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ALEX VOYSEY BAND
Sat 3.00pm The Legion
Whatever you love most – Delta, Chicago, Texas, British or American, you’ll find it all here, performed by four outstanding musicians with breathtaking virtuosity and fun! A huge Bonamassa fan, Alex formed the band in 2021 and is joined by bass playing force of nature Ben Hands on his incredible Dingwall 6 string, drummer Paul Arthurs who is currently enjoying huge success with the touring Kate Bush show ‘Moments of Pleasure’, and Bristol keys player and musical theatre director, Andy Alpass. Together, they bring diverse musical backgrounds to the table, a huge breadth of experience, and revel in their shared love of blues. Whatever your passion, look no further for consummate musicianship and a show not to be missed.
WOW! What a Show! What Musicianship! Alex Voysey is not only a superb musician but plays with a feeling and a passion that is true to the meaning of the blues.
THE ANDY GRANT BAND
Sat 8.30pm The Fonc Lounge
They fuse electric blues with alternative rock – fired under an intense improvisational heat. Think classic rock era 3 piece with 21st century edge.
Sat 9pm Herston C&C, Sunday 3pm White Swan
Fri 2pm The Legion, Sat 1.30pm Grand Hotel, Sun 2pm The Showbar, Sun 8pm White Swan
With their foot-stomping, danceable rhythms and a lot of fun, Back Porch will make you laugh, cry and tap your feet! It’s a stripped-down line-up of harp, washboard and guitars – just some mates sitting on a back porch, playing the blues.
BEN WHITE & THOMAS LUCAS
Sat 3.45pm The Centre, Sun 2pm Greyhound
Ben White and Thomas Lucas are two young blues musicians who have a deep passion for early electric blues, particularly from Chicago in the 1950s. Playing original material in the styles of Sonny Boy Williamson I, Muddy Waters and Little Walter, these two gentleman combine humour and energy, with material about all things from gaining one's driving license, to being a baking man (with a big book of recipes).
CARL JONES and TOM B STONE ft Andy Bradshaw
Sat 9pm Red Lion
Carl fronts his own busy 3-piece band The Bullfrogs and runs a very successful weekly open mic and jam. A regular jammer at Swanage Blues festival, he has put together a solo set of fun and rousing electric blues and blues-rock covers.
Tom B Stone (Tombstone) has been touring for nearly four decades. His solo live performances include a smattering of original material mixed with a generous helping of covers that have audiences singing along. Oh, and be prepared for some truly awful one-liners along the way.
CHICAGO 9 RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Fri 9pm White Swan, Sun 1pm ConClub
Formed in 2002 by friends with a shared love of music, Chicago 9 has quickly become a favourite wherever they play. Led by skilled guitar and saxophone interplay, the band delivers a mix of their own material, blues classics & less obvious covers, all with a solid backbeat & superb vocals, so come ready to dance and cry, as Chicago 9 will take you on a journey through the blues, from the early days of Muddy Waters to the modern era.
Founder member of The Blues Band, played and recorded with: Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells. British Blues Connection acoustic artist of the year for five consecutive years.
FABULOUS DUCK BROTHERS
Fri 1pm Isle of Purbeck Golf Club
The Fabulous Duck Bros are a collection of professional and experienced musicians that wish to pay tribute to their love and appreciation of the solo career of Eric Clapton. Fronted by long term Clapton fan Phil Astles, the band concentrate on the songs produced by Eric throughout his long career including his hits from the 80’s, 90’s and modern era.
"Light and shade throughout every number and the volume just about as perfect as possible" "Close your eyes and it's like Eric and his band are in the room"
FRAN McGILLIVRAY & MIKE BURKE
Sun 3pm Centre
Fran McGillivray ( vocals & bass guitar ) and Mike Burke ( acoustic, electric & resonator guitars & vocals) are exciting and compelling performers and songwriters with a strong following on the blues and roots music scene. Their own vibrant and original songs are complemented by soulful, dynamic and powerful interpretations of songs which have been the inspiration for their deep love of Blues and Roots Music.
GEOFF GARBOW BAND
Fri 3pm White Swan, Fri 9pm Herston C&C, Sat 8.30pm Grand Hotel
A regular fixture on the West London circuit, the GGB are much loved for their unpretentious, good time attitude. Band members have played with Billy Bragg and members of Deep Purple, Bad Company, Gary Moore Band and the Strawbs amongst many others. The band have been regulars at the Ealing Blues Festival, The Ealing Club and the Crawdaddy and many hostelries across London. “…energetic and eclectic, mixing straight blues with dirty southern rock, funk and a splash of AOR“ - Blues in Britain Magazine
Thu 4pm and Fri 8.30pm Globe
Open Mic Blues Jam. Great fun and all blues standards very welcome.
