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Kolkata’s Arinjoy Trio Bring the Blues on Self-Titled Debut Album

The band launched their record at last month’s Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai

David Britto Mar 11, 2019

Kolkata blues band Arinjoy Trio. Photo: Antoreep Sengupta

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The blues is certainly not dead in India at a time when pop and electronica music rule the charts and garner streams in the millions. With Mumbai’s Mahindra Blues Festival completing its ninth edition earlier this year and bands such as Shillong’s Soulmate and Blackstratblues still going strong and touring the country, the blues is still alive and well. Adding to the din are Kolkata-based Arinjoy Trio, who have just released their eponymous seven-track debut album.

Fronted by vocalist-guitarist Arinjoy Sarkar, bassist Aakash Ganguly and drummer Sounak Roy, the band initially played Bengali music together in a group called Jack Rabbit before Sarkar wanted to pursue the blues four years ago. He says, “We started jamming as a trio and sensed something brewing.” While listening to their debut record you can instantly hear that the Arinjoy Trio is influenced heavily by blues greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Larry Carlton and more. Says Sarkar, “It’s basically a collection of all kinds of blues across all eras.”

‘Arinjoy Trio’ artwork by Grinning Tree/Arko Chakraborty.

Arinjoy Trio contains songs which fit in as traditionally blues (“Cold Cold Cold,” “Nothing Good’s Ever Gonna Last,” “Don’t Leave Me Behind”) while “Baby You’re So Fine” has more of a funk touch. On the riff heavy rock track “Who You Are,” Sarkar says, “[The] song deals with how people have to keep up appearances everyday to get by.” The record is also filled with two instrumental tracks “Late Night Secrets” and the groovy jam “Beyond The Lines.” The vocalist-guitarist adds, “This album is basically our way of saying thank you to the blues for being there.” The album was recorded at Blooperhouse Studios in Kolkata and mastered by U.K.-based Sara Carter who has previously worked with British musician Chris Martin (of Coldplay), American artist John Legend and singer-songwriters Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap and KT Tunstall among others.

At the band’s album launch which took place last month at the Mahindra Blues Festival, we noticed Soulmate’s guitarist Rudy Wallang grooving to their set while Mumbai guitarist Ehsaan Noorani presented the group with the LP to commemorate the occasion. Ask the young band how they feel being acknowledged by some of the country’s seasoned musicians and Roy says, “It’s always a great feeling when veterans appreciate and encourage you. He’s [Wallang] always been a source of inspiration and we really want to thank him for all the love and support that he’s given us.”

On what needs to be done for the blues to keep growing in India, Ganguly tell us, “I think more young people need to get into it and there definitely needs to be more venues promoting this music.” Up next, the band is plotting gigs around the country to promote the album, hit the festival scene and also shoot a couple of music videos.

Click here to buy ‘Arinjoy Trio’ and stream the album on Apple Music below.

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