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The 2004 Festival is: Friday 13th May, Saturday 14th May and Sunday 15th May

2004 Festival Artistes

Debate, discussion and argument - gear, bands and gigs - it's your call

The who's who of Festival 2004; pictures, links, the lot

Photo's and Gig Reviews of ALL the stages/venues of Festival 2004

The 2004 Poster is available free to download right now

What was on in 2004
All the bands, venues and times

The Manx Blues Club; where the Festival sprang from
venue, dates, history etc..

Festival 2004 is mostly FREE
but which stages require tickets?
Click here for all the info

Bio's, pic's and loads of info.

Info & Location

Be in the know...first

Keep us in the know

Where is it? Here!
Includes Photo's of Laxey

How to get to the Isle of Man

Photo's and Report on the
Charterhouse International Blues Pavilion
Main Stage

The Acoustic Stage has it's own web site. You can check out: Previous fest.s, pictures and details.

Be in the know...first

Keep us in the know

Where is it? Here!
Includes Photo's of Laxey

How to get to the Isle of Man

Without our sonsors
there would be no
Fest - Who are these
generous people?

Domicilium: Internet Providers to the Festival
Domicilium - Internet Providers to the Festival

Bushy's Big Wheel Blues Festival 2003 is a fund raising event for the British Red Cross. Please give generously.
Bushy's Big Wheel Blues Festival 2003 is a fund raising event for the British Red Cross

Below is a list of the artistes - in alphabetical order - who appeared at the 2004 Festival and for whom we have details. Please e-mail us with any updates, photo's, amendments etc by clicking here . We really do like to hear from you.

Click here for the full 2004 Programme and 2004 Gig Reviews for the individual reviews of gigs/stages. But here are some of the outstanding musicians who appeared in 2004:

Guy Davis
Click to go to Guy Davis's own page
GUY DAVIS Gravel-voiced acoustic blues matched with the velvet-smooth guitar playing and lyrics, and the result is one of the most entertaining US bluesmen on the live circuit. Add his huge talent as a raconteur and you have a really fine all-round entertainer. Nominated in 2003 (for the 4th successive year) for a WC Handy Award . He recently recorded a track for an
Guy Davis in the Studio
Guy Davis in the Studio - click to go to his own page
Eric Bibb album and his own new album 'Give in Kind' is now available on Red House Records and it's a stunner - it was a great opportunity to see this top artist. Click here for Bio and more details.
"Wow. The guy is absolutely brilliant!!" Dave Wade.

The Marcus Malone Band get very busy with guitars on the Charterhouse Group International Main Stage - Friday May 14 2004 - Click to enlarge

Marcus Malone and Band start the gutar rumble

Marcus Malone on the Main Stage at this year's Festival - click to enlarge

Marcus Malone
From Detroit MARCUS MALONE and his band. This four (sometimes 5) piece band led by Marcus Malone are to be seen regularly performing on the UK & Euro Blues Scene and at most of the major festivals. An original, innovative, professional, dedicated and exciting performer - Marcus Malone lived up to all these glowing words here on the Isle of Man on the warm and pleasant late spring night of the 14th May 2004 . For more info click on the link above or right here . For the gig report click here

BILL "Watermelon Slim" HOMANS
Click to go to Slim's own page
From Stillwater, Oklahoma slide player, harpist and an original "bluesman for life" Bill WATERMELON SLIM Homans made a flying visit to the Island between dates on his 2004 UK tour. He made an impression which will last long in the memories of all that saw him on Saturday the 15th May 2004 at The Riverside Music Room. He brought the house down that night and was the talk of the Festival for the entire weekend and will probably be so for a long time to come.
Watermelon Slim "has two degrees, speaks three languages, is a MENSA member & Vietnam veteran & writes incredible songs.........I think that deserves a few superlatives don't you?" - John Adams of the Bottleneck Blues Club one of Britains most repected Blues Clubs.
John also quotes Geoff Revell who had just heard Watermelon on the first gig of his current UK tour: "F*!#ing hell John, that was the most authentic blues I've ever heard live, bloody amazing!" & Martin Salisbury: "Where did you find him? I want to have his babies." As John says "it's pretty fair to say that unless you caught Son House in 1932 you will never have experienced anything quite like a Watermelon Slim show!!"
It's a tight schedule and we were very lucky to get him and his left handed National Steel guitar. Click on his name above for more...You'll have kicked yourself if you missed the opportunity to grab a ticket for the Charterhouse Group International Main Stage - Saturday night May 15 2004

Wheatbread Johnson
Click to go to Wheatbread's own page
From Chicago, Illinois - the home of the blues - WHEATBREAD JOHNSON (now based in Ireland with his international touring band) is a big man, with a big sound. Influenced by amongst others Lonnie Mack, Jimmie Vaughan, Otis Rush, Albert King, Eric Clapton et al, Wheatbread is in pursuit of that elusive thing that all guitar players worth their salt are after; soul. Preferably turned up to 10. Right on. Wheatbread very nearly made it to the Isle of Man for the 2003 festival but it didn't quite work out. Wheatbread blew us away with his voice, his guitar and his songs. Again, click on Wheatbread's name above for more details.

