If you missed blues outfit Taj Mahal trio’s debut performance last night, fret no more. Today, the American Grammy Award-winning blues musician’s band will again take to stage with a host of other artistes at Oranjuice’s Mahindra Blues Festival. Also in store is the headlining act by legendary Chicago bluesman, Buddy Guy.
“The big jam was a great success last year. Everyone who has performed through the two days comes together to have some fun,” says Guy, who also headlined the first edition of the festival.
Last year, the six-time Grammy winner offered a lesson in showmanship that left Mumbai audience captivated. From playing the guitar with a drumstick to picking strings with his teeth, the 75-year-old kept his fans hooked for almost two hours as he walked through the crowd and played his instrument over his head and behind his back. Ask him what new tricks he has up his sleeve this year and he says, “I think I’ll have to walk on my knees, playing the guitar or something. But seriously, I’m hoping to find someone who can come up on stage and sing ‘Slippin’ in…’ with me.”
However, Guy hopes to carry on his crowd-pleasing antics this time too. “I didn’t come here to be alone. I want my audience to feel what I’m doing,” he says. About his two-hour long ‘I ain’t finished yet...’ tease last year, he says, “I lose track of time when I’m playing. I was once performing with Eric Clapton in London and we went on for so long that once we finished, my manager walked up and said I’ve cost him $3,000 since I ate up the time for other lined-up artistes.”
On his fourth visit to the country, the artiste confesses that he can’t get enough of India. “I love the people. The Indian audience is very interactive and I feed off their energy.” Ask the guy in his famous beret, who won a Grammy for the Best Contemporary Blues Album for his last album Living Proof in 2011, whether he’s ready with some new material and he says, “Yes, I’m ready to record. But I’ll start work only in the summer. It’s too cold now.”
Tonight, local acts like Blackstratblues and Soulmate will open for the gig, while Serbian blues singer-guitarist and soon-to-be mom Ana Popovic, will take on next. “My first kid was also a rock ‘n’ roll baby. He toured with me when he was barely five weeks old. My baby girl’s due in April and I’ve been touring non-stop,” she says. Popovic will later join the blues league comprising Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker Jr and Taj Mahal Trio for the grand blues finale tonight.