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Russell Morris

After six decades on the road, an album can almost write itself. It might arrive in the space of a few months, fully formed in vision and texture in the mind of the vigilant creator. But it takes a rare combination of talent and circumstances to realise that vision as vividly as Black and Blue Heart.

“I’d met Bernard [Fanning] years ago,” Russell Morris remembers. The Powderfinger frontman came backstage at one of the Australian rock legend’s countless gigs to pay his respects with a mutual friend. “But It wasn’t til I moved up to Queensland last year that we sat down and started talking.” 

The warmer environs had already exerted a strange, organic influence on the songs Russell was writing in the wake of the platinum-selling, ARIA-winning blues-rock trilogy — Shark Mouth, Van Diemen’s Land, Red Dirt Red Heart — that so spectacularly relaunched his career from 2012 onwards.

“I thought I was writing an album which was rootsy, bluesy, almost psychedelic, but nothing came out the way I expected.” He gave the demos to Fanning and producer Nick DiDia (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger) and “they rang me back within two days,” Russell says. “They said, ‘We can’t stop listening to these songs. This will be a great album’. So I said, ‘Let’s do it’.”

The two producers speed-dialled their dream studio team: guitarist Dan Kelly, drummer Declan Kelly and, from Fanning’s touring band, bassist Matt Englebrecht and keys player Ian Peres. Perched between the tropical bush and panoramic ocean views of La Cueva Studios near Byron Bay, Black and Blue Heart found its rhythm fast.

“I didn’t want to have any smooth edges,” Russell says. “Pop songs were the last thing I wanted. The musicians had the songs the week before but they were told not to do too much work. They came into the studio, we’d play them once, twice or three times, and that was it.”

That raw energy commands attention from the ragged count-in of Ain’t No Angel, slammed down with splashy drums, overdriven Hammond organ and vintage vocal echo. From that bracing opener to the sinuous, conspiratorial whisper of Is There Anybody Out There?, this extraordinary album begins to climb yet another peak for one of our all-time greatest singer-songwriters.

“I’ve got two passions: history and astrophysics,” Russell says. “Is There Anybody Out There is totally out there; not like out in my backyard, but out in the universe. It’s questioning how much life is out there in the great beyond and wondering … ‘Are you going to contact me?”

Co-written with Split Enz’s Eddie Rayner maybe 15 years ago, it’s the only song that wasn’t fresh off Russell’s pen. A lifelong observer of human experience, he found inspiration in art and life, past and present.

A classic gangster film informed the tragicomic character portrait of Witness Protection. Fat Man and the Priest came from a conversation with a mate “about people who sit in moral judgement of other people.”

The office drone in Asleep at the Wheel may have come from distant, monotonous memories of working the mail desk for the Kiss Army in Los Angeles back in the mid ’70s, he says with a laugh.

“I think the song that’s had the most emotional connections with people is Forever Remembered. It’s about missing people close to me who I’ve lost; friends like Jim Keays and Darryl Cotton and [rock photographer] Ros O’Gorman. They’re all in there.”

Then there’s the title cut, a song of simmering tenderness and empathy that Bernard Fanning describes as “a song for the ages. Russell’s been a really substantial artist for a very long time but I think that song will live on with his best,” he says.

“As soon as we heard the demos, the quality and grace of the songs was obvious immediately,” Fanning says of the album overall. “It sounded to me like the kind of music only someone with Russell’s backstory could make.

“He’s always been renowned for his incredible voice but it’s really come into its own now. His tone just communicates this unique life experience, so we just had to get that down.” 

Born and bred in the USA, Nick Didia’s perspective was more immediate. “I was hearing this amazing history for the first time as we were making the record,” he says of timeless Australian classics such as The Real Thing, Wings of An Eagle and Sweet Sweet Love. “And his stories are incredible. I mean, I thought I’d been around,” he laughs. 

