Diehard Bluesfest fans always hang out for the second announcement. The first is usually focused on headliners (this time John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band) and contemporary musicians, while the second announcement is where you’ll hear about the legendary icons and genre hardcores. And Bluesfest 2014 boasts a particularly stellar second round of names: The Doobie Brothers, Aaron Neville, Gregg Allman, Boz Scaggs, India.Arie, Suzanne Vega, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Dr John & The Nite Trippers, Jamaican Legends featuring Ernest Ranglin, Sly & Robbie and Bitty McLean, Jimmie Vaughan, The Wailers, Ozomatli, CW Stoneking, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, Grandmothers of Invention (featuring alumni of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention), The Magic Band, Robben Ford and more. Bluesfest Byron Bay is held over the Easter long weekend (April 17-21) at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay.
Here’s the press release:
Bluesfest 2nd Announcement 25th Anniversary 2014!
It’s time for Bluesfest Legends and a heap of Blues & Roots!
Today Bluesfest Byron Bay, Australia’s multi award winning 5 Day Festival, held over the Easter long weekend (17 – 21st of April) at its home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay, opens the second chapter to its 25th Anniversary special edition!
After the first announcement focused on headliners John Mayer & powerhouse Dave Matthews Band, as well as compelling contemporary musicians, this is what Bluesfest diehard fans wait for every year. It’s all about Legends, Blues & Roots and a perfect blend of Funk & Reggae.
Second Bluesfest Announcement:
Doobie Brothers • Aaron Neville
Gregg Allman • Boz Scaggs
India.Arie • Suzanne Vega
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Dr John & The Nite Trippers
JAMAICAN LEGENDS feat. Ernest Ranglin, Sly & Robbie, Bitty McLean
Jimmie Vaughan • The Wailers
Ozomatli • CW Stoneking
Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
Grandmothers of Invention • The Magic Band • Robben Ford
The Paladins • Music Maker Foundation Feat. Pat Wilder, Cool John Ferguson, and Little Freddie King
plus many more to come
Peter Noble, Festival Director, says:
‘’Here come the Legends. We are so proud to be bringing you the Doobie Brothers and just like Steve Miller Band at Bluesfest in 2013, they have hit after hit after hit. Talking about Steve Miller, we are announcing Boz Scaggs, who is an original member of the Steve Miller Band and he will give us the real ‘Lowdown’, (one of his many great hits) – a really classy white soul man, if EVER there was one.
Gregg Allman is the leader of Southern Rock’s greatest band – The Allman Brothers – hell…. they created Southern Rock and this is his first ever Australian tour.
Although Aaron Neville has toured Australia before in The Neville Brothers and as a guest for The Blind Boys of Alabama, this is also his first Australian tour, so we are going to hear all his hits.
Live, Gregg and Aaron are both just great and they are going to deliver us very hot shows.
We have tried for years to get India.Arie and Dr John to come back to Bluesfest and are so proud they have agreed to come to our 25th.
One of Bluesfest’s all time favourite bands The Paladins will return – they played the first ever Bluesfest at the Piggery in Byron Bay in 1990 – when Bluesfest was a club festival – and we haven’t seen them here in a decade – These guys Rock(abilly) – with deadly passion.
Other festival favourites returning include Jamaican Legends featuring Ernest Ranglin and Sly & Robbie, Jimmie Vaughan, Ozomatli, CW Stoneking and The Wailers and we have waited a number of years to welcome each and every one of them back.
Suzanne Vega will play Bluesfest for the first time and one of our all time favourites the Music Maker Foundation – the non-profit organisation who almost singlehandedly keep the pure Blues flame alive in the South of the US today – will once again send the real deal smoking Blues to our yearly juke joint at Bluesfest, where they will play every night. This year includes Little Freddie King playing Australia for the first time and Bluesfest favourites Pat Wilder and Cool John Ferguson.
The Music Maker Foundation delivers one of our most jam packed shows at Bluesfest – the word soon goes out and their stage is the place to be – each and every night – to experience real blues – hot, sweaty, sexy and down home – an absolute don’t miss.
And – I am proud to announce a VERY special billing of two bands that will both play Australia for the first time. Believe me, it is hard to get them to play almost anywhere and these will be real unique, almost ‘one of a kind’ shows – The Grandmothers of Invention – featuring members of the original Mothers of Invention, performing the songs they created with Frank Zappa back in the day.
NOT to be outdone will be performances by the The Magic Band – YES – Captain Beefheart’s band – the one that played on Trout Mask Replica.
Both bands feature original members from that time – and they will perform faithful renditions of the classic songs they created – WOW.
