Lazy Eye, Pocket The Black review ~  by ​Michael Hotz
(posted 24/8/16)
The new Lazy Eye album certainly fulfils my expectations. I expected something good, and they have delivered, in spades. Having watched the band’s progress closely over the past year or so, I feel that constant gigging, combined with their experience of visiting Memphis for the International Blues Challenge earlier this year, has allowed them to take a several steps up from where they were two years ago.
Read the full review here

​Michael Hotz
Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Blues Radio, South Australia ~ Tess Coleman ~ an interview by Mike Hotz​ (posted 20/8/16)
In this series “Blues Radio, South Australia”. I will be profiling all of those Blues playing presenters who freely give of their own time to Community Radio stations around the state. Community Radio is the only avenue available to lovers of the genre to hear regular, in depth programs dealing with Roots and Blues, and with this series I wish to pay homage to these selfless presenters.

​Tess Coleman, an English expatriate currently residing in Gawler South Australia, began her radio career at Triple B Barossa, based in Tanunda.
Read the full interview here

Lily and the Drum Buried in Blue CD Review by Mike Hotz
( posted 19/8/16 )
Gawler, South Australian duo, Lily & The Drum paid me the honour of asking my opinion of their next CD, "Buried in Blue". Not a Blues album as such, but a very fine document indeed. The album is to be released in August , so make sure you support local music and get along to one of their shows and buy the CD.
Read the full review here

Bluefest re: Bourn - the account of a horn wielding traveller

Nigel Bourn, our intrepid horn wielding 4x4 traveller, recently indulged in the road trip, camping and magical music experience that is The Byron Bay Bluesfest. 
Here is his account…



Having been an Adelaide Hills resident for the past 28 years, thought it might be a good time to give a brief history/overview of “live“ music in this region.

I remember when first moving up from “the flat-lands” in the late 80’s. “What a long way from the city”- what the hell am I doing up here?” This was way before the Heysen Tunnels were even thought of...  (Constructed in 1998- opened May 2000.) There was a thriving scene however, partly thanks to one Mr. Greg Baker who at the time was living in Harrogate.

For the full story click here


The Waikerie Street Festival

On Saturday 12th March 2016, Waikerie came alive in a way it hasn't for a very long time with ‘The Waikerie Street Festival’.

Waikerie is a very pretty town with manicured lawn extending from the street down to and along the bank of the mighty Murray. There is no need for traffic lights because there is only one main street. The people are friendly and the population is small, about 2,500. Waikerie is also a struggling community as with a lot of regional communities. 
It all began with the Fund My Idea Riverland programme two years ago — Why not have a Community Festival like the ‘Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival’
Stringy bark McDowell
Mick Kidd and Dave Blight

Susan Skujins, who with her husband Andre, settled into their Riverland homestead three years ago, managed to get a number of residents interested with the very kind and generous help of Roger Smith, but unfortunately the Council knocked back the idea. Then, a chance meeting last year with one of the councillors sparked another opportunity for a Waikerie Festival in conjunction with the Waikerie Rotary Club. They were off and running!
On Saturday, 12th March the main shopping precinct, McCoy Street, was closed to traffic and transformed into one long “Mall” with two stages – one at the top end and the other halfway down just tucked into an adjoining street. A large wooden dance floor had been set up in front of the main stage, with hundreds of chairs, tables and pop-up marquees lining the street. This was indeed a “community event!”

The Rotary Club of Waikerie had come up trumps. Marquees had a large selection of food, wines, beer, local produce, etc. The crowd was very well catered for! Musical entertainment started with the “Cats Pyjamas” around 5.00 pm. They did a great job warming up the growing crowd. Another top musician, Ken “Stringybark Mcdowell” was cooking up a storm down the road while David Blight and Mick Kidd  were on next around 6.15. They did an hour set to a large, appreciative crowd. In between the music the local “Riverland Rock’n’Roll” dancers kept the crowd entertained, as did the “Bollywood” Belly Dance Troupe! Then as night fell The Steve Brown Band played a driving set of classic tunes. The local M.C. did a great job introducing the acts. The headline act of the night, Gail Page , was fantastic. Backed by a “who’s who” of Adelaide muso’s  (Mark Meyer- Ronnie Kosmider- Peter Grimwood, etc.) their soulful, groove-laden sounds capped off a great night!

