Bluesfest Byron Bay 2015 – More Great Artists Announced

bluesfestBluesfest, held over the 5 Day Easter Long Weekend from Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th of April 2015 continues to build the buzz surrounding the festival by announcing the long awaited artist playing schedule with performance times and stages, yes: the whole enchilada!

Festival goers attending the 26th Annual Bluesfest, to be held at its custom built event site at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm (just outside Byron Bay) will now be able to get out their highlighters and get busy planning their Bluesfest 2015 experience.

Five major undercover stages (and one busking stage) will be bringing world class artists and their favourite songs to the Bluesfest audience from day to night.

With the festival now only six weeks away more artists have also been added to the gigantic line-up, including a number of stellar Aussie musicians.

For those yet to purchase tickets, 5 day tickets are entering their final allocation and will be increasing in price and final allocations are happening in many ticket areas.

Skipping Girl Vinegar • Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders • Kristy Lee
Matt Andersen • Shaun Kirk • Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars
Frank Yamma • Delta Rae • Wagons
Genevieve Chadwick • Dewayne Everettsmith
The Bella Reunion • Luluc • James T.
& SOJA add a third show on Thursday 2nd April!

Lenny Kravitz • The Black Keys
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Paolo Nutini • David Gray • Hozier • Ben Howard
Zac Brown Band • Counting Crows • Rodrigo y Gabriela
The Waterboys • Michael Franti & Spearhead •The Gipsy Kings
Jimmy Cliff • Mavis Staples • John Mayall • Angelique Kidjo
Alabama Shakes • Jurassic 5 • Gary Clark Jr • Train
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Paul Kelly presents The Merri Soul Sessions
Keb Mo • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue • Switchfoot
feat. Dan Sultan, Kira Puru, Vika & Linda Bull, Clairy Browne
Hunter Hayes • Xavier Rudd and the United Nations
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires • SOJA • Dispatch
• Chris Robinson Brotherhood • Beth Hart • Donavon Frankenreiter
Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls • Tony Joe White • Augie March
Justin Townes Earle • Fly My Pretties • Nikki Hill • Diesel • Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Mariachi El Bronx • Band Of Skulls • Blue King Brown • The Beautiful Girls
Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones • Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen
G. Love & Special Sauce • Ruthie Foster • The Beat • Keziah Jones • Watussi
Ash Grunwald • Rebelution • JJ Grey & Mofro • Pokey LaFarge
Jeff Lang • Jake Shimabukuro • Trevor Hall • Serena Ryder
Playing for Change • Steve Smyth • Karl S. Williams
Phil Wiggins & Dom Turner • The Rumjacks
Declan Kelly presents Diesel n Dub
feat. Emma Donovan, Alex Lloyd, Pat Powell, Radical Son, Tony Hughes
Cool John Ferguson, George Stancell, Super Chikan and Vasti Jackson

Music Maker presents RocKwiz Live

Michael Franti’s SOULSHINE – Music & Yoga Concert feat. Michael Franti, SOJA and Trevor Hall.

Peter Noble, Festival Director shares his excitement about Bluesfest 2015:
“It is always an exciting time here at Bluesfest when we announce the playing schedule with all the performance times and stages. It’s time to start checking through who you want to see the most, and who may get put aside for a preferred choice.

It’s never easy to programme, as there are so many competing interests – managers and agents who feel their artists should be more highly billed – and clashes – oh those clashes.

We DO try to avoid as many as possible, however, there are inevitably going to be some – sorry if you are going to need to be in two places at the same time.

We have attempted to give a number of upcoming artists more plays this year – so you can still catch their performances once their buzz goes out to everyone.

They include more sets from Music Maker – the heart and soul of our festival, who are coming with perhaps their best group of artists yet – don’t miss them for the real Southern Blues. This year they will feature Vasti Jackson, Super Chikan, George Stancell and Cool John Ferguson with Albert White, Nashid Abdul and Ardie Dean.

Lots of other multiple performances will be happening including those from Diesel n’ Dub, Playing for Change, Karl S. Williams, Steve Smyth, Skipping Girl Vinegar, SOJA, JJ Grey & Mofro and others. Check them out.