And like Otis Redding used to say – “’If you think we gonna stop now – we ain’t gonna stop now” – in true Bluesfest style – stand by – there’s plenty more to come – I’m beginning to get excited.
ARTISTS ALREADY ANNOUNCED
John Mayer – Dave Matthews Band (Two Incredible Performances)
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
Bluesfest playing schedule is available on www.bluesfest.com.au
All Festival and Camping tickets are on sale through www.bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the office on 02 6685 8310
Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster on www.ticketmaster.com.au
The Doobie Brothers
The legendary Doobie Brothers on the legendary Bluesfest stage? Could we ask for anything more?
The Doobie Brothers are one of the great American music stories. Since their story began in the 1970s, The Doobie Brothers’ propulsive roots-based, harmony laden, guitar driven style has sold an estimated 40 million records over the course of four decades.
With their songbook full of classic rock staples : ‘Listen To The Music’, ‘Black Water’, ‘Long Train Runnin’, ‘What A Fool Believes’, ‘Jesus Is Just Alright’, ‘China Grove’ ,‘Little Darlin’(I Need You)’ drawn from 13 studio gold and platinum albums: ‘The Captain And Me’, ‘Toulouse Street’, ‘The Doobie Brothers’, ‘Taking It To The Streets’, ‘Minute By Minute’, ‘One Step Closer’, ‘What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits’ and more, its gonna be hard to find anyone who has not heard a Doobie Brothers song.
Their latest release World Gone Crazy (produced by the legend Ted Templeman) is another chapter in this great American music story, but it’s neither comeback nor nostalgia. An exhibition of aggressive and emotional performance, evocative storytelling, unapologetic attitude and world class musicianship, the collection is its own justification. In a sense, World Gone Crazy is an analogy for the Doobie Brothers as a whole.
With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and the late Michael Hossack, the Doobies have perfectly honoured the band’s legacy with an offering that grows in unexpected new directions.
And if fans have any understanding of what to expect from the Doobie Brothers, it’s probably the unexpected. “In a certain sense, our latest album World Gone Crazy is vintage Doobie Brothers,” Pat Simmons says. “It certainly has the two original writers and there’s a certain signature there in terms of the vocal sound that comes from each of us as writers. As far as the songs are concerned, there are elements of things we’ve done in the past and some new ways we’ve applied them. There are also some newer approaches and elements we haven’t used.”
“The Doobies have always been about playing live,” Tom Johnston says. “We’re not a studio hot house group and we’re not a concept album band. We’ve always just brought in the tunes we had, put them together and made an album. That’s the way it’s been from the very first album and that’s still the way it’s being done.”
Expect the unexpected, they say … but one thing’s for sure … our tent roof is gonna lift off when the Doobie Brothers rock onstage at Bluesfest.
Are you ready for a musical journey of a special kind? One that will touch the core of your heart? Get ready as Aaron Neville’s performances will leave you in a state of bliss and joy.
Aaron is no stranger to Bluesfest and has performed with the Neville Brothers in 1997 and The Blind Boys of Alabama in 2011.
His voice has been described as ‘the sweetest voice in music’ and after 5 decades of constant recording success – with The Neville Brothers… with Linda Ronstadt (2 Grammys) … with Trisha Yearwood (another Grammy) –has a total of 12 Grammy Award nominations. He also won Best Male Singer two years running in the Rolling Stone critics’ poll.
In January 2013 Neville released his Blue Note debut My True Story, a collection of twelve classic doo-wop numbers including ‘Tears on My Pillow’ and ‘Under the Boardwalk’) performed in his utterly inimitable vocal style. The album was co-produced by Blue Note President Don Was and Keith Richards, and finds Neville backed by a top-flight rock & roll band, led by the distinctive, propulsive guitar work of Richards himself.
My True Story bowed at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Rolling Stone about My True Story, “Welcome back to the sweetest falsetto in human history” calling Neville “a true soul master at work,”
American Songwriter calls the album “a thrilling project that combines Neville’s stunning voice with classic melodies whose sentiments remain timeless,” while Mojo says that “everything is perfectly suited to Neville’s achy-breaky falsetto, up there in the Smokey Robinson/Curtis Mayfield realm of delicious heartbreak and joy.”
Aaron Neville’s hits which include ‘I don’t know much’, ‘Tell it like it is’, ‘All of my life’ and many more have stirred many hearts and we are ever so ready to be taken and awakened by Aaron’s voice at Bluesfest.
