28 August 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Harvest Time Blues the 20th Festival “where the Mississippi meanders into Monaghan

The Blues Festival is nearly upon it has now reached a milestone in that it has reached its 20th Edition. September and Harvest Time Blues is when a little piece of Mississippi comes to Monaghan for just one weekend every year and when the sounds of the Delta Blues joins up with the Drumlin Blues

2015 was quite a significant year for the Blues world in that we lost “The King of the Blues” BB King just last may. A debate ensued as to how healthy the state Blues music worldwide was with the death of someone with such an international pedigree as BB Kings.

Well the truth is that BB King can rest easy as his legacy and that of the Blues is in very good hands. The best testimony to this is that all the American Blues artists appearing on the late night Marquee stage this year, where we are reliably informed all are under 40. A new generation of Blues Artists are emerging onto the Music scene and they are causing quite a stir. The likes of Nikki Hill from north Carolina who has been hailed as a Southern Fireball”, and even “the new Queen of Rock n’ Roll” along with Selwyn Birchwood from Florida who is an indelibly modern and original next-generation bluesman with his tough vocals, guitar and lap steel touch on classic Chicago blues and Southern soul then we have Jarekus Singleton a 30 year old from Mississippi is a musical trailblazer with a bold vision for the future of the blues blending modern-day blues wit6h emotionally intense soul .The diversity of blues music is clearly evident in the Marquee with the likes of Dana Fuchs from New York who has been declared once-in-a-generation voice as “juke-joint dirty and illicit, evoking Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger and a cigarette butt bobbing in a glass of bourbon…” Chris Bergson also from New York on the other hand comes from the other spectrum of the blues which can be infused with jazz “he has become one of the most interesting blues-inspired songwriters, describing the streetscapes and nightscapes of city life. Completing the set and putting a new twist to the sounds of the marquee will be The Congo Faith Healers setting the blues on a Latin American journey with drum and trumpet grooves combining down and dirty swamp infested gypsy blues with wild savage guitar playing, voodoo vocals.

Watching over all this younger generation will be Leo “Bud” Welch from Mississippi who is now known officially as the last of the Delta blues men now that BB King has departed us. This 83 year old Blues man is much sought after and a full feature documentary film is due on him later this year, is in residence in the Marquee over the weekend.

The Market House again will host the acoustic room and in residence this year we have Davis Rogan from New Orleans, Harrison Kennedy from Ontario, Kris Dollimore from England, Cedric Watson from Louisiana and finally David King from Dublin. A place to get away from the maddening crowd to seek sanctuary and to get up close and personal to the Artists

Above all the Grandeur of The Marquee and the Market house it is on The Blues Trail where so much of the magic happens at this festival. It is where old friends of past festivals meet up in The Company of Great Music in The Venues (Pubs) of Monaghan and share old blues stories over some drinks. The Bands that feature on the blues trail are themselves headline acts however this festival is only over 3 days and we cannot accommodate everyone.

The Blues trail hosts a spectrum of Irish and international Blues bands. Acts such as Rusty Jacks, Rosco Levee & Southern Slide ,Crow Black Chicken, the Hardchargers, the Ronnie Greer band, Clara Rose band, the Revolutionaires, Dana Dixon , Glas and of course, our long running Blues Jam, will take to the pubs of Monaghan to provide you with your fill of free Blues for your ears to enjoy!

 Rosco Levee & the Southern Slide England

Guitar drenched, Hammond infused, with hints of the best of 70’s British & American Rocking Blues. They boil over with flavours of London and the Mississippi. Rosco draws comparisons with Clapton and has a stage presence reminiscent of Steve Marriott, yet the band have a style, sound and soul all of their own. The band has been handpicked by Classic Rock Magazine as one of the HOTTEST to watch in 2014. They have released their first live album, “Live at the Billabong” where they tried to capture lightning in a bottle, the way the band comes together and bounce off each other and the fans intensity they get at their shows.

 Glas Wales

Glas (the Welsh for blue) are a blues trio from South Wales. They capture the vibe and feel of classic blues, rock and roll, country, and R&B in a modern and contemporary way. They’re one of the hardest working bands on the scene, with regular festival appearances including Tenby Blues and Brecon Jazz, and shows at Londons legendary 100 Club. Featuring a combined collective of talent, they have shared stages with the likes of The Groundhogs, The Spellkasters, and Gerry McAvoy’s Band of Friends and Larry Miller.

 Clara Rose Ireland

Clara Rose is a songstress of rockin’ blues, saviour of rootsy folk and has a voice that will make the hairs stand on the back of your neck. She is currently finishing up a collaborative album with Don Baker which will not disappoint. She has shared a stage with artists such as The Horslips, Henry McCullough, The Waterboys and Jack L. Her full band sound is powerful, sassy & soulful.

 The HardChargers Belfast

Described as Dirty Blues from Belfast, The HardChargers have succeeded in taking blues, roots and rock into exciting mercenary territory from irreverent washboard/ resonator/ double bass driven workouts, to a provocative blend of twangy electric blues and raunchy, roadhouse style rock. They are Blues very much in the traditional 1930′s style and Chris Todd has an amazingly authentic Delta Blues voice. These guys are taking the Irish music scene by storm. And trust us, once seen, they’re never forgotten.

Crow Black Chicken Deep South, Ireland

“These guys do nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting and rock like they’ll skate come judgement day.” This power trio of Christy Stephenand Gev combine elements of folk, hard rock and the blues to create their greasy, no bullshit blues rock sound. With the release of their latest album, Deep South, their first live album, with 14 greasy blues rock songs forged in the mountains of Clonmel and Cork. The boys had a massive year supporting ZZ Top in Cork, and Alvin Youngblood Hart in Whelans.

 Dana Dixon & the Big Kats Scotland

Following their 2014 UK tour with legendary USA singer and harp player James Harman, the combined forces of 3 of the greatest UK blues and roots bands join together again for some special performances at the Harvest Time Blues Festival. Female blues harmonica player and singing supremo Dana Dixon and husband Dave on guitar will team up with Martin Vowles (bass) and Kev Crowe (drums) both from The Wildcards / The Nightporters, to perform a number of shows. Dana and the boys will have your hips shaking from the start with their infectious blend of authentic blues, west coast swing and rockabilly. This is a rare chance to catch this unique partnership. Miss it at your peril!

 Rusty Jacks Draperstown

Despite their name, there is nothing ‘Rusty’ about these musicians. Rusty Jacks’ take southern blues and rock straight to your heart and soul. They’re a talented outfit whose stage chemistry shines through. Taking influence from American Deep South blues, all aspects of the genre are accurately reflected on their latest record, Holler ‘n’ Howl, in a pure, fresh and original way. Along with their original material, gig goers can also expect to hear the familiar sounds of ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory Gallagher, the Allman Brothers and many more.



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