The food was fantastic and the music awesome. The Mayor announced that it was the biggest event Waikerie has held for years and believes it will be bigger next year!

The Steve Brown Band
The Cats Pyjamas

Mick Kidd was there as one of the performers and had this to say

Big” Shout Outs” must go to Susan & Andre Skujins for organising the artists, and everything that goes with that! The Rotary Club ran a very professional event. Con and his team from Concert Sound did a superb job with the sound. Local traders lined up and an estimate of 2500 or more attended.

P.S.- Must mention the “after party” jam back at Sue & Andre’s- A beautiful spread on a beautiful homestead – cheese platters, etc. supplied. Some headed back to Adelaide after the show but Steve Brown, Dave Rhodes, Gail Page, Liz Stocco (who sing’s in Gail’s band, too) Dennis Surmon (and a few more) stayed the night on the river. A beautiful moon-lit night with Steve, David and myself getting out the acoustic guitars, trading songs from Willie Dixon, Van Morrison, The Bee Gee’s, Crosby, Stills and Nash and everything in between! Gail, Liz and Steve’s harmonies were sublime — a truly MAGICAL evening!

Organiser and driving force Susan Skujins

The journey for me was one of great growth, I've organised fundraisers before but music at a Festival. Where do you start? Phone a friend. Heather Pinder has been my sounding board during the complete process, her support and advice is very much appreciated. We discussed what type of music would impress the locals, who should be the headline act, someone whom hopefully will appeal to everyone.   

I have had the pleasure of dealing with a lot of Adelaide based musicians and it was very hard to choose which ones would suit this festival.  After a lot of consideration things started to fall into place. We needed something that would appeal to families, The Cats Pyjamas and their home grown Beer and Skiffle, I remember watching them at the Whitmore and the audience was aged from 3 years to 83 years, I can say that because I took my dear old Dad to see them.  A duo, mmm, that was going to be hard then I remembered Mick Kidd mentioning that he had played at the Waikerie Speedway. Mick Kidd and Dave Blight, with their musical talents and magical ability to be able to read an audience. A favourite, whom I knew would be a crowd pleaser, The Steve Brown Band. Headline act was also easy, Gail Page, not only because of her appearance on The Voice but also because of her indigenous background. This is something very special in regional towns. Something was missing though; we needed someone different, someone local, Stringybark Mcdowell.
Although the day started with a major hiccup, the main stage arrived two hours late, at 1.30 pm and sound checks were due to start at 2.00 pm. Con from Concert Sound and Lighting was not a happy chap! The second stage had already been erected in Francis Street, this was where the local students and musicians were to play but because of the main stage problem we had to do a bit of a re-shuffle. Stringy Bark started the Festival on stage two instead of stage one and had to perform at the same time as the Cats Pyjamas, something that I must apologise to him for. If you haven't seen Stringy Bark perform he is worthwhile the experience, not only is he a fantastic musician but a great entertainer. We first experienced him in Echuca a couple of years back and last year saw him up close and personal on a Paddle Steamer. He has a passion about the River and it suits his style of Blues.

Gail Page

The Cats Pyjamas unfortunately had to shorten their set but warmed up the crowd at the time estimated to have been around 3,000 people.
As usual Dave Blight and Mick Kidd were wonderful. It was great to hear comments from the audience and the sound crew, about how good and tight they were. I think their music reflects what lovely gentlemen they are and I am so glad they had the opportunity to go to Memphis.
The Steve Brown Band, what can I say, absolutely stole the show especially when they performed "Midnight Special", Creedence.  Steve Brown’s voice swooned the audience and Dave Rhodes, Denis Surmon, Pete Martin and Jeff Algra played at their best. I think we might have a House Band for next year's festival.
Gail Page just blew away the crowd with her rich, strong voice. Her backing singer,  Liz Stocco, was also brilliant. The Gail Page Band played extraordinarily well, Ron Kosmider, Mark Meyer, Peter Grim and William Priete showed us what true professionals they are.
So planning has already started for the next Waikerie Food, Wine and Music Festival, and I’m sure, as the Mayor said, it will be bigger and even better.

