In a country as large and diverse as India, there is no dearth of musical diversity or style. However, what
we can safely assume is there are only a handful number of Blues bands. Of which, there are even
fewer among that lot who make it beyond casual 'blues jams'
The Arinjoy Trio is definitely not a band of weekend warriors. They are whole heartedly involved in the
music they love. And that music is the Blues. How, one might wonder, is that possible in India? To quote
Arinjoy 'all of us played in a different musical set-up, it was there that I ask the other two if they would be
interested in forming a blues band’ This was always something Arinjoy had craved. And thus began their
journey with the blues.
The trio played their first gig at Swirl, The Gateway in the year 2015. The turnout was a full house. But,
what was special by end of the evening, the blues travelled as far away from the Mississippi to our very
own delta and won new admirers. The trio had started cooking. And it was fresh.
The three members of the trio started delving deeper into individual styles of the blues. This eventually
led to focusing on original material. Soon the sets were divided between originals and renditions of
classic blues tunes. The band built a loyal fan base in the city and started traveling across the country.
Their first tour was in New Delhi in the year 2017. They played at a host of reputed venues across the
city (The Piano Man Jazz Club, Depot 48)
After winning the annual competition, the band was chosen to perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival, 2018 which hosted blues biggies John
Mayall and Coco Montoya. In 2019, they were the opening act of the festival where they shared the stage with the likes of Brandon Santini, Charlie Musselwhite, Sugaray Rayford and Beth Hart. Here, they released their debut album which was produced and mixed by none other than guitar legend Mr. Amyt Datta and was launched by one of the best guitarists/music directors from India, Mr Ehsaan Noorani.
'This music is a tribute to the blues' says Arinjoy, in a manner that truly
communicates how much he loves the form.
MEET THE BAND
Arinjoy, guitar/vocals: When you hear him play, it is sometimes not impossible to get transported to
another world. That is his love for the blues. He plays with a sincerity that is rare. His expressions contort
according to the notes he bends on his guitar. This is not a show, this is real. Geographical delineation
has nothing to do with this. At times it is almost like in the world of sports, it doesn't matter where the
person is from. What matters is how high the game is held. The blues is his game. 'I have dabbled in a
host of musical styles as a guitar player. What I always return to is the blues. It's like coming home after
a hard day's work. I relax with this music' His style is informed by a healthy dose of the Freddie king, BB
King, Albert King, Buddy guy, Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton and among the
new generation of bluesmen Kirk Fletcher, Matt Schofield and Eric Gales.
Sounak, drums: There is a lazy bounce in the way he plays the drums, almost elastic, stretching time at
will. This does not come from practice. This swing is his. On asking him it becomes clear why, ‘I am a
late riser. I sometimes skip breakfast and go straight for lunch’. Sounak’s preference for music reflects
directly on his frame of mind. He listens to a lot of Neo Soul (think J Dilla, D’Angelo) and on the other
hand he loves Funk (think Tower or Power) When asked about the blues, his answer is as straight
forward as he is as a person, “the blues is about sadness, but to me I like how it makes people happy. I
like to make people dance to the groove. It’s a fun thing’. When not playing the drums, he likes to read or
play video games. Clearly, time is on his side. And the stretch is his.
Aakash, bass: The sponge in band. He has one step firmly rooted in the past and the other eternally
looking for greener pasture to educate body, soul and mind. ‘Time is money, time is precious’, says
Aakash in his normal reticent manner. At his age, he is already one the better bass players Kolkata has
produced. ‘I like to keep learning, my day starts with practicing’. He is responsible to a large extent for
blending the modern into the traditional within the trio. On asking about his influences, his eyes light up,
‘Jimmy Johnson, Hadrian Feraud, Jaco Pastorius, Damien Erskine, man it’s impossible to end this list!’
He is unmistakable in the city roads on his motorcycle with the huge bass guitar behind him, zipping from one rehearsal to another. His playing is akin to that, always seeking newer avenues of expression at every turn.