This year’s Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival showcases a diverse mix of local, national, and international talent.
Twenty thousand punters expected at this year’s festival – the seventh – will be treated to a mix of blues, folk, country, rock and world music.
Silent Garden make the trip to Bendigo from Chile. Singer-songwriter Maria Jesus Fresno came up with the concept of a ‘silent garden’ after a period of “searching and self-encounters of madness and peace, of chaos and calm”. The four-piece ‘deep pop’ outfit will play four times at the festival, including an afternoon set in Hargreaves Mall on the Friday.
Other long-distance artists returning to the scene of previous triumphs are Nashville’s Travis Bowlin, and Chris Jagger. Bowlin won-over audiences last year with his lively, rock-infused blues performances. We will be seeing a LOT of him this year. Bowlin is a fan as well as performer – expect to see him mixing with punters when he’s not playing one of his nine shows.
Jagger returns to Bendigo after his March 2017 ‘world tour’ of the city. This time he’s accompanied by experienced fiddle player – Slim Chance’s Charlie Hart. Jagger and Hart will play four times during the festival including early on Sunday afternoon at Rocks On Rosalind.
Friday night of the festival sees the Summer Gumbo Show roll into town at the Capital Theatre.
Featuring Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean, Jules Boult, Iseula Hingano, and Three Kings, the Summer Gumbo Show will take the audience on a journey through the history of the blues.
Bean is an American harmonica virtuoso, guitarist and songwriter. He has dedicated himself to promoting older blues stylings, such as Delta and Hill Country Blues. “What’s stimulating to me,” he says, “is people hearing the blues played like they used to hear it”.
Melbourne-based Jules Boult is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who remains true to blues traditions.
Iseula Hingano is a gifted blues, soul and gospel singer who has performed at Australia’s biggest blues music festivals.
Three Kings features Ian Collard, Benny Peters, and Jason Liu Soon. Their debut album won a ‘Best Blues CD’ in The Age Victorian Music Awards.
A heavyweight line-up indeed. This special show opens with Three Kings at 7pm. Tickets are $25, available from the Capital and GoTix.
Born and bred in Pyramid Hill, Daniel Aaron’s multi-instrumental performances offer a high energy, foot-stomping show, or something a bit more peaceful – with a stripped back ambience. Aaron’s talent is fully homegrown; he combines a range of instruments, from the banjo to the didgeridoo.
Daniel Aaron will play in Library Gardens early on Saturday afternoon, and at the Brougham Arms on Sunday afternoon.
Fronted by singer-songwriter Maree Beasy, Bendigo-based Queen Beas & The Honeyboys play a distinct brand of country blues – drawing on influences such as Bonnie Raitt, KD Lang, and Linda Ronstadt.
Beasy is joined by lead/slide guitarist Dave ‘Deltahead’ McDonald, John Bullen, Chris Pailthorpe, and with Chris King on rhythm guitar and occasional banjo duties.
Queen Beas & The Honeyboys play at the Manchester Arms on the Saturday night, and in Library Gardens on Sunday afternoon.
The “best weekend of the year in Bendigo” is about to roll around again in venues across the city from Thursday, November, 9 until Sunday, November, 12. Get ready.