UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

 

Long before the 10th September 2018 dawned the excitement of holding the 4th UKBlues Challenge in The Cavern Club, Liverpool was causing a wave of anticipation throughout social media. On the 7th September slowly increasing in numbers a frame appeared on Facebook. People showing their support by having their profile picture framed with I’M SUPPORTING  THE 4TH #UKBLUESCHALLENGE.

The atmosphere was redolent with the past glories that have been played out at the original Cavern. Tourists were buzzing, selfies were being taken as the board of UKBlues Federation set the space up. The bands arrived full of energy and expectation. The sound guys did everything to ensure the sound checks went smoothly. The venue was in the WiFi free zone of the basement dark and already hot. The mood was electric, as the queues formed outside of blues fans who were delighted to be spending a Sunday afternoon with five bands that representing the variety of angles across the U.K today. Bringing the Blues back to the Cavern 60 years on…

The five bands were given thirty minutes to play the music they love and to get the chance to represent the UK in Memphis at International Blues Challenge and in Hell, Norway at the European Blues Challenge; stepping into the shoes vacated by Kaz Hawkins Band who won and went on to fly the flag of modern Blues being played and enjoyed by diverse audiences. The judges were ready and waiting. The six wise listeners who all love the blues as artists, promoters and DJ’s. The Six were, Victor Brox, Connie Lush, Rosy Greer, Kaz Hawkins, Chris Powers and Nick Westgarth.

 

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The five bands now knew the running order

 

The venue was, hot dark and steamy. The audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation as Ashwyn Smyth (Chair UKBlues Federation) opened proceedings. With Elles’ first note the 2018 challenge was underway.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernElles Bailey debut album is aptly named Wildfire. Elles and her band were like a wildfire burning up the stage. They filled their thirty-minute set with a windswept melee of originals. With country Blues rocked up everyone knew that this was going to be a great live session of blues interpreted by a rising star.  The set was polished as the musicians surrounded her with a hug of sound for Elles to bounce from and deliver the lyrics.  First, up is always difficult. Elles used every note to her advantage setting the bar very high.  The audience whooped and cheered they loved the set. The bands following knew that they had to do not their best but their very best were they ready for the challenge?

Next up with a quick changeover, were The Rainbreakers.  This is rocky blues full of panache and UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavernswagger. Ben on vocals and lead guitar was on fire. His rocky blues electrified the audience. Playing with passion, determination and driving the blues home. They were enjoying their moment, as they interspersed the rockier edge with slower numbers showing the deep blues depths that are the undercurrent fueling the Rainbreakers.  Their number Heart of Gold certainly stood out. A performance that the audience really enjoyed as they warmed to this young band from Shrewsbury who left them wanting more.  The performance like Elles Bailey gave the judges plenty of food for thought.

The energy and fantastic performances that all five acts put in were spell bounding. Anyone of the bands could have represented the UK in Europe & USA. The commitment they demonstrate to Blues and live music is astounding, between them they had driven over 1,000 miles to get to the Cavern and had the prospect of the return journey at the end of the event

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernUKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernNext up, were the winners from the eight bands that played at The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Acts project.  Introducing the band was Paul & Margaret Foxley, Robert J. Hunter had only a couple of weeks to prepare as they brought their urban blues to the Cavern. Like the other bands, they were so excited to be playing at such an iconic venue.  A trio that delivered an authentic modern blues sound.  The vocals at times overpowered the sound which is a small point as the sound they were creating was rollicking fun.  Another act that smiled and delivered the blues and gave the judges something to ponder over.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernThe fourth band of the Challenge was LaVendore Rogue. What a stellar set, Joel Fisk once again demonstrating his skills as a blues guitarist. You can always count on front man JoJo to put on a show and tonight they did. The audience reaction was loud and excited them. They were lapping up the music that the band delivered. Not pure blues but every song has deep roots into the heritage of the blues from Charlie Patton and beyond.  Leaving the stage the judges had another band to consider before the final act that had to follow that barnstorming session.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernLast, but definitely not least was Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. Stylish, sophisticated blues with a jazzy edge. High-quality authentic blues. The title track of their current album, This Is The Life I Choose captured the life and motivation of musicians who play their music live.  Their performance of Angel of Mercy was one of the best I have ever heard Zoe sing and Blue Commotion were spot on with every note and the crafted spaces. What a rousing finale and I am so glad I was not a Judge.