GEORGE HALL TRIO
Fri 8.30pm Fonc Lounge
George Hall gives some of the greatest guitarists alive a run for their money and can simultaneously switch from swaggering rock to blistering blues.
Sat 12 noon Centre
His intricate fingerstyle guitar and strident electric slide connect in the raw and immediate way that only proper roots music can, and his voice is clear as a bell, powerful and pure. Upon release of his debut album in November 2022, Greg received 3 nominations in the 2023 UK Blues Awards, becoming a finalist in the ‘Emerging Act of the Year’ category.
GUY TORTORA & JANOS BAJTALA
Sat 2.30 Centre
Blues/Roots/Americana. “A master songsmith” Blues Matters. “I am very, very impressed” Paul Jones.
HUGH BUDDEN AND THE BLUE CHORDS
Thu 8.30pm Legion - Electric, Sun 2.30pm Grand Hotel - Acoustic, Sun 8.30pm Grand Hotel - Electric
The hardest working harmonica and vocals man I know, no doubt due to his style, showmanship and sheer professionalism! Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, Jazz, Country, Indie… Hugh can play ‘em all – and he does! Make sure you catch him at least once! Often features guests. Hugh will also be MC, Host, Guest Artist and Sound, Lighting & Stage Manager at the Grand Hotel all weekend
I-SPY AND ANOTHER
Sat 3pm White Swan
JIMMY REGAL AND THE ROYALS
Sat 8.30pm Purbeck Plaza
Exciting new blues trio with Joff Watkins, vocals/harmonica, and CJ Williams, guitar plus drummer. Together, they have played major venues and festivals around the UK, featured on radio stations around the world, including the BBC Radio 2 Blues Show, and been interviewed in several national blues magazines.
JOFF WATKINS DUO
Sat 1.15pm Centre
The Joff Watkins Duo comprises two of Britain’s best blues musicians, Joff Watkins on vocals and harmonica and CJ Williams on guitar. Joff is one of the best harmonica players in the country; he has guested on a number of other artists’ albums and has been played on various national radio stations. CJ Williams is a uniquely talented guitarist; his skill enables him to play bass, rhythm and lead simultaneously!
Together they make a sound inspired by New Orleans funk blues, combining the deep blues of North Mississippi, with a South London attitude. See also Jimmy Regal and the Royals.
JOHN McCLEAN & THE CLAN
Sat 2pm YHA, Sun 2pm The Globe
John McClean & the Clan play blistering Gospel Blues Rock, featuring John's gritty and unforgettable vocals, original songs and well-chosen covers. Bring your dancing shoes!
Sat 4pm Showbar
One of the HOTTEST bands in the South of England right now with every booking agent and festival organiser clambering over each other to book them! Continuing to blow every audience away with their incredibly catchy rockin’ skiffle, rhythm & blues sound, dynamic harmonies and phenomenal musicianship. They are the tightest, most professional outfit on the block who are ON FIRE right now! Come and get caught in their momentum. Come and experience Junco Shakers.
Sun 1pm Centre
Luke Arnold has been playing harmonica, writing, singing songs and fronting blues bands for the past 35 years. For the last two years he has been playing solo on acoustic guitar. He made his solo debut on EP Secondhand Man and will be performing original songs from his new album Hustle due out in May 2024. Based in Norwich Norfolk.
MARK HARRISON DUO
Sat 6pm Centre
Each song is a snapshot of life or has a story to tell, like a 3-minute film or novel. Mark Harrison, one of the most original and interesting singer-guitarists around, brings his unique music back to Swanage Blues Festival, this time with singer and double bassist Charles Benfield.
Sat 2pm Greyhound, Sun 2pm Centre
Martin McNeill is an acclaimed slide guitarist and singer with a soulful slant on traditional blues. His CD Cat Squirrel was shortlisted for record of the year in the 2020 UK Blues Awards. He was named in the top 20 acoustic artists in the 2023 UK Blues Awards. Radio presenter Stephen Foster said Martin is "one of the country's finest bottleneck blues guitarists" and Blues in Britain called him "a renowned blues elder statesman".
OPEN MIC SESSIONS WITH ANDY BRADSHAW
Fri 2-5pm, Sat 2-5pm, Sun 1-4pm all at the Red Lion
Andy writes: Are you ready to be part of making music at the Swanage Blues Festival? You are? Fabulous! Some of my happiest memories of Swanage Blues have been at the Open Mic sessions. The audiences, the variety of acts and the sheer amount of talent every year, make it an exciting part of the festival experience. There are new surprises, acts which leave you speechless and many laughs and cheers along the way. I will be there at least an hour before the start time with the sign-in book, previous years’ experience tells me the slots fill up quickly so bear that in mind! I will be providing a cajon for accompaniment if you need a back beat. Out of a courtesy to our neighbours this will be un-mic'd. If it's your first time playing at an Open Mic, that's great, we welcome everyone. To help you get the most out of the experience, here are a few pointers to smooth you through the experience.
