closes on a high note this year, a Blues note to be precise. The Mahindra Blues Festival returns to grip live-music-loving audiences once again, with highly acclaimed musicians from around the globe. Amped up with an all-star ensemble of international and Indian Blues artists for 2014, the fourth edition of Asia’s largest Blues festival promises to be a high-energy dose of Blues magic staged at the iconic Mehboob Studios in Mumbai’s seaside suburb of Bandra.
The Festival’s star-studded line-up includes Grammy Award-winning Bluesman 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 beloved Blues bands, Soulmate and Blackstratblues.
Mahindra Blues Festival fans are sure to love Austin, Texas-based Jimmie Vaughan, a four-time Grammy Award winner. The older brother of the legendary Bluesman Stevie Vaughan, Jimmie 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?” Jimmie is no stranger to the stage, performing often 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 Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band will 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 Derek and Susan 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 multidisciplinary 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. A former member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Blues Foundation, Zac Harmon’s soulful, passionate Blues will pulsate throughout the Mahindra Blues Festival.
A Blues Festival is incomplete without our very own Blues darlings. In comes Meghalaya-based band, Soulmate, perhaps India’s most prominent Blues-rock band. Composed primarily of the singers and guitarists Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar, this talented band formed in 2003 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. This is going to be very interesting indeed.
Mahindra Blues Festival’s second Indian talent is Blues band, Blackstratblues, the solo Blues project of Mumbai-born Warren Mendonsa. Warren, 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 almost single-handedly promoted the Blues as a music genre to Indian audiences. Since then, the Blues has grown tremendously in popularity, sparking up many Blues Bands and smaller concerts and festivals. A leader in its category, the festival prides itself in being not just a series of concerts but one of the city’s ‘prestige’ experiences, comparable to events that happen in Europe and America. With Blues performances on multiple stages, a very evolved and discerning audience from around India and the world, and perhaps the most delicious American Southern food outside of Mississippi, the Mahindra Blues Festival is a great way to enjoy the last days of winter.
Now in its fourth year, the Blues Festival has gained a loyal following as diverse as the Blues genre, bringing Indian, International, young and mature fans together for a weekend of Blues music, good food, and a few surprises. Thanks to the MBF, the Blues has found a new audience in India, one that is growing every year.
Tickets go on sale in Janurary 2014, Daily (Rs.2000) Season (Rs. 3000), Student (Rs.800 per day) all standing, Premium Enclosure Rs. 11.000/- includes seating and beverage.
The concert is promoted and produced by Oranjuice Entertainment, a professional music and concert management company.
Gear up for a weekend of electrifying Blues!