Five Acts, raffle tickets about, prizes handed out and the success of the Minute auctions. The final votes had been counted and verified.

The Winner is: …….. As Dave Raven and Ashwyn Smyth handed over the responsibility of presenting the trophy to last year’s Challenge winner Kaz Hawkins.  The baton, well stylish trophy really, was presented to LaVendore Rogue. They now will be representing the UK in Memphis and Hell.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

Closing the challenge with a party feel was a mighty jam. The stage was filled with the winning band, joined by Connie Lush, Kyla Brox, Kaz Hawkins and the mighty voice and trumpet of Victor Brox. What a resounding end to a challenge that will be long talked about as the blues sung out loud live at the Cavern once more.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

 

 

UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce that following their outstanding performance at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne over the weekend Robert J. Hunter Band are the fifth and final piece of the jigsaw for the 4th UK Blues Challenge.

Robert J. Hunter Band described as ‘Dirty rhythm and blues from the depths of Alderney, based in London.’ Born on Alderney, Channel Islands but now based in London, Robert J. Hunter combines his gruff and powerful voice with the wild thud of overdriven blues guitar. Read more over at The Federation’s NEWSLETTER

The Line Up for 4th UK Blues challenge is:

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

Rainbreakers

Robert J. Hunter Band

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

 

Bluesdoodles looks forward to chatting to the fifth piece of the Challenge jigsaw puzzle Robert J. Hunter Band. In the meantime check out what the other four bands have said – HERE.

Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great celebration of Blues in the UK.

Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event.
Bluesdoodles invites you to share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

“Bringing the Blues back to The Cavern 60 years on….”

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UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Who are the four excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers and Elles Bailey. There will be a fifth band joining the quartet of superb bands. The fifth band will be announced shortly after the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival taking place at Colne 25th-27th August. The Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands who will be playing on the main stages have now been selected. From these Eight bands one will be chosen to join the bands already announced to take part in the Challenge on the 10th September. Find out who the eight bands that are in with a chance HERE.   

While we all wait in anticipation as to which band are joining the four who have already been nominated read about the bands and what they said when Bluesdoodles spoke to them.

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeRainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the 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 EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands Announced

News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedNews from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands Announced

Unsigned Artist Competition – Winners Announced playing live on main  stage at Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne on Saturday & Sunday.

The festival requested unsigned acts… and received them by the bucket-load! Following an overwhelming response, The Jessica Foxley Unsigned judging panel chose 8 finalists to open the festival main stages this summer.

The finalists are:
Robert J Hunter Band
Tom McCartney
Tom Walker Trio
Lem And The White Fire
The Ragamuffins
Old Bohemia
The Greasy Slicks
The Joe Anderton Band

The eight bands all bring to the stage all the excitement of live music.  One of the eight will then be chosen toparticipate in the UK Blues Challenge on 10th September 2017 at the Iconic venue The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
 
Jessica Foxley Unsigned Band will be performing alongside the four bands, LaVendore Rogue; Elles Bailey; Zoe Schwarz & The Rainbreakers. The winning band will step into the shoes of Kaz Hawkins who in 2017 was semi-finalist at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis and Winner of the European Blues Challenge.
Read more about the 4th UK Blues Challenge and the UKBlues Federation who organise the event HERE


News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedSeeking Festival Volunteers
The festival seek volunteers to help at the event.In return for skills, time and energy, volunteers receive free festival tickets, vouchers for food and refreshments, an exclusive crew t-shirt, plus of course, be part of what is shaping up to be one of the best blues-rock based event of the year.Colin Hill, the CEO of Colne Town Council comments “And… for any young person over 16, not yet experienced in the workplace and wanting to gain some hands-on experience of what running an event like this entails, this a great opportunity to be part of something exciting and challenging…”To register interest and for further information, here’s more…Festival ‘Headline’ Sponsors Announced
Colne Town Council are delighted to announce that Barnfield Construction Ltd and Roaming Roasters have kindly agreed to support the Town Council as main partners.


Barnfield Construction are based in Nelson and have been established for over 40 years. The family run contractors, developers and investors offer honest, thought-through and practical solutions to a diverse array of new and refurbishment building contracts ranging from industrial, commercial, retail, leisure, plus hospitality and residential schemes.

Roaming Roasters are a farm shop and deli on Barrowford Rd, Higham, and sell locally sourced, grass fed and free range meat, along with handmade pies and loads more tasty stuff.

Further information on the festival supporters is right here.

