Home' Rhythms Magazine : Rhythms May June 2019 DIGITAL Contents The 30th Bluesfest has come and gone
and moves into its fourth decade. It is a
remarkable achievement given its humble
origins in the Piggery and the determination
of its founder Keven Oxford to keep it going
against the odds. Of course, it has been Peter
Noble in recent years who has steered it into
a new era. My recent visit impressed upon
me the incredible organisation required to
run such an event.
Not only were we able to hand out some
copies of the Rhythms Bluesfest supplement
and the magazine itself but I was also
involved in Q&A sessions for Bay-FM and the
community radio network and presenting
OffThe Record live to Melbourne from the
Bay-FM studios. If you live anywhere near
the range of Bay-FM then I suggest you
should support them by joining or donating –
as you should to PBS if you are in Melbourne
(in the same way I know you support this
magazine). The station does a sensational
At the end of my Bluesfest weekend I needed
to get away to New Orleans and Jazz Fest for
a holiday! (I am writing this as I am readying
to leave so that I can sneak a comment into
this issue before it heads to the printer). Next
year we are hoping to reinstate the Rhythms
stall at Bluesfest, something that wasn’t
possible this year due to logistics (mine).
Thanks to those of you who
took the time to find me
and share your enthusiasm
for the magazine.
There were quite a few
Bluesfest highlights for
me this year, yet I only got
to see a fraction of what I
wanted to catch. (Next issue
we will have a full round
up and photographic essay
from others). I thought
Little Steven & The Disciples
of Soul were sensational.
Not only did the 15-piece
band sound amazing but
they looked every bit as
good as they sounded.
Steven Van Zandt’s music
is firmly planted in ‘60s’
rock, soul and blues and this
guaranteed a powerhouse
comments about life and
politics echoed The Boss yet he proved to be
a formidable performer in his own right.
I was delighted to see festival debuts for
some of my favourite newer performers. The
War & Treaty – Michael and Tanya Trotter -
took all of about three minutes to win the
audience over at their very first Australian
show at the Delta stage on the first evening.
I was watching members of the audience
trying to figure out what was happening
until they realised it was like being at a
gospel revival meeting and they should
just surrender to the emotion. By the end
of the show, and all the subsequent shows,
everyone was going wild. This was only the
first of many Australian visits we will see
from this amazing duo.
I’m With Her is somewhat of a bluegrass
supergroup and each of the trio enjoy
separate careers: Aoife O’Donovan is the
lead singer with Crooked Still. Sara Watkins
sings and plays fiddle in Nickel Creek with
her brother Sean and Chris Thile (who will be
here soon with The Punch Brothers). Sarah
Jarosz has been singing and playing guitar,
banjo and mandolin on the Austin scene for
well over a decade - and she is still only 27!
That was a huge amount of talent in one
trio. Let’s hope the Americana contingent
continues to swell in coming years.
Marcus King and most of his band are from
Greenville, South Carolina. Though only
23, King has some Southern soulful roots
influences, including the Allman Brothers
Band and their shows were really impressive.
Speaking of impressive, that was the word
friends applied to Meshell Ndgeocello,
whom I unfortunately missed because I had
to leave before her show. I see her each year
at a little festival I go to and I believe she is
not only one of the world’s great bass players
but a great singer as well. Shyness is the only
thing that hampers her career.
Finally, I must mention Kasey Chambers and
Ben Harper. On the Saturday evening Kasey
revisited her landmark album The Captain
in a special performance that exemplified
why she is currently our greatest Americana
export. Not only was The Captain a landmark
album for Chambers but it was also one
for Australian music and launched her into
Nashville like no-one else since Keith Urban.
They love her there and rightly so. I think
she has also made them take our version
of Americana seriously. It was lovely to
see guests Ben Harper, The Veronicas and
The War & Treaty join Kasey on stage. I
suggested to her at a Q&A that she could
let her dad, Bill, do one of his songs but he
is too reticent to take away the spotlight
and preferred to stand on stage playing
guitar impeccably as usual.
(His latest album, 1952, is
superb). Ben Harper also
very kindly allowed us to
use one of his songs on
our latest sampler and we
certainly appreciate his
help immensely. More on
Bluesfest next issue.
By the way, you might have
noticed a slight change to
the magazine this month in
terms of the cover stock and
the fact that it is stapled.
This is just temporary for
the quieter months, so don’t
Time to hit the airways.
Until next issue......enjoy
Until next issue.....
Kasey Chambers and Ben Harper at Bluesfest 2019
Photo by Steve Ford
HAND IT OVER
‘HAND IT OVER IS A VISUALLY EVOCATIVE GEM.
BOTH MUSICIANS ARE SOUL MATES WHO JOIN
EACH OTHER’S CHANGING MOODS AND SHARE
JOYS AND SORROWS.”
AVAILABLE AT: JB-HIFI STORES
ONLYBLUESMUSIC.COM I I-TUNES
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