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Blues in Taipei

By Douglas Charles Rapier, Host of ICRT's Blue Power Hour
Translated by Uvia Chang



When asked to write about blues clubs in Taipei, I jokingly replied, "There are blues clubs in Taipei?" Because, truth be told, there aren't any real blues clubs in the city along the lines of the Chicago venues dedicated to the music of Buddy Guy and other legends.

There are a few places in Taipei, however, which occasionally book blues bands or host jam sessions where the blues gets trotted out. And when one chances to feature a band that plays the blues, that club, by default, becomes Taipei's blues hub for the evening.

The Peshawar Cafe is one such venue. Situated on ShiDa Road, this venue hosts one of Taipei's very few blues bands--David Chen's Muddy Basin Ramblers, who play some fine Delta and Country Blues spiced up with Jug Band tunes and Hokum.
The Living Room on NanJing East Road near GuangFu Road is another place where the Ramblers perform every now and again. It is also the unofficial homebase for BoPoMoFo, another blues band, of which this writer is the lead singer. BoPoMoFo plays mostly Chicago-style Blues with some Texas road-house thrown in for grins. Jam sessions are held on Wednesdays.

Citizen Cain on DongFeng Street also hosts jam sessions and open-mike cavorting that often has a blues orientation. The Shannon Pub on DunHua Road is graced with the talents of the Kenyatta Trio (& Friends) every Sunday.
The Wall, in GungGuan, has hosted David Chen's Muddy Basin Ramblers to enthusiastic crowds. We can only hope that more blues will be offered by Jimmy and his crew.

Die-hard blues fans will be heartened by persistent talk that some true blues clubs might be established, if financing materializes. Also, the recently formation of a Blues Society here should give the scene a shot in the arm. E-mail dcr@thebluespowerhour.com for details. Finally, those who wish to stay in the know regarding the blues scene here are encouraged to visit a website aptly called www.taiwanblues.com

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