 

Main Stage Evening Line-ups:

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News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedHippodrome Theatre, Friday Evening, 25th August 

Ian Siegal & Band
 – celebrating 25 years of professional touring with his songs that are real, shows that resonate and vocals served raw + 

The Lachy Doley Group – “The Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ” +
Tom Attah & The Bad Man Clan – A modern, living bluesman…

News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedThe Muni, Friday Evening, 25th August 

Joanne Shaw Taylor
 – UK’s number one star in the blues rock world +
S
tevie Nimmo Trio – one half of Scotland’s highly respected ‘Nimmo Brothers’ +
The Revelator Band – unpredictable, fun festival-style blues.

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News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedHippodrome Theatre, Saturday Evening, 26th August

Aynsley Lister When explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister… +
Rob Tognoni Explosive guitar playing and unique songs +
TJ & The Suitcase Vocal / Harmonica / Suitcase drum / Home made tambourine beater pedal… Its time to get packed!

 

News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedThe Muni, Saturday Evening, 26th August

Grammy nominee Janiva Magness + the blues, soul, gospel of Jo Harman + The Kaz Hawkins Band – Northern Ireland’s fun, heartfelt, soulful rock ‘n’ roll-blues…, Lisa Mills

_____________________________________________________________
News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedHippodrome Theatre, Sunday Evening, 26th August

Lucky Peterson –
Searing lead guitarist, fantastic organist, and first-rate vocalist
Clay Shelburn – 
Funk, rock, blues and country from this incredible self­taught multi­-talented artist
Michael Messer’s Mitra – A remarkable fusion of country blues with Hindustani music

News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands AnnouncedThe Muni, Sunday Evening, 26th August

King King – Soulful, dynamic, blues-rock from Glasgow
John Fairhurst – The Wigan Jimi Hendrix
Gwyn Ashton – Solo, hardcore, 21st Century, alternative blues
_____________________________________________________________
This is just a snap shot of the array of music available at the Festival:-
The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival:
3 Days
12 Official venues
100+ Acts
150+ Gigs
1 Great Festival
News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands Announced

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Rainbreakers Talking About 2017 UK Blues Challenge


 

BD: firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

RB: Thanks for having us.

 BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from theK scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states!

 BD: What are the Blues to The Rainbreakers? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

RB: To us the Blues is just good music that is soulful and portrayed with meaning. The blues has influenced almost the entirety of modern day music, so to us it’s a huge umbrella term covering a wide variety of different styles. We would say that the British Blues scene has just as much variety and depth as any of the styles we’ve seen coming from Europe and the US. The bands we’ve met from both places have their own unique style and are usually influenced by a melting pot of artists from both sides of the pond anyway. So, yeah the Blues here has its own feel as much as the Blues there has its own.

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest EP is entitled Rise Up; tell us a bit about your EP and do you have plans for a full album.?

RB: The latest EP was a chance for us to explore our own songwriting and recording ability. We have a friend, Robin Andrews, who is an amazing Drum and Bass producer signed to Blu Mar Ten Music, and he was willing to spend time with us in our own studio to explore some different ideas and come at the recording process in a different way. The hope was always to use his differing background to most producers in the scene and see what came out of it. We were pleasantly surprised with the results and all of the feedback from reviewers and fans alike has given us huge encouragement to keep on experimenting with our ideas when it comes to recording again. For now all we can say is that we do have plans for another record. You’ll have to wait and see….

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

RB: The main task of the federation has and should always be to reenergize the scene in the country so that more people keep music live and try new ways to draw in the younger crowds because without the younger audience taking the mantle the scene won’t last forever. All they can do for now is continue to give new bands, like ourselves and the other acts in the challenge, a chance to perform in front of people and push their careers further. Without opportunities like this we couldn’t keep reaching new fans and keep performing.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

RB: Good question!! We’d have to have the drummer from The London Souls, Chris St. Hilaire, insane rhythms and ability. Then with Chris Wood of The Wood Brothers, incredible player on both electric bass and double bass!! Oh and then we’d have Brian J from Pimps of Joytime as the frontman, great vocals and guitar work! Then for us it would have to be King Zapata from Gary Clark Jr’s band for his guitar work, both as lead and his playing ability as rhythm. That’s a band right there! Especially when you complete it with Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the backing singers and players from The Arcs, doing what they do best! If you havent’ heard of them, look ‘em up, you will be amazed!!

 

BD: Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Elles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Elles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeElles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

 

 

BD: Firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

EB: Thank you this is so exciting

BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night.

