Anna Scionti is bringing her Junkbox Racket to The Blues Train this November

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Anna Scionti is bringing her Junkbox Racket to The Blues Train this November

Words by Tammy Walters 

All aboard! Queenscliff’s legendary venue on wheels, the Blues Train, will be shunting carriages of the best emerging and established Australian contemporary blues and roots musicians this November.

Deemed a mini music festival on a steam train, Australia’s oldest blues and roots venue, the Blues Train, is known for its blues-bleeding live entertainment and food fusion.

Activating the heritage Bellarine Railway from October until May each year, the rolling venue provides a unique dining and entertainment experience with some of the best blues talent Australia has to offer. But for the first time in its 28-year long-standing history, its model will go off the rails for the newly introduced Next Generation Concert Series. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


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In a first for the venue, the Next Generation Concert Series will expand the music experience both in carriage and on platform. Spanning 5, 12, 19, 25, 26 and 27 November, with the final weekend seeing major music activation in and around Queenscliff, the series will include pre-travel and half-time entertainment on the Queenscliff and Suma Park Railway station platforms in addition to their energetic shake, rattle and roll carriage chaos.

The Next Generation Concert Series is a specially curated program, integrating emerging and established blues and roots talent, with some regular faces to the world-class tourist attraction and other emerging artists who will offer their interpretation of roots music suited to the next generation of audiences. 

Blues Train alumni and crowd favourite, Anna Scionti is among the exciting artists on the music program lineup. 

The Melbourne singer-songwriter, guitarist and bottleneck slide player who mixes it up on cigar box guitar, resonator, lap steel and six-string guitar is a regular to the railway with multiple headline slots this year alone. 

It’s both the unique setting and the audience that keeps her coming back.

“It’s quite a very different venue really, but it’s a lot of fun and pretty intense too because once we get rolling it’s like go, go, go! It is like a party on wheels, isn’t it? I’ve done duo, solo and trio shows there but I guess I keep coming back to it because I do love it,” she says. 

The Music Victoria Award-nominated artist has had a huge year back on the touring train playing festivals such as Port Fairy Music Festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest, and Gympie Music Muster. It’s the first time she has been able to show off her 2020 album Junkbox Racket – a rebellious and raw collection of songs spawned from Scionti being left alone with six uniquely crafted hand-made cigar box guitars and her 1960s Gibson melody maker. 

Now she’s keen to bring it to the Next Generation Concert Series. 

“It’s been great to get out and play the album in front of an audience and with a band. I released it at the end of 2020 – it was meant to be the start of 2020 but given the circumstances, I held off – but it’s been great to get out and play it,” Scionti explains.

“I’ve been playing on the Blues Train for quite a number of years now. I do have a band and have brought the trio in for some of the shows but for this particular one, I will be doing my solo show. 

“For the Blues Train show I usually bring about three or four cigar box guitars, and mainly just play my slide and my cigar box guitars, which is what Junkbox Racket is about. It’s a mixture of songs played on I think seven different guitars there, one electric and six different cigar box guitars that I’ve written songs on. I like to do that for the Blues Train because it’s four different carriages and each time we stop there is a class of artists so it’s great to have a bit of a setlist, but I like to keep it fluid and see what the vibe of the crowd is too. It’s a lot of fun!”

Coinciding with the Queenscliff Music Festival programming on the final weekend of November, Anna Scionti will be playing in Carriage B on Friday 25 November and on the platforms on both 26 and 27 November. Anna will also perform at the Blues Train on February 18 and March 4. 

Limited tickets are available for the Next Generation Concert Series in Queenscliff this November. Find out more here

This article was made in partnership with The Blues Train