By Susan Skujins and Mick Kidd 23 March 2016


Madder Than A Backwards Flying Crow – Stringybark McDowell & Molly Coddle-Cream
2015 – Independent Release

I reviewed this album some time ago, but I have long felt there were more things I wanted to say about it. So I've written another piece to go with it. This is a really good CD.
Music is an extraordinary, wonderfully complex entity. There’s a music genre for every human situation. Refine that down and there’s an album for every possible scenario. Further distillation demonstrates that there is a perfect song for every human emotion in the entire tapestry of whatever it is that we have. Individual songs can evoke joy, sadness, nostalgia, anger, sorrow, lamentation, anticipation, calm, plaintiff longing, desolation and many other such human concepts. So much so that I feel music was the sole art form man had to invent to exist in the world and all that goes with it. Without music, there would be no “Us”. Without music, we, as individuals and as a society in general, would wither and die, it is that vital to our continued existence.

Of course not every recording or live performance will suit all of us. What one person gets from a particular piece or song is not necessarily what the next person will derive from it. Even those closest to us will have their own like and dislikes, such is the nature of music in the nexus between it and us, that the same song can mean anything to total strangers, or to the closest of friends.

Many millions of songs have been recorded on hundreds of thousands of albums, but when there comes an album capable of causing so many diverse emotions as one listens, that album is to be embraced and treasured. Such an album for me personally is “Madder than a Backward Flying Crow”, a 2015 Independent release by Stringybark McDowell and life partner Molly Coddle-Cream. This is a very complex album, containing a full gamut of raw emotion. Most people will struggle to pigeon-hole the eclectic music the disc contains, and few will agree as to which genre it will all fit neatly. As someone who is often regarded as a Blues policeman, I have no hesitation in saying the Blues are all over this sterling album.
It has it all, great song choice (some of them written by Molly Coddle-Cream and arranged by Stringybark. Molly’s lyrics are poignant, expressive and thought-provoking, with splendid use of both language and imagery. The album leaves me wanting to hear more of her thoughts and philosophies. Master musician Stringybark McDowell continues to impress with his musical abilities. He is obviously entirely comfortable no matter what instrument is in his hand, a fact that elevates him to the highest echelons, not only in Australian music scenes, but worldwide as well, heavily influenced by the old Blues masters, sounding quite unlike anyone apart from himself, a pleasant departure from the clones most musicians are of each other today.

Finally, the recording process of this album is exemplary, if one considers just how such and album should sound. It is loose, raw, and sublimely to the point. As was once the accepted ‘norm’ in Blues recordings, Stringybark McDowell’s self-production is top class. Nowhere is the slick, over-polished, over rehearsed ‘musak’ many people thinks they need to produce these days. Give me this organic approach any day, and I’ll be one happy music fan.

Mike Hotz

All about the 'Gaol Blues Festival' 2016 - by Peter Allan

The Old Adelaide Gaol will host Gaol Blues on 20 March. The festival will feature eight hours of live blues music and mouth-watering southern and American style food to take your soul all the way to the deep south. 

GAOL BLUES Festival 2016, Sunday, March 20th 2 PM - 10 PM at the Old Adelaide Gaol

I met with Laura Illman (Project Officer) and Gary Joyce (Program Manager) from the Department Environment, Water and Natural Resources, S.A. Government on 5 February, over coffee at ‘Sazon’ to discuss the Event.

“The gaol blues concept originates from talks about what we could do that was special to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Adelaide Gaol. We needed a major festival event to kick start the celebrations and noted that Adelaide does not have an outdoor blues festival and there was a real need for such an event. We thought, Jail - Blues - Blues Brothers!”

