Gillespie full of Blues

dc  | arka sengupta

Entertainment, Television

The Blues legend has come to town with her medley of music to fascinate her fans

Dana Gillespie

Growing as a musician and relating to different forms of music has been the essence of Blues legend Dana Gillespie's long-lasting career. The British singer/songwriter, with over 60 albums to her credit, will be in the city to fascinate the audience at Counter Culture on December 7.

For the past 30 years, Dana has been visiting India time and again to convey her thoughts with her music. Bengaluru has always been a major attraction for her as she is a follower of Indian spiritual guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

You should not forget that blues is the mother of all Western music

Having performed earlier in Bengaluru a number of times with her band, she feels that the city's youth has forgotten about the traditional forms of music. “I have seen this particular trait among the IT professionals. It's actually easy for them to listen to electronic music and party. But they should not forget that blues is the mother of all Western music. So, for my show, I have prepared a set of very holistic style of blues which you don't often hear," says Dana.

Starting her career as a folk musician, she gradually realised her love for the blues and was influenced by the vintage line-up of The Yardbirds, consisting of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Jim McCarthy. Dana recorded her first single with legendary folk-rock musician, Donovan. “Jimmy Page had played for my first LP but he didn't get any credit. Later on, when the album was re-released as a CD, I ensured that he was given credit. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, The Beatles along with other musicians used to hang out together with me and that is how I got to know Donovan and recorded my first single, Donna Donna, in 1964," says Dana, who started the world renowned Mustique Blues Festival.

Apart from the ex-members of the Yardbirds, Dana's most notable collaborations would be with Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

“I was dating Bob Dylan for a while actually. Hanging out with him and The Beatles in the evenings were a major influence in my music in those days. As for David Bowie, I have known him since I was 14. We have always remained really good friends. In fact, when he wrote his first major hit, 'Space Oddity', he came and played it to me just half hour after he wrote it. He also produced some songs for my album, 'Weren't Born a Man'," says a nostalgic Dana.