Live Review from Underground 66:
Fresh from hanging out with Canto-pop King Andy Lau, Henry brings his blues motley crew to the Underground. People around me seem more in awe of bass player Koya playing an upright bass – means nothing to me – well it did look COOL. Now I’m not a big fan of blues but Henry makes it seem like lots of fun which relaxed me and got me joining in with the cheers. If you actually love the blues, you’ll get a big kick out of Henry.
Watch him if you can.
Click here to watch Henry Chung & the HK Blues Allstars playing their original song: The Underground Blues!
Live Review from Underground 57:I stopped jotting down notes for the review. How could I review?
This is a real allstar, and if you want to know, you only need to check notes on http://www.henrychung.net. Chung is himself a Washington blues and harmonica celebrity. Yes, Washington in the United States of America. I never found out why a big shot should swim in a small pond like Hong Kong. If you were just there, to experience all flavours of blues floating together so comfortably, you will not doubt. Henry invited everyone to dance, but again … wait … actually … a few gweilos did dance on the dance floor, but mostly it was the guys from F.B.I. showing a whole lot of appreciation. And Henry was very generous in going through difference styles of blues in such a short time. By the way, the bios let you know that “Henry was cited by SCMP as one of the ‘best performances of the year’ alongside Eric Clapton, etc.” The HK Blues Allstar features Tsang Tak Hong on bass, Ram Cheung on guitar and Johnny Abraham on drums.
Halfway through the set, after you are convinced by harmonica, blues singing, guitar solos, magical bass, and drums, Henry brought out saxophone player-friend Paul Klemperer from Texas, who happened to be in Hong Kong, thus making the evening more blues-tastic. For a techical guy like myself, to see the orchestration done throughout, by Chung himself, as well as by the luminous bass player Ah Hong, and then everything just falls into place, you know you are witnessing top-class musicianship at work. But frankly, it was also a bit too orchestrated: one guy starts a solo (guitar, bass or drums, whatever) and it ends in 12 bars or a bit more, then your turn, in as many bars. It was like a bunch of British gentlemen talking politics.
So, is it a jam or is this what blues really is (pardon me I have not seen so many blues performances)? Special guest in the evening is Tony Lee, who plays with Koya San — of Mark One Studio and of myriad bands — in one of the incarnations Diving For Air. Oh, of course Tony Lee by himself is good enough to headline, so how can you measure the stature of this band? Couldn’t start.