Bluesfest 2017 Adds Another Headliner

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Bluesfest 2016 Adds Kendrick Lamar

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KENDRICK LAMAR TO HEADLINE THURSDAY AT BLUESFEST

Bluesfest has announced Kendrick Lamar to the line-up for the five-day Festival held annually over Easter, just north of Byron Bay (EVENT DATES: Thu 24 March to Mon 28 March 2016).

Rapper Kendrick Lamar will be headlining the opening night of Bluesfest on Thursday 24 March.  Grammy winner Lamar’s third and most recent album To Pimp a Butterfly debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, #1 on the Billboard R&B and Hip Hop Albums Chart and #1 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart.

Thirty-two artists have been announced so far for the 27th Annual Bluesfest.  News on more artists will continue to roll out in the lead-up to the 2016 festival.

2016 ARTISTS ALREADY ANNOUNCED:
            TOM JONES  THE NATIONAL – exclusive
NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
UB40 feat. ALI CAMPBELL, ASTRO &  MICKEY VIRTUE – exclusive
JOE BONAMASSA – exclusive 
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND •  JACKSON BROWNE
CITY AND COLOUR • THE DECEMBERISTS
THE CAT EMPIRE • JASON ISBELL • TWEEDY
STURGILL SIMPSON • STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES THE WORD • GRACE POTTER • LORD HURON BLACKBERRY SMOKE • VINTAGE TROUBLE 
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE • SONGHOY BLUES SHAKEY GRAVES • ALLEN STONE • ST PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES • LUKAS NELSON AND PROMISE OF THE REAL • THE SELECTER • RHIANNON GIDDENS • JANIVA MAGNESS •LUCKY PETERSON • EMDEE 
THE WAILERS
PRESENT BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS 4 ALBUMS IN ENTIRETY
EXODUS, SURVIVAL, UPRISING & LEGEND OVER 4 NIGHTS
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Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 – Third Artist Announcement

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Today Bluesfest Byron Bay reveals its third round of artists to perform at its 25th Anniversary, over the Easter long weekend 17 – 21 April, 2014.

The latest announcement includes headliner and Bluesfest favourite Jack Johnson back to its main stage.  Johnson’s new album From Here To Now To You is his third number 1 album in a row in the Billboard charts in the US.

Also in the announcement is the legendary Elvis Costello who made his Bluesfest debut with two roof-raising performances with The Imposters in 2011 (I can vouch for one of those – a terrific set).  Costello will return with The Imposters.

First ever Bluesfest performances include renowned British folk rock solo artist Passenger.  His song “Let Her Go” is approaching 7 x platinum status in Australia and is a #1 chart-topper in sixteen countries including Australia not to mention the 110 million+ views of the clip on YouTube.  His album All The Little Lights is nearing double platinum status on our shores, as well as in Canada and the UK.

Jack Johnson and Passenger will be both performing exclusively at Bluesfest 25 off the back of Jack Johnson adding shows to his almost sold out Australian tour set for December this year and Passenger selling out his theatre run also in December this year.

RocKwiz Live, the hugely popular TV Series is coming back for some juicy Bluesfest entertainment.  After the incredible success of its 2013 debut season opener, RocKwiz Live will be shooting their 2014 season opening program at Bluesfest.

Also announced is the return of the American rock band Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, after her striking debut last year.

Australia’s much loved and award-winning Queen of Country singer Kasey Chambers, whose career spans over many Bluesfest years.  In 1999 Kasey first performed solo on the small stage at Bluesfest and, one year later, was headlining the Bluesfest main stage with her no. 1 Album The Captain, propelling her to the forefront of Australia’s most popular musicians.  Kasey playing at Bluesfest 25 will mark her ninth performance over all.

Also added to the growing Bluesfest line-up is Belgian American multi-instrumentalist Trixie Whitley, The Soul Rebels who will be bringing their brass-funk all the way from New Orleans and the nine piece soul band from Melbourne, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes. (I would highly recommend seeing this outfit).

The first two announcements included John Mayer, The Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Aaron Neville, Erykah Badu, Gregg Allman, Boz Scaggs and many more.

Bluesfest is Australia’s multi-award-winning five-day Festival, held at its permanent home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay,

The 25th Anniversary is shaping up to be a great occasion with more headline announcements scheduled in the next few weeks.