Ex Canned Heat front man – and now local, James T. is making his comeback after having some health issues – he played at the first Bluesfest – welcome back James.

Oh – and make time to catch Delta Rae – they are going to blow you away.

The Juke Joint stage has grown since last year – and is now the size of the Delta stage – and yes, the actual stage is much higher so you can see better than last year.

We have also slipped in an announcement. Hope you like it.”

Peter Noble,
Festival Director

Read more about the artists that make up the 7th Artist Announcement:

“…one of Australia’s most sought after indigenous artists. Yamma’s heartfelt set of husky, beautiful songs hit the AWME crowd like a sucker punch…” SONGLINES/BBC3

“Evocative and occasionally heart-wrenching…Yamma writes songs combining deep sadness with a remarkable beauty” – Limelight Magazine

Frank Yamma returns for his third Bluesfest performance in 2015, and his first in four years. Regarded by many as one of Australia’s most significant Indigenous songwriters and performers, when Yamma sings, you listen, and travel with him.

An initiated Pitjantjatjara man from Australia’s central desert, he sings in his native language and English. His mighty songs, magical guitar playing and deeply arresting voice are all there in his compelling new album ‘Uncle’.
Frank Yamma & his band Piranpa won a Deadly Award in 1999 for their album ‘Playing with Fire’; He also won an AGSC Screen Music Award for Best Original Song Composed for a Feature Film, Telemovie, TV Series or Mini-Series in 2005. He has recorded sets for Triple J’s Live at the Wireless and had multiple live performances broadcast on Radio National’s Live on Stage series.

A performer since the age of nine, learning from his renowned musician father Isaac Yamma, Frank has an ability to cross cultural and musical boundaries, delivered with his incredible rich, deep and resonant voice. His brutally honest tales of social issues and the importance of country are spine tingling.

Frank will be performing solo, and with Declan Kelly’s Diesel’n’Dub. This will be an unforgettable live experience that we highly recommend you see!

“In the live setting, every good quality about the group is amplified. The vocals are stronger, harmonies sweeter, stomps more booming, and lyrics more touching”. – CMJ

Relentlessly hard working six piece rock band from Durham, NC, are making their Bluesfest debut in 2015.
Since the release of their debut album Carry The Fire in the summer of 2012, and 2013’s follow-up EP Chasing Twisters, Delta Rae has been profiled everywhere from NPR and Time to Forbes and Rolling Stone. VH1 hand selected them for their “You Oughta Know” Artist Of The Month program, and they performed not once, but twice on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.

Delta Rae truly flourishes on stage, having spent the last year and a half playing to sold out venues from coast to coast, and opening for heroes like Lyle Lovett and even sharing the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama, when they performed during a Democratic rally at UNC Chapel Hill.

Their sophomore album After It All will be coming out on April 7, 2015. Bluesfest welcomes Delta Rae to their debut Bluesfest performance in 2015.


“An epic storm of Harvey atmosphere, classic rock chops and Wagons’ mighty vocal range.” – Rolling Stone
“… simply a pleasure to listen to, from start to finish.” – FasterLouder
Wagons are one of those bands that are impossible to forget, leaving a deep and smile-inducing imprint on the brain.

Led by the unique swagger of Renaissance man Henry Wagons, they are a bunch of facial hair wielding tall timber, reminiscent of decades past; when bands gave their audience bucket loads of charm and were shrouded in a little enigmatic mystery.

Often lauded as one of Australia’s great live bands, they relentlessly provide a stomping floor fracturing show no matter what stage they take over. Wagons have shared stages around the world with Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and more, as well as performances at SXSW, Canadian Music Week and Americana showcases, and a long list of impressive festival appearances.

Wagons have just released their sixth studio album ‘Acid Rain & Sugar Cane’ produced by Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey) and mixed by Matt Linesch (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). Their unique records and live shows are something for everyone. There’s melodrama, there’s menace and there’s mirth – in spades.


