How many readers got to Pete’s Mardi Gras in Little Malop? What an afternoon that was! The place was full of people dancing and relaxing to the music of four bands, but for me the highlight was the brass sections of the four bands joining together and parading the street with classic New Orleans tunes.
Pete Raimondo has earned our admiration for what he does here with blues at Pistol Pete’s Food and Blues, but the Mardi Gras event took that to a whole new level. I can only wait to see what it develops in to next year!
Last year I mentioned the work that Wayne Jury has been doing with young performers to develop their careers.
For over seven years, Wayne has been running a Blues Boot Camp down at the Potato Shed at Drysdale.
Over a three day camp, young musicians aged between 12 and 25 years get to mix with and learn from seven professional musicians working with them on playing, performance and the music industry.
The camp encourages freedom of expression, combining skills and knowledge with emotion, while fostering cooperation and team building.
Cooperation and versatility is the key to a great career as well as a great performance.
There was a very talented group at Blues Boot Camp this time around. Tutor Michael Pollitt said, “In previous years there have been some stand-out performers but this year the overall standard of the group was exceptional.” The concert was of a high standard according to many attendees.
For the Sleepy Hollow Blues Club gig on February 25 Wayne has invited mentors Michael Pollitt (guitar) and Dave Robertson (drums) to play with the Wayne Jury Four as well as Boot Camp students Jack Meredith – harmonica, Heath Robertson – guitar/vocals, Carly Robertson – bass and Damien Miller – drums.
Heath Robertson and Jack Meredith both play together in a band (Heath Robertson) and they “killed it” at QMF last November. This year was their third Boot Camp attendance.
Emmi Burgess (keys) has been in ‘Sweethearts’ for 12 months now, her second time at boot camp, and her sister Asha (vocals) has just been accepted into the Sweethearts academy. Asha is a third time boot camper and one of Wayne’s private singing students.
Ned Moran – guitar and vocals, came from Melbourne to participate and at 12 years old he’s pretty special. He blew people away with his solo performance of one of his original songs.
There were several others who could go on and make a musical career if all it took was talent.
The next camp is to be held at the Echuca Winter Blues Festival in July and you can keep tabs on that at www.bluesbootcamp.com.au.
The Blues Boot Camp will return to the Bellarine in 2019.
I don’t know how many of these young players from this year’s Bellarine camp will go on to musical success, but you can hear them at the next Sleepy Hollow Blues Club gig on February 25th at the back of Trades Hall in the late afternoon.
By John Lamp