By Kerrie Hickin.
So Bluesfest 2017 is upon us. It’ s held yearly over the Easter weekend at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, a bit north of Byron Bay. Previous Bluesfests have hosted artists as diverse at Billy Thorpe, Arlo Guthrie, UB40, Ben Harper, Canned Heat, Billy Boy Arnold and Michelle Shocked… and that’s just scratching the tip of a mighty big iceberg!
This year provides many acts to look forward to. As always, careful planning is recommended beforehand to ensure you get to see your most anticipated acts, but the organisers help out a bit by giving a number of the acts multiple slots over the festival dates.
Patti Smith is one of the big names gracing the stage this year, performing her iconic and groundbreaking Horses album, with Santana and The Doobie Brothers other classic heavy-hitters in the popularity stakes. Veteran blues star Buddy Guy represents the much-loved Chicago sound, and Eric Gales is held up as exemplary by his contemporaries. Guaranteed good-time favourites St. Paul And The Broken Bones make a welcome return, and Vintage Trouble are sure to get the party started with their high-energy performance.
Whatever’s on your list, there is sure to be plenty to keep you ears amused and to stir your soul.
Blind Boy Paxton welcomes early birds at 2pm. Following that, while people find their way around and orientate themselves to the various stages, we can look forward to the genetically advantaged Devon Allman Band at 3pm, and a woozy selection including Irish Mythen, Joan Osborne, Rhiannon Giddens, Andrew Bird, and Corrine Bailey Rae. Gospel queen Mavis Staples, local hero Courtney Burnett, iconoclast Patti Smith and indie cult favourites The Mountain Goats see us to the end of le premier jour de la fete – there are four more days of music to follow, but this selection alone would be more than enough to tick all the boxes!