“An indie force of nature”, ‘Album of the Year Finalist’- The Age

Their last set at Bluesfest went off – and we’re chuffed to have indie, hobo-pop darlings Skipping Girl Vinegar back in 2015, as they officially launch their anticipated third album ‘The Great Wave’ at Bluesfest 2015. Peter Noble, Bluesfest Festival Director says ‘The Great Wave’ deserves a TOP 10 hit worldwide. It is full of great songs which radio and listeners will love.

Skipping Girl Vinegar is fresh off the plane from Nashville – working with acclaimed U.S. producer Brad Jones (Josh Rouse, Missy Higgins). A band of celebrated songwriters have created critically acclaimed albums ‘Sift the Noise’ and ‘Keep Calm, Carry the Monkey’, all making many ‘Album of the Year’ lists receiving extensive radio play on U.S. and Australian radio.

Rich with melody, layers and classic sing-along choruses, this heart-warming band is a must-see experience. Bluesfest is thrilled to have this exciting Australian band perform for its audience in April.

“Expect to see and hear a lot more from this man with the voice of an angel” – Billboard Magazine
“Marlon Williams is currently the finest in his field” – The Music

Described as “the impossible love child of Elvis, Roy Orbison and Townes Van Zandt”, Marlon Williams is a 2-time New Zealand Music Award winning singer-songwriter from the port town of Lyttelton.

Rhythms Magazine called Williams their “artist to watch” in 2014, and he lived up to the hype, featuring on Rockwiz and TEDx Sydney, touring with First Aid Kit and Justin Townes Earle, performing at Meredith, Queenscliff, Darwin, Brisbane, Wave Rock, Big Sound and Mullumbimby Music Festivals and selling out shows around Australia & NZ.

Williams kicked off 2015 with the release of ‘Dark Child’, the lead single from his debut album due for release on April 24th through Caroline Australia. Bluesfest is excited to present one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most promising, rising stars of Blues.

“Kristy Lee has one of Alabama’s most powerful voices. Her voice calls to mind long gone blues belters, Southern soul shouters and gospel divas.” – Press Register
Kristy Lee is an Alabama based singer-songwriter that has been burning it up on the underground scene for years. Now, burning up an international path, known for her powerhouse vocals, Lee delivers pure, raw emotion and gutsy guitar chops that leave audiences in awe.
Catching attention of audiences and industry alike, she has shared the stage with internationally renowned artists including The Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti, Dickey Betts (The Allman Brothers), The Indigo Girls, G-Love and Special Sauce and the legendary Leon Russell. She reaches across many genres of music, birthing a new sound, uniquely her own: Dirt Road Soul!


Every once in a while an artist emerges who touches the very soul of an audience. Bluesfest 2015 goers can expect to discover such an artist in force of nature Genevieve Chadwick.

She’s been likened to the great Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge, Tracey Chapman, John Lee Hooker, and even John Butler. Genevieve exudes raw energy by the bucket load. Her own brand of Blues and Roots; poignant songs full of rich melodies, is sung with a confounding gravel voice, attracting an ever-growing army of fans everywhere she plays.

Hailing from NSW South Coast, Genevieve tirelessly toured her popular debut album ‘Riding the Wind, Forgetting Time’, all over Australia, scoring appearances at many major music festivals, and in 2013 won the People’s Choice Award at the Telstra Road to Discovery Finals in Tamworth.

She was also selected as one of only three Australian artists to become part of the global Playing For Change music project, which saw her play Bluesfest and support Joan Armatrading and Ben Caplin on their Australian sideshows. Her much-anticipated second album will be produced by The Hit Factory’s Grammy award-winner Mark Johnson (Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Rickie Lee Jones, Keb’ Mo’).

