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Soul Notes
Text by Sohini Datta
Published: Volume 19, Issue 2, February, 2011

What stemmed from adversity soon morphed and took on romantic hues. Discover the soul-stirring essence of Blues at the Mahindra Blues Festival

Nothing excites music lovers more than festivals. The word itself brings happy thoughts to the mind ó lazing on the grounds, meeting new people, eating junk and finally coming away with an unforgettable experience. The very thought of celebrating music stirs a part of your spirit that lies dormant through cubicle days. Drag a friend with you or just land up there alone, because nothing gives greater company than a thousand fans humming to resounding notes of bliss.

Not all of us know too much about Blues and thatís ok as long as you are not from New Orleans. When you think of the blues, you think about sorrow Ė like down with the blues, probably because your lover stopped loving you; your dog died or you just lost your job? But the word and the music are only that much related. What stemmed from adversity, because of the very nature of tune and melody, took a romantic expression. Essentially cathartic, from unbridled joy to unfathomable sorrow, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion than the Blues.

The Blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta just upriver from New Orleans Ė itís the birthplace of jazz. Like a book or a painting, the entire history of the time went into the genre. But as time passed, it moulded and the notes travelled from band to band picking up life as it went culminating in a heady harmonious cocktail.

From a homegrown event to a liberated worldwide phenomenon as bands like Soulmates stepped up into the shoes with voices comparable to the pioneers, somewhere it has remained an underground movement; attracting the connoisseurs only, like a memberís only club. With a starry line-up including Matt Schofield, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy and our very own Soulmates from Shillong, Kolkataís Saturday Night Blues Band and The Luke Kenny Mojo Jukebox, itís time we embraced the notes with open arms; because music was made for the soul and no ones knows it better than the ones playing the Blues.

With plans to make this an annual event, the Mahindra Blues Festival is happening on February 5 and 6 at Mehboob Studios, Bandra; what better month than this to fall in love with music all over again?

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