Bluestone
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Bluestone

For blues lovers there’s no better way to see in the New Year than by attending Bluestone. Now in its 19th year, the two-day event staged by Geelong’s Sleepy Hollow Blues Club features an impressive lineup of classic and original blues music from some Australian legends and emerging artists.
Headlining on New Year’s Eve is one of Oz’s elite blues acts: Geoff Achison and the Souldiggers. Geoff needs no introduction – nominated by Australian Guitar magazine as one of the country’s top 50 guitar virtuosos in 2012, his scorching style is reminiscent of Eric Clapton, Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Geoff has recently released a CD/DVD featuring a fantastic 20th anniversary live concert recorded at The GH venue in Melbourne. 1994 to 2014 – that’s quite an achievement.
Four other Geelong and Melbourne-based blues acts complete an awesome NYE lineup; Brian Fraser, Stringybark McDowell and Rusty, Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men and Rod Paine and the Full Time Lovers.
Midnight will bring a traditional New Year countdown and celebration, followed by overnight camping with a night under the stars. Last year we were also treated to the sight of the International Space Station passing overhead just after midnight.
In the morning, Recovery Day, there’s plenty of black coffee, but usually a bit of a queue for the barista! On New Year’s Day, four more sensational acts take the Bluestone stage, featuring some of the cream of this country’s female blues artists.
At the top of the bill are Chubby Rae and the Elevators. Chubby Rae (aka Marisa Quigley) has been touted as “possibly the blackest white woman since Janis Joplin” and her voice described as “dripping raw honey from the mottled grain of rough cut timber, washed down with a splash of spiced rum”.
Before they take the stage, three other very impressive front-women will perform with their bands – JJ and the Blue Dogs, Blue Eyes Cry and Sweet Felicia and the Honeytones.
Sleepy Hollow Blues Club has run since 1994. Club president Rocky Vignale said the club stages eleven Sunday sessions a year at Geelong Trades Hall with a jam session and feature blues act. Bluestone is the club’s marquis event each year.
“We showcase the best Geelong talent, acts from Melbourne and interstate – and the occasional international lineup,” he said.
“Bluestone 2014/15 has a fantastic selection of great blues talent. We’re expecting upwards of 500 people and it’s always a safe and great event.”
The music kicks off at 6pm on Wednesday December 31 at the Murgheboluc Oval, gates open at 10am that day. Thursday’s show gets underway at 11am and runs until 6pm.
Free overnight camping is available to all ticket holders for the night. It is a licensed venue, no BYO and no glass, dogs or fires are permitted. A two-day ticket is priced from $70 to $100 dollars.
To book: www.trybooking.com/GHXY.
More information: www.sleepyhollowbluesclub.org.au
Email: info@sleepyhollowbluesclub.org.au; phone 0434 126 644.
By John Lamp