Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2018 May-June Contents 10 Rhythms
The Tree Of Forgiveness
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES
Life Is Good On The Open Road
After an indefinite hiatus, Trampled By Turtles have returned with
their first new album in four years, featuring their signature blend
of rock, folk, punk, country and bluegrass.
Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine has released his first
album featuring new material in 13 years. Featuring special guests
Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.
THIRTY TIGERS PRESENTS:
There were plenty of highlights of Bluesfest this year – more than enough to
justify the enormous accommodation expense and the travel up from Melbourne.
Robert Plant and his Sensational Spaceshifters were.....sensational. Jackson
Browne was superb. Youssou N’Dour was magnificent. First Aid Kit were terrific.
Harry Manx with Jeff Lang and Clayton Doley was brilliant. Nile Rodgers and
Chic were fabulously entertaining. Lukas Nelson was everywhere! Jason Isbell
& the 400 Unit were powerful. Mia Dyson, All Our Exes, Leon Bridges and the
Teskey Brothers showed that they are on the verge of really big things. Even the
winner of the busking competition Tay Oskee was impressive. I could go on. At
the end of the weekend I realised that I could have filled the days with an entirely
different list of acts.
Having said all that, I don’t think anyone would claim that this year was a classic
Bluesfest line-up. Though in the past the bar has been set so high that it must be
difficult, if not impossible, to maintain that standard every year. I certainly wish I
had been there last year for Patti Smith performing the Horses album. I must add
that I didn’t hear any complaints at all from anyone else!
The line snaking up to the Early Bird ticket sales for 2019 was substantial during
the final two days of Bluesfest. Obviously, enough people were inspired by this
year’s event to make the plunge and the talk about next year’s possible line-up
If there was a theme that was partly explored this year it was placing women in
high profile timeslots. Tash Sultana closed the Mojo Stage after Leon Bridges
on Friday night and Sheryl Crow closed Sunday after Melissa Etheridge on the
Crossroads Stage on Sunday. I started to think about the women that could be
enlisted for next year – Kasey Chambers, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Patti Smith
and then realised that they all appeared last year! The wish list? How about
those ladies again and Aretha Franklin? (Let’s not be deterred by the fact that she
has cancelled her last three Jazz Fest appearances). Renee Geyer?
Ben Harper is a certainty, after all he helped create the modern Bluesfest. I am
speculating that the perfect addition for the 30th would be Midnight Oil who
are back on the road. Add Hunters & Collectors, Cold Chisel and Paul Kelly to
that and you almost don’t need any international headliners! Perhaps we could
squeeze in Van Morrison, who hasn’t been here since 1985. Neil Young who
pulled out last year might be there. Bruce Springsteen has played Jazz Fest so
why not here? Finally, perhaps the Stones might add it as part of a farewell tour.
The next 6 months of dreaming should be interesting.
BLUESFEST HEADS FOR 30.
We have survived the 29th Bluesfest
in Byron Bay, or more correctly
Tyagarah. I point out to people that
there are more hours of music here
in five days than there are at the
seven days of the New Orleans Jazz
& Heritage Festival.
Bluesfest runs nine hours on the first
day and then 12 hours a day for the
next four days. Jazz Fest kicks off in
the morning at eleven and finishes just
before sunset at seven in the evening.
You can understand how at the end
of Bluesfest there is a kind of numb
exhaustion that sets in!
The big advantage at Bluesfest is that
you get multiple opportunities to see
most acts. You can plan your event
so that you can fit in almost everyone
you want to see, if not on the first day
then on the last. Some acts, such as
Dumpstaphunk (coincidentally from
New Orleans) played all five days. At
Jazz Fest if you miss someone then
bad luck. Clashes at Bluesfest are
also less likely. On Good Friday night
Robert Plant headlined the Crossroads
Stage while Ms Lauryn Hill was on
Mojo. On Saturday Michael Franti was
opposite the Original Blues Brothers
Band. On Sunday John Butler was
up against Sheryl Crow. I think the
audiences for all these acts would
hardly crossover. At Jazz Fest you
sometimes have to make painful
decisions and you have to battle
crowds five times as big as Bluesfest!
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