Previously called the Bluesbug, Gugun Blues Shelter is an Indonesian blues power trio that is a breath of fresh air in the seemingly dying Asian blues scene these days. Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bettie Davies, and Led Zeppelin among others, the band forced many music fans to take notice of its powerful, flawless genre-crossing blend of blues that incorporate influences from rock, funk, and soul.
Led by guitarist/vocalist Gugun, Gugun & Blues Shelter has released two albums under the Bluesbug moniker “Get The Bug” (2004) and “Turn it On” (2007) that has been gaining praises from music critics and fans alike. ”Turn It On” was voted as one of the best Indonesian album in 2007 by Rolling Stone Indonesia Magazine and Gugun was noted as one of the most promising local guitar player by the same maga-zine. In the same year, Indonesia’s Trax Magazine also voted Gugun as the best guitar player in South East Asia. Gugun Blues Shelter is not only drew the attentions of local music lover only. The band also received attentions from European fans, thanks for years of playing for expatriate fans during its pub-playing days. As the result, Gugun Blues Shelter was participated in Belfast Big River Blues and Jazz Festival 2008 and played several dates in a four-weeks UK tour at cities like Burnley, Scarborough, and Crewe.
Due to the good receptions, the tour was extended to other cities like Leeds, Oxford, York, Rotherham, and culminated in another festival,”Colne Great British R n’ B Festival” at the Manchester outskirt. In Asia, recently Gugun Blues Shelter played several dates in Malaysia in 2008, participated in Singapore Art Festival at the same year, as well as in Indonesia’s big festivals such as Java Jazz Festival and JakJazz Festival.
With the success of their debut album “Get the Bug” (2004), and their second album “Turn it On” (2006), Gugun (Guitar / Vox) and Bowie (Drums) returned to Indonesia after a highly successful tour of the UK in 2009 leaving Jono (Bass) to clear up loose ends before the team became re-united once again in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Band released their third album “Self titled” in March 2010. With the hit single “When I See You Again” the 9 track album went on to win numerous awards including ‘Favourite Blues Song’ in the Indonesian Cutting Edge Music Awards 2010 (ICEMA 2010), TRAX Magazines “Best Local Album 2010” and also featured in “Rolling Stone Magazine” top 20 albums of 2010.
The group has made 3 highly successful tours of the UK and Northern Ireland between 2007 and 2010 featuring at both the “Belfast Jazz & Blues Festival”, The Annual “Colne Blues Festival” and also the “Skegness Rock & Blues Festival”. In March 2010 the band were invited to play alongside Buddy Guy, Jools Holland and the Buena Vista Social Club at the Timbre Rock & Roots Festival in Singapore.
Touring both Nationally and Internationally during 2010, the band were flown out to represent Indonesian modern music at the Indonesian Pavilion of the World Expo in Shanghai China both in August and once again in October. It didn’t stop there either as passers-by from the Romanian pavilion were so impressed with what they heard that they invited the band to take part in a special concert held at their pavilion.
October was a busy month for the band, aside from being re-invited to play in Shanghai, the band also took part in 2 of Indonesia’s largest music festivals; The “Java Rockin’ Land” festival and also the “Jakarta International Blues Festival” where the band performed with Aussy blues legend “Kevin Borich” and European Blues Queen “Anna Popovich”…. Oh and also rock legends “Smashing Pumpkins” and “Wolfmother”.
On the 10th December the band put on a special performance for the grand opening of Rolling Stone Cafe (Located at the HQ of Rolling Stone Magazine Indonesia) collaborating with legendary Indonesian frontman “Once” the band performed a half hour set including a rendition of Led Zeppelins “Rock & Roll”.
The successes continued into the new year of 2011 as the band scored a record deal with the prestigious independent “Guitar Driven” record label “Grooveyard Records” from New York, USA. The Compilation album “Far East Blues Experience” consists of hand-picked tracks from the previous 3 albums, re-mastered and re-packaged under the Grooveyard Label. The album was released in early January 2011 and is already receiving rave reviews from the blues rock community both in the USA and worldwide as the album is available to order via amazon.com and amazon.co.uk
Into the future, the band is due to release their 2nd album with Grooveyard Records in April 2011 titled ‘Solid Ground’ featuring 10 all new songs and taking the bands vibe into a new “progressive / funky” direction. It doesn’t stop there either… Aware that many of their local fans will not be able to acquire the ‘Solid Ground’ album, the band will also release a local album “Satu Untuk Berbagi” which consists of 80% of the songs in Indonesian Language.
The band also plans to return to the UK to tour in both May and August and is also pursuing the possibility of performing in both Europe and Australia.
If you’d like to stay tuned to the bands progress, please do so via the following;
Indri Sjafri (Manager) – 08128882694 / 081908017155
e-mail: [email protected]
Gugun Blues Shelter International Stages:
1. KL Blues Festival 2008 – Malaysia
2. Singapore Timbre Arts Festival 2008 – Singapore
3. UK Tour – August 2008 (Colne Blues Festival, Belfast Big River Jazz & Blues Festival)
4. UK Tour – January 2009 (Skegness Blues Festival, 229 club London, BBC World)
5. Singapore Grand Prix Race Event – September 2009
6. Jakarta International Blues Festival – 2009
7. Java Jazz Festival 2010 – Indonesia
8. Singapore Rock & Roots Festival 2010
9. Java Rockin’land 2010 – Indonesia
10. Jakarta International Blues Festival 2010 – Indonesia
11. Shanghai World Expo 2010 – August 2010
12. Shanghai World Expo 2010 – October 2010