Blues for Bali was a benefit for some children of Bali to have a school house built. This concert was organized by a new friend of mine who has been in Japan for some 3o yrs. he does some teaching in Bali via music, being a musician. The concert was held at a new club in Kobe. It was a very nice venue. There were several bands involved with the events. It was build as a Blues music concert. There seems to be a rather large following for Blues here.
I had a class that day for my Japanese license, which will be covered on the Sea Blog. I finished up there and went home to eat, rest and change to the Kobe event. I took more time at home than I planned on. Although I did not plan on being as late arriving as I did, I did plan on being somewhat late. However I was late to the point they thought I was not coming. I was scheduled to go on around 10:00 pm. I got there about 9:30. I missed all of the acts except two. The end of one and the short set of another. I had met several musicians from the participating show at the organizers house before. Last month for the Mexican dinner thing. So I was a bit disappointed I missed so many players, and more so after a received a warm welcome from them when I arrived. I feel I should have given them more support, on the other hand , I do not really know then well and it probably does not matter. Oh well next time if the Universe is willing.
So I arrive late and get a warm greeting at the door, and then shown where to sit. I speak to the people I know, and am surprised to see my new friend from France the karate/tai chi instructor and his girl friend there. I had invited them but he was unsure if he would make it. He had a friend with him visiting from Hong Kong another Kung Fu player. I spoke with them a bit but for the most part hung out by myself watching and listening.
Finally it is my turn, I am even introduced. I was not expecting that, I thought I would just go up and sit in with the band. I was listed to sing two songs then play. This was my first ever just singing, no bass playing. Sort of, I have just sang before but had my bass, because it was just a transition song. So this time I am just singing, it feels weird. My friend the organizer is also a Bass Player, he wanted to play for a couple of songs, however wanted me to sing. Ok, my first time. The singing only part, is really not a big deal, the just being there with nothing, when not singing is the weird part. I covered that by having, my harmonica and doing fills.
Ok the first song is cool, we bust it out. It was good for never playing together, no rehearsal, no nothing just saying ok, this key, 1, 2, 3. The practice on the bike paid off for my vocal cords. It went without a hitch. Only small problem was the glass of wine messed me up being nervous and trying to talk, make sense and remember the words. However it went well, everyone liked it, or all the drinks before hand 🙂
Second song was a bit more of a challenge. The key was not one I had a harp for and up until mid way the bass player was in a different key then the rest of the band. So the music sounded off. I could not tell what key to sing in. Finally it came together. Now there turned out to be some extensive musical break part, I had no harp so ended up trying something I saw a guy do in a concert, make a trumpet sound with his voice. I used to do that on my own just fooling around so I was well rehearsed in it. It came off well. Having the wine helped give me the nerve to try it.
After that song I switched to Bass, ahhhhh. I felt home again. Next up were a couple of songs I did not exactly know but were easy enough to play along from experience, so I could get my funk on.
I used to think there were a lot of guitar players, but now I am surprised at the amount of harmonica players. Maybe because of the blues gender, but man there were harp players out of the walls on the open Jam. I had brought along my neck brace to play both harp and Bass, but did not even try, with four others playing. I just focused on Bass. It is kind of nice not to multi-task, when singing or playing one can focus on one part, in Zen terms, one can be mindful of one thing.
So the show was a success, everyone enjoyed and I got established in the Blues community here in Osaka/Kobe. One guy with an established band gave me his card and wants to play together sometime and said that to his companion who I guess does some business arranging also to another friend of mine who arranges these musical get togethers. I will follow up on this next month. Now that I will be working here and there I will be able to attend some of these musical gathering that happen once a month out in Kobe. Maybe hooking up with a band or starting one will be possible. I have not heard anything from the others guys who wanted to do a rock band. Maybe they are waiting for me to contact them.
It was a fun night, perhaps my best since being in Japan.