Bluesfest 4th Announcement. Ooh, Buddy Guy!

image003Press Release: Today Bluesfest Byron Bay, Australia’s multi award winning 5 Day Festival, held over the Easter long weekend (17th – 21st of April) at its home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay, opens the fourth chapter to its 25th Anniversary special edition and the message coming from the Bluesfest HQ is that there will be at least one more artist release before Christmas – after all the Festival still has many of its artists left to announce.
Reports also say that Bluesfest 2014 Tickets, in particular the 5 day Festival ticket will sell out in the near future. Read More …

Bluesfest 2014 Third Announcement

The_Very_Best_Of_Elvis_Costello_(1CD)_album_coverPress Release: Today Bluesfest Byron Bay, Australia’s multi award winning 5 Day Festival, held at its permanent home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay, reveals its 3rd round of artists to perform at its 25th Anniversary, over the Easter long weekend 17 – 21 April, 2014.  The latest announcement welcomes Bluesfest icon headliner Jack Johnson back to its main stage. Jack’s fan base reaches from young to old and he truly represents what Bluesfest is all about. He is not just an all-time favourite, who makes the Top 3 List of ‘Most sought-after Bluesfest artist’ each year; Jack Johnson is also synonymous with Bluesfest, as well as a very gifted performer and a great person.

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Bluesfest Second Announcement

bluesfestDiehard 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: Read More …

INTERVIEW: Frank Turner

Frank Turner started his professional musical career as the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, who had some success in the early noughts with their albums A Song To Ruin and Harmony No Harmony. But ‘irreconcilable differences’ emerged and the band called it a day in 2005, not long after releasing their second album. Since then Turner has gone on to establish a successful career as an acoustic-based singer/songwriter, releasing four studio albums, two rarities compilations and four EPs. He even had the honour of performing at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. He’s visited Australia before, but a new release titled Last Minutes & Lost Evenings (Epitaph) has been compiled to give audiences outside the UK (including here in Australia) a proper introduction to his music. It features fifteen tracks – a mixture of standards and rarities – as well as a full DVD of his Wembley show with accompaniment from his folk-punk backing band, The Sleeping Souls.

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Blues legend. That’s all there is to it. Buddy Guy is one of the pioneers of the Chicago blues sound, a continually amazing guitarist, highly energetic performer, and a prime influence on one Mr Jimi Hendrix. At 75 years young, Guy is nowhere near slowing down, playing Australian dates in Sydney and Melbourne with Jonny Lang, as well as a standout set at Bluesfest. I spoke to Guy prior to Bluesfest and just after he finished up a string of dates on the Experience Hendrix tour in the USA.

“I’ve can’t count the times I’ve been to Australia,” Guy says. “I started coming down there in 1972. That was my first time coming down and I had never met [Delta Blues legend] Arthur Crudup before. I think it was the guy who created the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein – he was taking it around the world, and that was my first visit to Australia. And what a country, man. I just fell in love with it.”

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Ernie Ball Music Man LIII

Steve Lukather recently unveiled the LIII, a new signature model which takes his established Luke model and updates it with a few tweaks – most notably new custom-voiced passive DiMarzio pickups in place of the active EMGs on the Luke model. And the new, larger body shape was a response to requests from players who felt that the standard version made them look too big. Luke is currently touring Australia with G3 and for Bluesfest, and this guitar sounded incredible in the hands of both Luke and Mike Keneally. And man, I want one. And I have a huge – huge – interview with him to post when I’ve finished typing it up, but here’s a teaser:

“I’m loving mine. I wanted to do a different take on it. Non-active DiMarzios, a little bigger body. It’s a simplification. But we’ve had such fantastic success with the guitar over the years, why not see where this goes? I listen to what people say. Constructive criticism, I’m all about. But if someone’s going to go on the internet and beat the shit out of me for a laugh, there’s not much I can do about that. But I listen to these things. They (Ernie Ball) were a little bit opposed to this at first, but we found a happy medium and so far the reactions are really positive.”

And here are some pics from NAMM:

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INTERVIEW: Steve Lukather


How do I put this… y’know ‘music?’ If you’ve ever listened to it, the chances are extremely high that Steve Lukather was involved. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It?” Luke. Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” – Luke too. Richard Marx’s megahit album Repeat Offendor? Luke. Hell, he’s even contributed backing vocals to a few Van Halen songs. But session work is only part of the story. Lukather’s band Toto are legendary within hardcore musician circles as well as to general pop radio audiences – an almost impossible feat to pull off – and his solo albums somehow manage to bring together the whole breadth of his professional career under a single banner without sounding disjointed. In fact, recent albums like All’s Well That Ends Well and Ever Changing Times sound incredibly current.

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Australia/New Zealand G3 tour dates

In Melbourne? See you there!

03/24/12 Wellington Michael Fowler Centre New Zealand
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

03/25/12 Auckland Logan Cambpell Centre New Zealand
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

03/27/12 Canberra Royal Theatre Australia
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

03/30/12 Sydney Hordern Pavilion Australia
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

03/31/12 Melbourne Palais Theatre Australia
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

04/03/12 Adelaide Festival Theatre Australia
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

04/05/12 Brisbane Convention Centre Australia
Tickets on sale November 25, 2011

04/06/12 Byron Bay Byron Bay Blues Festival Australia
Buy tickets here.