“a uniquely gifted singer with hints of the soul of Marvin Gaye and the sunny beauty of Johnny Nash. His short opening set, full of memorable songs and glorious harmonies, was spellbinding” – Sydney Morning Herald
Off the back of a highly acclaimed international tour with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, immensely talented Tasmanian vocalist Dewayne Everettsmith is coming to Bluesfest for the first time.
Is his relatively new career, Dewayne has made some serious strides. He has performed a private show for Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, Gayle King; Supported Archie Roach, John Farnham and Guy Sebastian; Wowed audiences in shows with the prestigious Black Arm Band – including a duet with Paul Kelly during the Melbourne International Arts Festival; Featured in a 30th anniversary video release of the iconic song, “Great Southern Land”; Performed at ‘G’Day USA’; and is a national ambassador for the official Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.
He is also the voice of Tourism Australia’s international marketing campaign, which was built around Dewayne’s “It’s Like Love”, and has received 20,000,000 views since its launch. Descended from both the Aboriginal community of Cape Barren Island and the Gunai/Kurnai people of Victoria, Dwayne’s music is a harmonious coalescence of Indigenous and contemporary styles.
His stage presence, song writing, and the beauty of his voice have all the makings of a rising star – a future great of the Australian music industry. Dewayne Everettsmith is one of the artists to see at Bluesfest this year.

“A fine intro… raucous at times and introspective at others with fine writing ability on display” – Bluesmatters Magazine (UK) – Dec 2014

The Bella Reunion possess a rich shared history spanning nearly twenty years, steeped in the legacy of Chicago and Memphis blues with the timeless emotional spirit of the great Stax and Motown soul legends.

The five-piece comprises of two UK musical exports: two time ‘Chain’ blues award winning guitarist Chris Harvey, and drummer Toby Baron (Ray Davies), joined by two Australians: Jazz legend Steve Russell on piano/organ and bassist Jez Klysz, led by the captivating voice of Irishman Alan Boyle.

Their first album ‘Introducing… The Bella Reunion’, produced by Beachy Wild (Lil’ Fi, Jeff Lang, Hat Fitz & Cara), has an emotive collection of original songs with a classic feel. It went straight to number 1 in the Australian Blues & Roots Radio Airplay Charts where it remained at the top spot for 2 consecutive months.

In February 2015, TBR were awarded the Chain Award for Best New Talent at the 2015 Australian Blues Music Awards and are fast becoming a festival favourite across Australia.

“Zoe’s lyrics are remarkable…she and Steve make musical magic. She has that kind of voice that, when it’s wrapped around the right words, can make you cry. It did me.” – Lucinda Williams

“Gorgeous and refined…timeless” – Rolling Stone

Bluesfest welcomes Australian folk duo Luluc to the festival for the first time in 2015. Their debut album ‘Passerby,’ produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner, attracted incalculable coups, debuting at Number 1 on the CMJ Most Added charts and peaked at Number 8 on the CMJ Top 200. Both the album and single“Small Window” were featured on NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2014.

Peter Blackstock of No Depression magazine called ‘Passerby’ “the most beautiful record I’ll hear in the next 10 years,” and Bob Boilen called ‘Passerby’ his favourite album of the year on All Songs Considered’s Year End Round-Up. They were recently chosen by legendary UK producer Joe Boyd to sing in a star-studded line-up at the sold-out Nick Drake Tribute, they’ve had their music featured on popular US TV shows Criminal Minds, Parenthood and Grey’s Anatomy, and are currently on tour with Swedish superstars First Aid Kit.

Visibly on the rise, Luluc will light up the crowd this Bluesfest, with their delicate, compelling brand of new indie-folk.

James Thornbury, dubbed “James T.” in his coffee house days, is an Ohio-born blues and folk journeyman and Bluesfest favourite, returning to our festival after ten long years!

Widely known as the front man for ten years with Canned Heat, James’ blues/folk career spans over an impressive forty years. T is uncompromising in his musical tastes; through vocals, guitar and harmonica he delivers heavy doses of no-holds-barred raw blues.

He has played with everyone from John Lee Hooker to Ken Kesey’s daughter, Sunshine, and travelled the world over, performing classics including ‘Going up the Country’. This is a rare opportunity for dedicated blues fans to see one the greats with a truly inspiring story and legendary blues catalogue.