We welcome Gregg Allman to Bluesfest, founding member of the one and only Allman Brothers Band, the greatest Southern Rock Band EVER and a solo musician in his own right. Allman is a rock and roll hall of famer known for his gifted natural interpretation of the blues and his soulful and distinctive voice.
Allman founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 with his brother Duane, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson. The band’s first three albums – The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South and At Fillmore East were huge hits that made Southern Rock their unique fusion of Country, Blues and Rock, a national sensation.
In his solo career, Allman has recorded seven albums including ‘Low Country Blues’(2011) his first recording in more than 13 years. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album finds Allman putting his own stamp on songs by some of the blues giants whose work has long influenced his own, from Muddy Waters and BB King to Buddy Guy and Magic Sam.
Fellow Bluesfest 2014 performer Dr John features on the album much to the delight of Allman, “T Bone Knew that him being there would put a certain fire in my ass” Allman says “It was so good seeing Dr John, both of us being sober, Cause last time I saw him, both of us were pretty much nose to the floor”. It is stories like these that were divulged in Allman’s memoir of his exceptional career in My Cross to Bear, which was released in 2012. Rolling Stone Magazine named the book in its 25 Greatest Rock Memoirs of All Time
An inveterate road warrior, Allman is embracing his return to the endless highway and we can’t wait to see this prolific musician perform at his Bluesfest debut at our 25th Anniversary.
Boz gets the Bluesfest buzz.
“One of the masters of American music”-Mike Barnes,Hollywood Reporter
“Boz Scaggs proceeded to give a masterclass around – as he put it – the ‘musical map’.” – Chris Cobb, Ottawa Citizen
A casual listen to the Grammy award-winning Boz Scaggs’ discography makes one thing obvious: Boz Scaggs is both a musical seeker and a man of sizable talent as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. His explorations in blues and R&B, Rock and Jazz have produced lasting work and a career that has brought with it acclaim, a loyal following, and an enduring respect among musicians.
Boz Scaggs is ‘best known’ for his 1976 Album ‘Silk Degrees’ and the multi –platinum sales of songs like ‘Lido Shuffle’, ‘Lowdown’, ‘We’re All Alone’ but behind these mega hits lies an acclaimed body of work. Songs like ‘Breakdown Dead Ahead’, ‘Jojo’ , ‘Miss Sun’, ‘Other Roads’ and ‘Look What You’ve Done To Me’( from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack ) have served to endear him to a global audience.
His eponymous self-titled album back in ’69 saw Boz Scaggs working with the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on an inherently blues album. An acclaimed album that featured the ‘slow-burn-to-high-heat’ track, ‘Loan Me a Dime’ helped in no small way by some insane lead guitar work from the ‘Sky Dog’ himself – Duane Allman.
Boz Scaggs career spans over 50 years: there’s school, uni and collaborations with Steve Miller( who rocked Bluesfest in 2013), 20 plus albums, a near 10 year hiatus from the industry, more collaborations with the likes of Walter Becker, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Phoebe Snow, David Paich and Jeff Pocaro (Toto) and, in recent times, more extensive touring – not only solo with his own crack band – but also some wonderful tours as part of the Dukes Of September alongside Michael McDonald and Donald Fagen.
Now Boz Scaggs is back with his new album ‘Memphis’ (his first in 5 years) : “I had been thinking about a record that involved going back into my past and finding songs that match my style and my voice,” Scaggs says. With producer Steve Jordan (John Mayer:Continuum) and a crack band he puts a distinctive touch on classics like ‘Rainy Night in Georgia’, ‘CorinnaCorinna’ and ‘Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl’, as well as on a couple of originals. Thirteen tracks were recorded in three days at Memphis’s landmark Royal Studios, where the late Willie Mitchell produced so many of Al Green’s and Anne Peebles’ legendary albums. And that feel is reflected across the whole album and especially in the songs like ‘So Good To Be Here’, ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and ‘Pearl Of The Quarter’.
One thing is for sure. His debut performance at Bluesfest is set to become the stuff that legends are born of.
It has been 8 years since Denver born India.Arie last graced the Bluesfest stage, this time she returns with a new album ‘SongVersation’ which marks her luminous return after a self-imposed four-year hiatus. The album is a compelling snapshot of her hard-won breakthrough to simultaneous personal and artistic growth. Highly-acclaimed, ‘SongVersation’ reached #5 on the Billboard 200 album chart, almost copying her previous release, which held down the coveted #1 spot.
“Grammy Award-Winning India.Arie weighs in with what may be one of the best releases of her career.” – BILLBOARD
A Bluesfest favourite, the minute India.Arie comes on stage she owns it with her spiritual and empowering presence, heartfelt and engaging lyrics and smooth as silk voice. It doesn’t take more than one song to become an instant fan and Bluesfest Festival Director Peter Noble is no exception:
“There is no other performer today, to my ears, who moves me as India.Arie does.