Make sure you are tuned up and ready to go in time for your slot. Time is limited and the audience want to hear you play!
If you are using any battery powered equipment, make sure your batteries are fresh - you don't want an electro acoustic giving up on you halfway through your set!
If you have any special requirements, let the host know beforehand so they can be ready to say, mic up a purely acoustic guitar, or you want to use a different mic set up.
As a courtesy to other performers, please try and work within your time slot.
Once you have finished to rapturous applause, please leave the performance area to allow the next act to get ready to play.
Other than that, enjoy what promises to be a great Festival!
Thanks as ever to Steve Darrington and all the venues for making this all possible!
PAUL COOK BLUES BAND
Sat 8.30pm Grand Hotel with Geoff Garbow Band
Virtuoso guitarist and leader of The Paul Cook Blues Band who feature some of East Sussex / Kent's finest Blues players. Also, the main man behind UBAS records whose artists include several top Blues acts.
PETE HARRIS BLUES BAND
Fri 8.30pm The Legion
Chicago-style blues band with this top bluesman - great voice, great guitar, great band leader - and also featuring Ray Drury on keyboards and Pete Welland of Pete G and the Magnitones on harmonica.
PETE HARRIS & JON VAUGHAN
Sat 7pm Tawny’s, Sun 8pm Red Lion
Acoustic goodtime Blues and Ragtime with a hint of Gospel and Americana by a great guitar and harmonica duo.
Please note that Tawny’s can admit only diners on show nights, and tables must be booked in advance on 01929 422781. Thank you.
PETE HARRIS & RAY DRURY
Sat 7pm Tawny’s
Ray is a fine keyboards man with an amazing range of styles and moods whatever he touches. Soul, blues, jazz, funk… you name it! Highly recommended. Jon is a fine blues/jazz singer/songwriter/guitarist and guitar tutor.
Please note that Tawny’s can admit only diners on show nights, and tables must be booked in advance on 01929 422781. Thank you.
RAY DRURY AND JON WALSH
Thu 9pm Red Lion
Jon's ability to play guitar, sing, and write his own songs demonstrates his deep connection to jazz and blues, and loves to express himself through his art. Ray Drury is an incredibly talented and versatile keyboardist! With a wide range of styles and moods, he is clearly able to adapt to different genres of music, including soul, blues, jazz, funk, and more.
Sun 12am The Centre
Rich is a powerful performer who delivers songs with a true passion and raw edge that will leave you spellbound and wanting more. He regularly appears at the Bletchley Blues Club and has become a firm favourite, always captivating the audience with the depth of feeling in his playing and singing. “Stunning guitar work second to none” Blues in Britain.
ROBIN BIBI BAND
Fri 5.30pm ConClub, Sat 8.30pm Legion
Explosive, passionate, dynamic and entertaining blues, funk, soul, rock, reggae and jazz on guitar, bass, drums and harmonica! Stalwart of UK Blues Rock, award winning singer guitarist Robin Bibi is an amazing crowd puller who has played every Swanage Blues Festival since 2007.
ROBIN BIBI BAND JAM SESSION
Sat 1.00-3.30pm ConClub, Sun 2pm The Legion
Some of the finest impromptu music of the weekend with one of the best ‘Jam Masters’ I’ve ever seen. Check in with Robin at the Jam Sessions, drummers bring own sticks.
STAFFEL & STEWART
Fri 3pm White Swan with Geoff Garbow’s Band, Fri 7pm Tawny’s as Trio Pablos, Sat 7.30pm Kings Arms, Langton Matravers
Paul Stewart & Tim Staffell were original contributors to the Rhythm & Blues explosion of the 60s; Stewart was lead singer and harp player with legendary R&B band ‘The Others’, while Staffell was lead singer and bass player in the pre-Queen power trio ‘Smile’ with Brian May & Roger Taylor. They can be appreciated as an acoustic/electric duo, and occasionally as a five-piece band. Together they play a selection of original material and their own freely adapted arrangements of traditional Blues tunes. From time to time, members of the band guest independently with the duo
THE MILK MEN
Sat 9pm White Horse
Since their first appearance at Swanage almost 10 years ago, The Milk Men have developed into one of the most talked-about and successful blues rock bands in the UK. With a Top 10 album, five UK Blues Award nominations and finalists in the 2024 UK Blues Challenge, the band has also been nominated as Best Band at this year's UK Blues Awards. Their live show is full of fun, incredible energy and memorable original songs alongside some popular classics. Going from strength to strength, a Milk Men show is not to be missed!
