THE SHETLAND Blues Festival is only five weeks away and tickets can now be ordered through the committee by using the order form included with today’s Shetland Times.
With 14 gigs and eight visiting bands over three days there is plenty of opportunity to hear some of the best blues music around at the moment.
From acoustic guitar with Steve Phillips and the Hokum Hotshots and boogie woogie piano maestro Daniel Smith through to funky soul blues from the Lyndon Anderson Band to the Chicago sounds of headliner Paul Lamb and the King Snakes the festival promises to be the best yet in this its fifth year.
The festival also has newcomer to the British blues scene Cherry Lee Mewis with her band and
the punky alternative sounds of Finland’s Black River Bluesman and the Croaking Lizard. If you are a fan of the White Stripes this is a band not to be missed. And last but not least the 10-piece After Hours R n B Revue from Thurso are coming north to get everyone on the floor and dancing the night away.
During the week before the festival the Hokum Hotshots will do a series of blues workshops in schools throughout Shetland explaining the origins of the blues and showing school pupils some of the 10 different stringed instruments that they will have with them.
Steve Phillips makes a welcome return to the festival after appearing at the first festival in 2003. This year Steve celebrates his 60th birthday and is trying to play as many gigs around Britain as he can so we are proud to have him play the most northerly dates of his trek.
Paul Lamb and the King Snakes return after nine years when they played a memorable gig in the Bressay Hall. Paul’s band now includes his son Ryan on guitar. We are sure that they will entertain in both the Whalsay Boating Club and in the Royal British Legion in Lerwick.
The committee are also putting on a concert in Mid Yell on the Saturday night featuring local bands The Vinyls and No Sweat along with visitors the Hokum Hotshots and Black River Bluesman and the Croaking Lizard. There will be a late ferry available for anyone wanting to come across from the mainland for this concert.
There will also be the successful free pub gigs on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday kicks off with Cherry Lee Mewis and her band playing at lunchtime in the Lounge Bar with the Lyndon Anderson band guaranteed to lift the roof in Baroc later that afternoon before they head to Hillswick. On Sunday unwind with the last session of the festival with Steve Phillips and Daniel Smith in the Lounge.
The festival website will have the full program plus any updates as they happen with the program and order form being available for download from the site. Video clips from last year’s festival have also been made available for viewing plus tracks from the this year’s artists so you can hear what they sound like before you decide which concerts you would like to go to over the festival weekend. The website address is www.shetlandblues.info
The committee is also appealing for volunters to help out with accommodation for the bands over the festival weekend. If anyone can help, they should get in touch with James Carlyle on 07979 530005.