Prof. Dr. Moestopo (Beragama) University brought up a music event coincided with Kartini Day which was infrequently held by other universities. Executing a theme, “Back to Mississipi”, KOSMIK BLUES event was organized in April 21th, 2011 and formed a breakthrough from Universitas Prof. Dr. Moestopo’s Communication student community in order to getting acquainted with blues along sophomores. It was appropriate with the purpose of this gig. The meaning of “Back to Mississipi” itself is because blues was originated in a southern whistle stop of America, Mississipi approximately at the turn of the 20th century. This earliest form of Blues are still known widely today as the Delta Blues, the kind of blues that’s never easy to play. The Mississippi Delta area at that time was famous for its fertile soil, but ironically it was also famous for its poverty. Blues was the media used by the plantation slaves in expressing their feelings. Using guitar, harmonica or the primitive cigar box guitar they cried their hearts out or simply telling their daylife stories often in narrative ways. From there the blues marched on to grow in other part of USA, finding its new hybrid such as New Orleans Blues or the “more modern” Chicago Blues. For us learning blues is very crucial, since we realize the fact that blues is the root of all modern music we know today. This event wanted to bring the blues back to its origin as well as reminding us on where blues was born. In the way of their dedication to blues, thus, this event was created as free-of-charge because everyone deserves it.
The MC came and began this event by announcing the first band to perform . The opening song which was Chuck Berry‘s “Johnny B. Goode” is slapped in the stage by Smokin Blues with very powerful yet attractive, successfully made the audience to find their ideal spot to woo their ears and enjoy the whole gig perfectly. Afterwards, they continued with the popular masterpiece from B.B. King from 1970 titled “The Thrill is Gone”. As their furthermost part, “Kompor Meleduk”, a finest from the legendary Betawi artiste Benyamin S, and the ear-catchy “Towal-towel” from Naif became such a nice closing.
The atmosphere of blues was getting deeper. This gig was also featured by The Stone & Coffee. Medley from Gugun Blues Shelter‘s “Woman” and “Fight for Freedom” flawlessly brought up. Even the Jakarta’s hot air couldn’t make the ambience totally plain. Their performance successfully had the crowd sang along through all their songs. “Little Wing” from Jimi Hendrix epically showed by them. In the end of their part, they came up with their own songs called “Apa Adanya” and “Islamiah atau Mafiah”.
Undoubtedly, Cliffhanger also flaunted their turn on the stage. One hit song of Free called “Walk in My Shadow”, became such a blast for their fans. Continued with their own “Hey You”, which was amazed the crowd, shown from the huge applause while they ended up the melody. Next stop was Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago”. Back to their own “Paint in the Sky” that depicts the soul of this band and “Just Nightmare” as the great closing.
The upcoming fraction was from a creative band called Ebens with both of their personal works titled “Nakal” and “Anjing Uang”. Confidentially, the listeners got their aura in blues. As the last song, they arranged “Suit Suit He He (Gadis Sexy)” originally by Slank while the clapping from the crowd goes by. As the circumstances were getting hotter, Lunatic made the folks dancing with blues version of George Gershwin’s all time classic “Summertime”. The melodious voice of the vocalist made us forgot the hullabaloo of Jakarta. “Give Me One Reason” of Tracy Chapman and “Little Wing” of Jimi Hendrix appeared in full and total comprehension. They slammed their action with Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why”.
After the break, the show was on again, this time by the independent acoustic duo who has millions of fans, Endah N Rhesa. They are lovely, romantic and intimate both on and off stage. You will feel their romance anytime you catch them together on stage. “Monkey Song” was the first one thrown from the stage, enjoyed by the audiences. They carried on with “Tuimbe (Let’s Sing)”, “Living with Pirates”, “In the Jungle”, “Kou Kou the Fisherman” and “I Don’t Remember”. Of course their hit from the first album “When You Love Someone” was given too. This song that encourage us to be brave in expressing our love to someone was loved by everyone. “We give this song for you, who are currently in love.” Endah said. They brought a very lively, sweet and interactive performance as usual, including their nice story telling concept. In the middle of this very popular song, Rhesa joined Endah by hugging her from behind, playing one guitar together. The crowds gave big applauses to them.
As it was happening at the Kartini Day, Endah stated that she actually inspired by the legendary Indonesian jazz/blues/soul singer, Margie Segers. She idolized Margie for her consistency and spirit in pursuing her carreer. Endah N Rhesa knows how difficult it is to have a bite in the music industry, so they are currently trying to make a mini label to accomodate the “still unlucky” but potential newcomers. They are also preparing a mini album recorded from their gigs in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More news from Endah, one of their song will be featured in Cintaku Setinggi Tanah Original Soundtrack that will hit the cinema this July. We wish you luck, Endah N Rhesa! More power to you!
The one and only Delta Blues player of Indonesia, Adrian Adioetomo got his turn. He showed his magic in playing solo while also singing, successfully hypnotized everyone right from the first minute. He started with “Gadis Gerilya”, before he showed his t-shirt with Kartini printed on it on the second song, “Pemberontak Terakhir”, a song that he dedicated personally to this national heroine who had fought to give females the same right for education. The audiences looked stunned watching Adrian’s amazing play, as if they were being brought to feel the scene when blues emerged in the Mississippi Delta more than a century ago. Like a wizard he charmed everyone with his extraordinary skill. “Arwah Kereta”, the famous “Blues Iblis”, “Pantun Nasib”, “Sabda Baru”, “Kugadaikan Cintaku” and “Telegram” were all followed. As the closing he gave Robert Johnson‘s song. All in all, Adrian gave a highly satisfying performance. He kept on receiving applauses from the crowds everytime he finished a song. At this very moment he’s in the process of finishing his second album called “Karat dan Arang”. “Hopefully I will make it done this year” he said. Good luck with it, Adrian. We are proud to have you, an authentic Delta Blues player in Indonesia.
On stage we spotted Ginda Bestari, the leader of Ginda and the White Flowers preparing himself to give Guitar Coaching Clinic. He shared that in order to learn blues one has to have three things: feel, soul and groove. He gave tips on how to get those elements. Ginda then gave a song. He played it confidently in his Chicago blues style as usual. Being enthusiastic, the crowds sang together with him. The senior blues chromatic harmonica player Hari Pochang joined him afterwards. The dynamically blended together, creating an ambience that was difficult to explain in words. Next it was Black Bandit, Baby Boomer and Breaktime, three bands coming from the Moestopo University itself who were in action.
This Kosmik Blues Back to Mississippi event was a cutting-edge blues event from Prof Dr. Moestopo University, by seeing that this gig was going as well as planned, and also very interesting. The organizing committee has planned to make this event happens annually and also with more blues featuring artists. It’s time to see blues be spread on campuses, it’s time for us to understand more about this root of all modern music better. Big applause for the committee for bringing this very important cause. Long live the blues!
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