Michael Messer and Manish Pingle

Thursday, April 2, 7.30pm, Pound Arts, Corsham

Tickets: £10/£9 www.poundarts.org.uk/01249 701628

Friday, April 3, 8pm, Salisbury Arts Centre

Tickets: £14/£12 www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/01722 321744

Special guest Stefan Grossman

Sunday, April 5, 7.30pm Bristol Folk House, BS1 5JG

Tickets: £12.50/£10/50 www.folkhousemusic.com/0117 926 2987

Special guest Peter Webber and Gurdain Rayatt

A UNIQUE fusion of blues slide guitar, Hindustani classical slide guitar and tabla rhythms comes to three venues locally next week, as Michael Messer, one of the world’s finest slide guitarists, comes together with Manish Pingle, rising star of the Hindustani slide guitar, for an explosive collaboration.

Following a sell-out debut in London, Messer & Pingle bring their exhilarating blues to the south west for a very special tour.

The history of the slide guitar is one of serendipitous cross pollination and in many ways this project is the live realisation of that story. In the early 20th century Davion, an Indian classical musician, travelled to Hawaii to perform for the royal family. He took with him the gottuvadyam, which is played by sliding wood along the strings. After he left, this style of playing a stringed instrument began to infiltrate the music of Hawaii until in the 1930s a slide guitarist, Tao Moe, emigrated from Hawaii to Calcutta and as a big recording artist, imparted his influence back into Indian culture where it flourished, first in film music and then through classical musician Brij Bhushan Kabra. Simultaneously, the Hawaiian slide guitar seeped into Delta blues, spreading its hugely evocative sound both East and West.

In 2013 Michael Messer travelled to Mumbai to perform at Asia's leading blues festival. He had heard rumours of a rising star of Hindustani classical slide guitar and before going arranged, via Facebook, to meet him. Manish Pingle is one of a handful of musicians in India playing Hindustani classical music on a Mohan Veena (Indian slide guitar).

A few days after the festival Michael and his partner Sue visited Manish Pingle and his wife Swati at their home in Mumbai. Within minutes of their meeting, the two musicians were jamming together on two of Manish's Mohan Veenas (Indian lap-style slide guitars). For years Michael had wanted to play Mississippi Delta and Chicago Blues with a Hindustani Classical slide player. And despite never having heard or played this style of blues before, Manish and Michael had an immediate natural understanding; switching from Blues to Hindustani music without really noticing where the joins were; it was as if they had played together for years.

A few days later Michael was back in the UK, unable to do anything apart from thinking about how to get Manish Pingle over here to perform together. And after one London show, they now return to perform their first UK tour and to record their debut album.

The blues trio format is completed with the, not so conventional addition of tabla, and the young and incredibly talented Gurdain Rayatt. In his late twenties, Gurdain Rayatt is regarded on the British Indian Classical music scene as one of the greatest Tabla players of his generation. Although Gurdain had not heard the style of Blues that Michael Messer plays, he was intrigued and as soon as the three came together, Gurdain was playing Muddy Waters and Fred McDowell songs as if he had played them all his life.

In the infectious sound of the slide guitar, two musical cultures from opposite sides of the globe are reunited to create an absolutely unmissable musical journey from the Mississipi Delta to Hindustan.

‘Michael Messer is one of the most important bluesmen in Britain and mightily relevant throughout the blues world. A beautiful amalgam of history and foresight; musicality and grit; blues, boogie and beats’. Joe Cushley – Mojo

Tour dates:

Thurs 2 April 7.30pm CORSHAM Pound Arts, SN13 9HX

poundarts.org.uk / 01249 701628 £10 (£9 conc)

Fri 3 April 8pm SALISBURY Arts Centre, SP1 3UT

salisburyartscentre.co.uk 01722 321744 £14/ £12

Special guest: Stefan Grossman

Sun 5 April 7.30pm BRISTOL Folk House, BS1 5JG

folkhousemusic.com 0117 926 2987

£12.50 and £10.50 concessions (inc booking fee)

Special guest: Peter Webber

This tour is organised by Routes South West – a touring consortium led by Bristol Music Trust