“Their contribution was enormous,” Russell says. “Bernard’s harmonies in parts are fantastic [check the skybound chorus to Sitting Pretty, for instance]. He knew the songs better than I did. See, I wrote the songs so quickly, by the time we got to the studio I couldn’t remember some of the details. Bernard knew them back to front. Nick and Bernard’s attention to detail was just extraordinary.”

For their part, the producers deflect back to the source material, a rush of pure inspiration that Russell credits to the stunning career-reset of his Shark Mouth trilogy.

“I went back to the blues, where I started in the early ‘60s, and that allowed me to reset all the quantum things in my writing and in my body. It kickstarted my creativity. I think that’s how this album happened so fast and so confidently.

“The band, the studio… it all fell into place beautifully but the songs came from where I came from. I went back to the well and I drank from the fountainhead, and this is the result.”

A message from Russell

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Kevin Borich

The Borich machine features the who’s who of bassists and drummers across Australia and all line-ups leave the same impression on fans, they leave knowing they have just witnessed world class performance. Kevin Borich is a man with 52 years of professional experience behind him, a man who was invited onstage to jam with Santana more than once; a man has shared the stage with Bo Didley, Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Living Colour, Joe Walsh, Canned Heat, and has opened shows for  Elton John, Status Quo, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, Peter Frampton plus one AC/DC show in the USA. a man who topped the Australian Rock Music Guitar Awards twice in the 70’s. 

Crowds that turn up for Kevin Borich performances are a mixture of generations and attitudes. There are the younger musicians that are left pondering just how 3 performers can create such inescapable sound of electrifying rock,  blues & Funk. There are the old rockers, somehow with their long hair and relaxed stance they seemed to be the epitome of cool. There are young blues fans: guys and girls who know every word to every song and run around dancing manically and enjoying themselves immensely and there are the people from the indie regime who are curious to see if it is true what they have heard, that a guitarist song writer with a career spanning 52 years can transcend his rock based funk ‘n’ blues boundaries into the realms of their world. 

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CHAIN

51 Years of Oz-Blues

The originators of Oz-Blues, CHAIN will celebrate 51 years since forming in the wonderful crazy times of 1968, with a one only show at Red, White and Amber Blues Festival on the 27th October at the George Harcourt Inn, ACT.

Gaining an immediate status as a dominant underground group in the late sixties, Chain went on to have a number of hits in the early 70’s -‘Black ‘n Blue’, Judgment’ and Matt Taylor’s ‘I Remember When I Was Young’

Their double gold album ‘Toward the Blues’ is a landmark recording in Australian music history and has influenced the direction of blues and roots performers in this country since. Renowned for their onstage chemistry and their unique blues/rock style of music, Chain is a great musical experience and non-stop entertainment.

Chain rekindles the spirit of the sixties and seventies plus brings a thoroughly modern approach with the tight sound they are known for.

While Matt Taylor and Phil Manning each have successful solo careers, it is with Chain that the fusion of harmonica, guitar, bass and drums combined with their unique songwriting results in an immediately recognizable sound.

Exciting driving rhythms and soaring harmonica and guitar compliment Matt’s powerful vocals and their stage presence is hypnotic.

This show must not be missed!

a message from Phil

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Phil Manning

“Electric fingers on acoustic guitar” – Blues Deluxe

A veteran of the music industry in Australia, Phil Manning has been at the forefront of blues and roots style music for over 4 decades, first coming to public attention as a member of the now legendary “Chain’, a prominent Rock/Blues band of the sixties and seventies, which still performs to this day.

Throughout his career Phil has displayed great talent on both the electric and acoustic guitar, absorbing influences from folk, blues, country and world genres and crafting them into his unique style.

His energetic playing and relaxed delivery have made him an engaging artist who presents both traditional songs and a wealth of original music, much of it based on his personal interpretation of the many recurring themes in blues and folk history.

He has recorded many albums, both ‘Solo’ and with ‘Chain’, as well as countless recordings with other artists as a session player. As well as the blues/roots guitar influence in his recordings there is a large element of the ‘Singer/Songwriter’ within his CDs, revealing a great sense of lyricism.

