NEWS

 

26th August 2019 : 2019 UKBlues Challenge - Contestant Number 5 Chosen

Today, the Jessica Foxley Stages organisation made this announcement:


''Congratulations to Ashley SherlockLittle TriggersAlba Rosa and Charli White, our four Jessica Foxley Stages bands. Their excellent performances at this weekend's Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival proved, once again, that the Blues has a very bright future.

It was great to see such diversity of style among this year's pick of the best young Blues artists in the UK. The feedback we received from their audiences would make their Mums and Dads very proud. Many thanks to our panel of judges for choosing so well.

The main aim of the Jessica Foxley Stages project is to provide outstanding opportunities for young musicians to perform at this festival. Job done.

We also have the honour of nominating one of the bands to take part in the 6th UKBlues Challenge. We are therefore absolutely delighted to announce that Little Triggers is our nomination for this year. This Liverpool-based four piece exploded onto the Hippodrome stage and grasped their audience's attention for every second of their varied, high-energy set.

Their professionalism was tested when the bass guitarist lost a string in the second number. But they didn't miss a beat and, if anything, it only added to the excitement of their electrifying performance!

We wish them the very best of luck with the UK Blues Challenge at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton on 14th September. They will be up against four other contenders.''

And so, the final line-up for the 2019 UKBlues Challenge is revealed as Little Triggers join Ash Wilson, Connor Selby, Crossfire Blues Band and The Achievers on stage at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton on Saturday September 14th 2019.

Little Triggers

https://www.littletriggersband.com/

Here is a band unashamed of brandishing the rock ‘n’ roll label, bringing a raw quality to the genre.
The band is a formidable live force. Led by singer and guitarist Tom Hamilton – a frontman who could easily find his way into future pop textbooks as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s infamous kindred spirits – Little Triggers have mastered the rock ‘n’ roll art-form while living up to the demands of its lifestyle.
Combining wit with an unpredictable charm, their music provides a fitting rebuke to the times; experience the band live to fully comprehend their true prowess.

‘Rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hope for the future’ The Culture Journal

Little Triggers offer hope for something fresh, original, but more importantly, for something bold and brash in today’s music scene.. Here is a band unashamed of brandishing the rock n’ roll label, bringing a raw quality to the genre that is much missed in modern music.

Choosing to evade the tiresome indie platitudes of their contemporaries, Hamilton and co have mastered the fine art of balancing nostalgia with innovation.

Combining wit with an unpredictable charm, their music provides a fitting rebuke to the times, and their once adolescent fury has now morphed into a measure of healthy aggression. Their live shows are all the better as a consequence, and though the band has always transferred well onto record, like all the greatest bands, Little Triggers need to be experienced live if one is to fully comprehend their true prowess. Recent appearances both home and abroad are a testament to the bands' fiery live performances.

https://youtu.be/Vj8y_5IfiB4 

Our thanks go to the Jessica Foxley Stages Project for, once again, working with the UKBlues Federation to facilitate the selection of a band to participate in the UKBlues Challenge.

We look forward to welcoming Little Triggers to the 2019 UKBlues Challenge in a few weeks time.

The winners of this year's UKBlues Challenge will follow in highly successful footsteps of the Kyla Brox Quartet, winners of the 2019 European Blues Challenge and be invited to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.

Tickets for the 2019 UKBlues Challenge are on sale via Seetickets.com - https://www.seetickets.com/event/2019-ukblues-challenge/bluefunk-rhythm-blues-club-poynton-cheshire/1392483

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


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20th August 2019 : UKBlues - History of British Blues

The UKBlues Federation is pleased to see that the great resource that is the Federation hosted British Blues Archive was quoted in a recent article on the 'udiscovermusic' website about a new stage show based upon the life of the legendary Son House which played in May & June in Rochester, New York.

Author Paul Sexton, quoted an interview with Eric Clapton published as part of the UKBlues/British Blues Archive – https://www.ukblues.org/history-of-british-blues-interviews-eric-clapton/

You can read the full article on udiscovermusic.com here: https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/new-stage-show-son-house-influenced-clapton-muddy-et-al/

The British Blues Archive contains a wealth of interviews, articles etc. about the history of blues in the UK and the musicians and others who helped make that history.

You can browse this unique resource at https://www.ukblues.org/history-of-british-blues/

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12th August 2019 : New Board Members

We are very pleased to announce that Paul Long and Oliver Carpenter have both accepted invitations to join the Board of the UKBlues Federation.

Both Paul and Oliver bring considerable experience to the Board with both being working musicians as well as having a deep and lengthy involvement in the management and organisation of successful large scale events, talents and experience which will be invaluable to the UKBF.

Paul was recently elected Chair of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association where he replaced the late Dave Raven, also a UKBF Board member until his untimely death. Paul is looking to build upon the natural synergy between the IBBA & the UKBF to see the two organisations working together to support and promote blues in the UK.

Oliver is well known and respected for his work with blues festivals over the years including, latterly, the very successful Upton Blues Festival.

We are also very pleased to announce that later in the year, Nick Westgarth will be joining the UKBF Board, bringing with him his skills and experience as the organiser, manager, promoter and almost everything else of the Carlisle Rock & Blues Festival.

We believe that these three additions to the Board will help the UKBF grow and will give us a much stronger management team, especially in the areas of the UKBlues Challenge and the UKBlues Awards, as well as giving more capacity and relieving the existing Board members of a massive workload.

We very much welcome Paul, Oliver and Nick ‘on board’ and look forward to working with them as part of the team.

You can read more about Paul & Oliver as well as the other members of the Board at https://www.ukblues.org/the-board/

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25th June 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - Tickets NOW ON SALE

Click here for interview with The Achievers

Click here for interview with Ash Wilson

Click here for interview with Crossfire Blues Band

Click here for interview with Connor Selby

As already advised, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will be taking place at the Bluefunk Rhythm and Blues Club, Poynton, Cheshire on Saturday 14th September 2019.

Doors open at 18.30 and the evening will close at around 23.15.

Tickets priced at £17.50 (plus booking fee) seated and £15.00 (plus booking fee) standing are now on sale and can only be purchased via SeeTickets.com at this link:

https://www.seetickets.com/event/2019-ukblues-challenge/bluefunk-rhythm-blues-club-poynton-cheshire/1392483

Demand for tickets is already very high and there is a very limited number of tickets available so, to avoid disappointment, we do urge you to get yours now before they are all gone.

We very much look forward to seeing you at the 2019 UKBlues Challenge and again urge you to buy your tickets now! When they are gone they are gone!

Ashwyn Smyth
Founder & Chair
UKBlues Federation


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10th June 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - Contestent No. 5 will be ....

Over the last four weeks we have announced the first four bands chosen by the UKBlues Challenge nomination panel to participate in the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton.

This week, we bring you details of the four bands chosen by Jessica Foxley Stages to take part in the 30th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne which takes place between 23rd & 25th August 2019 and sees some 170 acts playing on 22 stages over the three days.

In alphabetical order the four bands are:

Charli White


photo Gemma Burleigh 

https://www.musicglue.com/charliwhite/

Charli White is an upcoming singer/songwriter currently based in Manchester. In the few short years of her career she has supported acclaimed artists from both sides of the Atlantic including multi-award winning USA star Willie Nile, Gibson endorsees Xander and the Peace Pirates and Xtra Mile Recording’s The Lion and the Wolf. She and her band also made it through to the Top 6 of Firestone's Road to the Main Stage Competition, supported by BBC Radio 1's Abbie McCarthy.

Possessing an undeniable enigmatic darkness and sensibility, Charli’s work has already caught the attention of the BBC Manchester, who have hailed her ‘a wonderful voice’. With a relentless curiosity and determination that has led her to command some of Manchester’s most prestigious stages such as the much-lauded Gorilla and SoundControl, and with the release of her debut single '?????????' in early July, it is clear that Charli's work is a far cry from the softness and submissiveness that is all too often associated with female singer/songwriters. It is hard to believe such a huge force hails from such a small town.

“Charli is gorgeous to the bone. She has an ability to brighten anyone’s day and put compulsory smiles on faces. If her pen continues to be as prolific as it has been I think we are looking forward to the birth of some classic tunes. It is coming as sure as night follows day.” – Garry White, Promoter, Event Organiser, Contemporary Music Correspondent MEN Media Group.

''?????????' is a wonderful demonstration of White's more expansive sound, a beautifully emotive rock ballad which finds that perfect sweet spot between sweepingly anthemic and intimate confessional'' - Manchester Evening News

See and hear Charli singing 'Sanctuary' here

Little Triggers

https://www.littletriggersband.com/

Here is a band unashamed of brandishing the rock ‘n’ roll label, bringing a raw quality to the genre.

The band is a formidable live force. Led by singer and guitarist Tom Hamilton – a frontman who could easily find his way into future pop textbooks as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s infamous kindred spirits – Little Triggers have mastered the rock ‘n’ roll art-form while living up to the demands of its lifestyle.

