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News |  15 Feb 2016 16:45 |  By RnMTeam

All star jam concludes Mahindra Blues Festival's sixth edition

MUMBAI: Mehboob Studio welcomed the Blues aficionados with a large white banner at the main gate that had words deservingly sum up Asia's finest Blues Festival - 'The Blues Live Here'. The country's most beloved Blues act- Soulmate- opening for the festival says a lot for the potential the organisers possess towards ensuring the Blues not only lives there but rules the space.  

To the ones who bought the Day 1 tickets for Keb Mo were surely glad they entered Stage 1 two hours prior to the Grammy award winning Blues stalwart headlined the day. Soulmate's act was followed by American blues outfit Heritage Blues Orchestra and the band did not waste a moment to mesmerise with their typical twelve-bar magic. 

The festival travelled to Chicago last year, and with a purpose to outdo itself with every edition, the festival 'opened' its Garden for the winner of the Blues Band Hunt - 'Lal and the People'- for two consecutive days. The Bhopal-based band made the most of the 'atmosphere' that ensued with the conclusion of Heritage Blues Orchestra's maiden set on Indian soil. Mahindra Blues held on to the reputation of 'raising the bar' with neatly organised food and beverages stalls, better management at the box office and larger emphasis on the sound. The 'raising the bar' attribute extended to the music as well, naturally. Heritage Blues Orchestra provided a magnificent display of showmanship- be it the playful handclap intros to their songs or the brass ensemble that included saxophone, trumpet and the, trombone accompanied by the harmonica.

Keb Mo makes for the ideal headlining act for a Blues Festival and Mumbai witnessed why. Straight Outta Compton, the 64-year-old Mo ensured the debut live performance at Mumbai leaves an impression that had the revelers sing the praises of the California-born legend even on day two, as the gates opened for the British Blues band King King. The headlining act of the day was Joss Stone, however, the 'SoulStrat' stage or Stage 1 surprised one and all with their respective second acts of the day. What Heritage Blues Orchestra managed on day one, Malina Moye did no less. Undoubtedly, the band had  the funkiest appearance with golden leather jackets, and bling hats. However, the sound had the upper hand. Moye swung between Blues and R&B, and the practice did not sound repetitive or ordinary.    

For whoever attended the sixth edition of the Mahindra Blues Festival, the sound of announcement welcoming Joss Stone on Stage 3 was surely music to the ears. And not a single soul at the Mehboob studio wanted to turn towards the exit as the British songwriter stepped on the stage at half past ten. Joss Stone's music needs no introduction. However, one struggled to describe the 'epic' conclusion to Stone's performance. Bill Sims Jr. and Junior Mack (Heritage Blues Orchestra), Alan Nimmo (King King), Soulmate, Malina Moye and Keb Mo joined Joss Stone on the stage for an 'All-Star Jam' that sent the fans into an absolute frenzy. Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, said in an interview before the festival commenced that he hoped the city becomes synonymous with the Blues genre. When some of the biggest names in Blues share the stage improvising on the melodies with Stone on vocals, the 'hope' seems more of a reality.