Goal Blues promises to be a family friendly event with broad appeal and with a good percentage of local acts. Two of the headline bands have just returned from competing in Memphis at the Blues Foundations International Blues Challenge, our very own Hammond driven Lazy Eye into the quarter finals and Dreamboogie an exciting Melbourne outfit that made it to the Semi’s. Also Zkye Blue, winner of ARBA’s Blues Album Of 2014-15 award represented South Australia in the Blues Foundation Self-Produced CD Contest in Memphis, a first for an S.A. Act.

“We are  hoping that this will become an annual event with the public’s support, and would love to see it grow each year firstly to a full day festival with the introduction of a second stage to accomodate many more artists, then hopefully a full two day festival of the blues in the historically beautiful grounds of the Adelaide Gaol.”

The staging for this years event is a large 10m x 5m x 1m covered stage with full connect production located on the grassed area. The bands will be well catered for with a large green room and professional staging and sound production provided by Corpralite Audio. The event will also be professionally filmed and sound recorded for future release.

“The main stage will be on a large grassed area with grandstand seating. There will also be other seating available throughout the venue. We don't permit chairs to be brought into the event, but we are watering the grass regularly to ensure it will be comfortable for people to sit on if they prefer.”

I also spoke to Ronny Davidson MC and stage manager.

“When I was approached about helping the organisers with this event, I jumped at the opportunity. I have helped them book the acts that they wanted and was excited to be asked to MC on the day. This is the event that we have been waiting for in Adelaide."

There will be a tight 15 minute change-over between bands so the entertainment doesn’t let up throughout the day, including acoustic performers entertaining in the food court. There you’ll find several food vans located on the bitumen courtyard with an American and Southern theme including fire pit bbq grill, serviced bars with Hills Cider and Mismatch Brewery on tap and a selection of wines available with table and chairs for comfortable dining.

“We are very excited about getting our large neon sign and banners erected at the Gaol for the next phase of publicity and there will be plenty of Gaol Blues Merchandise to purchase to mark the inaugural festival.”

Peter Allan 7/2/16

John Earl Walker —  Mustang Blues — Walkrights Music (2015)

t’s been some time since John Earl’s last release, so Mustang Blues was very welcome. Just as with other releases by Walker, this is another guitar tour de force, full of energy, vibrancy & demonstrates a man’s complete mastery of his chosen instrument.

Right from the album’s first cut “Hey Baby” the guitar reign supreme, and the listener is aware that here is something special, and original. John wrote all ten songs on this album showing us he is a more-than capable songwriter in addition to his splendid guitar playing. Walker settles into a great groove with “The Devil Follows Me” and the album’s title track, the faster paced, “Mustang Blues”. “Funkify” is a romping little instrumental allowing Walker the opportunity to stretch out and show off a little, and I must mention his rhythm section here too, rock solid. The synergy between Peter Harris on bass and drummer Frank Diorio is evident, and John Earl must smile knowing those two are so good and dependable.

“I’m Already Gone”, a song filled with righteous indignation and attitude really get my juices flowing, and the mood continues “My Mama Told Me”, a song full of good advice every young man should listen to, especially from his mother. “Superstorm Sandy” comes next and is my highlight from this superb album. This destructive hurricane hit John’s hometown in 2012, and he lost much of his life’s possessions (along with his apartment), so in true Blues fashion, along comes a song which I hope will become a part of the Blues “disaster” lexicon.

The funky “Readjust” is next in line, and I’m not convinced that I enjoy it all that much, although there is some seriously great guitar moments. “One Plus One” soon follows and all is good once more. The album closes out with the faster paced, “Even Up The Score”. It’s another bold, brassy statement with even more stunning guitar work from John.

I’m pleased I have this album. There are many such guitar based Blues albums out there, but this one from John seems more…..likeable, more listenable. I like it’s strong attitude throughout and first rate musicianship. John’s voice is not the strongest voice around, but on this album… just works. However, his guitar playing is second to none, as is his production skills. I heartily recommend this wonderful CD to any fan of guitar Blues.