 BD: What are the Blues to Elles Bailey? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

EB: For me British Blues has always been different.  Nowadays blues is the feeling as much as the sound. I have influences from all the different styles of the blues. To keep it fresh there needs to be a unique take on the blues. Definitely taking a different approach is having a huge effect on the blues today.

BD: Your latest album is Wildfire, Elles Bailey tell us a bit about your debut album the pledge campaign?

EB: It was always on the cards to do a full album this year, I have done a couple of EP’s so this was the next step. I went on a family road trip to USA; planning on doing Nashville, Memphis New Orleans etc. Dad decided before we went to put in a few calls to people he knew in Nashville. So the two days in Nashville became three weeks; I went to nowhere else, except for day trip to Muscle Shoals and recorded Wildfire. It was so unexpected and mind-blowing. The work was amazing, very different approach over there, they work so fast. When came back to UK to finish the album off here with Joe my guitarist & Jonny Henderson on Hammond and Zak on bass who is a monster in a good way! These three guys will all be at The Cavern.  Finished the album with acoustic seemed to fit a number that I wrote out there. Wildfire released 1st September and can be pre-ordered via pledge campaign.

 

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

EB: For me, Blues audiences are really loyal, knowledgeable BUT they tend to be older. Need to get the blues to a younger audience, it is out there. Unfortunately ‘blues’ has bit of a band name there is a stigma that bit tame and boring. For the longevity of the music Blues needs to attract the younger audiences; it is in all our hands lot of people playing on the circuit are quite young. Also Keep doing what you are doing. We are bombarded with music today it is so easily accessible. I am a new convert to Spotify; downloading is now 50% of the music industry revenue. Spotify playlists are powerful I have done Ladies at Blues Festivals etc. Perhaps the Blues Federation could generate play list what we currently listening to. Will get a following. What you get paid as a musician is not huge – but it is like advertising I have got new fans, who buy a ticket to see me live; then often an album as well.  So in the round there is money to be made via Spotify, getting your music out there.  Lots of Blues artists are not on Spotify so can’t add to playlists I am a new convert just released my music onto Spotify and you do get some money and your profile is visible.

I also feel it is really sad that there are no British Blues awards this year. When you apply for a USA visa to play they ask if you have been nominated for any awards within in your scene.  It proves that you are part of the Blues scene in the UK, an active music that can be proved in the UK & Europe. So being invited to the Challenge was a huge thing for me when filling in the USA Visa application for a working visa; giving me credibility so thank you.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

EB:

Etta James/Stevie Nicks/Chris Stapleton – Vocals
Staple Singers – BVs
Keith Richards – Guitar
Bonnie Raitt – Slide
Dr John  – Piano
Ray Charles – Organ
Leland Sklar – bass
Drums – Levon Helm
Engineer – Steve Blakmon
Triangle – Elles Bailey I have to be playing in the band

BD: Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeLaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

 

 

BD: firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

LVR: It’s our pleasure – we’re thrilled to have been put forward for the competition!

BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation.

BD: What are the Blues to LaVendore Rogue? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

LVR: A lot of the biggest British Bands in history started off playing Blues but took it somewhere else. Just look at The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin.  Nowadays, it seems a lot of UK acts lean towards the heavier Blues Rock side of things, which is perhaps reflective of the US artists who took their influence from the 60’s Blues Boom. Whereas in Mainland Europe there is real wide variety of artists such as the Dawn Brothers or Daniel Norgren who are doing something different, but still with its roots in the blues. Obviously the US is where it all began and it’s good to see that despite the influx of “Blues Rock”, they are still producing artists who take their influences from early American Music, people like Blind Boy Paxton or the Carolina Chocolate Drops and even Mud Morganfield.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest album is A Night In The North, LaVendore Rogue live in a Blues club; tell us a bit about your album and the reaction your interpretation of blues is received by audiences?

LVR: We recorded the album at Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club in January. We didn’t plan on doing so, until 10 minutes before show time, and we’re all really pleased with the result. Joel mixed and mastered the album, and we feel it’s the best thing we’ve done to date. Certainly the most honest.

We were keen to include a cross-section of everything that’s influenced us and that we’ve done, so the album goes from pre-war Blues (“Oh Death” by Charley Patton) to the 60’s British Blues Boom (“Get Off Of My Cloud”, by The Rolling Stones) and includes several Hokie Joint songs too (“Chocolate Cake”, “The Way It Goes…Sometimes”). Oh and obviously there’s some LaVendore Rogue material in there as well. To keep things fresh, there’s also a couple of new songs on the album too.

