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My Blues Life

09/08/11 Taiwan Blues Scene:

I bet you don't think of the blues when you think Taiwan. But it's true, there really is a blues scene there. Douglas C Rapier is a major reason for that. He is originally from Chicago (ahh now you see the connection) and moved to Taiwan a long time ago to teach English and ended up staying there. He's also a really talented musician (sings, plays harp, guitar, writes you name it). Anyway I guess the thing he really missed from the states was the blues so he took it upon himself to do something about it.

Before I knew him he did a blues hour on the radio, then started the Blues Society of Taiwan. He also started his own group, BopoMofo but there weren't a lot of places to play. So he decided to have a Blues Bash (a blues festival by any other name). Sure enough there was a lot of other blues musicians and fans hiding in Taiwan. The Blues Bash has grown steadily over the last 7 years and brings in musicians from all over the world. I was lucky enough to play at two Blues Bashes which was a total blast for me.

I was back in Taiwan a few months ago and got to sit in again with BopoMofo a few times while I was there which I'm always really excited about. One of the really cool things was that Shun Kikuta sat in the same gig. Shun was Koko Taylor's guitarist for many years, what a blast that was, he is such a great player. Douglas has brought many other great musicians to Taiwan. He's pretty much the reason there is such a vibrant and growing blues scene in Taiwan.

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Mark Howe is a blues rock artist living and playing in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area. Visit us here to check out his up coming gigs, listen to Marks original music and all the latest news. Please contact us for more information or to book his band Streuth for your party or club.

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