Combining wit with an unpredictable charm, their music provides a fitting rebuke to the times; experience the band live to fully comprehend their true prowess.

‘Rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hope for the future’ The Culture Journal

Little Triggers offer hope for something fresh, original, but more importantly, for something bold and brash in today’s music scene.. Here is a band unashamed of brandishing the rock n’ roll label, bringing a raw quality to the genre that is much missed in modern music.

Choosing to evade the tiresome indie platitudes of their contemporaries, Hamilton and co have mastered the fine art of balancing nostalgia with innovation.

Combining wit with an unpredictable charm, their music provides a fitting rebuke to the times, and their once adolescent fury has now morphed into a measure of healthy aggression. Their live shows are all the better as a consequence, and though the band has always transferred well onto record, like all the greatest bands, Little Triggers need to be experienced live if one is to fully comprehend their true prowess. Recent appearances both home and abroad are a testament to the bands' fiery live performances.

https://youtu.be/Vj8y_5IfiB4

The Ashley Sherlock Band

http://ashleysherlock.com/

Ashley Sherlock is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter citing his inspirations as Jeff Buckley, The Marcus King Band, The Cadillac Three, Radiohead and Chris Stapleton.

His original material is recognised internationally via a management contract with Beanix Entertainment (US).

Working alongside producer Kenneth Nixon (of Framing Hanley fame) Ashley’s newly released material, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, presents a modern outlook on the sounds of the deep south; combined with his fantastic vocal range and songwriting style.

This trio’s fantastic blend of gritty blues, falsetto vocal melodies and a jazz-funk-inspired rhythm section promises a unique sound with Charlie Rachael-Kay on bass and Shannon Killarney on drums.

https://youtu.be/-QEL_vVSQF0

Ronnie Cook & Friends

https://www.facebook.com/ronniemcook/

Falmouth-based Ronnie Cook and Friends create compelling, captivating music that draws on soul, blues, jazz, funk and R&B influences from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and BB King, Ronnie Cook's music is a combination of vintage and contemporary styles, all with a soulful feel.

Combining Ronnie’s charismatic, silky vocals with slick and stylish songwriting and production, the band combine vintage and contemporary styles to craft a sound that oozes charm, has a soulful feel and demands to be heard live.

https://youtu.be/oCWJHXRcPuA 

One of these four bands will be selected by representatives of Jessica Foxley Stages, based upon their performance at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne, to join Ash Wilson, Connor Selby, Crossfire Blues Band and The Achievers on stage at the 2019 UKBlues Challenge on Saturday 14th September 2019.

Our thanks go to the Jessica Foxley Stages Project for, once again, working with the UKBlues Federation to facilitate the selection of a band to participate in the UKBlues Challenge.

The winners of this year's UKBlues Challenge will follow in highly successful footsteps of the Kyla Brox Quartet, winners of the 2019 European Blues Challenge and be invited to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.

Tickets for the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will be going on sale in a few weeks time and, at the same time, we will be releasing more details about the event.

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


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3rd June 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - Fourth Contestant Announcement

Following our announcements over the last three weeks revealing the first three contestants in the 2019 UKBlues Challenge we are very pleased to announce that the fourth participants are The Achievers who say of their involvement with the UKBlues Challenge:

"We would be thrilled to represent the UK in the International and European Blues Challenges, its such an amazing opportunity and we're so grateful to be chosen as a finalist."

The Achievers are one of the most original and exciting new bands in British Blues/Roots music and their performances - with four-part harmonies, joyful melodies and infectious dancing rhythms have been leaving audiences across the UK and Europe wide-eyed and elated.

Some call it 'Rhythm & Blues', some call it 'Roots' but The Achievers call their music 'Dance Floor Gospel' - a soulful message of Good News and Truth for the modern age. Their unique approach is distinctly British, referencing trusted Blues and Americana traditions while recognising the time and place in which they find themselves. Sure, their song-craft winks at Chess Records, CCR and The Band but their base in the artistic and industrial heart of South West England keeps them grounded in reality.

Their dynamic and engaging performances fly by in a haze of movement, laughter and musicianship and their stage-craft and camaraderie invites audiences to let go and get involved. There's no one quite like The Achievers and there's never been a better time to see and hear what they do.

Their debut CD, released last year, was a big hit with the members of the UK's Independent Blues Broadcasters Association and their listeners and appeared prominently in the annual airplay chart.

They have just finished recording their follow-up CD which will be released later this year.

Catch The Achievers in action here 

Kyla Brox - Winner of the European Blues Challenge 2019

As already announced, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton, to whom our sincerest thanks go.



At this event five bands will compete with the winner being invited to go on to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.


Four of the contestants have been selected through the recent nomination process detailed above whilst the fifth will be one of the four bands chosen by Jessica Foxley Stages to take part in the 30th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne which takes place between 23rd & 25th August 2019 and sees some 170 acts playing on 22 stages over the three days.


We will be announcing how you can get your tickets to attend the 2019 UKBlues Challenge together with more details about the event very soon.

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


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27th May 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - Third Contestant Announcement

Following our announcements over the last two weeks revealing two contestants in the 2019 UKBlues Challenge we are very pleased to announce that the third participant is the Crossfire Blues Band who say of their involvement with the UKBlues Challenge:

''We (Crossfire) are extremely honoured and excited to be participating in this year's UKBlues Challenge and are very much looking forward to preforming our latest original material.
Best wishes
Alice, Marcus, Graham and Eddie''

Crossfire Blues Band is a charged and captivating live show of old-school blues mixed with elements of soul, funk and jazz, rapidly gaining traction on the UK live music scene since the band’s conception.

Crossfire was formed in 2017 by Marcus Praestgaard. Nominated in the FORM UKBlues Awards Young Blues Artist of the Year category in 2018, Marcus has been described as an old-blues soul in the body of a young, accomplished guitarist. Marcus is influenced by B.B. King, Albert Collins, Robben Ford, Jimmy Herring and Larry Carlton.

The band is fronted by young powerhouse vocalist Alice Armstrong, whose large vocal range, emotive delivery and big stage presence guarantees a memorable performance. Alice’s style is heavily influenced by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker and Donny Hathaway.

Graham Walker provides the solid groove on drums, delivered with the sure handedness of a man who has worked with the likes of Gary Moore, B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins, Mick Jagger and George Harrison.

Completing the line up is the brilliant ‘Steady’ Eddie Masters on bass. Eddie’s vibrant and distinctive style has shared the stage with artists including Jet Harris, Tom Jones, Wanda Jackson, Lonnie Donegan Band, Rod Argent, Bad Influence, Mick Clarke and Nigel Bagge.

Catch Crossfire Blues Band in action here

Kyla Brox - Winner of the European Blues Challenge 2019 


As already announced, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton, to whom our sincerest thanks go.

At this event five bands will compete with the winner being invited to go on to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.

Four of the contestants have been selected through the recent nomination process whilst the fifth will be one of the four bands chosen by Jessica Foxley Stages to take part in the 30th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne which takes place between 23rd & 25th August 2019 and sees some 170 acts playing on 22 stages over the three days.

We will be announcing how you can get your tickets to attend the 2019 UKBlues Challenge together with more details about the event very soon

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


______________________________________________

20th May 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - Second Contestant Announcement

Following last week's announcement of the first contestant in the 2019 UKBlues Challenge we are very pleased to announce that the second participant is Connor Selby who says of his involvement with the UKBlues Challenge:

“I am extremely grateful to be able to participate in such a prestigious challenge and am really looking forward to the chance to be able to expose my music to a wider audience”

Connor Selby has been a guitar and music fanatic for as long as he can remember - first picking up the instrument at around age 8. Since that day Connor has been honing and developing his craft for almost the entire duration of his life.

Musically Connor takes inspiration from most of the British players that emerged in the 1960s citing Eric Clapton as his first and current major influence, putting particular emphasis on his output with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and Cream.

Connor has also studied the guitar playing of other players such as Paul Kossoff, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and of course, BB King, Albert King and Freddie King .

Although blues based guitar music has been the most prominent style in terms of Connor's listening throughout the years, his musical taste extends much further and deeper than just the blues. Connor's listening also includes a variety of Folk, Soul, R and B, Gospel and Country and Western including the music of Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Nick Drake and many others.

Connor describes these artists in particular as having a huge impact on the way he listens to and thinks about music. The young British bandleader-guitarist-vocalist writes his own songs and builds on his very diverse influences. His soulful vocal style and his distinctive guitar playing evokes the British blues boom of the 1960’s.

​Connor released his acclaimed debut album 'Made Up My Mind' on 3ms Music in September of 2017.

Recently selected to appear at Wembley Stadium supporting The Who, Kaiser Chiefs, Imelda May and Eddie Vedder in July 2019, Connor Selby is definitely a rising star. Having already played a number of iconic venues such as the 100 Club and Borderline, and having clocked up numerous festival appearances, Connor consistently captivates audiences and is making quite a name for himself.