She has greatness stamped all over her & transcends music genres to achieve true crossover in everything she does. India.Arie writes songs that empower people – they are both moving & memorable. I believe she is one of the greats. Her music stands favourably beside the great artists Nina Simone, Billie Holiday… she is up there with them all. An absolute DO NOT MISS artist!”
From the moment that her very first single “Video,” and her multi–platinum debut album Acoustic Soul were released in 2001, India’s music established an extraordinary bond of trust, affection and communication with lovers of music throughout the world. India.Arie has sold over 10 million albums, been nominated for a massive 21 Grammy Awards, of which she has won four.
Come and join us and be inspired by the reborn, revitalized India.Arie at the 25th Anniversary Bluesfest.
Bluesfest is proud to present SUZANNE VEGA in her first ever Bluesfest appearance.
With classics and unforgettable songs such as Luka, Marlene On The Wall, Caramel (from the movie: ‘Cats and Dogs’), Solitude Standing, Woman On The Tier (from the movie: ‘Dead Man Walking’), Left Of Centre and Blood Makes Noise, Suzanne Vega is widely regarded as “one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation,” (Biography Magazine)
”Suzanne Vega gave the packed audience exactly what they wanted … perfection !”
Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labelled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs.
Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known halls. In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep emotion, Suzanne Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that has been described as “a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper” and as “plaintive but disarmingly powerful.”
Bearing the stamp of a masterful storyteller who “observed the world with a clinically poetic eye,” Suzanne’s songs have always tended to focus on city life, ordinary people and real world subjects. Notably succinct and understated, often cerebral but also streetwise, her lyrics invite multiple interpretations.
In short, Suzanne Vega’s work is immediately recognizable, as utterly distinct and thoughtful, and as creative and musical now, as it was when her voice was first heard on the radio over 20 years ago.
Along the way there have been creative collaborations with Leonard Cohen, The Black Keys, Jerry Garcia, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Joe Jackson and Bill Frisell whilst her music has been sampled or covered by the likes of Tupac Shakur, REM, Nikki D, Will Smith, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris and Lil’ Kim.
“You’ll never mistake her for someone else – there is only one Suzanne Vega.”
For sure – there is only one Suzanne Vega – and she is on her way to Bluesfest.
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Singer-songwriter, actor, author, political activist, producer – Steve Earle is one of America’s greatest living storytellers. His tales, encapsulated in songs such as The Galway Girl, Hard-Core Troubadour, Jerusalem , Goodbye’s All We Got Left , Guitar Town, and his anthemic Copperhead Road, have filled 14 albums and earned him 3 Grammy awards. Two years ago he came to Bluesfest solo, nailed it and sold-out his sideshows to boot. He also proclaimed from the stage that Bluesfest was ‘The Best Festival in the World’….
Now he’s back …and this time he’s bringing The Dukes along for the ride. He’s showcasing his 15th studio album, The Low Highway – a road record written about what he experienced from the window of his tour bus while travelling across the United States. Backed by a new lineup of The Dukes (& Duchess) featuring The Mastersons (Chris Masterson on guitars and wife Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle and vocals), Kelly Looney on bass and Will Rigby on drums, Steve Earle rolls through a bumper taster from this new album and his bulging back catalogue, his Dukes providing “a rustic soundtrack laced with an aching fiddle, twangy pedal steel and ragged guitar” – Edmonton Journal
A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, STEVE EARLE quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one on the country charts and immediately established the term “New Country.”
What followed was an extremely exciting and varied array of releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin’ (1995), the politically charge masterpiece, Jerusalem (2002) and the three Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007) and Townes (2009).
Steve Earle and The Dukes have been on a kick-ass tour on the USA and Europe … now it’s our turn !
Watch out BLUESFEST – they are ROCKING!!
Dr John & The Nite Trippers
Dr John is back in town – and he is armed with his incredible new album Locked Down.
Even if you aren’t a Dr John fan, your new to his sound or you simply haven’t heard his new music in a while – for whatever reason, you will be as excited as we are that he is coming back to Bluesfest.
Released in 2012, Dr John proves the Grammy winning collaboration with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who produced and played guitar. Rolling Stone gave the record 4 out of 5 stars, calling it “…the wildest record Rebennack has made in many years…full of muscled, vintage R&B grooves, fevered soloing, psychedelic arrangements and oracular mumbo jumbo.” The Los Angeles Times described the release as “… something magical, the embodiment of everything he’s done but pushed in a clear new direction.” Dr John has taken his music to a whole new level with this album, steeped in Rhythm n Blues, dirty beats, and heavy guitar riffs – there is something, raw, emotional and downright catchy about this album that will have it stapled as a favourite the top of your music collection.
