Blues Boot Camp

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Blues Boot Camp

There’s no doubt that Angus and Julia Stone is one of the biggest folk-rock duos in the world (and will return with a new album in August). However, before we get too carried away, before all of the stardom and acclaim to their music, Angus Stone was just sitting around in his bedroom writing some of their biggest hits. If it wasn’t for Julia getting the duo out to open mic nights and eventually getting a record deal, we may never have heard of their music. If you are a young local musician in the same sort of scenario, be sure to bookmark Blues Boot Camp in your calendar, which is set to take place at Courthouse ARTS on the 2nd and 3rd of July.
Having been involved with the Blues Boot Camp for a few years now, I cannot recommend it enough. Although you may not have heard of the tutors, they are some of the biggest names in the blues and roots scene in Australia. To get the opportunity to work alongside them is simply incredible and provides you with invaluable experience as a performer. For those uninitiated as to what Blues Boot Camp is, it is a two-day workshop which allows for like-minded young musicians to come together to put on a two-hour performance at the end of the workshops.
The songs for the concert are chosen by the participants who, together with the tutors, work through the material, no matter the genre or playing ability of the participant. The most rewarding experience for me has definitely been throwing some of my original material into the mix and seeing it reworked in so many different ways. The tutors are more than willing to jump up on a track and add in their part to the song to fill it out, and having world-class musicians alongside you on stage at such an early part of your career is quite a pinch yourself moment.
As well as getting to hang out with other like-minded musicians, the other cool factor to Bootcamp is being able to make friends with everyone around you, no matter how good they are at their instruments. As a result of the Bootcamp, there has been a few musicians form bands and start gigging around the region, and one of the main reasons that I love it is that any musician between the ages of 12 and 26, no matter of their musical ability, is encouraged to attend.
More often than not, the least experienced musicians are sometimes the most fun to work with. From my perspective, being a seasoned performer allows me to think outside of the box in terms of arrangement of the song we are working on. Over the time that I have been involved, two of the greatest performances have to be either performing Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team’ with a six-piece female vocal harmony or Vance Joy’s chart-topping hit ‘Riptide’.
With everybody working together to put on the performance, it’s refreshing to see musicians work outside their comfort zone to add extra instrumentation to one piece or another. Tune up your guitar and get out of the bedroom. Although initially you may be scared of joining in on the concert, it’s well worth it. A very inviting and warm environment, head down to join in on all the fun.
When&Where: Courthouse ARTS – July 2-4 (workshops + performance)
Written by Tex Miller