When we first started as LaVendore Rogue, the reception was mixed, although people generally either love us or hate us. However we’ve worked hard to put together a set that will appeal to lots of people, including ourselves. Songs such as “Chocolate Cake” and “Oh Death” always seem to receive a fantastic reaction, so we’re obviously doing something right when it comes to honouring The Blues.

In our opinion, a lot of the British Blues Scene is leaning more towards rock music more than Blues and songwriting has been replaced with too many guitar solos. Although is good to see a broad spectrum of the blues taking part in the UK challenge.

However our focus is on songwriting and using a song as a way to tell story. At the end of the day, 99% of people go home from a gig singing a chorus, not a guitar solo.

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

LVR: It’s very difficult for a band to gain much profile without a fairly large budget. We feel there are a lot of great undiscovered bands on the British Blues scene that aren’t getting the attention they deserve for one reason or another. In fact, many are far more interesting that some of the bands that are at the top of the ladder. As artists in our thirties we hope to playing for another thirty and perhaps the Blues Federation could play a pivotal role in bringing the blues to a younger generation, perhaps through schools workshops or through making connections in Universities.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

LVR: That’s a tough one…we all have very different tastes in music, in many different genres, so the result could be somewhat catastrophic!

BD: The band they would create is left to our imagination. Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

 

4th UK Blues Challenge Announced At The Cavern Liverpool

 

 

UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce Tickets for the 4th UKBlues Challenge, which will be held at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017, are now on sale via the Cavern Club’s website – HERE They are priced at £10.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door.

Members of the UK Blues Federation can enjoy a reduction of £2.50 per ticket (maximum 2 tickets per member). This discount will be applied when they next renew their membership after 10th September 2017. Join the UK Federation Today

The bands/artistes appearing are, in alphabetical order

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

The Rainbreakers

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

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4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern LiverpoolThe fifth and final band for 2017 is an exciting new addition to the Challenge.

As recently announced, they will be joined by the young band chosen by representatives of Jessica Foxley Unsigned at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival at Colne 25th – 27th August.

 

 

Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great celebration of Blues in the UK.

Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event.
Bluesdoodles invites you to  share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

“Bringing the Blues back to The Cavern 60 years on….”

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

 

 

Saturday the 8th April 2017 was a big day for blues in the UK because of events many miles away in Horsens, Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back HomeDenmark, the venue for the 7th European Blues Challenge organised by the European Blues Union (EBU) in conjunction with the BluesKartellet of Horsens, a town described by its mayor, Peter Sorensen, as ’a city of music – with streets of blues’ and a city ‘known throughout Denmark for its concerts with renowned artists, festivals and major events’.

For the first time in the event’s history, the European Blues Challenge was won by the UK with Northern Ireland’s Kaz Hawkins Band beating off some stiff competition, particularly from Belgium’s The Bluebones who were placed second. The event saw acts from some 21 European countries competing over two nights at the Forum in Horsens, a venue which, in the past, has played host to many major names including the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Paul McCartney.

In an emotional acceptance of the trophy, Kaz first thanked the UK Blues Federation for making it possible for her and her band to take part in the International Blues Challenge, which took place in Memphis, Tennessee in late January and where the band reached the semi-finals, as well as the European Blues Challenge.

She also expressed her gratitude to the event organisers and to the judges for ‘getting’ her music which is so much a reflection both of her and her life.

In addition to the trophy, the band will also have the opportunity to play at a number of top European Blues Festivals as well as enjoying a considerably raised profile on the European Blues scene.

Kaz’s acceptance speech was full of emotion, warmth and the power of the blues.

Watch the VIDEO HERE

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back HomeBefore the results were announced on Saturday night, The European Blues Union announced the winners of the Blues Behind the Scenes Awards for 2017 which saw the Award for Production going to veteran and legendary producer Mike Vernon whose career spans many decades working with many great artists including John Mayall and Eric Clapton on the iconic Beano Album as well as many other major names over the years. Recently he has come out of semi-retirement to produce a number of albums for 21st century blues artists as well as putting together his own band with which he is touring.

Accepting the Award, Mike commented that he was knocked out to receive it but also very proud. He confirmed that he had no intention of stopping yet suggesting that if John Mayall is still touring in his 80s there was no way he (Mike) was going to quit!