Dr. John’s very colourful musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford.
A notorious gun incident forced Dr. John to give up the guitar and concentrate on organ and piano. Further trouble at home sent him west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin to name a few.
A legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album Gris-gris, which established his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm and blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots. His many career highlights include the masterful album Sun, Moon and Herbs in 1971 which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973’s In The Right Placewhich contained the chart hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.”
Dr. John is a 5x Grammy awards Winner – 1989, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2012. After a half century of creating music for others and himself, Dr. John continues to write, arrange, produce and interpret with a passion that has yet to wane.
Dr John is back in town – get ready ….
Jamaican Legends feat. Ernest Ranglin, Sly & Robbie, Bitty McLean & Alex Wilson
Bluesfest brings the ultimate Jamaican Legends to Bluesfest for a unique collaboration.
They have grooved across the globe in these past twelve months, leaving sold-out rooms clamouring for more.
ERNEST RANGLIN is arguably the finest exponent of, and some say creator of, that incredible ‘unique to Jamaica’ ska, dancehall, and reggae rhythm guitar work. He’s been an in-demand session guitarist for over 60 years, working with every Jamaican artist from Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff through to Prince Buster and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. No stranger to Bluesfest, it’s only a couple of years ago that he was a showstopper… but this time ..just look at who he’s brought with him.
SLY DUNBAR AND ROBBIE SHAKESPEARE on drums and bass are widely acknowledged as ‘the world’s greatest rhythm section’. Sly & Robbie have been together for over 35 years….between them they are estimated to have played on or produced over 200,000 recordings.
BITTY MCLEAN has an astonishing voice and an unnerving ability to pen a great song. A string of UK pop hits, time spent with UB40, an extensive and continuous solo career, all has led him to this point – 2 album collaborations with Sly & Robbie and a seat on the Jamaican Legends tour bus.
Last but not least is ALEX WILSON –composer, producer, arranger – and virtuoso pianist ! You may have seen him on the last Rodrigo y Gabriela Tour here (where he served as Musical Director, arranger and pianist), but he has also worked continually with the likes of Courtney Pine, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masakela.
Jamaican Legends – the undisputed heavyweights – Bluesfest – Bring It On !!!
Jimmie Vaughan is far more than just one of the greatest and most respected guitarists in the world of popular music but as Guitar Player magazine notes “He is virtual deity-a living legend”. Vaughan provides a vital link between contemporary music and its proud heritage, as well as being a longtime avatar of retro cool.It is with great reverence that we welcome back Jimmie for our 25th Anniversary at Bluesfest.
Jimmie Vaughan’s style as a player, songwriter and band leader can be thought of as an amalgamation of so many influences. Known for his deceptively simple yet complex attack, his clean uncluttered style capitalizes on conveying the emotion and message within the music.
His musical ethos and personal style have had an impact on contemporary culture from spearheading the current blues revival with The Fabulous Thunderbirds to his longtime innate fashion sense of slicked backed hair and sharp vintage clothes. Since releasing his first solo album in 1994 he has set the standard for quality modern roots music and he continues to finding relevance with his music, his latest album ‘Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites’ was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
The older brother of legendary “Texas Blues” guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie comes from good stock and with a genuine love of and finesse with the guitar plays some of the best God damn blues on the planet.
Vaughan utilizes raw emotion, simplicity and an elegance that is powerful and accessible yet communicates exactly what he feels inside. It’s an approach that has earned him the respect of many of the greats of contemporary music;
“The first time I heard Jimmie Vaughan I was impressed with the raw power of his sound. His style is unique and if I’ve learned anything from him, it’s to keep it simple.” Eric Clapton
“He’s unbeatable when it comes to the blues. He just plays it like it’s supposed to be played” Buddy Guy
Do yourself a favour next year at Bluesfest and come hear the story that is Jimmie Vaughan.
The Wailers are on a mission …. and it is to keep Bob Marley’s music alive !!
It’s been nearly ten years since The Wailers last appeared at Bluesfest – and we are so pleased to have them back for our 25th anniversary. It’s impossible not to groove along to their sunshine and ‘good-feeling’ classics: Jammin’, Is This Love, Exodus, Lively Up Yourself, I Shot The Sheriff, One Love, People Get Ready, Stir It Up, Redemption Song and so many more.