Michael Hotz (January 2016)

Roomful' O' Blues Review

Blues fans were in for a treat when two of the most exciting blues acts on the national scene arrived at St. Luke’s Hall, city for their ‘Roomful’ O’ Blues’ show on 10th October. 

Multi-award winning Melbourne-based band Blue Eyes Cry joined forces with Adelaide’s Lazy Eye when ARBA presented another ‘Live at St. Lukes’ special.

Lazy Eye kicked off the show with stripped-down acoustic versions of their blues, performing songs from their new EP ‘Running Blind’. Mario brought out his 'suitcase kit' and brushes and it was good to hear Erica on acoustic guitar and to enjoy Evan on guitar, harp and vocals.

Lazy Eye then re-grouped for their electric set, Leslies spinning, and Bess The Hammond Organ swirling, a tight and driving set, proof of their ongoing hard work on the road.

On tour and promoting their second album 'Pull Me In', we were privileged to see Blues Eye Cry at their only appearance in Adelaide. The group impressed with a slick, funky blues set with great stage presence and powerful vocals by the lovely Isuela Hingano.  

Having shared the stage at various festivals across the country, the mateship between the two bands was obvious and extended to their musicianship when they combined for an engaging closing jam, a highlight being Evan getting down and dirty to pump the organ pedals with his hands.

The performances brought plaudits from the sizeable crowd, as did the welcome variety of pizzas served from the kitchen.  

Authors:  Jeff Parham and Peter Allan
Nov 02 2015

Band websites :

Gwyn Ashton  has written about his beginnings his formative time in Adelaide and his pride in being Nominated for the AMC Hall of Fame. Gwyn has given permission to post his story here. Thank you and we welcome you back with open arms

I have just been nominated to be inducted into The South Australian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Feb 9. Some of you in other parts of the world are probably thinking ‘WTF is that?’, but for me it is a great honour and I’m to share that honour with some musicians whom I’ve admired ever since I was a kid, way before taking up playing guitar, with the artists who’s records I heard on the radio that helped form my career choice. If it weren’t for them I probably would have become a doctor or something and made a lot of money by now… lol All of this is thanks to Enrico Mick Morena.

Previous inductees are: John Bywaters (Twilights), Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band, Twilights), (Jim Keays / Peter Tilbrook / Rick Morrison / Brian Vaughton / Mick Bower / Gavin Webb (Master’s Apprentices), Rockin’ Rob Riley (Rose Tattoo), John Schumann (Redgum), Barrie McAskill (Levi Smith’s Clefs), Bruce Howe (Jimmy Barnes, Fraternity, Mickey Finn), Ray O’Connor (Penny Rockets), Rick Brewster / John Brewster (The Angels), John Swan, Doug Ashdown, Bob Francis, Mark Meyer (Moving Pictures), John Freeman (Some Dream, Mickey Finn, Levi Smith’s Clefs), Maurie Berg (Mickey Finn, Fraternity), Orianthi (Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson, Richie Sambora), my friend and mentor Chris Finnen and many others. I regard it as an honour to be added to that list, especially not having achieved the commercial success that most of these musos have had but I guess I’m being recognised for doing the hard yakka!
smile emoticon
A little new years day South Oz reading for those who can be bothered:
In 1965 my parents and I left our home in Wales and moved to Adelaide, South Australia, as ‘ten-Pound Poms’. Along with hundreds of other immigrants, we had temporary housing in the Glenelg Hostel which was more like a POW camp, or shanty town, with its galvanised-iron walls and roof with no insulation with temperatures of 45ยบ Celcius. A shock for us lily-white Poms just coming over from the snow and ice of the harsh motherland month of February!
Little did I know that some of the other immigrants right at that time, or just before, were musicians and the Adelaide scene was underway as The Beatles had just hit town (with Adelaide ranking up their biggest-ever welcoming committee of 300,000 people hitting the streets to greet them). But at five years of age I was too young to know about such stuff and I was too busy going to school and doing all of that kid stuff. After moving between Adelaide and Perth numerous times, we settled in Whyalla, South Australia and in 1972 I first picked up a guitar. A friend of mine brought around a 45 to play on my record player. I couldn’t believe the sounds that came out. I said ‘Who is THAT?’ The Master’s Apprentices ‘Turn Up Your Radio’ just blew my mind and I was hooked on rock and roll. Already a late Beatlemaniac, this 12 year-old was now into Oz Rock in a big way and it started with the Adelaide sound: The Masters, The Zoot, The Twilights, then later on Fraternity (with Bon Scott), Cold Chisel (proudly all Adelaide bands) and the interstate sounds of AC/DC, Billy Thorpe, Lobby Lloyd, Chain and anything on ABC TV’s GTK.
Adelaide was the musical breeding ground for a huge proportion of the Australian rock and roll, blues and jazz scenes and I’m so fortunate to have grown up and spent my formative years there, a bit later than others but nevertheless it’s the place I call home. It was in Adelaide that AC/DC met Adelaide singer Bon Scott, from local bands Fraternity and The Valentines, back when it was a hotbed of some of the greatest talent in the country. Of course everyone needed the record labels and moved to the ‘big smoke’ of Melbourne and Sydney, but in those early days Adelaide more than well held their own in the rock and roll stakes.
Later I moved to Sydney played stints with John Swan and then Easybeats frontman Stevie Wright, then in Melbourne I played and recorded with The Master himself, Jim Keays, and finally Mick Pealing from Adelaide band, Stars before relocating myself back to the UK in 1996 and I’ve been working hard in Europe ever since, trying to take a little bit of the Adelaide sprit to the other side of the world.

