Perhaps it’s the selective memory but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly one forgets the shear stamina and commitment five day festivals demand – let alone one with six stages and a line-up like this.
Herein lies the crux of the Bluesfest punter’s dilemma – how to choose between the likes of Iggy Pop and Robert Plant; Status Quo and the Beasts of Bourbon; the Dropkick Murphys and Taj Mahal, not to mention Santana and Wanda Jackson; Ben Harper and Chris Isaak; the Counting Crows and Joan Armatrading; Wilco and The Melbourne Ska Orchestra…
Bottom line? Decisiveness is the key. Where there’s no guts there’s no glory. Wavering between stages will only break you down faster and leave you with a gnawing sense of what might have been against a potential epiphany at a consecrated altar of live rock and roll. Continue reading →
By DOMINIC FEAIN
Byron Bay’s Bluesfest hit full stride yesterday, following a cracker opening night on Thursday, and the heavens responded in kind.
Let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be Bluesfest without the rain.
While it certainly wasn’t the 100mm organisers had promised would drain off faster than a heavy metal anthem, it did pour down.
But that didn’t deter the hundreds of punters spilling out three sides of Crossroads stage where Rodriguez had just won over a new generation of fans. The crowd knew most of the words to his classic 1970 album, Cold Fact, and weren’t afraid to sing them. It was spine-tingling stuff.
On the flip-side, it was yet another classic Bluesfest audience – relaxed, intelligent and forgiving – offering musicians the kind of reception that has elicited some extraordinary live performances over the years, and earned the festival an international reputation among artists second to none in Australia. Continue reading →
Featured Artists: Santana, Manu Chao La Ventura, Rodriguez, Joan Armatrading, Jimmy Cliff, Glen Hansard, Taj Mahal Trio, Ben Harper, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Wards Xpress
Venue: Bluesfest Byron Bay
Date: 29 March 2013
One of the beautiful things about a festival as large and varied as Bluesfest is that the discovery of something new and exciting, at least for the listener, waits around every corner. For this reviewer, Canadian First Nations singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie was the jewel of this year’s hidden treasures.
Already familiar with her 60s hit Universal Soldier and the rocking Bury My Heart at
Wounded Knee, as well as her Academy Award winning effort Up Where We Belong (who isn’t?), it was a pleasure to become acquainted with the other varied dimensions of her 40 plus year repertoire, and to experience the woman behind the music. Continue reading →
by: Pepa Wolfe
Monday was another delightful mix of new discoveries and big names, with a good dose of puppetry and performance art thrown in.
The day saw the some rocking blues with plenty of keys down at the Crossroads tent as German outfit BB & the Blues Shacks charmed the crowd. Physically dynamic and looking sharp, BB and his boys really ramped up the audience participation. It was an onstage/offstage love-in, complete with dancing girls on stilts. Continue reading →
It was Easter Sunday, the sun was shining over Bluesfest and the Crossroads tent was gearing up to celebrate with a solid block of gospel, soul and blues, kicked off by the enigmatic, effervescent powerhouse Mavis Staples and Her Band.
This year’s festival boasted an array of music a legends, not least of which was the incomparable Staples, who either solo or together with The Staple Singers has been >performing for over 60 years. Returning to Bluesfest with material from her Grammy Award winning CD You Are Not Alone, Staples is loads of fun. She’s got the moves, she’s got the attitude and that voice – a rich, raw, rip your guts out and make you happy sound that only improves with age. Continue reading →
Review By: Pepa Wolfe
Photos by: Silvana Macarone Early birds and trivia buffs rocked up to the Jambalaya Tent on Friday to test their skill and perhaps earn a place on the panel of RocKwiz Live. Cracking the proverbial whip and vetting the various hopefuls was producer and co-host of the SBS series Brian Nankervis who after seven years with the show has it down to a fine art. Appearing across four days of the festival, Friday’s first taste had host and improv queen Julia Zemiro in top form, and featured musical guests Tim Rodgers (You Am I), Marcia Hines and Glenn Richards (Augie March), as well as a couple of impressive punters whose extensive music trivia knowledge was bested only by their brazen karaoke efforts, one contestant whipping out a harmonica and riffing with the impeccable RocKwiz Orkestra. A highly entertaining start to the afternoon, Richards, Hines and Rogers blasting Kiss’ I Wanna Rock and Roll All Nite, the icing on the cake. Continue reading →