The iconic Wailers were formed in 1969 when Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh recruited the Barrett brothers – bassist Aston “Family Man” and drummer Carly from Lee Perry’s Upsetters, to play on hits such as “Lively Up Yourself,” “Trenchtown Rock,” “Duppy Conqueror,” and many more. This line-up, inspired by Rastafari, pioneered and powered-up roots rock reggae, making it a worldwide phenomenon. The history of the band during Marley’s lifetime is well known – their music has sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide.
The current Wailers band members are : Aston “Family Man” Barrett on bass; Dwayne Anglin on lead vocals; Cegee Victory on backing vocals; Keith Sterling on keyboard; Drummy Zeb on drums; and Audley Chisholm on rhythm guitar/backing vocals.
The anchor of the band is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who in addition to being Marley’s most trusted lieutenant, played on countless other classic reggae hits throughout the seventies. The authenticity he brings to the Wailers’ sound is indisputable and yet today’s line-up combines old school know-how with lead vocals from one of Jamaica’s most exciting new singers.
Today – as always, The Wailers continue their worldwide campaign of promoting peace, love and equality through the message of reggae and Rastafari. Nor have they forgotten their social consciousness, currently spearheading the ‘I Went Hungry’ charity, designed to use funds designated for touring bands’ lavish “riders” to benefit the World Food Program (WFP) in conjunction with the United Nations, feeding thousands of starving children around the globe.
Now well into their fifth decade, their journey is far from over as the world awaits The Wailers’ next move in their “One Love” revolution.
“Our music is the magic,” says Family Man “the oxygen of the people. It’s the message of roots, culture and reality, meant to spread peace and love to all.”
Perfect motto for our Bluesfest 25th birthday – peace and love to all !!
We don’t think there is a better way to celebrate turning 25 than with the ultimate party band – aka Ozomatli – playing this Easter. Their music- a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga-will have you dancing all night.
They have never fit into just one genre and neither has their approach to performing. Starting off as hometown heroes playing in the street of Los Angeles, these culture-mashers went on to become U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors, the first western band to play in Nepal (to 14,000 people) & Mongolia (to 25,000 people), headlining the Hollywood Bowl three times and even officially having their own day named after them by the City of LA – April 23 is OZOMATLI DAY.
Proudly born as a multi-racial crew in post-uprising 90s Los Angeles, the band has built a formidable reputation over five full-length studio albums and 19 years of relentless touring and taking party rocking so seriously that it has become a new school musical activism.
Set to storm the stage with their contagious energy, relentless baselines and effortless swagger OZO will make this a birthday to remember.
As musical enigmas go, C.W. Stoneking is up there with the best. It’s as if he has walked right out of the American deep south at the dawn of the 20th century. But there’s not a hint of parody or acting in him – his authentic early blues sound, has intrigued and captivated every passer-by and leaves them with no doubt this inimitable man IS the real thing.
Its his slicked back hair, pristine 1920’s bow-tied suits, growl-like croon and hair-raising dream-haunting stories set to pre-war blues tunes that makes a CW Stoneking performance nothing short of enchanting. As you stand at his feet in a crowded tent, engrossed by his voodoo-calypso-styled epics – take a moment to turn around and take in the sea of mesmerised and disbelieving faces, transfixed to another time and place.
To even begin to understand what you’re in for we need to give you a little history of the man behind the music – C.W. Stoneking is a 34 years old, first generation Australian of American-descent.
He was born in the top end of Australia’s Northern Territory and spent his childhood growing up in Central Australia, Sydney and rural Victoria. He has played music from the age of 11. By 18, C.W. began performing the blues styles of the 1920s and 30s exclusively. He has travelled the world from Egypt to New Orleans (where he worked as a hoodoo doctor’s assistant) to Trinidad, where he learned about Calypso music.
He has lived in isolated farmhouses working as a handyman, and been involved in and survived a shipwreck, spending time in Africa, all of which has turned him into the international touring as recording artist, plays guitar & tenor banjo – and is a singer/ lyricist / composer / arranger and raconteur of the highest order.
If you’re not curious yet – and the songs from both his records, King Hokum & Jungle Blues, were not enough to win you over, and his tales heaped with tongue-in-cheek fiction and extraordinary fact are not enough – just wait to you hear his wail echo across the Bluesfest field.
Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
BLUESFEST – Get Ready – THE FUNKMEISTER is in da house !!
LARRY GRAHAM is gonna add some bottom. It’s what he does.