Earlier in the day at the General Assembly of the European Blues Union, Dave Raven, award winning blues broadcaster, Chair of the UK’s Independent Blues Broadcasters Association and Treasurer of the UK Blues Federation, was elected to the Board of the EBU, the first time that the UK has been represented on this board and another big step towards blues in the UK being better represented in Europe.

For the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues), Ashwyn Smyth – Chair – said: ‘ We are both thrilled and very grateful that Kaz and her band have done us and blues in the UK so proud. Whilst the winning was down to Kaz and her band, we are so happy that we were able to facilitate them taking part in both Challenges and the win in Denmark is the cherry on top of the cake and can only serve to raise the profile of the blues in and from the UK!”

 

Bluesdoodles send our congratulations to Kaz Semi-finalists first in Memphis and now the Winner in Europe.

Check out review Feelin’ Good Album HERE

Check out Interview with Kaz after Memphis trip for international Blues Challenge HERE

 

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

 

Kaz Crowdfunding to compete in Denmark & Memphis

Kaz Crowdfunding to compete in Denmark & Memphis Kaz Crowdfunding to compete in
Denmark & Memphis

At the 3rd UK Blues Challenge held at The Robin 2 on 12th November. The UKBlues Federation we delighted to organise the event celebrating the blues for the second year.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of UKBlues said:

‘ This was an excellent evening and our thanks go to everyone involved, the bands, the judges, the sponsors and all the team at the Robin 2 who made us so welcome and worked so hard to make the event such a success. The feedback we have received has been great and it is clear that those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the very fine musicians who played for them. I hope that we have laid the foundations for future UK Blues Challenges and that it will become one of the must-attend events of the blues year.

This was a night that celebrated the best in UK blues and demonstrated only too clearly the quality and range of the talent that is all too often unsung in this too frequently ignored musical genre. The event also raised funds which we, UKBlues, can use to further our aims and to make a contribution towards the Kaz Hawkins Band’s costs attending the two Challenges.’

In addition to being invited to play at four festivals during the U.K. the winners Kaz Hawkins Band will be representing The UK at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, U.S.A. were 250 other acts from all over the world at the 33rd International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, U.S.A. organised by the Blues Foundation between 31st January and 4th and European Blue challenge in Horsens, Denmark 6th, 7th and 8th April 2017 in which 20 plus bands from across Europe will compete.

Listen to Kaz as she explains about the fundraising.

Donations can be made on the Crowdfunding page

 

Multi award-winning Kaz Hawkins is Northern Ireland’s very own blues and soul darling. The Belfast-born singer-songwriter is fast becoming a performing icon across UK & Europe with the United States temptingly beckoning her over. Her high energy, original shows with her 1950s style swing-dress-meets-Dr Martens look and ability to closely connect with her public contribute to making Kaz one of today’s most popular blues artists in the UK and Ireland, as she continues to play to full houses.

Kaz has been compared to Etta James & Janis Joplin to name but a few. Mixing the genres of music for over 20 years, she finally found her niche in roots and blues, bringing a fun, inspiring & hopeful message with her new debut album ‘Get Ready’ self-released in August 2014, featuring Kaz’s deep, powerful voice, original songwriting and soulful tracks. ’Get Ready’ wooed both the public and the critics, winning the Blues Matters! Magazine Writers’ Poll Best Studio Album of 2015 in September.

In a hat trick  during the same month, Kaz accepted the prestigious Barry Middleton Award for Emerging Artist at the British Blues Awards (the first ever Northern Ireland recipient) and also received the Pure M Award for 2015 All-Ireland Best Female Act at a ceremony in Dublin.

Kaz’s stellar rise to success will be no surprise to the Northern Ireland’s music friends and blues fans over the world she has been wooing for years with her deep, powerful voice, original songwriting and soulful tracks. No mean feat for the 43-year-old funky grandma, who owes surviving a life of physical and emotional hardship to music and a larger-than-life personality that doesn’t take setbacks lying down! Kaz has now rebranded full-time as KAZ HAWKINS BAND. Guitarist Nick McConkey has been with Kaz 4 years and has been a crucial part of the bands direction. With the addition in 2015 of brothers Pete & Jan Uhrin on drums and bass KHB as they are now known, release their ‘Feelin’ Good’ album and UK tour on 28th May at Belfast Empire Music Hall.

Kaz has worked tirelessly for different charities and is Arts Ambassador for EastSide Arts Belfast in which she lectured students at Boston University on how she used music to survive trauma.

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