He has toured widely throughout Australia and New Zealand, appearing at hundreds of festivals and venues, as well as touring to festival and clubs in Ireland, UK, Vietnam, Cambodia and even Bali.

Within Australia he has toured with or supported more international artists than seems possible and the list reads like a who’s who of rock and blues royalty.

A highlight of 2017 was performing on ‘Guitarra’, a national Australian tour with flamenco maestro, Paco Pena, classical masters the Grigoryan Brothers and jazz great, Jim Pennell.

Phil Manning is a consummate live performer and it is here that he shines.

 

“…an Australian national treasure…can play the hell out of an acoustic instrument so good that it leaves you breathless…” – Folk Roots magazine, U.K.

a message from Phil

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Lloyd Spiegel

Lloyd Spiegel is a trailblazer at the forefront of modern blues and one of Australia’s most recognised guitarists, recently being named in Australian Guitar Magazine’s list of the top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.

A touring artist since age 11, the seven-time Australian Blues Award winner has one of the most unique stories in music. His show blends jaw-dropping guitar expertise with a commanding voice, powerful songwriting and storytelling to deliver a complete concert experience, launching him onto theatre and festival stages across the globe.

His 8th release, ‘Backroads’ is a hard edged, personal and brutally honest account of Spiegel’s life and follows up from his previous albums, all debuting in the top 10 of the Australian independent music charts, holding the #1 spot on the Australian Blues Chart for several months, and going on to win four Australian Blues Music (Chain) Awards.

“A revelation, the consummate performer, an Oz Blues & Roots icon.”
– Rolling Stone Australia

“A guitarist almost without peer, Spiegel deconstructs how the blues guitar is supposed to operate, makes sweet love to it, then kicks it out the back door”
– Australian Guitar Player Magazine

“Spiegel is ALL presence, authority, rhythm and drive. He epitomizes control, soul and passion with white hot ferocity and blazing instrumental mastery dangerous enough to spark a destructive inferno.”
– The Age, Melbourne

Spiegel’s unique experience, command of his instrument, storytelling, and powerful stage persona has put him at the forefront of acoustic blues, re-inventing the style while maintaining a close relationship with it’s foundations and traditions.

Spiegel has toured the globe with frequent visits to Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States where he has performed at major festivals and iconic Juke Joints as well as supporting the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James on tour. He has sat in with the founding fathers of modern blues from Brownie McGhee to Luther Allison and more recently, found great success in Japan, performing sold out concerts at Tokyo Disneyland.

Growing up in the music business, naturally Lloyd is passionate about promoting the blues scene and mentoring the next generation. He has taken countless young artists under his wing who have since become multi-award winning performers in their own right and he has been an advocate for blues in Australia, chosen as the ambassador to the Australian Blues Music festival from 2005-2008 as well as ambassador to ‘Youth in Blues’.

a message from Lloyd

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Bondi Cigars

This award-winning quartet has well and truly established themselves into Australia’s musical heart since forming in 1989.

Rarely has an Australian band received as much consistent and widespread acclaim from critics and music fans alike as the Bondi Cigars. With half a dozen albums under their belt already, and over a dozen years of constant touring, this award winning quartet have well and truly worked their way into Australia’s musical heart.

The Bondi’s have consistently delivered the goods; with Down In The Valley nominated in the 2003 ARIA awards for Best Blues & Roots Album, 1995’s After Closing Time awarded Best Blues Album at the 1996 Lithgow Blues Festival, and two of their songs, Lead Me Not Into Temptation and Intensive Care, chosen to feature on the popular ABC Seachange album.

In 2015, the band released their 10th album, “Child in the Desert” and it has been well received by fans and critics.

The band has been invited to perform at festivals such as The Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival, Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival, Moomba Festival, Queenscliff Festival, The Byron Bay East Coast Festival and The Kangaroo Point Festival. The band are also regular guests at leading Australian venues such as The Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide, The Basement in Sydney, The Healer in Brisbane, The Charles Hotel in Perth and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne.