Watch Connor Selby  in action: ​

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PvkEvhTxDI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJVBL6fDXTQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a1kMQy5Oes

Kyla Brox - Winner of the European Blues Challenge 2019

 As already announced, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton, to whom our sincerest thanks go.

At this event five bands will compete with the winner being invited to go on to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.

Four of the contestants have been selected through the recent nomination process detailed above whilst the fifth will be one of the four bands chosen by Jessica Foxley Stages to take part in the 30th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne which takes place between 23rd & 25th August 2019 and sees some 170 acts playing on 22 stages over the three days.

We will be announcing how you can get your tickets to attend the 2019 UKBlues Challenge together with more details about the event very soon.

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


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13th May 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019 - First Contestant Announcement

And so, following the massive success enjoyed by the Kyla Brox Quartet being declared winners of the 2019 European Blues Challenge, the road to 2020 starts with the announcement of the first band selected by the nomination panel which saw over 700 members of the UK blues community being invited to submit the names of three bands/artists who they thought would best represent UK blues at the 2020 International and European Blues Challenges.

As already announced, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton, to whom our sincerest thanks go.

At this event five bands will compete with the winner being invited to go on to represent the UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2020 and the European Blues Challenge in Zaandam in the Netherlands in April 2020.

Four of the contestants have been selected through the recent nomination process detailed above whilst the fifth will be one of the four bands chosen by Jessica Foxley Stages to take part in the 30th Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne which takes place between 23rd & 25th August 2019 and sees some 170 acts playing on 22 stages over the three days.

Over the next five weeks we will be introducing you to the four already selected contestants - in alphabetical order - and the four Jessica Foxley Stages candidates.

Starting at the beginning of the alphabet is Ash Wilson who, when he learned of his selection commented:

'‘Wow this is all rather exciting!! Let me first say thank you so much to the UKBlues Federation for considering me to represent the UK by inviting me to this challenge. I am very excited to be part of this prestigious event that has helped countless artists raise their profile since its inception.’

Introduced to the blues by his parents listening to artists such as Muddy Waters, Son House, Eric Clapton and Albert King, Ash’s ambition at just 14 years old was to become a great artist like his heroes.  At 16, he co-founded East Midlands based blues band, The Melt and during the following three years of touring and opening for such acts as Walter Trout, Mountain, Doctor Feelgood and The Animals, the band released their critically acclaimed “self titled” album which was voted debut album of the year by Blues in Britain magazine.

At 17 Ash was already a gifted guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and a few years later in his early 20s, he  decided to join Djune, which featured his brother Phil Wilson, (Laurence Jones, Scott Mckeon, Sean Webster), on drums, Greg Smith, (Sean Webster) on bass and Robert Patchett on guitar.

After further developing his rare and distinctive song writing, guitar and singing skills Ash wrote and recorded tracks featured in films by “Wavelength”, Europe’s biggest surfing magazine. These opportunities led to Djune performing with Ocean Colour Scene, The Kooks and Pigeon Detectives.

After taking a break, Ash returned to live performance with alternative rock band Infamous Vampires which was co-founded with his brother, Phil, to provide a canvas for them to indulge in a darker setting and delve into a more complex place both lyrically and musically. The band’s  self titled album was released in May 2014. Although the project was not a serious outfit it did see the birth of Ash’s writing relationship with his brother Phil.

Later in that year, Ash became a full time member of the Sean Webster Band, working both as a rhythm and lead player and transforming both Sean’s live set and the well received album “See it Through”

In 2016, Ash was asked to join Jesse Davey’s (The Hoax) Big Blues Band, co-writing with Jesse and singing the song “The Revelator" from the “Big Blues Album” which came 3rd in the 2016 British Blues Awards’ Blues Album of the Year Category. The album also featured blues greats Hugh Coltman,  Ian Siegal, Pete Gage, Scott McKeon, Sam Bratley, Phil Wilson and Mark Barret.

With all this outside activity, Ash had never written a solo album, but while honing his skills as a guitarist, songwriter and singer, he stockpiled ideas and songs he'd written for himself as well for Sean Webster, The Melt and Jesse Davey. He selected his own songs and some co-written with his brother for his debut solo album ‘Broken Machine’ which was released in 2017 to great critical acclaim.

The album brought Ash to a new audience and also lead to him playing a support gig in London with New York Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee, Sari Schorr, followed by a support tour with South African guitar virtuoso Dan Patlansky. The exposure received both from these gigs and online reviews of the album led Ash to undertake  his own tour of the UK, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Late in 2017 Ash was invited to become a full time member of the Sari Schorr band who was signed to Manhaton Records and ready to record a follow up to the runaway success of her debut album ‘Force or Nature’ and the opportunity to tour around the world during the course of 2018 was one he could not refuse!

photo Geoff Oldfield

Ash continues to write new material for his follow up album as well as working with Sari Schorr appearing on her recent released acclaimed follow up record as well as touring extensively around the world both as part of Sari’s band and as a solo artist.

Watch Ash Wilson in action here

We will be announcing how you can get your tickets to attend the 2019 UKBlues Challenge together with more details about the event very soon

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation,


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25th April 2019 : Kyla Brox's Reflections

Read Kyla Brox’s reflections upon her involvement in the UK, European and International Blues Challenges - click here

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7th April 2019 : 9th European Blues Challenge, Punta Delgada, Azores, Portugal 5-6 April 2019

 

They did it... flew the flag, sung the Blues and celebrated. Congratulations to Kyla Brox and her band of wonderful musicians.

On Saturday 6th April 2019, the Kyla Brox Quartet, representing the UK, won the 9th European Blues Challenge organised by the European Blues Union and the Santa Maria Blues Festival in the wonderful setting of the Coliseu Micaelense in Ponta Delgada.

photo Barbara Newman - The Blues Foundation

Kyla, Dan, Paul & Mark were hugely popular winners but that should not detract from the fact that there were a number of other very good bands competing.

Second were Norway’s Geir Bertheussen Blues Express with The Netherland’s Dynamite Blues Band a popular third.

Congratulations must go to everyone involved in making this great event happen but special congratulations to Kyla and her guys for doing us proud. This is the fourth time that the UKBlues Federation has run the selection process to choose a band to go to the EBC and the second time the UK has won!!

We are also immensely proud of Kyla and thank her for dedicating both her set at the EBC and her win to our late friend and colleague, Dave Raven.

As part of the ‘prize’ for winning, the band will receive invites to play at nine major festivals around Europe.

Click here for a selection of Kyla Brox Quartet photos courtesy Christophe Losberger

Click here for a selection of Kyla Brox Quartet photos courtesy Kathy Wood

As already announced, the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton. and we will be introducing the four contestants selected through the recent nomination process very soon.

More details about the event will also be announced soon.
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19th March 2019 : DAVE RAVEN - Book of Condolences

On Thursday 14th March 2019 our dear friend Dave Raven, sadly lost his battle with cancer.

The UKBlues Federation has been deeply touched by the hundreds of tributes to and memories of Dave that have appeared across Facebook.

To acknowledge Dave’s greatly varied work supporting and promoting the Blues in UK and Europe, the UKBlues Federation has set up a digital book of condolences at https://www.forevermissed.com/dave-raven/#about where you can share your memories and stories about Dave so that we can create an archive dedicated to Dave and his work.

If you have already posted on Facebook, perhaps you could take time to visit this book of condolences and share your post there.

Thank you.

 

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16th March 2019 : R.I.P. DAVE RAVEN

 

On Thursday 14th March 2019 our dear friend, colleague and former Treasurer of the UKBlues Federation sadly lost his battle with cancer.

Since then there have been hundreds of tributes paid on social media and by e-mails by friends, musicians, radio hosts, agents, PR people, journalists, record companies, blues fans, just about anybody who loved Dave.

Everybody who knew Dave, whether digitally or personally, will miss him, his great joie de vivre, his positivity, his friendship.

You can read the UKBlues Federation’s initial tribute to him here - https://bit.ly/2UDoal9

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10th February 2019 : UKBlues Challenge 2019

The UKBlues Federation is very pleased to announce that the 2019 UKBlues Challenge will take place on Saturday 14th September 2019 at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Poynton. More details about the event will be announced soon.

Garry White, promoter of the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club: ‘‘The team at Bluefunk Rhythm and Blues Club feels honoured and extremely excited at being invited to host The UK Blues Challenge 2019. We look forward to welcoming blues fans from around the country to our club.  Last year’s fantastic event at Worthing Pier moved the bar up to a level that we are eager to challenge ourselves to match.’’

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of the UKBlues Federation; ‘’We are immensely grateful to Garry White and his team at the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club for the great support they are giving to blues in the UK and to the UKBlues Federation and we are particularly pleased to be bringing the Challenge to the North West of England and to a venue that has such a great reputation and a very supportive and knowledgeable audience.’’

The initial nomination process to help the UKBlues Federation select the participants in this year’s UKBlues Challenge is currently underway and if you have not yet submitted your nominations, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KKRJMX5 to do so.

The 4 available acts achieving the top scores after this process is complete will be invited to participate in the 6th UK Blues Challenge.

