If you weren’t convinced by the rain and hail a few weeks back that it was winter, then the fact that the Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival is upon us should be convincing. This is their 20th anniversary, which is quite a feat for a free festival.
That also means that if you haven’t got your accommodation yet, then you had better get your skates on – they’re not too keen about people camping in cars.
You can keep track of their most up to date list of artists via their Facebook page, but here’s some that have taken my interest…
Frank Sultana Blues Machine from Sydney is one Frank P. Sultana (guitar/vocals), Simon Panucci (drums), Joey Panucci (guitar/blues harp), Nath Boaden (bass) and Alyce Schulte (vocals). They have an easy acoustic sound with vocal harmonies, possibly in the country blues area.
Dana Gehrman is a Brisbane singer-songwriter, and she’s no slouch on guitar either. She has recorded with Tim Rogers. Any questions? This will be worth hearing.
I always approach player names like Copenhagen Slim with a bit of suspicion. Half the time they have been no closer to their claimed home than Werribee. This is the real deal though. He’s been Danish Blues Artist of the Year and has a strong electric blues sound.
Julian James might be a new name for some people, but Catfish Voodoo should not be. Julian has been travelling for about eight years with them and doing solo shows. This is a good opportunity to catch a solo performance. Love, loss and debauchery – I can work with that!
When I looked up The Barren Spinsters I didn’t expect to see quite that much facial hair. Their Facebook page has them as selling over 40 million records and having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which just shows you how reliable social media can be. They’re Matt Tennant (drums, vocals, good ideas) and Brendon Houlahan (vocals, guitar, keybass, mistakes) and they’re from Canberra, not USA. Loud, energetic and in your face!
Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides is a six-piece tour de force of jazzy blues and roots. Take an acoustic guitar, add a crazy-cool horn section, a super-slick rhythm section, flavoured with some immensely talented soloists and some quirky songs with vocal harmonies too. This is my favourite genre Bonnie Kay (acoustic and slide guitar) is from Philadelphia and the Bonafides are Wayne Rigby (saxophone/flute), Catherine Golden (double bass), Davo Fester (drums), Louise Horwood (trumpet) and Hilary Geddes (electric guitar).
Backwood Creatures perform blues inspired psychedelic southern rock which is a hair raising concept. They are Jeb Cardwell (guitar), Grant Cummerford (bass) and Tim Burnham (drums). All familiar names. Backwood Creatures will take you away with their swampadelic grooves, soaring guitars solos and daredevil musicianship.
As for the rest, they are some well-known and well-loved artists, local and interstate, I can’t list them all (space) and I’m not going to just list a few of them, get on to the website, you will know the names!
The Festival is on 25 to 28 of July, and you can get details at winterblues.com.au.