With their fantastic mix of blues, soul, funk and R & B, they have maintained their status as one of this country’s most in-demand touring acts, with shows numbering over a hundred and fifty each year. Over a decade later, many original fans are still supporting the band.

The Bondi Cigars have also built a solid reputation as one of the best live acts in the country.

As with all great bands, the sum of the whole exceeds the sum of the parts and The Bondi Cigars are no exception:

Shane Pacey (vocals and guitar) the principle songwriter and vocalist, came to the Cigars after playing with bands such as Sydney’s Earls Of Duke. His songwriting and dynamic vocals, teamed with the fluid rhythms of Alan, have largely defined the sound and direction of The Bondi Cigars.

Alan Britton (bass and vocals) brings to the band his many years experience playing with some of this country’s foremost roots outfits including the Mangrove Boogie Kings, the legendary Dynamic Hepnotics and the Foreday Riders. His instinctive feel for a groove and ability to ride the rhythm lay the base for those great Bondi tunes.

Eben Hale (guitar and vocals) was a driving force behind the successful Blue Mountain Blues Club, playing in the house band at the Club’s meetings as well as taking a behind-the-scenes role booking acts and ensuring their events ran smoothly. Eben’s burgeoning songwriting talents and effusive guitar lines add an extra dimension to the already vibrant sound of the Bondi Cigars.

Frank Corby (drums)

From Boston, Massachusetts, USA, now a resident in Australia who cut his teeth in various Drum Corp, Swing and Funk bands before playing in various original rock, R&B and funk bands touring all over the USA. Since arriving in Australia he has lent his awesome skills to acts such as Gangajang, Floyd Vincent and the Childbrides, Guy LeClaire and Latin big band Babalu. He was the resident drummer with the Blue Mountains blues jam band where he played regularly with soon-to-be Cigar, Eben Hale

a message from the Bondi Cigars

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Geoff Achison

Geoff Achison is a blues-roots artist from Australia best known for his guitar playing and songwriting.

Geoff began his apprenticeship with legendary Australian bluesman ‘Dutch’ Tilders establishing himself as a fine lead guitarist before striking out with his own. He released his debut album in the early 90s and began touring throughout the USA, UK & Europe.  Geoff’s music has been compared favourably to major artists such as Eric Clapton, JJ Cale and the Allman Brothers Band having a solid foundation in the blues whilst embracing a variety of music styles. He has won awards for his guitar playing, songwriting and live performances and was honoured in 2011 as official Patron Of the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society.

Geoff Achison was born on Phillip Island, the third of five siblings, and raised in the Victorian country town of Malmsbury. His parents were music lovers and when Geoff famously discovered a forgotten old guitar beneath the stairwell, his trumpet-playing father enthusiastically found him a guitar teacher.  His first gigs were with his father’s dance band where he displayed promise enough to attract the attention of local jazz musician Alan Watson. Through his new mentor he was exposed to jazz and improvisation. At Watson’s suggestion Geoff temporarily switched to bass-guitar which provided him with a greater understanding of the rhythm section. After gaining valuable experience as a bassist Geoff developed a keen interest in American blues which re-kindled his interest in studying six-stringed guitar. In rural isolation, he was mostly unaware of the electronic effects employed by some guitarists and devised some of his own techniques to emulate the sounds of echo/delay, tremolo and wah-wah pedals which added to his unique playing style.

