There’s a very big Sunday in store at the Rifle Brigade Hotel this weekend with the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival’s first Showcase event of the year. The Festival, now in its sixth year, just keeps growing.
Starting at noon, 16 acts will grace two stages over eight hours at the Rifle offering up a smorgasbord of blues, folk, rock n roll, country-rock, funk and more.
The Festival hosts events like this Showcase all year round and is now well-entrenched in Bendigo’s expanding cultural calendar. “I’m a little staggered to think that 2016 will be our sixth Bendigo Blues & Roots Musical Festival,” Festival Director Colin Thompson said recently.
There are no headliners as such on a Showcase day but there are numerous highlights. Early-ish on the Carpark Stage you might recognise some familiar faces when the Funk Junkies do their, er, funky, stuff. Or try upstairs where the Balcony Stage hosts Bendigo storyteller Steph Bitter with her “just me, my guitar and sometimes a foot tambourine” set.
The Mockbells are on mid-afternoon with their infectious jump blues-jazz-swing-Latin hybrid. As they say themselves, “think the swinging nightclubs of London and New York in the ‘60s and you’ll get the picture.” They are big fun.
Straight after The Mockbells on the Carpark Stage Andy Phillips and the Cadillac Walk will be delivering their own brand of harder, rockier blues – influenced by the likes of Rory Gallagher and Cream. Phillips says he “never plays a song the same way twice… it’s a bit different each time.” Expect some drive and passion.
Doc White, one of that rare breed of blues mandolinists, will be on the Balcony Stage mid-afternoon showcasing tracks form his forthcoming album Muddy Mando Mojo.
Bendigo’s ubiquitous Grim Fawkner follows Doc White on the Balcony Stage.Aint Nobody’s Business the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) annual Blues Challenge. Dreamboogie have twice won the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) annual Blues Challenge, which has sent them to Memphis USA to to represent Australia and compete at the International Blues Challenge – in both 2012 and 2016.
Dreamboogie, a Melbourne-based four piece and the intriguingly-named Catfish Voodoo round out the evening in the car park. Dreamboogie are two-time winners of the MBAS (Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society) annual blues challenge in 2011 and 2015. Their set will be drawn largely from their Ain’t Nobody’s Business and I’m Ready albums.
Promises to be a big day out.