Our line up of
international talent is tremendous this year. On Saturday
night, we start with a New Orleans style piano player, Dale
Storr with his band. Dale is a boogie-woogie player of such
skill that Richard Hawley said he’s “one of the best New
Orleans piano players I have ever seen!”. He comes to the
Island with a brass section that we are really looking
forward to hearing the echoes of Professor Longhair and Dr
John in their performance.
Next up, is the Martin Harley Band. Martin plays a
Weissenborn lap steel guitar and balalaika and brings a
double bass player and percussionist with him. His music is
best described as a mixture of Delta Blues with Gypsy Jazz.
His latest album “Drumrolls for Somersaults” is one of the
best blues albums we have heard in a long time, with great
songs and lovely three part harmonies.
Our headliner for Saturday night is Eugene Hideaway Bridges.
We have been trying to book Eugene for the Big Wheel Blues
Festival for many years but he has never been in the UK at
the right time. This year he is touring the UK in April and
we jumped at the opportunity to book him! Described as a
mixture of young BB King and Sam Cooke, his soul drenched
voice is a revelation. His CD Live in San Antonio has been
nominated for a 2011 Blues Music Award in the Soul Blues
Album Category and Eugene has also been nominated for Soul
Blues Artist. He has been performing since the age
of five, and is sure to kick up a storm with his six piece
Sunday evening, we are pleased to give a local band the
opportunity to grace the main stage. The Soul Suspects will
open the show and they’re a band that gets better each time
we see them.
We are delighted to welcome back to the Island the Grainne
Duffy Band from Dublin. They wowed us two years ago at the
Festival Launch Gig in the Centenary Centre and we were so
impressed we have invited them back to play the main
Festival. Grainne’s version of Etta James classic “I’d
rather go blind” is still a great memory for anyone who
attended that gig.
For our Sunday night headliner, we have the wonderful James
Hunter – a man who has breathed new life into the styles of
Stax and Tamla Motown but with his own original twist.
James’s album “People Gonna Talk” reached number 1 on the
American Billboard Blues Chart and was also Grammy
Listening to James you will hear why Van Morrison refers to
him as “one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in
British R&B and Soul”. Anyone who enjoys Blues, Soul and R&B
music will find James Hunter absolutely the best!