As has been the case for several years the UKBlues Federation is offering one of the bands playing at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne under the Jessica Foxley Stages banner, the opportunity to take part in the 2019 UKBlues Challenge.

The band winning this great opportunity will be chosen by the Jessica Foxley Stages team based upon their performance at the Festival which takes place between the 23rd & 25th August 2019.

As in previous years, the Challenge contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the European Blues Challenge.

The winner on the night will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2020 European Blues Challenge in The Netherlands and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

If you have any queries or wish to contact us for any reason you can do so at challenge@ukblues.org.

Ashwyn Smyth
Chair
UKBlues  Federation

www.ukblues.org

The UKBlues Federation (UKBF) is an Active Member of the European Blues Union and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation.

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15th January 2019 : UKBlues Awards 2019 Cancelled

The UKBlues Federation is disappointed to have to announce that the 2019 FORM UKBlues Awards will not now take place. The reasons for this are two-fold.

Over a period of more than two months, we have been seeking to finalise a hire contract with Preston Guild Hall (PGH).  After a number of redrafts, the final document supplied by PGH still contained a number of errors but, more significantly, sought to impose upon the UKBlues Federation and its Board members liabilities that went far wider than common law and against which we were not reasonably able to obtain insurance protection. Having sought a legal review which broadly confirmed our concerns, we had no option but to cancel the proposed hire of PGH for the Awards event on Saturday 27th April 2019.

We have worked hard to try to source a suitable alternative venue which is both available and feasible but these efforts have proved unsuccessful .

In order to identify the five finalists in the various Award categories, we issued an invitation to a panel numbering more than 750 people drawn from across the blues spectrum in the UK to submit their nominations in 12 of the 20 award categories. The response to this invitation has, frankly, been pitiful and of such a disappointingly low level that we are not in a position to put forward credible finalists in these categories.

By the closing date of the nomination period – 23.59 on the 14th January 2019 – less than 13% of those invited had submitted nominations!

In the regional categories, response rates ranged from a single nomination to a maximum just under 13%, whilst categories such as Under the Radar, Innovation and Lifetime Contribution were similarly abysmally supported with single figure numbers of nominations.

By contrast, the Club/Venue category, the only one open to the blues public at large, attracted over 200 nominations for some 24 different venues!

The UKBF is deeply saddened by having to take this action which we have only done after considerable discussion and thought, a considerable amount of work trying to find ways to avoid doing so and with very heavy hearts. We set out to create an Awards which had integrity and were open and honest and we believe that our action in cancelling this year’s Awards reflects those values.

It is difficult to put in words what message this sends out about the blues scene in the UK. Of course it means that the blues in the UK will not have a credible awards for 2019, a year in which we had hoped to build on the great success of the inaugural awards and the support that we thought had been engendered thereby.

Perhaps more significantly, it means that direct and indirect sponsorship to a value in excess of £16,000 raised through a great deal of hard work by members of the Federation’s Board and the generosity of the sponsors has been lost.

Whilst some of this money would have been used to cover the costs of the Awards event, a large proportion would have been used to provide much needed financial support to the Federation’s other activities including providing funding to support the UK’s representative at the International and European Blues Challenges and various other initiatives including those supporting and encouraging young and emerging artists.

In this respect we would like to thank most sincerely all those who agreed to provide sponsorship for the Awards:

FORM Fit Out, Blues in Britain, the Lancashire Blues Archive, Digital Blues, Blues in the South, The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Blues Matters!, John Cee Stannard, the New Crawdaddy Blues Club. EarlyBlues.com, Raven & Blues, Colourblind Blues Show, Bluefunk Club, Poynton, Lesley & Terry Marshall, The Meeting Room, Elland, Jason Elliott & Paddy Maguire, Big House Blues Bar, Darwen, Red Pepper Promotions, Edinburgh Blues Club, Mid Wales R&B Club, Blues at Woodlands and Upton Blues Festival.

The support and generosity of these individuals and organisations is greatly appreciated.

Looking forward, we plan to have a UKBlues Awards in place for 2020 but with a significantly different nomination process which we hope will be supported to a far greater extent than has been the case in 2019.

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30th December 2018 : UNIQUE KYLA BROX FUND RAISER GIG AT THE BLUEFUNK CLUB, POYNTON

The fund raising campaign to get Kyla and her band to Memphis and The Azores for the International and European Blues Challenges put in place by the UKBlues Federation, culminated on Friday 28th December 2018 with a very special gig promoted by the Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club in Poynton. Alan White from UKBlues was there and you can see and read more here.



Photos courtesy Alan White

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14th December 2018 : Mike Lightfoot

UKBlues Federation is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mike Lightfoot from a heart attack.

Mike, an ardent supporter of the blues with a vast knowledge of the genre, will be missed by many. His support for UKBlues Federation has always been valued as our first Treasurer.

His passing will be felt by everyone his presence has touched over the years, beyond music as a passionate Trade Unionist and an unswerving and loyal fan of Southend United.

Goodbye Mike, you will be truly missed.

The board and all our members send our heartfelt condolences to Mike's family and many friends.

The photo was taken October 2015 at the first UKBlues Challenge.

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6th December 2018 : Be part of the selection process for the 2019 FORM UKBlues Awards 

In less than a couple of weeks’ time the nomination process for the 2019 FORM UKBlues Awards will commence.

This will involve a panel of more than 700 people from across the UK blues spectrum being invited to submit their nominations for artists etc. in over half of the categories in the 2019 edition of the Awards.

If you are already on that panel you will have received an e-mail telling you so and, of course, if you are a member of the UKBlues Federation you are also automatically included on the panel.

But for those of you who do not fall into either of those categories and feel that you would like to be considered for the nomination panel just drop us an e-mail at [email protected] giving us your name, address and telephone number together with a few words explaining why you would like to be part of the nomination process. Please note that to join the nomination panel you must be resident in the UK.

Although we do not undertake to accept every application, we very much hope to welcome you to the nomination panel so that the finalists in the various categories in the 2019 FORM UKBlues Awards are even more varied than in this year’s Awards.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Find out more about the 2019 FORM UKBlues Awards at www.ukbluesawards.com

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3rd December 2018 : UKBLUES FEDERATION CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN

 

The crowd funding campaign organised by the UKBlues Federation to help with the substantial costs that Kyla Brox and her band face getting to and competing in the International and European Blues Challenges closed on 5th November 2018.

Taking into account the £2,000 donated by UKBlues and private donations, the target of £8,000 was just about achieved and our thanks go to everyone for their generosity.

The Blue Funk Blues Club in Poynton is staging a fund raiser gig featuring Kyla and her superb band on Friday 28th December 2018 and you can find more details at http://bluefunkclub.wixsite.com/blues

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1st December 2018 : 35th International Blues Challenge, January 22 - 26, 2019,  Memphis, TN, USA

 

Blues Foundation plans are underway for an exciting 35th International Blues Challenge! Visit their website to purchase IBC Passes and upgrades along with official 2019 IBC merchandise, and plan your week by checking their event schedule.

Click here for all things IBC

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1st December 2018 : 9th European Blues Challenge, Punta Delgada, Azores, Portugal 5-6 April 2019 - Performing Artists

9th European Blues Challenge, Punta Delgada, Azores, Portugal 5-6 April 2019 - Performing Artists

 

Austria

Somerset Barnard Band

Delta Blues crosses in a scabby way with the Tex-Mex-Aussie-roots of a reckless globetrotter. Somerset Barnard was touring through Australia and the USA before he decided to throw everything away and travel the world.

Somerset can be found playing anywhere from the streets of a Senegalese Village to the stage of an International Festival. His musical adventures have even led him to a play a part in a Bollywood Movie and work as a Sherpa in the Himalayas.

Since 2 years, he is now based in Vienna. His last album ‘The Atlas Moth’, released in February 2016, brings together influences from his four years of travelling. The exciting new album ‘Trains & Churches’ was recorded in January 2018 together with Austria's music greats like Ernst Molden, Marlene Lacherstorfer und Ivo Thomann, all in analog at the Cselley Mühle in Burgenland, Austria.

Somerset Barnard - vocals, guitar

Marlene Lacherstorfer - bass

Ivo Thomann - drums

John Williams - keyboards

https://www.somersetbarnard.com/

 

Belgium

Black Cat Biscuit

One day, everything comes together…

Mark (Monday Lovers, Six-pack) and Yasser (Six-Pack) played music together for as long as anyone can remember. Thanks to their daughters, Patrick (Big Mama's Kitchen, Elmore D, Rhythm Bombs) got to know Yasser, his fellow villager, better. Patrick on the other hand was musically linked to Stanley (Dr. Rhythm, Phil Bee & The Buzztones, Love Veins, Rhythm Bombs) and during guest appearances in their shows, Jeffrey (Belgium’s got Talent, Festeyn) turned out to be more than ready for following the drumming footsteps of his father. In 2015 it all came together and the band Black Cat Biscuit was born.

