Not just the blues this weekend
Begun in 1990 in the Arts Factory in Byron, Bluesfest celebrates its 21st birthday with a move to its own grounds in Tyagarah. Bluesfest has been looking for a home since 1996 – such things do tend to take time, but finally this world famous blues festival has secured 120 acres 11 kilometres north of Byron.
The Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm is a much bigger venue than previous ones and will allow a more spacious layout for the festival. As well as the six performance stages, four licensed bars, and a beer garden, there’ll also be an undercover sit-down area where punters can sit down, have a coffee and relax.
This year the festival (April 1-5) will feature some of the world’s best blues performers as well as blues stars from Australia. (Buddy Guy, The Dynamites, Galactic, Jeff Beck, Taj Mahal, Jack Johnson, John Butler Trio.)
And Bluesfest really does bend the definition of blues with acts like Crowded House, Kev Carmody and Lyle Lovett performing.
Also performing is that master of delta blues, Troy Cassar-Daley! (I’m joking, of course.)
Troy, a Grafton boy, has dominated the country music world this year.
Last November, he was presented with his fourth ARIA award for 2009’s Best Country Album I Love This Place. Troy was also awarded the Q Music award for Single of the Year with Big, Big Love and the MO award for Male Entertainer of the Year. Adding to an already impressive 16 number one country singles, 14 Golden Guitars, seven Deadlys (Indigenous artist awards) and four CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) Entertainer of the Year awards, Troy grabbed six Golden Guitars at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Okay, get the picture? Troy’s huge talent is being recognised all over this wide, Akubra-wearing land. And you can see him perform at Bluesfest this weekend.
There will also be true blues dudes there – like the remarkable John Mayall, who must be about 120 years old. This pioneering English bloke has been a blues innovator for more than 50 years. His band, the Bluesbreakers, formed in the late 60s and was a powerful influence on the new generation of blues players.
Last year he released his 57th album, Tough. And yes, the man is tough.
To see the full program and to get tickets, visit www.bluesfest.com.au.