Text by Abish Shakya
Photo courtesy of Umesh Shakya
While blues is considered a niche genre in Nepal, ‘ Kathmandu Blues & Roots 2’ brought together 6 artists: Mukti and Revival, Newaz, Mental Radio, Spirit X, TMR Trio and Kanta Dab Dab, for an all-in-one exciting blues packed all-day event plus with DJing sessions with Mama Disquo at RS Moto, Gahanapokhari, on April 3, and unravelled the roots of blues culture of Nepal organised by Roshan Kansakar and Satish Sthapit, supported by Anil Studio.
Though respected and recognized all over the world, blues is still an underground genre here. The crowd is a bit different while the music for the good and bad times is yet to hit its stride, and make a mark on this generation. Since only a handful of bands here are rooted in this genre, Kathmandu Blues & Roots— with their fingers crossed — hope that this initiative will revive the spirit of the genre, and more bands will start incorporating blues elements in their songs. Further, the organisers hope and anticipate that these kinds of events will establish ‘blues’ as a mainstream genre, and perhaps draw international attention in the near future if organized on a grander scale. Though the chord progression of the blues might seem simple, people need to recognise the art of storytelling in this form of music. It’s not just the words that heed to you, but also the music that resonates the deep meaning and feeling, ineffable otherwise. Blues — the primeval genre which has given birth to many genres, including rock and metal —has stood strong in the world for more than a century, and is now seeking its establishment in Nepal.
Besides this, the event had collected donations for Ashish Rajkarnikar, a young guy who’s kidneys have failed. The performing bands have donated their share of earning from this event so young Ashish can live to see days, weeks and years ahead.
Now that we know there is a crowd that aspires to feel the blues, we hope that this genre will flourish and comfort us in our times of trouble and knock us in our times of joy.
How blue can we get ?