No well-trodden paths or worn out covers with Black Cat Biscuit, but a surprising, sometimes foxy cocktail of fresh songs, marinated in a special gumbo hot sauce, brought by five driven musicians! Black Cat Biscuit plays a conjuring gig that you should not miss, after having seen it, nothing will ever be the same!

Bart 'Yasser' Arnauts: lead vocals, guitar

Patrick ‘P. Daddy Alley’ Indestege: backing vocals,  double bass, el. bass, washboard

Jeffrey 'Jr' Gijbels: drums

Stanley Patty: lead guitar

Mark 'Mighty Mark' Sepanski: backing vocals, blues harp

www.blackcatbiscuit.com

 

Croatia

Tomislav Goluban Band

Tomislav Goluban, Croatian blues musician, composer, harmonica player and a singer, is quite unique by his expression. With his passion, sense of humour and catchy appearance, he can really afford your audience an interesting and original show. He's been playing his harp inspired by old school masters like Sonny Terry or Slim Harpo. So far, he has released ten studio albums and won couple of national music awards. His music is combination of old delta, country & Chicago blues mixed with zydeco and world music elements.

Tomislav Goluban: harmonica, vocal

Hrvoje Funda: guitar, backing vocal

Vjekoslav Geček: bass, backing vocal

Krunoslav Zver: keyboards, trumpet

Dragutin Hojsak: drums

www.goluban.com

 

Denmark

Trainman Blues

Trainman Blues is the brainchild of Irish singer/songwriter Richard Farrell and bass player/producer Laust Nielsen. Winner of the 'Best Blues Album' at this year's Danish music awards and winner of the Danish Blues Challenge, they have steadily gathered steam in the last year and a half. Richard is from a classical background with roots in blues, soul and folk while Laust comes from a blues, reggae and hip-hop background, having been a session bass player in the scene for over 15 years. Combining their strengths, Laust's visions and ear for productions with Richard's melodies and lyrics, makes Trainman Blues such a strong force. Joining them in a live setting are guitarist Joachim Svensmark and drummer Thomas Crawfurd (who features on the album). Joachim is one of Denmark's and Copenhagen's best kept secrets, a child prodigy, he was accompanied by his father to jams at the local Blue club Mojo's from the age of 14. He plays his own solo music and recently he has been playing with the likes of Thørbjorn Risager. Thomas is an incredibly musical and thoughtful drummer, creating beautiful layers with the use of different shakers and percussion. He plays with Fried Okra Band and has played with the likes of Gene Taylor.

Richard Farrell - Vocals/Guitar

Laust Nielsen - Bass Guitar

Joachim Svensmark - Guitar

Thomas Crawfurd – Drums

www.trainmanblues.com

 

Estonia

Hilbert’s Problems

Hilbert’s Problems is a blues-rock band from Tallinn, Estonia. Five members of the band are united together with love for old-school blues and rock music. The passion for creating and performing together has kept the band in scene since 2014. Hilbert's Problems play their own songs, aiming to offer listeners a variety of music from mellow blues to passionate rock!

Siim  Türnpuu, vocals

Indrek  Paavo, guitar

Ivo  Lõiv, guitar

Tanel  Assmann, bass

Joonas  Peensalu, drums

www.facebook.com/HilbertsProblemsBand

 

Finland

Jo’ Buddy & Down Home King III feat. Nieminen

Finnish singer-songwriter-guitarist Jo' Buddy celebrates his 37th year on the road and brings to EBC 2019 his trio line up, his long time drummer wizard Down Home King III and the great Sami "Cantor" Nieminen on the Hammond organ completing the jubilee.

They deliver an exceptional Soul'N'Roll Gumbo that has been cooked with all natural ingredients like blues, rhythm & blues, gospel and rock'n'roll.

Years on the road have honed them into a world-class combo with soulful expression and irresistibly greasy grooves. Be ready for this uplifting experience!

Jo' Buddy: Lead vocals, Electric guitar

Sami "Cantor" Nieminen: Hammond organ, backing vocals

Down Home King III: Drums, backing vocals

www.facebook.com/Jo-Buddy-Down-Home-King-III-239856116072317

 

France

Elise & The Sugar Sweets

Elise and The Sugarsweets is a merge of a young talented woman, Elise, and of a strong French Blues Band, The Sugarsweets. Elise and The Sugarsweets join in the musical vein of Blues & Soul and propose a set list organized around original and cover songs. It originality rests on the "organic" sound which emerge from this band, but also the freshness, the energy and the sensibility of its young artist singer, Elise. Elise and The Sugarsweets is the Blues & Soul musical vein!

Blues, Soul, Rhythm and Blues… We could review all the influences of the group.

Here, there are no labels, the music above all! The originality rests on the "organic" sound which gets free of this band but also the freshness and the sensibility of her young singer.

With only a double decade, Elise’s voice and feeling make her one of the most charming singers of the current scene. Artist with multiple influences, she delivers during every gig a mesmerizing and communicative energy.

The Sugar Sweets is a robust combo formed by the guitarist Olivier Raymond, accompanied by his two accomplices, Jérôme and Olivier Ferrie, bass and drum. This trio explored for more than 10 years the French, European and international scenes (stages), from Memphis to Juvisy-sur-Orge, from Riga to Bourg-la-Reine. They are joined in this adventure by Bala Pradal pianist and organist recognized in Rhythm & Blues and the Soul music to make roar out the Hammond organ.

Elise and The Sugar Sweets, it is a clashing cocktail of Blues, Soul and Rhythm & Blues. Uh! For labels it is missed …

Elisa Heyte - Lead Vocals

Olivier Raymond - Guitar & backing vocals

Bala Pradal - Hammond Organ

Olivier Ferrier - Drums

Jérôme Ferrier – Bass

www.sugarsweets.fr

 

Germany

Richie Arndt & Band

Richie Arndt’s big passion is the blues and American roots music. The guitarist, singer and songwriter is to be known all over the place in the German music scene. For four decades he has played with band and solo in the clubs and at festivals all over Europe, has meanwhile published 16 albums and is definitely not a youngster anymore, but an old-stager in the local blues-scene. Amongst others, his experience, talent and presence on stage brought him the honour of “Best Contemporary Blues Artist 2015” and he has been awarded at the “German Blues Award” 2016 (best album) and 2018 (best vocals/male). The newly formed Richie Arndt Band with Sascha Oeing on bass & Peter Weissbarth on drums will represent Germany at the “International Blues Challenge” in Memphis in 2019 and at the “European Blues Challenge” on the Azores 2019. A great honour for this German bluesman from East Westphalia

Richie Arndt - guitar / vocals

Sascha Oeing - bass / backing vocals

Peter Weissbarth - drums / backing vocals

Tine Vonhoegen - backing vocals

www.richiearndt.de

 

Greece

Sakis Dovolis Power Trio

Sakis Dovolis is a blues/rock guitar player, singer and songwriter from Greece. Undoubtedly, his name belongs to the list with the best Blues/Rock guitarists in the Balkans. On 2013, Sakis formed his “solo artist’ project named “SD Power Trio”. Combining the fundamentals of Blues with a more aggressive and modern sound, the band is often referred as a heavy blues/rock band. He is also known for their powerful shows and high energy stage appearance, elements that keep the audiences fully satisfied. Sakis was recently signed by the American Recording Label Grooveyard Records NY, and his debut album "Cross The Line" is coming out worldwide on November 23rd

Sakis Dovolis - Guitar, Vocals

Fotis Dovolis - Bass, Back Vocals

Nick Kalivas - Drums, Back Vocals

www.facebook.com/sakisdovolisOfficial

 

Hungary

György Ferenczi and The Rackajam

A Hungarian professional group playing a shockingly interesting fusion of 21st century urban folk music and traditional genres. An indefinite blend of Rock n' Roll, Soul, Blues and of course the band is showcasing many alternatives and remarkable own renditions of their native music.

Rackajam is among the most popular and looked-after acts on the Hungarian and Eastern European scene today! The founder of the band is György Ferenczi whose diatonic harmonica (blues-harp) sound is highly acclaimed across Europe and his instantly recognizable sound and pure style makes every performance a one-of-a-kind experience!

The band's multi-instrumentalists play mostly acoustic instruments, and while respecting tradition they are easily express and reinvent either in the moment or putting hundreds of hours of work to create albums through laying new national standards for Modern Acoustic music!

György Ferenczi, harmonica, violin, vocals

Ádám Apáti, Wurlitzer electronic piano, bass guitar, vocals

Zsolt Pintér, mandolin, vocals

Gábor Bizják, Wurlitzer electronic piano, french horn, vocals

Miklós Jankó, cajon, vocals

www.rackajam.hu

 

Italy

The Drive

Blues and nature addicted, The Drive link the north and the south side of Italy thanks to the fusion of two well- known italian duos: “Angela Esmeralda & Sebastiano Lillo” and “PoorBoys” who play all over from festivals to small clubs, combining passion, energies and skills. They have played together since 2016 and found fertile ground in classics, influenced and inspired by a background full of delta blues, roots, rock and gospel music. Powerful and mesmerizing, The Drive can dig deep and at times they cross genre boundaries

Angela Esmeralda: Vocals

Ste Barigazzi: Vocals, Electric Guitar

Sebastiano Lillo: Electric Guitar

Enry Zanni: Drums

www.facebook.com/deltasoul/

 

Luxembourg

Heavy Petrol

Heavy Petrol was born in 2011 and when Dan Juchem and Steve Richer decided to join the band and after having played blues covers for a few years, they started composing their own songs with their own lyrics.

