Bluesfest Touring, FBi Radio and RRR are proud to announce that Benjamin Booker will play Sydney and Melbourne around his highly anticipated Bluesfest appearances. Based in New Orleans Booker draws his influence from post-War electric Blues, and garage punk. In 2017 he released ‘Witness’ an album that he created in response to the racial tensions facing America in 2017. The title track features civil rights icon and Bluesfest favourite Mavis Staples and is an anthem which demands listeners to answer the question: “Am I going to be a Witness?” and in today’s world, “Is that enough?” Booker creates powerful music, that is as exhilarating and well-crafted as it is significant.
Continue reading Benjamin Booker announces Sydney and Melbourne Bluesfest sideshows
Bluesfest Touring welcomes Gomez back to Australia for their first tour in 6 years and the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album ‘Bring It On’ that featured the hits “78 Stone Wobble” and “Get Myself Arrested”. With so much to celebrate their Perth, Sydney and Melbourne sideshows are not to be missed. The group stood apart from other bands in the Brit-Pop era in their attitude and sound. Typical of this was the comment from the panel of judges for the Mercury Music Prize who described the album as “an intriguing blend of swamp blues, bar-room rock and eerie power.”
Continue reading Gomez – Australian headline shows announced for 2018 (Bluesfest Touring)
Photographer: Peter Coates
Patti Smith fans are in luck, she and her band will perform Horses for a third night at The State Theatre in Sydney. Bluesfest Touring has added the show to keep up with the incredible demand. The entire tour is tracking to sell out before the end of the year, so if fans haven’t had the chance yet now is the time to get tickets. Pre sale begins at 10am Friday 18 November, general on sale starts on Tuesday 22 November.
State Theatre, Sydney on Sunday 9th April 2017– ALMOST SOLD OUT
State Theatre, Sydney on Monday 10th April 2017– HURRY – TICKETS SELLING FAST
State Theatre, Sydney on Tuesday 11th April 2017 – TICKETS ON SALE 10AM TUESDAY NOV 22
Hamer Hall, Melbourne on Sunday 16th April 2017 FEW TICKETS LEFT
Hamer Hall in Melbourne on Monday 17th April 2017 ALMOST SOLD OUT
Hamer Hall in Melbourne on Tuesday 18th April 2017 ON SALE NOW
Continue reading Patti Smith and her Band perform Horses – NEW SHOW ADDED!
Their 2016 festival sets have become the stuff of legend so Bluesfest is ecstatic to have Alabama sextet St Paul & The Broken Bones rocking Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2017!
Continue reading St Paul and the Broken Bones – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
Bluesfest favourite Trombone Shorty is bringing his energetic fusion of funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop to back to Australia. The New Orleans native began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz.
Continue reading Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
Vibraphonist and vocalist Roy Ayers is known as the Godfather of Neo-Soul and is among the most respected Jazz and R&B artists on the scene today.
Continue reading Roy Ayers – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
Making their Bluesfest debut in 2017 are Canadian band The Strumbellas. When a crowd is singing along with the last chorus after hearing the song for the first time, and Twitter lights up with those same lyrics in the days following a performance, you know it’s a song that connects. With poignant yet sing-along-able lyrics and undeniable rock noir musical undertones, Spirits, the first single from The Strumbellas’ album Hope embodies the essence of what has been attracting fans from across the world to this Lindsay, Ontario-bred band.
Continue reading The Strumbellas – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
Joan Osborne is a multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy nominee. The soulful vocalist and noted song interpreter is a highly sought after collaborator and guest performer who has performed alongside many notable artists, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith to name a few.
Continue reading Joan Osborne – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
“Bonnie Raitt continues to exhibit the hot-blooded enthusiasm of performers half her age.” – Variety US
Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee Bonnie Raitt is more than a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer and accomplished songwriter…. She has become an institution in American Music.
Continue reading Bonnie Raitt – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
Music innovator Andrew Bird began to play the violin at age four, learning to play Bach and Mozart by ear as if they were folk tunes. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will be returning to Australia off the back of his most recent release Are You Serious (2016) featuring contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills. Classically trained, Andrew Bird is known to attract adoring fans who connect with his personal and relatable lyrics, expect to hear a mass whistle-along at his exclusive Australian performances.