In 1987 Geoff made the move to Melbourne and soon established himself on the scene playing lead guitar for popular Australian blues performer ‘Dutch’ Tilders. In time Geoff began to work on his own music releasing his debut album ‘Big Machine’ in 1994. He represented Melbourne at the ‘International Blues Challenge’ in Memphis TN winning the coveted ‘Albert King Award’ in 1995. Encouraged, he set his sights on the world market and successfully established international touring routes in the USA and UK. To overcome the difficulties of bringing a band from Australia, Geoff began hiring local musicians to form a backing group when required. On his first extended overseas trip, Geoff received a beautiful new acoustic guitar from the famous Gibson guitar company and recorded his third album ‘Gettin’ Evil’ with a US version of his ‘Souldiggers’ band. Upon his return to Melbourne, Geoff was able to recruit an all-star group which featured some of Australia’s most celebrated musicians. With Mal Logan on keys, Roger McLachlan on bass and Gerry Pantazis on drums, Geoff was finally able to realise his musical vision with The Souldiggers and built the group’s reputation with exciting and spontaneous live performances.

As a song-writer, Geoff explores a myriad of themes from love & loss to politics & philosophy and often with his wry sense of humour shining through. Vocally, Geoff has been compared favourably to the gruff voiced Joe Cocker, Warren Haynes and  Paul Weller. An extraordinary guitarist who plays quite unlike anyone else, Geoff has been a driving force on the Australian blues/roots scene inspiring and influencing many of his younger compatriots.

a message from Geoff

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Steve Edmonds Band

Steve Edmonds Band have garnered a reputation as one of the countries finest exponents of BLUES/ROOTS music. Edmonds experience as guitarist to many of Australia’s finest touring acts Barnes, Noll, Goodrem, Geyer, Parkinson, Clapton etc holds him in good stead as the leader of one of the most dynamic and talented Blues bands in the country. Combining Blues, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Latin & Rock elements, Edmonds cooks an eclectic gumbo of soulful sounds. From a slew of unique originals to jaw dropping medleys and guitar drenched Blues anthems, the Edmonds band delivers on a new level!


A wonderfully talented band, dynamic arrangements, blues drenched tones and an energy level of Olympic proportions has held Edmonds Band as a proven certified pub favourite for many years. With the recent release of CHAKRAS (Edmonds 4th release) the band are at the top of their game and in fine form. A truly professional, unique and engaging musical experience, The Steve Edmonds Band promise to be a highlight at Red, White, Amber & Blues 2019!

a message from Steve

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Lachy Doley

“Makes u feel good the way he plays that clavinet” – BOOTSY COLLINS

“The greatest living keyboard player in the world today” – GLENN HUGHES (Deep Purple)

Dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ, Lachy Doley is Australia’s most celebrated Blues Soul Rock Organ Player in the world today. A player who can pump, pamper and occasionally pound the most unbelievable sounds from a keyboard: sounds that are intense, ferocious and sometimes transcendent. Alongside powerhouse drummer Jackie Barnes and Bassist Joel Burton, The Lachy Doley Group are a super energetic soul/blues force like no other

Recently going viral on Facebook with videos clocking up millions of views. His unlikely blues tunes titled STOP LISTENING TO THE BLUES is now sitting at 3.6 million facebook views alone.

The Lachy Doley Group have played over 200 shows and festivals around the world since the first release in 2011 including Bospop Festival NL, Montreal Jazz Festival CA, Swiecie Blues Festival PL, Blues on Broadbeach AU, Culemborg Blues Festival NL, Bejar Blues Festival ES, Donnacona Blues Festival CA, Woodford Folk Festival AU, Caloundra Music Festival AU, Atri Blues Festival IT, Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival GB, Augustibluus EE, Wine and Blues Festival PT, Kitchener Blues Festival CA, Embassy Festival NL and so many more

The group’s latest studio album LOVELIGHT (Jan 20 2017) even surpassed their previous album by debuting at #40 on the Australian National Charts the ARIAS. Their previous album CONVICTION reached #5 on the UK Blues Broadcasters Charts, #1 on the Australian iTunes Blues Charts and #1 on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Charts. Along with their 3rd tour of Europe/UK plus their tour of Canada in 2017 was a huge year for the The Lachy Doley Group.

