|Well, once again the Blues Asia Network has introduced me to yet another phenomenal blues band. Based in India, Soulmate features Rudy Wallang (Guitar/Vocals/Songwriter) and Tipriti TIPS Kharbangar (Vocals/Guitar). The combination of Rudy’s tasteful guitar playing and Tipriti’s powerful vocals makes Soulmate a band to be reckoned with.|
Currently Soulmate have released only two albums to date entitled Shillong and Moving On. According to a wikipedia entry:
Soulmate is a north-east India based Blues band, which according to their myspace page “… came together in Shillong, in February 2003 playing their first concert at the ‘Roots Festival at the Water Sports Complex in Umiam. Since then the band has performed many concerts all over The Northeast as well as in different parts of India,Southeast Asia,Europe,The Middle East and The USA. ”
Soulmate gained nationwide recognition and popularity within the Jazz and Blues circles in India after they became the only Blues band to represent the country (Courtesy The Blues Club of India) at the 23rd International Blues Challenge organized by The Blues Foundation of America, in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, in February 2007. They were semi-finalists and performed at The Rum Boogie Café (Blues Club of The Year) alongside 150 other bands and musicians from all over the world.
You can find out more information about Soulmate at their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/soulmateshillong
Just saw an excellent video of Brendan Power playing with a young Filipino blues band called the Bleu Rascals on the latest Blues Asia Network show. Brendan was on tour in Asia recently and while in the Philippines conducting a clinic/concert was captured on video playing with this up-and-coming blues band. Brendan is in flying form and plays a searing harmonica on the song Harmonica Man. According to Blues Asia Network the Bleu Rascals will be representing the Philippines at the upcoming International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Embedded below you will see Brendan’s performance with the Bleu Rascals and also the most recent Blues Asia Network show.
Here in China the first of our two New Years is almost upon us. With less than three hours or so left to go I find myself thinking about what I want to achieve in the coming year. Here New Year as defined on the Gregorian calendar is not celebrated as much as the Chinese New Year or Spring festival which this year arrives during the last week of January according to the Chinese calendar.
As the clock winds down, I will pause for a few moments of reflection. I will think about what has past and what is to come and I will continually look forward. To live life fully is to make your tomorrows better than your todays. Onwards and upwards good people!
I want to thank everyone who as visited my blog in the past year for taking the time out of your lives to read what I have written. I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year. Make it a great one, harmonically and otherwise, that’s what I plan to do.
Lee is back with a great set of videos that tie together all the tongue blocking techniques and ideas he has presented in previous lessons. The first two videos introduce the head of an instrumental piece called Bill’s Blues, a tribute to William Clarke. The third video puts it all together and Lee improvises wonderfully, showing what can be done when you start with a great head and then draw on your lick vocabulary and place them appropriately. The final video is a swinging, jazzy, foot-stomper!
Here are the descriptions from the videos themselves:
Part 1 of a walkthrough of ‘Bill’s Blues’ by Lee Sankey which brings together the techniques Lee has covered so far in his video tutorial series on tongue blocking for the blues harmonica. “Bill’s Blues” is dedicated to late great William Clarke and uses a A harp in 3rd position (key of B). This video lesson covers the first section of the head which intermediate players will be able to tackle. Part 2 deals the remainder of the head which is suitable for more advanced players.
Part 2 of a walkthrough of ‘Bill’s Blues’. We take things up a notch here and the riffs will challenge intermediate players. This tune provides a great way to practise the techniques Lee has explained in his video series on harmonica tongue blocking.
Doctor Ross was one of the very first blues musicians I ever heard. His one man band, rhythm pumping machine establishes an infectious groove that has you tapping your foot every time. Thanks to the miracle that is the internet and Youtube you can now see videos of this great blues musician.
The first video embedded below is of Doctor Ross performing “Feel So Good” on the American Folk Blues video from 1965. Here we can see Ross in full flight with his drum, guitar, harmonica ad vocals all working together to great a massive sound and a solid groove.
The second video is less well known it seems (only 445 views on Youtube compared with the 41,346 views for the first video at the time of writing) and sees Doc Ross performing “Freight Train” with just acoustic harmonica at the 1982 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. . An excellent example of a train blues.
I often find that techniques and skills I am trying to acquire on the harmonica come of their own accord. To each skill there is assigned a specified time that has to pass before that a breakthrough is made. That specified time period is different for each person and dependent on how much time they put in acquiring that skill. Sometimes intense woodshedding needs to be done and other times you need to leave space and revisit the technique regularly creating muscle memory. For me this idea was proven yet again when I finally managed to tongue-block blow bend. The technique still requires serious amounts of work, but the breakthrough has been made and a relaxed TB’ed blow bend was sounded. Nice!
In other news I finally ordered a Hohner Thunderbird in the key of Low-F. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it. Since no one offered to get it for me for Christmas despite my request on a previous post here, I ordered it for myself as a special treat. When I get it and test drive it a bit I will post a review. I am expecting great things!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Well, due to the acquisition of a new apartment, being sick and things being crazy at work, I have been away for some time. However, I have returned and searching around on Youtube today I came across this wonderful performance by Joe Filisko and Eric Noden with Steve Baker at the Harmonica Masters in Trossingen, Germany. This is what music is all about, just having fun. A great old-time jug band number. Enjoy!