MUSIC REVIEW | Dennis Kipridis, Melissa Templar and the team from The Gov, are to be highly commended for organising such a successful blues/roots festival, where others have failed in recent times – and all in one hotel – albeit Adelaide’s leading venue for live music
Three stages presented 27 amazingly diverse acts and excellent crowds filled every area of the hotel most of the weekend. Everything ran smoothly and on time, all the artists and patrons were in good spirits – it was a big success all round.
DAY ONE: Friday night with the ladies, Carla Lippis, Zkye and Gail Page. Each of these fabulous singers chose two great divas of the blues and performed songs by them.

A casual  interview with Chris Finnen at his home.....

With the recognition of the awards that have come your way, and the respect you have rightfully gained through your many years in the Blues, Roots music scene is this the time in your life when you take stock?
     Quite often I'll look over the last year and take stock, you look at whats been successful, what you could have done better and  you always feel you could have done more. In terms of my life and the book I’m writing, the last 2 years I’ve been making many notes, but thats triggered off Memories and things I'd forgot, particularly in Melbourne, I lived in Melbourne from '67, came straight from England, left school in ’68 and started playing gigs almost straight away. Came to Adelaide in ’74
    I went out as much as i could every weekend and went to clubs and listened and played. People come and see me play now and remember me from those early days, The Matt Taylor band exc. and recount stories and jog my memories,  
      I had a heap of archival stuff from 69 -79, went off to Tazzie some time ago for six weeks, the hot water system had sprung a leek and all the while dripping on the boxes of stuff and turning it all to papier mache.  Caught up with an old recently and he had a heap of stuff from that period and put it on a stick for me, so theres all this stuff i haven’t seen in years and I’ve got books and books of stuff all these clippings, photos, posters.

I remember seeing you in the Offering in Adelaide mid to late 70s
     Yes it was a very artistic town back then, do you remember Carclew and the stables a few underground clubs, the Catacombs The Cellar?
Very artistic And Bohemian Scene connected to the Universities, people went out!  