Smokestack redux for 2004
Click to go to Smokestack's own page
The very welcome return of outstanding UK three-piece SMOKESTACK is confirmed. This will be great news for everyone that saw and heard these three guys in 2003. In a highlight packed 2003 Fest this band stood out and that was some achievement all on its own. So many people have asked if Smokestack will be returning its a relief to now be able to give a definitive "yes". Check 'em out by clciking on their name above, on the Artists button to the above left or by clicking here

Tim Hain
Click to go to Tim's own page
From the deep south - Surrey - TIM HAIN & THE WORX were another very lucky find but sadly, as you will see in the 2004 Gig Report , we didn't get to see Tim and his band as they were stranded in London on an aircraft that eventually was deemed unserviceable and the flight was cancelled. But Tim's Blues credentials can be checked out on the page dedicated to him - click on his name above or on the Artists button above left or on the Programme page .

Emily Druce & Steve Jones
Click to go to Emily & Steve's own page
EMILY DRUCE & STEVE JONES arrived safely on the Island to headline the Bridge and make another very enjoyable appearance down at the Shore Acoustic Stage. They brought their new CD, "songs from the silver band room" , as well as their custom made Jones guitars and a marvellous, festival stunning, repertoire.

Felix Slim & Big Darryl
Click to go to Felix Slim's own page
FELIX SLIM & BIG DARRYL Felix "Slim"and "Big" Darryl Williams came from Spain for the 2004 Festival. Felix is a top Spanish bluesman currently based in Southern Spain and has played with many marvellous musicians. With Darryl, a ragtime guitar specialist amongst other things,
Felix Slim at The Mines 2004
Felix Slim at The Mines Tavern 2004
they played the very well known Cazorla Blues Festival which is the biggest Blues Festival in southern Spain. They also played the Sotogrande Blues Festival in summer 2003 with the Sotogrande set being shown, in its entirety, on San Roque T.V. They played both the Shore and The Bridge Inn as well as making a very well received appearance at The Mines on Festival Sunday in the brilliant sunshine.

Smiling Jack Smith
Click to go to Smilin' Jack's own page
SMILING JACK SMITH Smilin' Jack has worked as an opening act for some of the biggest names in the music business, including B.B. King, John Mayall, Bonnie Raitt, John Hammond,Jr., Charlie Musselwhite, Johnnie Clyde
Smiling Jack Smith gives us a solo taste (at The Shore on the acoustic stage) of his gig with the band later at The Bridge
Copeland and the Reverend Gary Davis and he is coming to Bushyfest in May 2004. Despite our concerns Jack made his connection at John Lennon Airport with time to spare for a beer and made a lot of new friends over the course of the weekend as well as playing some really great sets at The Queens, The Bridge and The Shore

If Watermelon Slim was the outstanding individual performer of the 2004 Festival (possibly the

Molly Brown step into the slot vacated by the stranded Tim Hain & Worx on the Main Stage 2004 and make a very fine job of it too - click to ENLARGE

Molly Brown step into the slot vacated by the stranded Tim Hain & Worx on the Mian Stage 2004
outstanding performer of the six year history of the Festival) with their new extended line-up for 2004 and a commitment to live performances of energy, passion and entertainment Molly Brown were the stars for me when, with no notice whatsoever, they jumped into the Main Stage slot opened up by the stranded Tim Hain and impressed the sell-out audience with their own brand of good-time, feelgood music. They then went off to headline at The Bridge Inn where they seemlessly hit their stride straight away. The following night they headlined the Acoustic
Molly Brown
Click to go to Molly Brown's new page
at the Shore Hotel , where, following a blinding, crowd jumping set from Truman Falls, they stole the show once again. We love Molly Brown . For me they personify the Big Wheel Blues Festival with their 'will do', 'can do' attitude, their determination to have a really great time and a real, committed love for the music, all music.

The Cahonies
Click to go to The Cahonies page
THE CAHONIES Adrian, Kev and Phil the alter egos of The Cahonies were headlining the Queens on Saturday night and made their first appearance on the Bandstand Free Electric Stage in the Riverside Music Room Blues Pavilion on the warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. Most people were outside in the sunshine but they still gave their all and those of us inside got the best deal - mind you, the sound outside was good too.

In addition to the headline acts there were a whole raft of musicians whose contribution to this weekend's feast of music was of crucial importance. In alphabetical order they were:


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    can still be seen in all it's glory by clicking on the button to the top left or by clicking here or on the many links throughout the site. As I always say every year the Programme is very much a changeable feast and often alters and morphs even in the final days before the Fest. But it is usually a very good guide.

    There is always a printed Programme in addition to the web site and this was available since late mid-April 2004 from the same outlets as the tickets.

    Over the years all kinds of superlatives have been bandied about when we have talked talk about the Festival but this year there was one HUGE difference, in a word, the weather. It was unbebloodylievable. Three days of glorious sunshine and warm nights meant that Laxey Town was packed to the boundaries and the gigs and the crowds were just tremendous. To read about them and see loads of pictures click right here or on the links upper left and throughout the site or on one or all of the following:

    2005 FESTIVAL
    There were some oustanding performances around the festival site and some memorable experiences for all of us who were here for the 2004 Festival. But for now, we few backstage, the 2005 Festival must now be paramount in our minds as we begin the pleasurable business of talking to possible bands and musicians, as we start the more tricky task of tracking down sponsors without whom the Festival could not exist and as we commence the not inconsiderable effort of organising venues, gear, the programme, transport, accommodation and all the rest of it. We're looking forward to it too. You bet we are.

    Click here to check the latest Festival Programme

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