“Channelling the sounds of Chicago and Memphis with energetic keyboard laden jams and soulful down-tempo ballads playing a narrative of the working class life”– Velvet Rope Magazine

“A giant of a man, with a voice to match …one of Canada’s brightest new roots music stars”
– Exclaim Magazine

With over 2 million views on YouTube, independent sales over 30,000 albums, a 2013 European Blues Award, and winning Best Solo Performer at the Memphis Blues Challenge, it appears that the entire world is now discovering Canada’s Matt Andersen.

A powerhouse performer with a giant, soul-filled voice and commanding stage presence, Matt has built a formidable following the old-fashioned way; touring worldwide and letting the converted audiences and Andersen devotees spread his reputation through word of mouth. His reputation as a bluesman won him the 2013 Euro Blues Award for the Best Solo/Acoustic Act, three Maple Blues Awards in 2012, and the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Andersen’s extensive discography boasts seven albums, including one Christmas album, one live album, and two albums with harmonica player Mike Stevens. After hearing the instant classic material on his new album Weightless, it’s hard to imagine any fan of Matt Andersen – old or new – leaving unsatisfied.

Independent blues/soul troubadour Shaun Kirk has come a long way since his debut release in 2010, having been described as “one of the most explosive solo acts Australia has to offer”.

His maiden record ‘Cruisin’ was awarded ‘Best Debut Album’ at the 2010 VIC/TAS Blues Music Awards, and his second album, ‘Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’ shot to number 1 on the Australian Blues/Roots Airplay Charts in early 2012. Kirk’s third release, ‘The Wick Sessions’ climbed to number 3 on the Amrap AirIt Great Southern Charts, and number 6 on the Smokestack Lightning Radio Playlist.

He has supported Joe Bonamassa, Big Bill Morganfield (son of the late great Muddy Waters), Diesel, Ash Grunwald and Mia Dyson and appeared at many of Australia’s top festivals including Woodford Folk Festival and St Kilda Festival. He was voted the ‘Youth People’s Choice Award’ at the 2012 Blues at Bridgetown Festival, as well as winning ‘Best New Artist’ at the 2013 St Kilda Festival, substantiating his increasing popularity.

The forthcoming album ‘Steer the Wheel’ is Kirk’s most experimental and electrified record to date, with influences ranging from rock, soul and rhythm & blues. The crowd funded album is also raising funds for Orphfund, a non for profit charity helping abandoned children across the globe.

His music is packed with soul, vocal flexibility and raw energy. Bluesfest welcomes this great young Australian artist to the 2015 line-up.

Rootsy indie 3-piece Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars, the winners of the 2014 Bluesfest Busking Competition, return to Bluesfest in 2015 with a new EP, and in true Byron fashion, sans shoes.

Eddie Boyd writes and plays from the heart, absolutely shreds on the acoustic guitar, and delivers it all with a huge vocal range with just the right amount of gravel. The rhythm section are amongst the tightest of any young band touring Australia at the moment, and with each new performance The Phatapillars are gaining a family of loyal devotees along their way. Their debut EP is due for release March 2015.


SOJA have added their third performance at Bluesfest on Thursday 2nd April. The Jambalaya stage is going to go off right before Jimmy Cliff on the opening day of the festival! SOJA are synonymous with Byron music audiences and looking forward to sharing their amazing socially conscious reggae at Bluesfest.

Bluesfest Director, Peter Noble and Festival Manager, Annika Oman will be in Nashville, Tennessee this week for the highly regarded annual Pollstar Awards where Bluesfest is nominated in the category of the 2014 ‘International Music Festival of the Year’ for the third year in a row! The nomination marks the fifth time Bluesfest has been nominated for the prestigious award and the 25th Annual Bluesfest has been nominated alongside worldwide heavyweights including the Glastonbury Festival (UK), Isle Of Wight Festival (UK), Lollapalooza Brazil (Brazil), Tomorrowland (Belgium). The awards will be held at the world-famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Saturday, February 21. Wish us luck!

Bluesfest playing schedule is available on
All festival and camping tickets are on sale through or phone the office on 02 6685 8310.
Tickets are also available through Moshtix and Ticketmaster