The Lachy Doley Group are a unique sound in the classic and sometimes very traditional genre of the Blues. A power trio consisting of Joel Burton on Bass, Jackie Barnes on Drums and of course Doley firing on the Hammond, his vocal screaming from the heart and the incredibly rare Hohner D6 Whammy Clavinet in which most people double take on when they realise that sound isn’t an electric guitar but a 70 stringed keyboard with a huge Whammy Bar sticking out the guts of it.“If music storms existed on this planet, it might as well be Lachy Doley’s vocals and fiery instrumental performances you hear pulsating from cloud to cloud amidst flashes of lighting and claps of thunder” HEIDI LEIGH AXTON – Rhythms Magazine

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Montreal Jazz Festival

Reaching #40 with LOVELIGHT on the ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) charts

Reaching #5 with CONVICTION on the UK Blues Broadcasters Chart 2015

Reaching #1 LOVELIGHT on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Chart 2017

Reaching #1 LOVELIGHT on the Australian iTunes Blues Chart 2017

4 European tours as The Lachy Doley Group 2015/2016/2017/2018

Recording on Glenn Hughes’s album #RESONATE in Copenhagen 2016

Reaching 3.6 MILLION VIEWS on my Facebook video of STOP LISTENING TO THE BLUES

Being headhunted to play on the new version of HIGHWAY STAR with Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai and Chad Smith 2012

Rocking the main stage at the 2016 Blues on Broadbeach Festival

a message from Lachy

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19-Twenty

“The future of Blues & Roots in Australia” – ABC

“One of the most exciting riff and groove based blues and roots acts
emerging from the east coast of OZ!”- Tone Deaf

“These guys are sick!” – Ash Grunwald

“Who the hell is this guy? He definitely has the talent!” – Ian Moss

“Definitely a guitarist to watch!” – Australian Guitar Magazine

19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene. They
are electric. An infectious riff and groove based blue-billy-grass-rockin’-
roots band.

The 19-Twenty lads have been performing their high-energy sonicparty
nationally, headlining sell-out shows and festivals in all states and
territories. Constantly on the road or in the sky, they have toured seven times
around Oz and performed gigs throughout Europe including Belgium, The
Netherlands & Germany. Performing anywhere and everywhere, this straight-up
100% independent act have been blazing throughout Europe and Australia and
gaining new music fans/fiends from their live shows.

19-Twenty are:

  • Kane Dennelly – Vox and guitars
  • Syd Green – Award winning producer and percussionist – Drums, Dobro
  • John Gwilliam – Double bass and BV’s

Festivals Played at:

  • Agnes Waters Blues & Roots Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Anglesea Music Festival (V.I.C)
  • Blues on Broadbeach (Q.L.D)
  • Blues At the Briars (V.I.C)
  • Bulli Folk Festival (N.S.W)
  • Bridgetown Blues (W.A)
  • Culburra Beach Festival (N.S.W)
  • Dashville Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Echuca Blues Festival (V.I.C)
  • Forth Blues Festival (T.A.S)
  • Geelong Motor Music Festival (V.I.C)
  • Girrakool Blues & BBQ, Mt Penang (N.S.W)
  • Goulburn Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Grampians Music Festival (V.I.C)
  • Great Southern Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Headstock Guitar Festival (N.S.W)
  • Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (N.S.W)
  • Kiama Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Lock Stock (London, U.K)
  • Mitchell Creek Blues Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Narooma Blues (N.S.W)
  • National Folk Festival (A.C.T)
  • Oyster Festival, Narooma (N.S.W)
  • Queenscliff Music Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Rock the Turf Festival, Tumut (N.S.W)
  • Shedrock Festival (V.I.C)
  • Sydney Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Thredbo Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Trafalgar East Blues Festival (V.I.C)
  • Undara Rock & Blues Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Under the Trees Music Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Untapped Festival of Beer & Music (A.C.T)
  • Windsor Winter Blues Festival (N.S.W)
  • Winterfest Bundanoon (N.S.W)
  • Wallaby Creek Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Woodford Folk Festival (Q.L.D)
  • Wollombi Music Fesitival (N.S.W)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNERS BLUES AT BRIDGETOWN
FESTIVAL 2 years in a ROW