The Beat Root Blues Band
People came in with great expectations and they were not disappointed by the band that's billed for one of the world's biggest blues festival slated for February 2011 in Mumbai. The Beat Root Blues Band featuring Pratish Motwane on harp and vocals, Dave Kelly on guitar, Colin D'Cruz on bass and Claude Abranches on drums took off from the word go. Goa Chitra's amazing amphitheatre was set ablaze by some smoking blues from four musicians all fired up for their first gig in India. Every track they covered bore a distinct stamp of each of the four musician’s fire power. It was sheer spontaneous combustion between the musicians on stage with exciting lines being exchanged, traded and interplayed in an hour long opening set. Phrases, licks and solos seem to be conjured out of thin air thrilling an audience that could feel the energy being generated on stage. Pratish Motwane, a corporate head honcho turned bluesman,seemed to be having the biggest blast on stage interchanging his arsenal of harps, creating some amazingly huge sounds out of an instrument that fitted into the palm of his hand. His powerful vocals had the same energy level as his harp and he seemed to have been born just to belt out the blues. Dave Kelly a smoking guitar player from the UK, has a unique finger picking style of playing the blues and he displayed the reason why he is a first call session musician back home in Birmingham. He has also travelled all over the world as the wailing guitar in innumerable all blues bands. Small wonder then, that he found himself at home onstage with his very first gig with the band. Colin D'Cruz and the signature sound of his fretless bass, offered a tight punchy edge to the band along with veteran jazz/blues drummer Claude Abranches. Together onstage for the first time, the band made absolute magic. After a well deserved break the band came on for the second set to simply blow the roof off Goa Chitra with every track ending in tremendous applause from a house full audience all keyed up by blues power. The band did an amazing up tempo version of the classic 'Got my mojo working' as the last track that was followed by around four more last songs, thanks to an insistent audiences loud calls for encores. Among the last songs was a dedication to Goa Chitra's Victor and Aldina Gomes. The track called 'Goa Chitra Blues' was spontaneously created onstage, set off by a fretless bass that sang the blues until Pratish took over and went for it with the Beat Root boys for one more last time onstage. The show ended with a standing ovation from an audience that was treated to a world class blues act right here in Goa. Mr. Dilip Naik a blues harp enthusiast and a well known industrialist who was in the audience, took to the stage spontaneously to announce the show as a 'historical event' in Goa. Most of the audience stayed back to meet the band long after the final strains of the blues dissolved into the cool open air around Goa Chitra. Goa Chitra's amazing amphi-theatre in a very short period has become a premier live music venue in Goa. Musicians who perform here are influenced by the beautiful, intimate ambience and creatively inspiring environment to give off better than their best onstage.