THIRD ANNOUNCEMENT includes:
Jack Johnson
Elvis Costello & The Imposters • Passenger
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals • Kasey Chambers
Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes
Trixie Whitley • The Soul Rebels
RocKwiz Live
with many more to come

The Road To Bluesfest 25 – Part 1

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In case you missed the announcement this morning and if you want to buy specific daily tickets, here is the current playing schedule for the first round of artists at Bluesfest (25th anniversary) next April.

First Artist Announcement

John Mayer
Dave Matthews Band
Erykah Badu
John Butler Trio
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Iron & Wine
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Devendra Banhart
Morcheeba
Gary Clark Jr
KT Tunstall
Allen Stone
Valerie June
Nikki Hill

Proposed Playing Schedule 2014

Thursday 17 April
John Mayer
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Allen Stone
Nikki Hill

Friday 18 April
Gary Clark Jr
Allen Stone

Saturday 19 April
Dave Matthews Band
John Butler Trio
Iron & Wine
Morcheeba
Devandra Banhart
K T Tunstall
Nikki Hill

Sunday 20 April
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Iron & Wine
K T Tunstall
Valerie June

Monday 21 April
Dave Matthews Band
Erykah Badu
Morcheeba
Devandra Banhart
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Gary Clark Jr

Many more artists to be announced
Stages & Playing times to be advised

Bluesfest 2013 Day 1

Day 1 of Bluesfest. Weather perfect. Official artists start time is at four pm. We arrive at 2.30 just in case. There are some first timers in the group so we need to get our bearings.

Some changes to the site from last year. A new, interesting and intimate performance space. New food outlets and considerable site works for better drainage etc.

To the music. – all photos below by Jim Jacob.

I wrote recently that Australian-blues artist Shaun Kirk was a revelation. For an hour, he played like his very life depended on it. A mixture of originals and covers, most of the material was from the recently-reviewed The Wick Sessions and he showcased his foot-stomping, harp-wailing interpretations with a joy and easy stage presence that was a pleasure to witness. “Find Somebody To Love”, Smokestack Lightning”, “Cruisin'” and particularly the closing ” Steamtrain” were highlights for me. When it was done, he left the stage drenched, like he had given his all. But you just had the feeling that his youth and passion would have him back there for a second set in a flash if someone asked him. A brilliant start to the festival.

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I’ve also covered Go Jane Go before – singer/songwriter Keiran Kane, his son Lucas and Scottish-born Canadian David Francey. They provided quite a contrast to Kirk. Kane on banjo or acoustic guitar or electric guitar, light percussion from Lucas and Francey specialising in vocals. In their hour set, they performed almost twenty songs, a breadth of imagery and subjects, but all beautifully crafted – “In a Town This Size” (Kane co-wrote this with John Prine), “Blue Heart of Texas”, Solitary Wave”, the Earl and Scruggs’ “My Blue Ridge Mountain Home”. Delightful.

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Shawn Colvin up next. (The first three acts were on the one stage and we had a magic spot on the front fence). A ‘new folk’ artist who has an impressive body of work and whose songs avoid the cliches and sometimes predictable structures and topics, her’s was a commanding performance. Two songs from her most recent release All Fall Down – the tile track and “Change Is On The Way” and a Tom Waits’ cover “Hold On” were sublime. Although the crowd was not large, it was an appreciative one, with a good deal of knowledge about her body of work and she seemed to enjoy herself.

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Tedeschi Trucks had an extra horn section from their last tour. The opening number “Midnight in Harlem” blew me away. The rise and flow, the Tedeschi voice, the distinctive and effortless guitar of Trucks got the set off on a high. An extended version of “Bound For Glory” hit the spot and a scintillating take on George Harrison’s “Isn’t It A Pity” followed. The band was brilliant and the set was the high point of the day.

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Ben Harper’s new project Get Up! is an interesting union between him and blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. And their set was excellent, providing each artist with an individual and combined outlet to showcase their new material.

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Until tomorrow then.

The Road To Byron Stops Here

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As The Hollies so wryly pointed out:

The Road is Long
With Many a Winding Turn…

We’ve been on the road for a while and now here we are by the pool in Byron Bay. Tomorrow Bluesfest 2013 begins. Over ninety artists, plus interviews, a quiz show and radio broadcasts, almost sixty hours of music over six stages and five days.

