MW / All hail the King of Pinoy Blues

12:00:00 AM

His name is Joniver Robles.

I first encountered him in Trellis in Salcedo Village, Makati. My twin brother wanted to grab a few drinks, and since that restaurant has the cheapest beer in the city (plus free wifi), it was the obvious choice for poor folk like us (he got a promotion, and he wanted to celebrate). That was a Thursday, and Joniver was performing. It wasn't my first time in Trellis, but it was my first time to hear him play.
Not in Trellis, but that's him
(photo from the internet)
Joniver was awesome.

Too awesome, in fact, that my twin brother and I had to stop talking every once in a while to just listen to him. His repertoire was not limited to blues; he throws in alternative, electronica (with an acoustic arrangement, of course), rock (he let me sing Skid Row's I Remember You), and even reggae to his sets. To quote one of his friends, the guy's a jukebox - he can play anything!

Although his voice is very versatile, I think it's best suited for the blues. His voice has that raw and raunchy character to it, a depth that I think could only have come from a place of pain, and those qualities really make his music distinctly his despite a song list made up of nothing but covers.

If you're a blues fan and you find yourself in Makati on a Thursday night, drop by Trellis - you won't be disappointed. And like I said earlier, the beer there is cheap, so that should make your visit even more worthwhile.


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