Tonight see blues heavyweights Doc White and the Andy Phillips Duo at Billyroy’s Blues Bar, for an A-list double-header.

Doc White, one of a very small select group of blues mandolinists in the world, kicks off proceedings at 7.30.

Speaking from his Dandenongs Ranges home he gave me a quick snapshot of his colourful musical career to date.

“Originally I started to play guitar to pick up girls. It never worked for me. Girls stayed away in droves! Then one day I heard Leo Kottke. I couldn’t believe one person could make such astoundingly beautiful and complex music.”

He’s a seasoned traveller, having recorded at Colombia Studio B in Nashville and has played “trains, trams, boats, semi-trailers but as yet no planes.”

Tonight will be Doc White’s 20-something appearance in Bendigo. He’ll be drawing on his extensive catalogue of previous releases as well as his forthcoming album, Muddy Mando Mojo.

He likes playing in Bendigo. “The vibe of the city is amazing. The Blues and Roots Festival is astonishing and the best town festival I’ve played.”

Up on stage later is the Andy Phillips Duo bringing their distinctive brand of Texas blues and good old fashioned rock n roll to Bendigo

“I love the Blues scene in Bendigo,” New Zealand-born Phillips says, “the punters are pretty hard core and know their blues. They know good music and once you win them over they are the best supporters you could ever have.” Phillips is becoming a regular visitor to Bendigo.

He is passionate about his trade.  “I was 13 when I picked up a guitar and haven’t put it down since. I particularly love dangerous guitarists, where you just don’t know what might happen next, which is why I lean toward blues based rock. I like the wildness and unpredictability of it.”

Expect a colourful, passionate set from the Andy Phillips Duo – one that will draw on influences such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cream and Rory Gallagher – but delivered in Philips’ own style.

“Although I had many early influences my playing has come into its own. I play like myself, I don’t try to copy anyone else too closely.” Punters can expect to hear Phillips’ individual take on blues classics like One Way Out and It Takes Time tonight amongst many others.

If you miss this you can catch both Doc White and Andy Phillips at the Rifle Brigade on Sunday 28 February amidst a stellar line-up for the first Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival showcase of 2016.