Here is what I am planning to see:
Shaun Kirk, Apra Stage, 16:00 28/03/2013
Go Jane Go, Apra Stage, 17:30 28/03/2013
Shawn Colvin, Apra Stage, 19:00 28/03/2013
Rodriguez, Jambalaya Stage, 20:30 28/03/2013
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Mojo Stage, 22:15 28/03/2013

Wards Xpress, Apra Stage, 13:00 29/03/2013
Seth Lakeman, Cavanbah Stage, 13:15 29/03/2013
Taj Mahal Trio, Crossroads Stage, 14:15 29/03/2013
Shuggie Otis, Jambalaya Stage, 18:00 29/03/2013
Tav Falco & The Panther Burns, Apra Stage, 20:30 29/03/2013
The Break, Apra Stage, 22:00 29/03/2013
Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mojo Stage, 22:45 29/03/2013

Genevieve Chadwick, Crossroads Stage, 12:00 30/03/2013
The McMenamins, Cavanbah Stage, 13:15 30/03/2013
Allen Toussaint, Crossroads Stage, 14:45 30/03/2013
Grace Potter, Mojo Stage, 15:30 30/03/2013
Wilco, Mojo Stage, 17:00 30/03/2013
Matt Andersen, Apra Stage, 19:30 30/03/2013
The Music Maker Blues Revie, Cavanbah Stage, 20:30 30/03/2013
Robert Plant Presents Sensational Space Shifters, Mojo Stage, 22:00 30/03/2013

Luka Bloom, 13:00 31/03/2013
Chris Smither, Cavanbah Stage, 14:45 31/03/2013
Royal Southern Brotherhood, Apra Stage, 18:00 31/03/2013
The Lumineers, Crossroads Stage, 21:00 31/03/2013
JD McPherson, Apra Stage, 22:30 31/03/2013

Round Mountain Girls, Jambalaya Stage, 12:00 01/04/2013
Wilson Pickers, Cavanbah Stage, 13:15 01/04/2013
Allen Stone, Jambalaya Stage, 15:00 01/04/2013
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Crossroads Stage, 16:15 01/04/2013
Ben Howard, Crossroads Stage, 17:45 01/04/2013
Bonnie Raitt, Mojo Stage, 18:15 01/04/2013
Paul Simon, Mojo Stage, 20:15 01/04/2013
Wilco, Crossroads Stage, 22:30 01/04/2013

Ambitious?…yes. Set in stone?…no. I’ll need to find time to eat, drink, attend merchandise and signing tents and catch up with friends along the way.

Bring it on.

Shaun Kirk’s Bold Enterprise – The Road To Byron Part 17

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Shaun Kirk is a revelation.

Don’t be fooled by his clean-shaven, youthful visage – he knows how to play dirty.   Dirty blues that is.  His new album The Wick Sessions is a testament to his talent, commitment and sheer energy as he showcases the blues to a younger audience.   Recorded and filmed at Wick Studios in Melbourne, Shaun’s brand new album and DVD was inspired by Freddie King’s In Concert: Dallas, Texas – 1973.  A nicely balanced collection of songs, most his own compositions, with some tasteful covers, he plays like he means it and when I say he plays, I mean he plays everything – vocals, guitar, harp, percussion you name it.  It’s an exciting release from a vital new blues force on the scene not to be ignored.  This record is hard-hitting, warm and honest, capturing all of the intensity and exhilaration that comes with Kirk’s live show. His immense voice wails whilst channeling his influences of the Delta blues era.551371_495038360531442_1196867011_n

The new record showcases four original tracks from previous albums Cruisin’ and Thank You for Giving Me the Blues, three covers written by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Keb’ Mo and our very own Dutch Tilders, as well as a freshly penned track “Every Dog Will Have its Day”, which reflects a roller coaster story of adventure, vulnerability and faith.  I love this record.

Here’s a teaser of the album.

Born in Melbourne Australia, Shaun picked up the guitar at the age of 16.  A successful sportsman until a broken ankle forced him to sit still for a while, causing him to write his first song in a hospital bed whilst waiting for surgery – Shaun discovered his passion for music.