What is it about Adelaide for you? 
     People have always said to me oh why don’t you go to Sydney why don’t you go to Melbourne? I love Melbourne a lot of great players, but I love living here. I remember Being at one of the Gympiee Musters and talking to Doc Span and he says why don’t you come live up here. i said well if i come up here ill be a novelty act for a few months then ill just be another local act, I can do that here. Pick a city, you can go back and forth.  I love Adelaide I’ve got friends here and its a perfect place for my kid to grow up. Adelaide is the only place in my entire life I’ve ever missed coupled with the pride that whatever I did, where ever I went, I felt I always represented South Australia and thats why i felt so honoured and emotional about it, your letter and becoming Patron of ARBA.
The AMC i see as a great model in regards to the recognition of South Austrailian music as something to be proud of and the wonderful archival stuff of David Day, and you have just been Inducted into their hall of fame.
     Now the great thing about Daisy in particular on the night i got inducted is, when you see the physical challenges he’s got before him  I said shit Daisy you don’t have to do this no ones making you you’ve done it cause you want to do it, a lesser man wouldn’t have risen to the occasion, and this is where i think Ive always been an optimist by nature I’m not overly cynical and this is where you need to be with organisations such as yourselves and AMC you are always going to get your cynics, but they will come around if you keep doing the good work,
you can only convince through your actions. Putting South Australia in an Honourable position, looking after and welcoming local and interstate players”

     The MBA are another great model. The MBA are by far the best blues association in Australia, real encouraging. They just get there and support each other so you get these fledgling players getting up , being invited up to jam so over a period of a few years you get this great musician that became a great musician, not just from sitting at home listening to recordings and practicing but getting out there sitting in players or when he not playing watching others play i watched Lloyd Spiegel develop that way.

     If there is one piece of advice i could give to players starting out in the music business. Dont assume anything double check everything take a spare set of strings, lead battery etc, the old boy scout thing. Where you just had to be prepared from an artist stand point you also have to be prepared for the politics, for the business, good and bad, never assume!

Interview by Peter Allan

The Gov. Venue 6.00pm Sunday 26th October

     As you walked in The ARBA Banner stands proud next to a fully stocked merch table Tees for sale Band CDs and merch, Newsletter etc.
The Event got underway With MC for the Night Mick Young welcoming us followed by a talk on the aims and Ideals of  ARBA, Inspiring! 
The first act, Craig Atkins had us inthrawled with his combination of Didge Stomp box Slide and vocals. 
AP D’antonio had the people at a hush with his melancholy Raw Country Blues delivered with passion and depth
Cal Williams Jnr. gave it all to the audience and juges with his frantic drive chords and slide work filling the room behind his powerful vocals
MC Mick young from 3D Radio thanked the finalists as the Judges deliberated, then announced winners. Peter Allan ( Mick Young’s Side Kick!) presented certificates and prizes to Best Roots Solo/Duo, Craig Atkins and Best Blues Solo/Duo Cal Williams Jnr.

     During the break between performances Mick young talked a little about Chris Finnen, about his history and his experiences of him, and the regard in which he is held in this state and the wider world. Mick handed over to Peter Allan to present the award, a life time membership and red ARBA Tee ( his favourite colour) and to officially induct Chris as Patron and as  ambassador to the South Australian Blues Scene, this was grateful received to thunderous applause.
Chris Finnen then performed 3 wonderful solo numbers in his impassioned style to a captivated audience.

     Band Performances for Best Roots Band were next. Benny C and the Associates and Dusty Lee’s Wasted Wanderers both putting out a polished performance worthy of any stage in the world, there can be only one winer and that, on the night was Dusty Lee’s Wasted Wanderers. A short break followed where the raffle was drawn, thank you to the generous donations of prizes, and the willing crowd, this was a great fundraiser!

     Next was the Best Blues Band part of the comp. Bonfire Blues were first up with their sassy female jazzy blues, then Thirty Two Twenty, a young 3 pc solid blues outfit. The last band on and the winner with the strong soulful voice of Joseph Amputch and its funky blues grooves was the Jim Crow band.
Certificates and prizes were again given out. followed by a closing speech thanking all in attendance for a fantastic evening
Chris Finnen and Friends then took to the stage with Dennis and John Carlini taking turns on bass,  Lee Nash and Dusty lee on Guitar. a solid blues performance, the highlight being a powerful rendition of Crossroads as a dedication to Jack Bruce.

The event was a complete musical and fundraising success with a very positive vibe abounding through all the volunteers performers and public and a great platform to continue the growth of ARBA!  

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