Bogotá is not the first city you think of when you want to enjoy blues.
Yet the Colombian capital does have it’s own annual blues festival.
Several blues artists from Colombia, north America and even Argentina will be
performing their three-chords-in-twelve-bars music until Sunday.
Obviously Blues DC 2008 isn’t as big as a blues festival you’d expect anywhere in the U.S or even Europe. Five U.S. and four Colombian blues acts will be performing several times on several locationons.
It will be the change to get in touch with your gringo roots though. Blues, unlike rock, never gained any popularity in Colombian culture and the amount of blues bands of Colombian origin are about as numerous as the number of Canadian mambo orchestras.
The four Colombian blues bands to perform — TBCB, Smoking Underdog, Seis Peatones and Blind Charlie — will have to show whatever gringo crowd that shows up that the generally upbeat Colombian does get the blues and knows how to express it.
Of the U.S. artistst to perform Sarah McLawler has the most impressive resume, even though most people would never have heard of her. McLawler, originally from Louisville, KY get into the New York jazz scene in the 1950’s and was friends with artists like Cab Calloway, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Tony Bennet, Sammy Davis Jr. and others. She’s a jazz singer, not a blues singer, but still. She got history.
Another musician to play is Michael Powers, a New York guitarist with a style of playing mostly in the tradition of rhythm n’ blues and Jimi Hendrix’ bluesrock.
Colombia Reports tips the more garagerock-like-blues that comes from Canadian female duo The Pack A.D. Armed with no more than guitar, drums and a tormented voice they will be representing the raunchiest of blues, Detroit style.
Chicago pianist Barrelhouse Chuck plays a more traditional style of Chicago blues, acompanied by the standard drum, bass and harmonica blues band.
Gabriel Grätzer was born in Argentina, about as far away from the stompin’ ground of blues you can get in the Americas. He does sing the traditional country blues in a very honest way like they would have in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Coolest thing is you can hardly hear he’s Argentinian.
Blues D.C. 2008
Thursday to Sunday
Teatro Libre, Calle 62 #10-65
Teatro Metropol, Calle 24 #6-31
La Hamburgueseria, Calle 93b #11-34 / Calle 118 #6-40 / Av El Dorado #68c-61
Jackass Bar, Carrera 16 #80-84
Restaurante En Obra, Carrera 4 #26-37
Centro Colombia Americano, Calle 19 #2-49
Check out the Bogotá nightlife agenda for line ups