By Dominic Feain
Bluesfest 2015 Day 2
Byron Bay’s Bluesfest hit full stride yesterday as day-two kicked off around lunchtime with Melbourne blues singer/songwriter Shaun Kirk at the Juke Joint while American six-piece Delta Rae cranked up the mojo on the you-know-where stage.
Described by Bluesfest director Peter Noble Peter as a “truly hot new artist on the blues scene”, Shaun Kirk plays an infectious form of swamp/boogie blues and soul through a combination of guitar, harmonica and foot percussion. His heart-felt lyrics filled the little Juke Joint, spilling out into the curious and keen early-comers passing by and hooking them in.
Meanwhile folk/gospel/rock outfit from Durham, North Carolina, Delta Rae made its Australian debut at Bluesfest this year having never left American shores as a band before – and they appeared as happy about this as we are.
Fronted by siblings Ian, Brittany, Eric Holljes and gospel singer Elizabeth Hopkins, Delta Rae (with Mike McKee on percussion and Grant Emerson on bass) set the scene for Bluesfest as the festival stamped itself on my Easter yet again and reminded me why even us locals keep coming back year after year.
For many punters, Bluesfest is nearly always about discovering bands they didn’t know about, and with the likes of Kirk and those good folks from Durham County USA kicking us off, this year seems no exception to your’s truly and bodes well for another cracker of a festival.