India roared into the blues spotlight this past week. I used to know only about Soulmate, which competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis a few years back, but it turns out that there is A LOT MORE happening all across India. For example, International Blues Day was celebrated in Goa, India — as well as in Manila and General Santos City in the Philippines [and perhaps elsewhere in Asia]. Also, we uncovered blues in Bali and Bogor, Indonesia. Also, the Philippine Blues Society used International Blues Day to announce the 2nd Philippine National Blues Competition, which is a MAJOR EVENT to select a band to send all-expenses-paid to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge 2014. And speaking of the Philippines, we share with you Jessica Reynoso’s breakthrough performance at her The Voice Philippines audition.
BLUES ASIA RADIO OFF TO STRONG START
Amazingly, in its first two weeks our brand new online radio station was streamed 332 times !!! We have already uploaded 53 tracks from 19 different blues artists from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines — and this week we received via email additional mp3 tracks from Andrie Tidie from Indonesia, Ped’s Band from Thailand and Smoking Chutney from India, which will be soon uploaded to the station.
Have you sent us your tracks yet? They must be well-recorded [but already we have some tracks recorded at home that really sound good] — and they must be blues. Tracks can be in your native language, and you can even introduce local music traditions into your blues, as long as the blues genre is noticeable.
We will change the playlist once a week, with 15-20 songs per week, running about an hour and a half. Tracks will be played in random order.
This is a great way to sample blues from around Asia. And musicians can also hear how their own tracks stack up against other blues tracks from the region.
Make it a habit to listen whenever you plan to be at your computer for an hour or more. You can access the station from our website: www.bluesasianetwork.com .
BALI BLUES? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!
Acoustic blues from Bali, Indonesia — and it’s really good !!! Does anyone know exactly who the artist is [maybe Andrie Tidie?] ? Perhaps you can add some additional detail as a comment below. This kind of track, by the way, has good enough audio that it can be ripped to an audio track and added to the playlist at BLUES ASIA NETWORK.
BOGOR BLUES COMMUNITY SHOWS OFF ITS TALENT
The Bogor Blues Community has a channel on YouTube featuring videos by its various members. Here’s a good way to get a look into the blues scene there. Do other blues communities in Asia also have a YouTube channel?
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/inupageabluesman
BLUES POWER CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL BLUES DAY IN GOA
International Blues Day was celebrated in grand style in Goa, India, with local blues band Blues Power dishing out some powerful blues. Blues Asia Network has subsequently learned that there is great blues in Goa year round. We continue to be amazed as we begin to learn more and more about blues in India. For example, we learned that Beat Root Blues Band is back on the scene, performing this weekend at Tawa Resto-Bar at Baywatch Resort, in Colva. Both bands, by the way, share the same bassist, Colin D’Cruz, who is a major figure in the Goa blues and jazz scene.
PHILIPPINE BLUES SOCIETY ANNOUNCES 2nd PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BLUES COMPETITION
On International Blues Day, the Philippine Blues Society [PBS] announced the 2nd Philippine National Blues Competition, with three weekends of eliminations in September, culminating in the Final Four event on 27 September. The winning band receives an all-expense-paid trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in late January to represent the country in the International Blues Challenge [IBC], sponsored by the Blues Foundation.
This is a BIG DEAL. Last year 35 bands participated in the 1st Philippine Blues Competition. The winning band, Kat Magic Express, joined over 220 blues acts from around the world who converged on Memphis for the 4-day event. This is by far the largest blues gathering on the planet, drawing music industry scouts, festival organizers, talent agents, owners of blues clubs, journalists with special interest in the blues.
You can read all about it at the PBS website. After reading the home page article, check out the video tab on top to view performances by last year’s four finalists. PBS has also set up a special FB page about this year’s competition so that band’s and fans can keep up with the event. Already a past competitor from the US is sharing some information and advice about the event to help bands prepare for the competition.
The Philippine competition is sponsored by FedEx, Roadhouse Manila Bay and ABS-CBN, the nation’s top TV network, which assures full coverage of the competition in Manila and even following the band over to the US. PBS has also rounded up a number of media sponsors and others who are helping with event logistics.
Already the media buzz has started: A columnist for the Manila Standard writes about the event in her column today, while the Business Mirror will be carrying a large full-color ad announcing the event, to be followed by editorial coverage.
Other bands from Asia have participated in IBC in the past. Singapore’s Universal Blues participated in 2001. In 2007, BoPoMoFo from the Blues Society on Taiwan not only participated, but also recorded its album at the legendary Sun Studios and produced a documentary about its experiences in Memphis. And Soulmate from India participaed in IBC 3 or 4 years ago. And there are always several blues acts representing various blues societies in Australia, and sometimes from New Zealand.
Because of the expenses of travelling to the US, blues societies in Europe have formed, with the assistance of the Blues Foundation, the European Blues Union, which holds its own blues challenge every year. Read the recent article on the Blues Asia Network website for our thoughts about forming an Asian Blues Union, and share your ideas about the proposal.
READ FULL DETAILS AT: http://www.philippinebluessociety.com/
JESSICA REYNOSO’S BLIND AUDITION ON THE VOICE PHILIPPINES
We mentioned before that 16-year-old blues and soul singer Jessica Reynoso [she fronts the band Katha] qualified to compete on The Voice Philippines. This weekend she faces her first elimination round — and Blues Asia Network wishes her success. In the meantime, we want to share with you the video of her televised audition. WOW !!!