Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Blind Pigs Celebrate 18 Years of Singin’ the Blues

October 16, 2009

The Blind Pigs blues band played its first gig in Costa Rica 18 years ago. Since then, the group has played nearly every live music venue in the country. And tomorrow, it celebrates its 18th anniversary with a CD release party at Mac’s American Bar in western San José’s Sabana Sur neighborhood.

Named after the type of speakeasy bar in which the proprietor made the gin in the bathtub and you could go blind if you pigged out, the band has provided a stage to innumerable musicians over the years, some of whom will be returning for tomorrow night’s gig. Special guests will include noted Tico musicians Manuel Obregón and Carlos Domínguez.

The idea to put together a blues band in a salsa country originated in 1991 at Soda Blues, a San José bar owned by Londoner Dave Scott. Between beer sales, Scott would sing with Californian guitar player Kenny Cutler, and before long the bar had become a hangout for musicians, writers and artists.

“One night a German drummer and an Italian guitarist waltzed in, and The Blind Pigs blues band started to roll,” Scott said.

Today only Scott remains of the original group. Electric guitar is now played by Chris Scott, violin by Nancy Buchan, bass by Felipe Contreras and drums by Gerardo Castro.

Together, these musicians offer a distinctive take on classics by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan.

The band’s new album, “Independence,” recorded July 4, will be on sale at tomorrow’s concert for ¢5,000 (about $8.60).

Mac’s American Bar is next to the Costa Rica Tennis Club in Sabana Sur. The evening kicks off at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

 

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