Jim Beam’s Welcome Sessions- Congo Cowboys and Yndian Mynah

Reviewed By: Natalia Joynt Paizee

Jim Beam’s “welcome sessions” bring music fans closer together through one of a kind live experiences, with the fans at center stage. The brand will be spotlighting the reunion of fan communication and their favorite artists, bringing music and bourbon fans together, as stated on their website. I was fortunate to attend one of their gigs, at Daisy Jones in Stellenbosch, showcasing two local artists, Congo Cowboys and Yndian Mynah. Jim Beam was graciously being poured out as a welcome drink to get the party started.

Congo Cowboys started playing at the entry, bringing Congo meets the Deep South. Reimagined through Kwassa Kwassa African rhythms and Soukous guitar. They were formed in 2016 by Freshlyground members, Simon Attwell (banjo), Julio Sigauque (bass), and Congolese singer Chris Bakalanga (vocals and guitar), together with South African drummer Lumanyano Mzi. Causing the crowd to start clapping and humming away, while the drinks were flowing and ordering the most mouthwatering wood-fired pizzas, ending with the crowd begging for another song, to which they played their iconic version of Cotton Eye Joe, as their finale.

Next on the list was Yndian Mynah, which kept us captivated from the beginning until the end with their electrifying music. Yndian Mynah is an instrumental band with post rock influences. They have their debut album, “Velvet Youth” from 2019, two lone-standing singles and a next album is due for release at the end of 2022, entitled ”The Boys Scribbled Like Mad”. The band consists of Jonny on bass, Kenton on drums and both James and Mathew on electric guitar. The name of the group came to them because, Mathew grew up in Johannesburg and always thought the bird “The Indian Mynah/ mcommon Mynah”, was globally infamous until he found himself in the bustling metropolis of Somerset West, where no one had ever seen one, so it made sense to call them something which has many meanings and it’s a really intelligent bird. Because another band in Australia has the same name, they spelled their band’s name with a “Y”.

All four of them have different musical influences, some collide, some don’t, so they just write what they like and give themselves the room to express themselves, and in the process, they learn to like other influences and respect other sounds, what feels good comes out and becomes a song. During Covid times and lockdown, they wrote a ton of music and played shows whenever they could. They have all been friends for twelve years, the band is five years old. They met each other in a flat in Cape Town after work, played acoustic guitars, and jammed until all hours of the morning. They developed such a friendship, they are friends, brothers and band members, that live their lives around each other. The way the music and words sound, as well as the content, all play a part. There’s a message in some of the songs, and others are for feel and sound. They are nostalgic people, that feel hopeful about the future and love it when they bring it out in others.

When asking if they believe in the 3p’s … product, performance, and persistence, they said that they don’t believe in the rubric, creating what they can given the environment and trying not to rush for success, wanting it to last forever and becoming better musicians in the process. In five years, they see themselves still playing and playing on international grounds. To find and purchase their music, they are on all streaming platforms, on Bandcamp and they also sell vinyl with other merchandise. For tour dates, follow them on their Instagram account, as soon they will be doing a tour up the garden route.

Be Sure to keep an eye on the Jim Beam Website for further updates on when Jim Beam Welcome Sessions will be appearing at a venue near you

To stand a chance to win a trip to see Muse in Kentucky. Go to the Jim Beam website to find out how to enter

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