Magnificent Indian Blues

Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues (Knife Edge Records, 2016)

Two great music traditions come together on ‘Call of the Blues’: American blues and Indian classical music. It’s a combination in the skilled hands of Michael Messer’s Mitra. The trio includes British blues modernizer, vocalist and slide guitarist, Michael Messer; Hindustani mohan veena (slide guitar) master Manish Pingle (Mumbai, India), and London-based tabla player, Gurdain Singh Rayatt.

‘Call of the Blues’ combines traditional form rural blues songs with Indian ragas and opportunities for improvisation, showcasing the talent of the musicians. It’s fascinating combination of slide guitar styles from different parts of the globe that flows very nicely.

Michael Messer met Manish Pingle during a trip to Mumbai in 2013. They ended up jamming on two mohan veena’s at Pingle’s home. The two musicians enjoyed the experience and vowed to work together again. Six months later, Manish traveled to London where he played a concert with Messer. They invited tabla maestro Gurdain Rayatt to join them on stage and the trio was formed.

In 2015, Michael Messer’s Mitra toured the UK and recorded their first album, ‘Call of the Blues’.

Call of the Blues is a remarkable fusion of country blues with Hindustani music showcasing the splendor of the slide guitar and the talent of three extraordinary musicians.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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