If the recent gray skies are getting you down and making you feel depressed, there is no better way to banish the blues than watching some local and international acts throw down some old standards and their own raunchy riffs for the third installment of the Blues Bash taking place this weekend in Sijhih at the Dream Community & Tree Cafe.
Organized by the Blues Society of Taipei (BST) and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and Super FM 98.5, this year's bash includes some acts from last year's festival as well as some new players.
Popular Taiwan-based act BoPoMoFo — led by Chicago native and former host of The Blues Power Hour DC Rapier — will play its version of Chicago-style blues. The Anglers will cook up some blues for the bash, which they promise will steam up the venue. Stevie Ray and Black Sheep will play their version of the genre as inspired by the Texas Blues guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughn.
David Chen and the Muddy Basin Ramblers will get the crowd on their feet with blues music influenced by the jug bands that emerged in the American south in the 1920s and 1930s, a mixture of styles that includes country blues, ragtime and jazz. The crowd can then cool off with Boogie Chillin', a band which plays a mixture of classic blues fused with more contemporary styles.
Rounding out the local talent is the Kenyatta Trio — led by New Orleans native Nbugu Kenyatta — and David Foster, whose music is influenced by the Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley and Counting Crows, and can best be described as folk rock with strong blues and funk undertones.
International artists on the bill include Bay Area blower Matthew Kelly, who cut his teeth with legendary players like T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker and Champion Jack Dupree. With more than 14 albums to his credit, Kelly's contributions to blues music on harmonica, guitar and vocals are only matched by his songwriting.
Internationally renowned musician Shun Kikuta will land in Taiwan to play some soulful, explosive and heart-wrenching tunes. Last year, Kikuta led a blues guitar workshop that may happen again this year.
American expat Ken "the Snowman" Minahan is a well-respected session musician and guitarist who lives in Thailand. Born and raised in Chicago, he started playing guitar age 12 and has played with some of the blues greats such as Buddy Guy, Katie Webster and the Memphis Horns. Rounding out the international musicians is finger-style guitarist Joel Blumert who has won many awards for his folksy-blues music.
In addition to the music at the Dream Community tomorrow and Sunday, attendees will be able to purchase food and drink and participate in a blues trivia quiz. Winners will receive CDs or other prizes. Topping off the festival, members of the audience will be invited to join event performers to play the blues. There will also be a musician's workshop and open jam.