For the last 7 years, Heavy Petrol has gained a certain reputation in Luxembourg and participated in major Luxembourg Blues festivals such as "Blues Express" and "Blues and Jazz Rallye". They have played for great artists such as Brother Dedge, Ana Popovic, Junior Mack and many others.

They recorded their album "Petrol Train" in 2017.

The sound of Heavy Petrol has been influenced by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter or Joe Bonamassa.

Daniel Juchem (drums)

Daniel Kries (bass)

Gigi Felten (guitar)

Steve Richer (guitar)

Woody (vocals)

Elise Nunes (vocals)

http://heavypetrol.lu

 

Netherlands

The Dynamite Blues Band

The Dynamite Blues Band from The Netherlands will take you on a journey with their raw blues and exuberant live performance. The musicians have played together for over 10 years, so get ready for some great chemistry. Their blues is influenced by Texas and Chicago as well as the more swinging West Coast Blues. They play almost exclusively original songs with the occasional obscure cover from favorites like Sean Costello, Nick Curran or The Red Devils. They’ve released two albums with outstanding reviews, but you really have to see the band live for the real Dynamite-experience!

Wesley van Werkhoven - Bluesharp and singer

Jacob Jan van Duijn - Guitar

Renzo van Leeuwen - Bass

Jan Aandewiel - Drums

www.dynamitebluesband.com

 

Norway

Geir Bertheussen Blues Express

Geir Bertheussen Blues Express is a hard working blues band from the northern parts of Norway. The band performs original songs and covers in the Chicago blues tradition, mixed with some boogie and good old rock n´ roll. The frontman, singer and harmonica player Bertheussen is a true bluesman, who has been into the traditional blues for three decades. He has explored the roots during his visits to Mississippi and the US, where also the band can look back on several recordings and juke joint gigs.

Geir Bertheussen is celebrating a 30 year anniversary as a recording and performing artist in 2018. His band, Blues Express, features Kai-Sverre “Sugar Kay” Fjellberg on guitars, Trond Hansen on the bass, and Kåre “Lefty” Amundsen on drums. In the EBC the line-up will also include keyboard player Rune Karlsen.

Geir Bertheussen: vocal/harmonica

Kai-Sverre Fjellberg: guitar/vocal

Rune Karlsen: keys

Trond Hansen: bass

Kaare Amundsen: drums

www.geirbertheussenbluesexpress.blogspot.com

 

Poland

The Smooth Gentlemen

The Smooth Gentlemen are three veteran musicians from the Polish music scene. Their music is a blend of Blues and Soul. Sometimes smooth sometimes explosive, but always energetic! The band consists of Bartek Szopinski, (acclaimed pianist, Hammond organist, composer, 11 times winner of “Pianist of the year” statuette awarded in the “Blues TOP” survey), Milosz Szulkowski - drums, and Piotr Bienkiewicz - guitar. This combination of musicians is an exciting new band with lots of depth and experience.

Bartek Szopinski, piano, Hammond

Piotr Bienkiewicz, guitar

Milosz Szulkowski, drums

http://smooth-gentlemen.com/

 

Portugal

Delta Blues Riders

Delta Blues Rides are from Oporto and with a truly appealing repertoire, these four musicians reinvent the sonorities that originated the blues (Mississippi) until today, where the constant dialogues between guitar, piano, harmonica and resonator, allied to a strong interaction with the public, make them one of the finest and most complete Blues bands in Portugal, gathering a complete set of Blues traditional instruments: Harp, Piano, Resonator Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass and Double Bass, Drums; ... all in a band with just 4 members!

Considered to be some of the best blues musicians in Portugal, they have played with major international names such as: Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen (New Orleans), Diunna Greenleaf (Texas), Slam Allen (New York), Connie Lush (Uk), Zakiya Hooker (daughter of John Lee Hooker) and Mable John (Ray Charles singer).

Paulo Veloso: lead vocals, piano, acoutic guitar, resonator guitar

Jorge Loura: electric guitar

Ricardo Melo: bass

Miguel Pardal: drums

https://www.facebook.com/deltabluesriders/

 

Romania

Rares Totu’s Midnight Sun

Rares Totu and Cosmin Farcas may work together since 2006 but the story between drummer Adi Tetrade and Rares goes way back to the 80s. Elected Guitar Player of the Year in Romania in 1987 and Best New Guitarist in Hungary in 1992, Rares Totu had always a foot in the blues no matter which way the stylistic winds blew. Along with Adrian Tetrade, one of the most respected musicians in the country, the band is completed by seasoned bass player Alin Neagoe from Tetrade's own pop outfit "The Humans" and long time collaborator Cosmin Farcas on keyboards. Singer Aminda Nomade is one of the best voices around and a captivating front figure.

Aminda Nomade - vocals

Rares Totu - guitar

Cosmin Farcas- keys

Alin Neagoe - bass

Adrian Tetrade – drums

https://www.facebook.com/RaresTotuMidnightSun/

 

Slovakia

Tony Bigmouth Pearson

Tony Bigmouth Pearson (Stefan Uhrinak) is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Slovakia. As a teenager, he spent some time in the USA, the stage name ‘Pearson’ pays homage to his relatives who helped him buy his first electric guitar.

His remarkable originals are greatly influenced by North American blues and acoustic folk and are enhanced by rich baritone vocals. Present day social and political processes are reflected in his lyrics. In many instances he composes musical interpretations of poetry.

In 2017, he was awarded the songwriter's prize for ‘Best Composition’ at the Bratislava Music Competition. In 2018, he won the Slovakian Blues Challenge and is currently touring in Central Europe.

Stefan Uhrinak – guitar and vocals

https://bigmouthpearson.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Spain

Big Yuyu

Big Yuyu was formed in 2006 in Mallorca, Spain, one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. Mallorca is not only known for its tourist appeal, which blossomed in the 60’s, but also because of its vibrant live music scene, where the Blues plays a big role.

Since their inception, the band is proud to say that it´s got more than 3000 hot blues nights under its belt, having played in the best clubs and festivals around Spain, and also touring Germany and Holland. This is a band made up by musicians who love what they do every night, making music with soul and passion.

The rock-solid rhythm section formed by Esteve Huguet on drums and Juan Amaro on bass supports Jordi Álvarez´s unique guitar and vocal skills, filling the air with reminiscences of the legends of the Blues, but always with that personal touch that should give Big Yuyu a hard-earned spot in the European Blues Scene!

The band fourth studio album is a new trip back to the roots, however this time with a great wealth of experience acquired on the road, resulting in a sound unlike other bands: unique, personal, powerful… all showcased in a live show that will thrill everyone

Jordi Alvarez, guitar, vocals

Juan Amaro, bass

Esteve Huguet, drums

https://www.bigyuyu.net/

 

Sweden

Marino Valle Band

Marino Valle has for many years been singing old school Rhythm & Blues and Soul with bands such as Big Band Splash, Gugge Hedrenius Big Blues Band and The Soulmates. Marino Valle Band was formed in the spring of 2017. Marino is accompanied by musicians who played with Peps Persson, Sven Zetterberg, Patricia Page & The Prophets and Franska Trion among others. The band offers swinging up-tempo songs and gorgeous soul music in a mix of original material and covers.

Marino Valle - Vocals and harmonica

Mikael Fahleryd - Electric Bass

Magnus Hjorth - Drums

Henrik ”Pilen” Pilquist - Electric Guitar

Arvid Hill - Keyboards

https://www.facebook.com/marino.valle

 

Switzerland

Manu Hartmann & The City Blues Band

Swiss singer Manu Hartmann is well-known in the local Blues scene of Switzerland. With her expressive voice and impressive stage presence, Manu is attracting much attention since some time (performing with Chicago Dave Blues Band; St. Louis Blues Band; etc. amongst others).

In 2013 Manu teams up with French guitarist Claude Groelly (WAAP; Blues Print) and formed the “Manu Hartmann & the City Blues Band“. Manu and Claude did agree at once... a groovy repertoire, distinguished musicians and a rich brass sound are a must. The piece formation is playing modern urban blues enriched with a lot of soul and funk elements. Their own songs are written by Manu and Claude and relate to the style of Etta James or Dalbert Mc Clinton.

Their first studio album will be released in spring 2019.

Manu Hartmann and her City Blues Band are wowing the audience with their dynamic stage performance every time!

Manu Hartmann vocals

Claude Groelly guitar

Stephan Schätti drums

Denis Flaig Bass

Shanky Wyser keys/organ

Christoph Huber trombone

Thierry Kaufmann saxophone

Marko Frank trumpet

https://www.manuhartmann.ch/

 

United Kingdom

Kyla Brox Quartet

Blues and soul become inextricably entwined in Kyla Brox, whose raw talent has seen her described as “the finest British female blues singer of her generation”. From beginning her career as a teenager in her father’s Blues band, to touring all over the world fronting the mighty Kyla Brox Band, and her nominations in the Best Female Vocalist and English Blues Act categories in the UK Blues Awards 2018, Kyla’s star continues to shine more brightly every year. Her band, featuring the subtle, melodic guitar of Paul Farr and the dynamic rhythm section of Danny Blomeley and Mark Warburton, is the perfect setting for her voice to soar. With the release of her critically acclaimed album, ”Throw Away Your Blues”, Kyla sealed her place as the Queen of British Blues.

Kyla Brox, Vocals/flute

Paul Farr, guitar

Danny Blomeley, bass guitar

Mark Warburton, drums

www.kylabrox.com

 

BANDS PERFORMING ORDER

The 2019 EBC playing order was determined by a raffle during the latest board meeting in Amsterdam:

Friday 5 April

Hungary:                            György Ferenczi and The Rackajam

Portugal:                            Delta Blues Riders

Belgium:                             Black Cat Biscuit

Romania:                           Rares Totu's Midnight Sun

Estonia:                              Hilbert’s Problems

Poland:                               The Smooth Gentlemen

Spain:                                  Big Yuyu

Norway:                              Geir Bertheussen Blues Express

Switzerland:                       Manu Hartmann & the City Blues Band

Germany:                           Richie Arndt Band

France:                                Elise & The Sugar Sweet

Saturday 6 April

Italy:                                    The Drive

Croatia:                               Tomislav Goluban Band

Denmark:                           Trainman Blues

United Kingdom:             Kyla Brox Quartet

Finland:                              Jo’ Buddy & Down Home King III feat. Nieminen

Luxembourg:                     Heavy Petrol

Slovakia:                             Tony Bigmouth Pearson

Greece:                                Sakis Dovolis Power Trio

Netherlands:                      The Dynamite Blues Band

Austria:                                Somerset Barnard Band

Sweden:                              Marino Valle Band

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11th September 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - THE WINNER

What a fabulous evening we had at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September where a great and enthusiastic audience cheered to the rafters when the magnificent Kyla Brox was declared the winner of the 5th UKBlues Challenge and invited to go to represent the UK at both the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 and the European Blues Challenge in The Azores in April 2019.

All five contestants - Greg Coulson Band, Carl North & the Lonely Hearts, Kyla Brox Band, Catfish and Tom C Walker Band. - treated us to a fabulously varied evening of top flight music and all proved that they were worthy of taking part in the Challenge. Congratulations go to all of them on making the event so very special.

But special congratulations to Kyla Brox and her band who we are both proud and pleased to have as the UK's representative at the International and European Blues Challenges next year.

This great photo from Richard Dunning sums it up as four of the five contestants jam in the evening's finale.

But don't take my word for it, read the full story and some great comments from those who were there.

2nd UKBLUES AWARDS

We are delighted to announce that next year's UKBlues Awards will take place at the Preston Guild Hall, Preston on Saturday 27th April 2019 with MC Mike Vernon in charge!!

But keep the whole weekend free as there will be three days of blues gigs and other activities running from Friday 26th through to Sunday 28th including a UKBlues Market on the Saturday afternoon featuring a great networking opportunity and the chance for members of the UKBlues Federation to promote their activities and meet potential contacts/clients/customers etc.

More details to follow.

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28th August 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - LATEST!

The UKBlues Federation is delighted to reveal the fifth contestant who will be taking part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge at Worthing’s Southern Pier on Saturday 8th September 2018.

Carl North & The Lonely Hearts


Photo courtesy Sarah White

Chosen by the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Project from the bands who played at the acclaimed Great Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne over the past weekend, Carl North & the Lonely Hearts formed in 2016 since when they have been busy generating their own kind of buzz within Manchester's live circuit.

In their first year alone, multi-instrumentalist North fronted The Lonely Hearts alongside a number of traditional giants, including Andrew Combs, Gill Landry, Matt Andersen & C.W. Stoneking.

In 2017, following a successful summer of festival appearances which included playing at Glastonbury, the end of the year saw the five-piece release their debut single 'Worst Of You', accompanied by a smash sell-out inaugural headline performance. Plans to perform nationwide are on the horizon with tour and festival dates to be announced.

The raw, country soul of Americana meets foot stompin' Rhythm & Blues.

“A raw and bluesy sound that you scarcely come across these days” - Hooting & Howling Magazine

Writing on Facebook, Paul Foxley of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Project had this to say:

NORTH GOES SOUTH

Congratulations to all four of our Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands, The Catfish Blues OrchestraChris King RobinsonKaty Hurt and Carl North & The Lonely Hearts whose excellent performances at this weekend's Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival proved that the Blues has a very bright future.

The feedback we received from their audiences would make them all blush! It was great to see such diversity of musical style within the context of the Blues. Many thanks to our panel of judges for choosing so well.

As if that was not enough, although our main aim is to provide outstanding opportunities for young musicians to perform at this festival, we also get to nominate one of our bands to take part in this year's UK Blues Challenge.


Photo courtesy Alan White

We are absolutely delighted to announce that our nomination for the 5th UK Blues Challenge is Carl North & The Lonely Hearts.

This six piece, Manchester based band impressed from the very first bars of the first song and maintained great stage presence and musicianship throughout the set. We wish them luck with their performance at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on 8th September.

They will be up against some stiff competition. We should know - three of the other four competitors are bands we have previously showcased through Jessica Foxley Unsigned!

So five great bands playing at the 5th UKBlues Challenge at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September 2018. And all for just £15.00 plus booking fee or £17.50 on the door.

If you don't have your tickets yet just click on the poster and this will take you to the SeeTickets page where you can buy them.

There are very few reserved tables remaining so if you want a guaranteed table near the stage, book it now before it is too late!!

The bands are, in order of appearance, Greg Coulson Band, Carl North & the Lonely Hearts, Kyla Brox Band, Catfish and Tom C Walker Band.

We are delighted to be working with the Jessica Foxley folk again and thank them for their support.

GREAT RAFFLE PRIZES

If the chance to see five excellent bands is not enough, we have some superb and totally unique raffle prizes on offer thanks to the generosity of our sponsors FORM Fit-Out and Pablo's Paintings.

More will be revealed soon but here is a hint for the first prize!

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks also go to Proper Music Group and Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion without whose support and sponsorship, the Challenge would not be happening.

TROPHY SPONSOR

VENUE SPONSOR

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19th August 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - WORTHING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018 - Get your tickets

Click on the poster to go to the ticket sales link.

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20th May 2018 : FORM UKBLUES AWARDS 2018 : THE RESULTS

Click here for The Results

Click here for Bluesdoodles Review

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7th May 2018 :  5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - WORTHING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018 

Week four and we announce the identity of the fourth and final artist/band chosen in the first part of the selection process who will be taking part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September 2018.

And today we leap to the letter 'W'!

The Tom C Walker Band

Born in Birmingham just 24 years ago, from a young age Tom's virtuoso performances stunned with his guitar playing quickly earning him respect and admiration from musicians more than 4 times his age. From the age of 12, Tom was playing around the country in different line-ups alongside much older musicians.

2018 sees Tom C Walker back on the road with his new 4-piece band creating quite a stir with acclaimed appearances at Skegness and the HRH festivals as well as many other venues. In May Tom and his band were the opening act as top Essex blues venue, the New Crawdaddy Blues Club was reborn in its new venue in Basildon, Essex..

Find out more about Tom by visiting his website  where you can see more videos of the band playing live like this.

Photo courtesy Graham Chapman


MORE ABOUT THE 5TH UKBLUES CHALLENGE

As already mentioned this will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion and more details of the event, including how you can get tickets, will be made available soon.

The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the 35th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 & 9th European Blues Challenges in Ponta Delgada in the Azores in April 2019.

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30th April 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - WORTHING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018 

Week three and we announce the identity of the third artist/band who will be taking part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September 2018.

Greg Coulson is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer who spent five years touring as part of the legendary two-tone band The Selecter  following which he landed a leading role in the West End production of, “Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined” at the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus.   Since 2016, Greg’s heart has been true to Rhythm & Blues and his own song writing. He has toured extensively across UK & Europe with his own band, taking his own brand of high octane, fun and musically ingenious Blues to loyal audiences throughout the UK – Greg’s main aim to make Blues accessible for the next generation of music lovers.

Find out more about Greg by visiting his website where you can also see videos of the band playing live.

Read the full announcement

 

MORE ABOUT THE 5TH UKBLUES CHALLENGE

As already mentioned this will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion and more details of the event, including how you can get tickets, will be made available soon.

The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the 35th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 & 9th European Blues Challenges in Ponta Delgada in the Azores in April 2019.

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23rd April 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - WORTHING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018

And so, week two and the second artist/band who will be taking part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge which will take place at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September 2018 is revealed.

British Blues Award winners CATFISH have carved a reputation for themselves as an excellent live band with a phenomenal front-man in 22 year old guitarist/vocalist Matt Long who plays with a real passion for the blues.

Catfish also feature in four categories of the inaugural FORM UKBlues Awards the winners of which will be announced on Saturday 19th May at Worthing Pier's beautiful Southern Pavilion. Find out more about Catfish by visiting their website  where you can also see videos of the band playing live.

Read the full announcement

 

MORE ABOUT THE 5TH UKBLUES CHALLENGE

As already mentioned this will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion and more details of the event, including how you can get tickets, will be made available soon.

The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the 35th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 & 9th European Blues Challenges in Ponta Delgada in the Azores in April 2019.

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16th April 2018 : 5th UKBLUES CHALLENGE - WORTHING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018

We are very pleased to release the identity of the first artist/band who will be taking part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge which will take place at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion on Saturday 8th September 2018.

As you will be aware, a panel of over 600 people was invited to submit nominations and the four acts garnering the most nomination points are being invited to take part in the UKBlues Challenge. A fifth act will join them and this act will be chosen by the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Project panel from those acts appearing under the Project's banner at this year's Great British R'n'B Festival at Colne in late August.

We will be announcing the four acts over the next four weeks in alphabetical order and this week we start with 'B'!

Seven-time British Blues Awards Finalist and three-time European Blues Awards nominee KYLA BROX is no stranger to blues lovers around the UK and throughout Europe.

You can read more about Kyla here and check her out via her YouTube channel  as well as visiting her website where you can see details of her forthcoming gigs and festival appearances around the UK & Europe.

 

MORE ABOUT THE 5TH UKBLUES CHALLENGE

As already mentioned this will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion and more details of the event, including how you can get tickets, will be made available soon.

The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the 35th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2019 & 9th European Blues Challenges in Ponta Delgada in the Azores in April 2019.

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2nd April 2018: LOOKING BACK AT THE EBC

We are back from our visit to Hell and contrary to popular belief, Hell is very cold and snowy!! With wind chill, the temperatures were below minus 20C at times. But the welcome was very warm and a great time was had by all.

Congratulations and thanks must go to Kjell Inge Brovoll and his fantastic Blues in Hell crew for what was probably the best organised European Blues Challenge yet! One of the big benefits was that everything was under one roof, the magnificent Scandic Hell Hotel so it really was only necessary to leave the building to transfer from and to the airport!

Dave interviewing Kjell on Raven & Blues

However, the other side of the water was Hell Station, a place of pilgrimage and a not to be missed photo opportunity even though it was a bone-chilling round trip walk of some kilometres!

Two UKBlues Federation Board members were in attendance - Ashwyn Smyth & Dave Raven - and met up with lots of blues enthusiasts from across Europe as well as Barbara Newman and Pat Morgan from the Blues Foundation in the US.


photo courtesy of Fred Delforge

Dave Raven, Barbara Newman (President & CEO – Blues Foundation) & Ashwyn Smyth

Very useful and informative discussions were held and we hope to be making some important announcements regarding some exciting developments flowing from these soon.

As is his wont, Dave Raven produced his Raven & Blues show from the lobby of the hotel and welcomed many guests including the UK’s EBC entrants, LaVendore Rogue.

The Rogues, finished just outside the top three but they made many friends at the event and will, hopefully, be getting gigs and festival invites in Europe as a result!

Dave Raven broadcast some of their set live from Hell and you can see it on the Rogues Facebook page.

photo courtesy of Blues in Britain

Talking about their experience, the Rogues said ‘'It was an absolute honour to represent both the UK and the UKBlues Federation at the International and European Blues Challenges. They were both a real eye-opener for us, and a fantastic experience all-round.

Whilst it was slightly disappointing we didn’t make the podium in Hell, it is really good to know we were very close and it was a fantastic and worthwhile venture for us, with lots of contacts made and hopefully some great gigs on the continent to follow. We’ll keep you posted!

Our thanks go to all at the UKBlues Federation for making it possible and for all their support along the way. Good luck to whoever carries the torch in 2019!’

Our congratulations go to the very worthy winners of this year’s European Blues Challenge, the Ragtime Rumours from the Netherlands whose overland trip to Hell had taken 55 hours thanks to a break down en route in Denmark!

photo Christophe Losberger

Second was the Fried Okra Band from Denmark with Portugal’s Vitor Bacalhau third.

As usual, the bands representing some 21 countries offered up a hugely varied choice of music, both as regards style and quality, across two evenings. The judges had a difficult job and it is unlikely that their choices pleased everybody.

But this European Blues Challenge was no different to it predecessors in that we had the opportunity to be introduced to and to enjoy some very varied acts ranging from the 9 piece Krakow Street Band from Poland to the Swiss duo, the Amaury Faivre Duo, from Germany’s Greyhound’s Washboard Band to Don Leone from Italy.

Roll on 2019 when we shall be in Ponta Delgada in the Azores!

Photographer, Christophe Losberger from Switzerland, took some superb photos of the Rogues, as he did of other contestants, and you can see the Flickr album here.

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25th March 2018: UKBLUES NEWS

So much has happened this month that it has been difficult to draw breath and gather together the latest news for you but here goes!

8th EUROPEAN BLUES CHALLENGE - HELL, NORWAY

We are back from our visit to Hell and contrary to popular belief, Hell is very cold and snowy!! With wind chill, the temperatures were below minus 20C at times.

However, the welcome was very warm and a great time was had by all. The UKBlues Federation were in attendance - Ashwyn Smyth & Dave Raven - and we met up with lots of blues enthusiasts from across Europe as well as Barbara Newman and Pat Morgan from the Blues Foundation.

Very useful and informative discussions were held and we hope to be making some important announcements of developments flowing from those discussions soon.


Photo courtesy Blues in Britain

The UK's representatives, LaVendore Rogue, finished just outside the top three but they made many friends at the event and will, hopefully, be getting gigs and festival invites in Europe as a result!

Dave Raven broadcast some of their set live from Hell and you can see it on the Rogues Facebook Page.

Talking about their experience, the Rogues said 'It was an absolute honour to represent both the UK and the UKBlues Federation at the International and European Blues Challenges. They were both a real eye-opener for us, and a fantastic experience all-round.

Whilst it was slightly disappointing we didn’t make the podium in Hell, it is really good to know we were very close and it was a fantastic and worthwhile venture for us, with lots of contacts made and hopefully some great gigs on the continent to follow. We’ll keep you posted!

Our thanks go to all at the UKBlues Federation for making it possible and for all their support along the way. Good luck to whoever carries the torch in 2019!’

Photographer, Christophe Losberger from Switzerland, took some superb photos of the Rogues, as he did of other contestants, and you can see the Flickr album here.

THE FORM UKBLUES AWARDS

As announced, voting is now closed and the results  will be announced at the FORM UKBlues Awards event being held at Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion on Saturday 19th May 2018 and, as already advised, all available tickets for this event have now been sold. There is a waiting list which you can access via the See Tickets website.

Your MC will be Ian Siegal and there will be music from Catfish. We also look forward to welcoming many of the nominees and winners at the event.

THE 5TH UKBLUES CHALLENGE

This will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Worthing Pier's Southern Pavillion and more details of the event, including how you can get tickets, will be made available soon. Over the last three weeks or so a panel of more than 600 people across the UK blues spectrum have been invited to submit their nominations for the band or act they feel would best represent the UK at the 2019 International & European Blues Challenges (the 2019 EBC will be held in Ponta Delgada in the Azores).

The nomination period closed at midnight yesterday (24th March) and we are now contacting the four bands/artists who accrued the most points in the nomination process to see if they are willing and available to take part in the 5th UKBlues Challenge and, if declared the winner, to go on to represent the UK in Memphis and Ponta Delgada!

Joining the four selected acts will be a band/artist selected by the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Project from the bands playing under their banner at this year's Great British R'N'B Festival at Colne in late August.

We will be announcing the four bands/artists selected very soon.

TOBY LEE WOWS THE USA

Earlier in the year, the then 12 years old Toby Lee represented the UK in the Blues Foundation Youth Blues Showcase in Memphis, part of the International Blues Challenge. This was under the aegis of the UKBlues Federation and was just a first step in the Federation's project to bring blues to the young and to encourage youth blues.

Whilst in the US, Toby was invited to appear on the Ellen De Generes show, a show that is seen right across the USA. So a little while ago Toby flew to California to record an appearance on the show and you can see it here.

Our thanks go to Toby & his team.

OUR SPONSORS

The FORM UKBlues Awards are brought to you by the UKBlues Federation with the generous and greatly appreciated support of our headline sponsors

Tier 2 Event Sponsors

and venue sponsors

Our thanks also go to the many category sponsors, full details of whom can be seen on the Sponsorship page of the Awards website – www.ukbluesawards.com 

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