Comments (0)
Review |  13 Feb 2008 00:00 |  By Anuraag

An experience worth savouring - Johnnie Walker - One Tree Music Festival '08

If you are a connoisseur of music, who not only likes to enjoy good music, but also likes to savour the experience holistically, the Johnnie Walker One Tree Festival 2008, that took place on the 9 and 10 February, was a phenomenon tailor made for you.

This year, from selling long funky hats, having a micro-mini golf course, having small round tables for people to chat over their drinks, to selling the rarest of the DVDs in Jazz and Blues, the venue did everything just right to create the perfect ambience for the music enthusiasts present, to groove to the exhilarating music.

Every year, the One Tree Music Festival promises to bring the best of international musicians, and this year the festival did not let its audience down, with scintillating performances by Joe Bonamassa, Robert Cray Band, Gold Spot, and Jose Feliciano.
The festival kicked off around an hour late, with a powerful performance by the Blues- Rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist and songwriter Joe Bonamassa. As the man himself said, this was his first tour to India, but with his breath-taking performance, he did make sure that it wouldn't be the last. Rightfully named the Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine's readership in their annual Reader's Choice Awards, Joe's speciality was the ease with which he blended the blues patterns with rock.

Throughout the concert, Joe and his men took typical Blues patterns, and gave them a stylised, skilful Rock flavour. The bassist, Mark Epstein, with a six-string bass guitar, was proving his mettle on the bass. Even though live performances are bound to have a few hiccups, Mark did his best, and wonderfully acted like an anchor to Joe's performance. The drummer, Bogie Bowles, was also very talented, but took his time to warm up a bit. Once the first 20-25 minutes were over, he took his audience by storm. Joe also showed his mastery over the instrument on his acoustic guitar with a solo piece. The lightning-fast speed at which his fingers were moving made them look like a blur. If one would listen to the recording, it would be hard to believe the fact that there was only a single pair of hands creating that music. Stomping and marching on the beats of the chords, with his bold vocals, Joe left the audience clapping and craving for more.

He then ended on a high note, with full a blown rock-blues piece, and put the audience in complete awe of him.

Joe was followed by the soulful music of five times Grammy Award winner Robert Cray and his band. Robert's moving vocals and instrumental artistry was worth witnessing.
The second day of the festival featured the band Goldspot as its first performance. With a selected few in the audience, the band maintained its slightly confused, but innovative attempt at merging alternative rock, pop, and retro-Bollywood genres of music. With vocalist Siddhartha Khosla dancing the Bhangra on stage, singing Rafi Saahab's Ae Mere Pyaare Vatan, and singing a composition inspired by the legendary Kishore Kumar, the band was entertaining (for the handful who were listening), but musically, one would give them a second thought.

The Festival ended with the living legend, Jos© Feliciano. The multi Grammy award winner baffled the audience with his mind-boggling control over the guitar. The 62 year old, had to be assisted constantly with his seating and his positions, proved the fact that experience does bring perfection. There was hardly a wrong note hit on his guitar. The legend also sang a number of songs- English and Spanish- including numbers like Superstition (by Stevie Wonder), Light My Fire (by the Doors), Neil Diamond and Feliz Navidad (the Christmas Song).

All in all, the music festival was a must for all music aficionados; just that you could have afforded reaching a bit late on the second day.