He was the thumping, funky bass engine providing the churning undercurrent for numerous hits by Sly and the Family Stone. Hits like ‘Dance to the Music’, ‘Everyday People’, ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’, ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ and then the band’s stellar appearance at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969 propelled the band and Larry’s innovative slap-pop style of playing bass into the global limelight.
As unconventional as his style may have been at the time, it has since been adopted and refined by countless bassists representing a variety of genres, including Flea, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Stu Hamm, Doug Wimbish, Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins and generations of others.
After Sly and The Family Stone, Larry Graham founded and fronted Graham Central Station, the funk-soul collective that has been his home (apart from a few solo years) for the last forty years. Whatever the setting, he has spent a half century redefining the bass by pushing the limits of its potential as both a melodic instrument as well as a percussive tool.
Raise Up, Larry Graham and Graham Central Station’s latest CD features guest appearances from Prince and Raphal Saadiq and shows that four decades after their first outing, the same potent ingredients that made the band a funk powerhouse in its early years, are still very much in the mix: thumping funk rhythms, infectious melodies and riffs, tight grooves, and of course, that churning slap-and-pluck bass undercurrent that pushes it all into overdrive.
BLUESFEST – we are in for one funking great time !!!
The Grandmothers of Invention
“Rare are the musicians who can even play Zappa’s music, let alone make it live and breathe. Thank the Lord for the Grandmothers of Invention…”This is a real coup for BLUESFEST – and for Zappa fans!
The Grandmothers of Invention are the only Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention alumni consistently performing the music of the maestro since 2003. They are THE authentic live version of Zappa’s music. From the classic ‘Freak Out’, ‘Absolutely Free’, ‘We’re Only In It For The Money’, ‘Uncle Meat’ and ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’ to ‘Weasels Ripped My Flesh’, ‘Apostrophe’, ‘The Grand Wazoo’, ‘Overnite Sensation’, ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’, ‘Bongo Fury’ and ‘One Size Fits All’. They have performed on a very long list of classic Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention’s albums, movies and other projects.
The Grandmothers are able to go deeper into the material, rather than merely parroting Zappa’s notoriously tricky composed lines – as many do. This truly is the reincarnation of The Mothers of Invention. With three different Zappa eras represented, the Grandmothers have a wide palette of material to choose from. They serve up vintage psychedelia – rock songs with surreal lyrics, jazz-like harmonies and melodic complexity, with flashes of wacky satire. They are amazing virtuoso musicians, fun and funny.
The Grandmothers of Invention are NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK(MOI/Zappa alumnus 1974-1984) on vocals, tenor saxophone, flute, suavenicity and dancing (!!),DON PRESTON(MOI/Zappa alumnus 1967-1969, 1970, 1971 & 1974 as special guest) on keyboard, synthesizers, electronics, iPOd, magic tricks (!!) and vocals. Also featuring the incredible talents of DAVE JOHNSEN on bass, horn and vocals, MAX KUTNER on guitar, whatnots and vocals and CHRIS GARCIA on drums, percussion, marimba and vocals.
Since their formation in 2002 they have performed more than 400 concert events across America, Canada and Europe: each performance providing indisputable proof that “they can (and do) still do that on stage!”
Now they bring their “jawdropping ensemble precision and solo wonderment”.(Dallas Observer)
to Australia – and BLUESFEST – for the very first time.
Be prepared – Frank Zappa’s music will live and breathe again under the big top at BLUESFEST 2014
The Magic Band
It’s a First for Bluesfest! Combining free jazz, blues and rock, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band served up a potent mix, commonly regarded by critics and fans as one of rock’s truly original bodies of work. With his controversial methods of rehearsing & recording, the Captain produced albums of controversial brilliance, both musically and lyrically – and found fans in Frank Zappa, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jack White, The Kills, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth and many more.
Sharing the vision of celebrating the music of the late Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart, original members Denny “Feelers Rebo” Walley, Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston, and John “Drumbo” French share the stage with guitarist Eric Klerks and drummer Andrew Niven to re-visit the classic Beefheart tunes with special fervor.
“outcasts (who were even) … too weird for the hippies” – Matt Groening
Matt Groening (The Simpsons/Futurama creator) was the catalyst for The Magic Band to reform when he curated an All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in 2003. Their reception at that Festival ensured tours of Europe and the UK were to follow – and spawned two CD’s: Back To The Front in 2003 and 21st Century Mirror Men in 2005.
This band is ‘the best batch yet’ and the chemistry has been duly noted with rave reviews from their UK tours in 2011 and 2012 and a triumphant return to the European mainland late last year.
