Less than half a month to go until the Bluestone Blues Festival over New Year.
If you haven’t heard of it, where have you been for the past 22 years?? Obviously not reading Forte.
The Bluestone Festival, held every New Year’s Eve, is the highlight of Sleepy Hollows activities, with attendances of up to 700, as blues lovers and their families from Geelong and all over the country flock to enjoy two days of great music, friendship and dancing.
Most people camp overnight, and there’s a well-stocked bar, hot and cold food stalls and merchandise ensure that everyone is catered for. The bloke with the full barista set built into the back of his van does a sensational trade on New Year’s Day (or Recovery Day as we call it) as people answer the call to the day’s music.
The bands appearing range from local to those coming from interstate. So who’s up this year?
Brian Fraser and The Drive are opening the festival. Brian is well known locally for his solo and band work, and has regular appearances on the Blues Train. Brian is joined by drummer Andrew Crossley, and on bass guitar is Melbourne’s Chris Riley.
Dreamboogie hail from Melbourne and will be there. Consisting of Rebecca Davey (vocals), Sam Buckley (guitar), Connor O’Neill (bass) and Robert B Dillon (drums), they were named with a hat-tip to vintage American jazz/ blues writer Langston Hughes’ famed poem “Dream Boogie”.
Simon Kinny-Lewis Band have made it down from Sydney Town. SKL takes the audience with him on a seismic journey of compelling, blues.
Paulie Bignell and the Thornbury Two are stalwarts of the Melbourne scene. The Thornbury Two consists of Peter Beulke (bass and backing vocals) and Craig Hadlow on drums.
Chris Wilson Band needs no introduction, but here goes anyhow. Chris has appeared at every major Australian festival and his performances are always a highlight. Chris Wilson is a master of his craft. This time Chris is joined by Dave Birtwell (guitar), Sweet Felicia (bass) and Fenn Wilson (drums).
Troy Wilson and Electric Larry from the other side of Port Phillip join the lineup. They bring raw talent and a compelling experience to the Juke Joint tradition, with evocative and powerful songs, from smoking ballads, bawdy blues and juke joint boogies; Robert Johnson, Bo Carter, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny Boy Williamson just to name a few.
Derek and the Champs are another Bellarine staple. They’ve been pulling an increasing crowd, which is not much of a surprise, when you look at the line-up – Rod Hoe (drums), Peter Kure (bass), Ian Wilson (guitar) and Gary Quick (keys).
Stevie Paige Band is another Melbourne name. Today this Chain and Vic/Tas award winner is widely regarded as one the best blues voices you will hear anywhere in the world, while Louis King and the Liars Klub peddles a dangerous mix of Blues and Rockabilly with a stage act that is a mixture of an outback roadhouse and a Glasgow Pub fight!
Get full details and the link to book online at www.facebook.com/BluestoneBluesFest.
Written by John Lamp
Image sourced via Dreamboogie socials