Continue reading Andrew Bird – Bluesfest 2017 Sideshows Announced!
One of the planet’s most uplifting musicians Michael Franti, and his band Spearhead, will be bringing their dynamic new music to The Croxton in Melbourne on Wednesday 28th September 2016 and the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Thursday 29th September 2016.
Continue reading Michael Franti & Spearhead – Australian Shows Announced – September 2016
Gregory Porter is coming to Australia with his band this September to perform two very special and intimate shows in support of his critically acclaimed fourth studio album, Take Me To The Alley (May 2016), released on the iconic Blue Note record label.
Continue reading Gregory Porter – Intimate Australian shows announced for September 2016
Review and photos by Peter Coates
Support act, the Adam Eckersley Band from the NSW Central Coast, took to the stage fresh from their CMC Rocks appearance and delivered a set of country-style folk-rock, full of Aussie attitude with a mean twin-acoustic guitar attack.
The band is pretty laid-back with lovely, easy harmonies with some raw emotion in the vocals and gave us a highlight set of ‘The First Album’ and the more recently released ‘The Second Album’. The crowd particularly enjoyed the acoustic solo from Adam in ‘Wheels’ and the set-closer featured some great interplay between the various band members, featuring drums, keyboards and bass. A terrific warm-up set from a great local outfit.
Blackberry Smoke are from Atlanta, Georgia, and have been linked to the stable of The Zac Brown Band for some of their earlier releases. They have been recording and touring for over 10 years, since the release of first album ‘Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime’ in 2004.
The lineup consists of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards). While the band is one tight country-rock outfit, there is no doubting the talent and sheer presence of front-man Charlie Starr, with a powerful vocal delivery, sharp moves and great guitar playing.
This is the band’s first visit to Australia for the Bluesfest in Byron Bay, so an early show in Sydney is a great way to see this critically-acclaimed southern country-rock band in an intimate setting. This will be the first and last time we will get to see the band play to 250 people in this country!
‘Holding All The Roses’ is the latest and fourth full-length album from early 2015, but their set was drawn from all four studio albums opeing up with ‘Six Ways’, ‘Let Me help You’ and ‘Like I Am’, before really warming the place up with ‘Pretty Lil Lie’. The crowd knew most of the songs and Charlie Starr was delighted with the response and the frequent singalongs!
The Turner boys on bass and drums must be the most laconic rhythm section doing the rounds, but rock solid with it. Lots of keyboards give some of the songs an atmospheric jazz-fusion feel with some great Hammond organ and honky-tonk piano from Brandon Still, particularly in the extended workout of ‘Sleeping Dogs’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ – but the band never strays far from the electric guitar-based core of the music.
The set rolled on with two cracking tracks in ‘Wish In One Hand’ and my favourite from the latest album, ‘Payback’ which is just a great rock song with a cool story. Title track of the previous record, ‘Whippoorwill’ almost felt like early Pink Floyd in the beginning but rolled into some great guitar work from both Paul Jackson and Starr with a glorious piano and organ solo from Stills.
The songs kept coming, with the simplest of ballads written about Manette, Alabama, One Horse Town, and then a retreat into 1980’s classic rock with ‘Up In Smoke’, contrasting the ballad with rumbling riffs and a wailing solo. The energy started building through ‘Ain’t Got The Blues’ and the enormous-sounding ‘Holding All The Roses’ with more killer riffs and a false ending before the raucous close.
‘Shake Your Magnolia’ closed the set as another upbeat piano and guitar-driven track before the encores brought the band back out, Starr in a tasteful hat, for ‘Too High’, new song ‘Let It Burn’, and the signature southern rock anthem of ‘Ain’t Much Left’.
Good luck Bluesfest – these guys are going to bring the deep south all the way to Bryon Bay this weekend – Do Not Miss Blackberry Smoke!
Headliner: Blackberry Smoke – www.blackberrysmoke.com
Support: Adam Eckersley Band – www.adameckersleyband.com
Venue: The Basement, Sydney Australia
Date: March 23, 2016
Photographer: Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography