NEW REVIEW - Belgium's "Back To The Roots" Magazine

This just in - Enjoy this tasty review and interview (IN DUTCH!) of Aki Kumar's debut album Don't Hold Back in the Dec 2014 issue of Belgium's Back To The Roots Magazine. Chance are you don't read Dutch :) - here's an excellent translation of the review, provided by Thomas Toussaint - 

Akarsha Kumar was introduced to us on June 12th in Chicago during a harmonica jam in the Wabash Tap, a little café close to Buddy Guy’s Legends. Until now this young talent had remained unknown to us and we have to admit we’re ashamed for that. Aki is born and raised in Bombay but he’s living in San José, California for many years. He is a settled musician in the West-Coast blues scene and shows up at Mark Hummel’s Blowouts every now and again along with Charles Baty; Kim Wilson is one of his best buddies and Rusty Zinn and Kid Andersen play on his debut CD ‘Don’t Hold Back’. These are just a few names that come to mind when talking about the communities Aki’s involved in.

Besides very danceable R&B and fresh covers of Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo, the album Don’t Hold Back also comes with five original tracks. Aki is not a good – but a master harmonica player whose energetic style is situated where Little Walter and west-coast blues cross their lines. He happens to have a very pleasant voice as well and his love for blues is obvious when looking at his repertoire. Another strength is that Aki’s talent also leaves a lot of room for the musicians that are backing him up. When appropriate, the organ, the piano or a fine horn section can shine behind him as well. With ‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Yeh’, this remarkable album gets a very unique and ‘own’ sound where his background is clearly present. This debut is a very tasteful one and I’m convinced Aki’s up for a great career!


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