Tomorrow morning I fly to the Gold Coast to spend Easter at the Byron Bay BluesFest. I have resurrected this blog and will run it for the next 6 days. I attended BluesFest three years in a row back in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and after three years I’m back, perhaps for the last time, camping 6 nights in my little tent. I was so undecided about going but the lineup this year is a real goodie so I just had to go.
Robert Plant’s current band play the kind I music I connect with very deeply – it’s the English blues rock from my youth fused with Third World especially African and Islamic, Americana and Celtic folk – with a few re-workings of Led Zepp numbers, of course. When so many bands from that era like The Stones and The Who just stick with their original sound, Plant has pushed the musical diversity thing.
I’d never admit to being a fan of Lionel Richie but I love the production sound of that R n B genre, it’s such a big smooth groove. Whenever I do a sound check for a PA system I always choose R n B because it sounds so lush – perfectly compressed, mastered and manicured (and it makes my PA sound good, of course, when the client is there). But that wasn’t the only reason I booked another Easter at Blues Fest, it was for all the other performers I’ll probably never get another chance of seeing – all in one place; Jackson Browne, Melissa Etheride, Sheryl Crowe, Seal, Chic with Nile Rodgers, Canned Heat ( . . going on up the country . .), Jose Gonzalez, Jimmy Cliff, Youssou N’Dour.
Plus a whole bunch I have checked out and can’t wait to see; Tash Sultana, Seu Jorge (plays a complete set of Bowie songs in Portuguese, check out his Life on Mars), Leon Bridges, All Our Exes Live In Texas, and First Aid Kit – the fascinating Soderberg sisters from Sweden. Ms Lauryn Hill is also there, but unfortunately playing at the same time as Robert Plant. The New Power Generation was Prince’s band when he was making all his best music – and I just love a big funk band – and there was no one more funkier than Prince! I’ll keep you posted.