In 2008 his first independent EP, Seagulls was released.  Since the independently funded debut release Cruisin’ in 2010, there has been a steady rise in awareness of him and his music.  His first full-length album, Thank You for Giving Me the Blues offers seven original tracks and three covers and has all the passion and vigour you can ask for in a contemporary blues/soul record.  Shaun’s blood, sweat and dedication to his art shines through, from slow and soulful ballads like “Find Somebody To Love” to witty tales of life on the road in “Chicken and Corn”, raw, stripped back instrumentals like “The Howlin Harp Boogie” and hard-hitting yet energetic grooves such as “The Drug Got a Hold Onto You” (see clip below).  His innovative arrangements of old blues standards by the likes of Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley show his inclination to take the genre to places it hasn’t been.  There’s also a cameo performance on the album from Australian blues icon Lloyd Spiegel.  20130313-164655.jpg

What can we expect from Shaun Kirk at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest next week?  Well The Wick Sessions is a strong guide – his passionate one-man show, surrounded by stomp box, tambourine, high hat, cymbal, kick and snare drum, playing up to six percussive sounds with his feet, whilst delivering quality guitar and blues harmonica performances, will I expect be impressive!  In fact, it is somewhat difficult to believe it is only one man producing this truly complex sound.

There is no sign of slowing down in 2013 for Kirk, with plans for another full‐length studio album to be released later in the year and the likelihood of taking his music overseas.

Some notable quotes from notable people:

“Shaun has a vocal range I could only dream of having. He is always a pleasure to listen to!” – Dallas Frasca

“It’s possessing the right attitude and sense of tradition that makes him stand out.” – Lloyd Spiegel

“Shaun’s a young yet established exciting performer, with a natural presence on stage, confidently singing original tunes accompanied by smooth slide guitar and sensible harmonics to croon any audience!” – Dutch Tilders

“Shaun’s a wonderful talent. He writes thoughtful songs and has a great groove through his music, not to mention a killer voice. I’m expecting big things!” – Nick Charles

NATIONAL TOUR DATES

MAR 23 SETTLERS TAVERN – Margaret River, WA
MAR 24 REDCLIFFE ON THE MURRAY – Pinjarra, WA
MAR 28-30 BLUESFEST – Byron Bay, NSW
APR 04 REPUBLIC BAR – Hobart, TAS
APR 05 TAPAS LOUNGE BAR – Devenport, TAS
APR 06 ROYAL OAK HOTEL – Launceston, TAS
APR 11 BEAVS BAR – Geelong, VIC
APR 12 OLD HEPBURN HOTEL – Hepburn Springs, VIC
APR 13 RUBYS LOUNGE – Belgrave, VIC
APR 14 WESTERNPORT HOTEL – San Remo, VIC
APR 18 NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB – Melbourne, VIC
APR 19 BABUSHKA LOUNGE – Ballarat, VIC
APR 20 WHEATSHEAF HOTEL – Adelaide, SA
APR 21 GLENELG SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB – Glenelg, SA
APR 24 THE FRONT – Canberra, ACT
APR 25 THE GUMBALL – Hunter Valley, NSW
APR 26 DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE – Darwin, NT
APR 27 GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL – Newcastle, NSW
MAY 03 MUDGEE BREWERY – Mudgee, NSW
MAY 04 THE CAT & FIDDLE – Sydney, NSW
MAY 05 GRAND JUNCTION HOTEL – Maitland, NSW
MAY 09 THE AZTEC – Forster, NSW
MAY 10 PACIFIC HOTEL – Yamba, NSW
MAY 11 KINGSTON HARVEST FESTIVAL – Carrum, VIC
MAY 12 THE JOYNT – Brisbane, QLD
MAY 16 SOLBAR – Maroochydore, QLD
MAY 17 BEACH HOTEL – Byron Bay, NSW
MAY 19 HAMPTON FOOD & ARTS FESTIVAL – Hampton, QLD
MAY 21-23 KC’S CHARGRILL BAR – Airlie Beach, QLD
MAY 24-26 BLUES ON BROADBEACH – Gold Coast, QLD
MAY 31 THE DIAMOND HOUSE – Stawell, VIC
JUN 04 KAZBAH LOUNGE – Sale, VIC

http://www.shaunkirk.com

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The Wick Sessions is out on Only Blues Music