Bluesfest 2011 unveils joy and wonderment with signature super 1st artist announcement
3 November 2010
Bluesfest from Byron Bay, Australia's favourite counter-culture, family-orientated, ethnically and artistically diverse music festival, has today announced a whopper of a signature first artist announcement - and it's the first of many! Tickets are on sale now for Bluesfest - which just won the Australian Event of the Year for Bluesfest 2010 - and festival dates next year over Easter are from Thursday April 21 through to Monday April 25, 2011.
Once again, Bluesfest 2011 offers its passionate fans a very tasty - almost holy - array of simply the best local and international blues and roots music with its renowned blend of multi-genre, multi-demographic and multi-generational sounds.
Let's get the party started! The first Bluesfest announcement for 2011 includes:
Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Ben Harper and Relentless7,
Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Cat Empire, Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Aaron Neville, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Fistful of Mercy, Mavis Staples, Xavier Rudd, Trinity Roots, Little Bushman, Tony Joe White, Indigo Girls, Kate Miller-Heidke, Eric Bibb, Washington, Ash Grunwald, Ruthie Foster, C.W. Stoneking, Jeff Lang, Saltwater Band, and RocKwiz Live.
Festival director Peter Noble said, "It's turning into a MASSIVE year and what a delight it is to bring our fans an uplifting plethora of musical joy with this first of many quality announcements. Folks, this could be an embarrassment of riches - the very first time we've had at Bluesfest: Bob Dylan (in planning since 2003, who other than the Beatles has had more impact on 20th century music?), and B.B. King (pinching ourselves at this dream come true - the king of the blues playing for the first time at the king of the blues festivals!), I mean you could not have two greater music icons playing at one festival!
"Also appearing for the first time is the great Elvis Costello (such diversity and credibility over the years), and the amazing Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi - she a Grammy nominated soul artist, and he a member of The Allman Brothers Band and dubbed "the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today" by The Wall Street Journal.
"Speaking of amazing guitarists, funk soul pedal-steel master Robert Randolph also brings his stellar band to Bluesfest. And I should note that both Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks have been a featured guitar player on separate Eric Clapton world tours - well now, you'll see them for the first time at one festival.
"Of course, we haven't forgotten our amazing, younger artists, and who better to lead them than absolute Bluesfest legend Ben Harper. Synonymous with Bluesfest as the festival that introduced him way back in 1996, something magic always happens when Ben plays Bluesfest. In 2011, he'll play all his wonderful hits and perform in two great bands,
Ben Harper and Relentless7 and Fistful of Mercy, the latter a rock supergroup also featuring Joseph Arthur and George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison.
"If that's not enough, we also have two more big Bluesfest favourites - the always inspiring
Michael Franti & Spearhead and the rootsy, energising Xavier Rudd, plus the maverick, highly individualistic
C.W. Stoneking who recently tore it up in the UK on the Jools Holland show. And this year the ‘church of Bluesfest' 2011 is also serving up plenty of sacred moments to help save your soul with the likes of multiple Grammy winner soul royalty Mavis Staples, the ever expressive Ruthie Foster back again after impressing so many here a few years ago, the sheer beauty of the Saltwater Band and - here's a huge one folks - the majesty of the Blind Boys of Alabama paired for the first time ever in Australia with Aaron Neville - the king of soul vocalists. With a huge stack of Grammy awards between them, the Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Aaron Neville concert is set to be a total classic for the ages."
"There are too many more to highlight, but we must briefly mention reggae/jazz/soul band Trinity Roots, the most successful New Zealand recording artist of this century. Both of their independent albums went Platinum in NZ, and after calling it a day in 2005, they are now reformed and touring Australia exclusively for Bluesfest! Joining them will be the fantastic Little Bushman, which also features members of Trinity Roots."
Bluesfest cultural spirit recognised with
2010 Australian Event of the Year win
In October this year, in addition to being named Australia's Best Cultural or Arts Event, Bluesfest took out the top prize of Australian Event of the Year at the Australian Event Awards. The top gong was even ahead of non-music events like the Sydney Royal Easter Show and the Australian Open Tennis 2010!
As Peter Noble says, "Even though we've grown and continue to win accolades, we're most proud of the fact that we're still focused on being a homely, hand-made, family friendly, left-leaning, culturally-aware, and non-corporate event! It ain't about demographics people; it's always been about the music. The world's greatest artists love coming here because our audience is truly discerning and truly listens to the music - believe me, that is a rarity. Those wonderful hippy, counter-culture origins of Bluesfest remain dear to our hearts - because the Bluesfest spirit is all about being open, diverse, inclusive, cross-generational, and wildly eclectic - on and off the stage. We encourage our festival goers to help us honour the very best that humanity can be for five days, to dance, to let their hair down, to heal themselves, to share the spirit with their brothers and sisters, and then take that ethos away and spread it around a little - Amen!"
So whether you're an Eco-Warrior or a 9-5 Worrier - come to Bluesfest 2011 and be healed!