Fri 9pm White Horse
With over 20 years together, the Mustangs are one of the most established and best-loved blues rock bands in the UK. They have toured Europe, won awards and even played Glastonbury. The band's jam-packed nights in Swanage have become tradition, with the band playing a huge range of songs from originals, rock, blues and even often improvising covers and requests from the audience. Perfect let your hair down fun.
Sat 5.30pm ConClub
Steeped in blues and tempered in rock and roll, The Scoundrels are a punchy, raw six-piece R&B band.
Fri 8.30pm The Showbar
"The Terraplanes are a band at the very heart of the British blues scene! Bristol has produced another exciting and talented discovery" - Blues In Britain Magazine. “Hard hitting, stomping, in your face rhythm & blues!” - Blues Matters Magazine. "The Terraplanes absolutely tear it up with this new record! Twelve hot, original blues with the ferocity of those classic George Thorogood songs we all love. Stepping Stones is an absolutely brilliant album!" - Phil Smith, Philly Cheeze's Rock & Blues Review USA
Band - Sat 8.30pm The Showbar, Solo - Sun 3pm Black Swan
Thomas Heppell is a Berkshire based musician who performs Blues, Rock & Roll and Jazz covers, alongside his own compositions. In Jan 2023, he sold out his debut London band show at Sound Lounge Sutton and has been nominated for 3 UK Blues Awards – Young Blues Artist, Emerging Blues Artist and Acoustic Blues Artist 2023 (UK Blues Federation). The future is looking very bright for Thomas. “Energetic, engaging, modern twist on great blues and rock n roll classics” “Stunning!”
TOMMY ALLEN & JON VAUGHAN
Fri 9.00pm Red Lion, Sat 2pm Herston C&C, Sat 8.30 Globe
Tommy Allen covering vocals, guitar and foot drums. If harmonica blues is more your flavour then Jon Vaughan with his soulful tone, crying out Big Walter Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson, will please your ears and leave you wanting more.
TOMMY ALLEN BAND
Their contemporary guitar-driven gutsy blues rock ventures beyond stereotypes and inspires the soul. Tommy's own influences are Robert Johnson and BB King to name but two, but it’s Tommy's own interpretation where the crossover begins to take place and it's his adaptation that adds a distinct edge to his music. Hard driving and energetic to send you home bopping!
Fri 7pm Tawny’s
Back by popular demand! Tawny's welcomes blues festival regulars 'Pablo' Stewart and Tim Staffell together with bassist Steve Kemp-King to provide an entertaining mix of their own classic songwriting, together with artfully re-imagined blues standards.
Sat 9pm White Swan
Five piece blues‘n’rock band made up of vastly experienced musicians of many years’ standing, consisting of drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitars and lead vocalist, performing an eclectic mix of classic blues and rock music.
ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION
Fri 8.30pm Grand Hotel
'Zoe Schwarz Bluez Party’ - 4 piece funky rocking blues with Rob Koral-guitar, Paddy Blight-bass, Dave Mayne-drums ... edgy, rootsy original songs, strong catchy riffs 'n grooves, plus a few cool covers; expect an exciting live set mixing old school tradition with a contemporary swagger and verve.
Zoe and Rob are a “nationally regarded couple, it tells in the power and professionalism of their performance…”. Zoe’s dynamic and commanding vocal delivery is complimented by the unmistakable touch and flow of Rob-guitar and a highly accomplished rhythm section. There is diversity, depth, and uniqueness to the band's music, where each of the band members is given the freedom to express their musical prowess and stamp their magic to the songwriting of Zoë and Rob.
AND ANOTHER THING:
Introducing the person who brings it all together, does the admin, designs the posters and the web site, handles the mailing list, writes the newsletters, marketing and advertising...
Our festival director.
Steve Darrington was the house pianist and harp player at the legendary Blues Loft, Nag’s Head, High Wycombe in the 1960s/70s. After 35 years as a touring musician and with 50 albums recorded, he retired to Swanage in 2000. He created the first Swanage Blues Festival in 2001 and has continued to mastermind them ever since.
If he ever has time to write his memoirs, you will read about his times with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Arthur Crudup, Billy Boy Arnold, Lightnin’ Slim & Whispering Smith, The Mighty Flea, Mickey Baker, Jo-Ann Kelly, Duster Bennett, Mark Knopfler, Brewer’s Droop, Dave Edmunds, Chris Jagger, Marty Wilde, Lonnie Donegan, the Roxon Roadshow, Don Everly, Albert Lee, Roy Orbison, ABBA, The Boogie Band and many more.