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Home arrow eZine arrow STANDOUTS Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014
STANDOUTS Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 PDF Print E-mail
I'm not going to whinge and moan about all the 'non' blues and 'youth' market stuff - that's fine with me if it means we get to hear some great blues and roots, by in effect subsidising the more niche acts. So, off the top of the head (and I didn't get to see everything AND didn't go to acts I know well or from OZ, cause I catch them all the time anyway):
Robben Ford - absolute class and master of style, delivery and presence
Nikki Hill - probably the set that set everyone alight, and with partner Matt Hill ripping into mighty fine in yer face riffs. Why the smallest stage (Juke Joint) - she would have killed em at Crossroads, and maybe people would realise there has been music after Doobies (who I loved in 1974, but I've moved on, sorry!)
Charlie Musselwhite - in fine form, and a master of style and timing. Again Juke Joint?
Paladins - had to catch Dave Gonzalez who has made west coast jump his own. You just had to smile and move. Yeah
Cambodian Space Project - went to grab some pics and couldn't leave. Held me spell bound with the juxtaposition of Asian and Western sounds. From pre Pol Pot surf bar to Crazy Horse playing behind a seductive Annette Peacock. This was a glimpse of Bluesfest in ten years as the Asian century takes hold. Fabulous.
Joss Stone - beautiful, talented and a delight
Gov't Mule - had all the dirt and drive I expected and then some. Pity their stage manager kept yelling at the young bluesfest stage hands - not a good look mate.
Matthew Curry - at 18 he's the next Kenny Wayne - great band, guitar and delivery.
Jason Isbell - a young Byron hippie asked me 'who the hell is this guy' as he held the Delta tent spellbound. Full band and sound - but his lyrics & songwriting are second to none. His song about a friend dying of cancer is brave, clear and passionate without being mushy.  Should have been on a big stage without doubt, he has things to say. Ex Drive By Truckers, so he's learn well from Patterson Hood - if you can say that.
Gary Clark Jnr - I had to leave after a searing slow blues that built on a chromatic scale progression from the rhythm guitarist. I knew he couldn't top it and it was enough. Outstanding.
Other's that impressed, but it wasn't their best gig when I saw it: Jimmie Vaughan, North Mississippi Allstars (who I love), Joanne Shaw Taylor, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman (who had a broken wrist!), James Cotton (kept thinking of how Chris Wilson and Ian Collard are real harp masters from Oz)...
Feel free to add you own impressions of Bluesfest or the side shows.
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