The Magic Band has proven to stay true to the original music, re-visiting the original recordings with both technical and soulful accuracy and by imposing The Magic Band’s collective character on a heady mix of songs drawn from their classic albums such as Trout Mask Replica, Clear Spot, Safe As Milk, Lick My Decals Off Baby and Bat Chain Puller. The music is a mixture of avante-garde jazz and delta blues that has to be heard to be appreciated.
The Magic Band debut at BLUESFEST … Turn on … tune in … wig out !!!
Robben Ford’s performance at our 25th Anniversary will mark 15 years since he originally took the stage at Bluesfest in 1999. In 2004 he blew away the audience with live renditions of songs from his long list of albums showing that he is not just a gifted guitarist but a great songwriter too.
A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, John Mayall and Greg Allman.
Hailing from the USA, Ford was raised by a musical family and began to teach himself guitar at age thirteen upon hearing the two guitarists from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band namely, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Since then he has gone on to carve himself a reputation amongst his contemporaries as a truly talented and versatile musician.
Blues music aficionados will certainly be blessed to witness Robben Ford performing his exhilarating set at Bluesfest in 2014.
We promised to bring some of the greats over the history of Bluesfest back for our 25th Anniversary, so we welcome back The Paladins for their seventh Bluesfest performance, including the first ever Bluesfest in 1990.
The Paladins hail from San Diego, California and are known for delivering blues and rockabilly to adoring fans in its purest form;
“Basic and bare-boned West Coast jump blues, down home Texas grit, and Memphis rockabilly . . . wild, funky and menacing.” Guitar Player
“Sizzling roots rock . . . gutbucket power . . . no-holds-barred excitement.” – Billboard
Founded in the early 1980s by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and his high school friend and double bass player Thomas Yearsley. They have recorded nine studio and three live albums, and along the way built a reputation as one of America’s hardest-working live bands.
The Paladins started out as a rockabilly band during the rockabilly craze of the early 1980s. Their tagline at the time was “Western & Bop”. As they played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country. Their first LP, The Paladins, was produced by Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and was released in 1987. They followed that up with Years Since Yesterday, released on Alligator Records in 1989 and produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Mark Linnet. Let’s Buzz came out in 1990 and was recorded in the Los Angeles studio of 1970s soul star Leon Haywood. Over the years nine more critically acclaimed albums have come out. Most notably, their 1996 live album, Million Mile Club which fittingly marked the band’s one millionth mile travelled on the road.
To their many fans, The Paladins appeared to have come to an end in 2004 and Gonzalez moved on to another project, the western-soul band the Hacienda Brothers. However, the show was not over and the Paladins reunited in 2010 for a number of rare reunion concerts.
Lucky for us and lucky for you at Bluesfest 2014.
Music Maker Foundation feat. Little Freddie King, Cool John Ferguson and Pat Wilder.
The Music Maker Relief Foundation was founded by Tim and Denise Duffy to ‘help the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music to gain recognition”. Their supporters include BB King, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Ron Wood, Lou Reed and Pete Townshend. Bluesfest is proud to once again bring some of the Foundation’s superb artists to the Bluesfest stage.
Pat Wilder became a ‘must-see’ at last year’s Bluesfest with a series of dynamic performances. Rock, R&B, blues and gospel and jazz – and inspiration from the likes of Wes Montgomery and Taj Mahal – she fired up her ‘gee-tarrr’ and positively ‘smoked’ the Bluesfest stage. Don’t miss her this time round !!
Cool John Ferguson was last here in 2006. He’s been a busy man lending his unique left-handed guitar style to artists that include BB King, Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne, Beverly Guitar Watkins and The Stylistics He’s been walking his musical highway for over fifty years and has been honoured twice as ‘Most Outstanding Guitarist of the Year’ by Living Blues Magazine.
Little Freddie King is a self-taught guitarist with a unique country-style of blues he calls “Gut Bucket Blues.” Little Freddie King became a charter member and an annual attraction at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and toured Europe with Bo Diddley, Texas Alexander and John Lee Hooker in 1976. He has recently released the album “At Home in the New Orleans Musicians’ Village” on the Music Maker label.
As always , the Music Maker Blues Revue will be driving these guys…. and a finer set of musicians you couldn’t hope to see behind you. Ardie Dean, the Blues Revue’s drummer, has served as the Musical Director of Music Maker Blues Revue since 1991. Guitarist Albert White (Joe Tex, Ray Charles) and bassist extraordinaire Nashid Abdul Khaaliq ride shotgun.
Always a must-see at Bluesfest !!
Bluesfest playing schedule is available on www.bluesfest.com.au
All Festival and Camping tickets are on sale through www.bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the office on 02 6685 8310
Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster on www.ticketmaster.com.au