UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush

UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush

UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush




UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush

We are both delighted and honoured to welcome the legend that is Connie Lush as an honorary member of the UK Blues Federation which will also see her being an Ambassador for UKBlues helping spread the word!

Connie needs little introduction to most on the UK blues scene where she is recognised as one of the finest Blues singers in the UK today having received many awards including five times “Best Female Vocalist UK” earning her a place in the Gallery of Greats, alongside Alexis Korner and Eric Clapton to name just two.  Her incredible stage presence and powerful vocals have also been recognized overseas as she was twice voted “European Blues Vocalist of the year” by the “Blues Trophies Awards”. However, pride of place must go to her award from the people of Liverpool for “Performing Arts”. And that’s just to date!!

Connie is also known as a songwriter, DJ and unforgettable performer. She continues her love affair with audiences everywhere, bringing her enormous gusto for life and music wherever she goes!  Blues is her business and business is good!

Recently, Connie was one of the panel of six who acted as judges at the 4th UK Blues Challenge which took place within walking distance of her Liverpool home at the legendary Cavern Club. She found being a judge a very hard job and great fun!

Talking about her new role Connie says ‘I feel very honoured and excited, to say the least!’

We at UKBlues are thrilled to have Connie on our team. She is such a significant figure on the UK blues scene and her association with us can only enhance both the profile and reputation of UKBlues.

We concur wholeheartedly with the late BB King who said of Connie:  “That woman makes my heart sing”



UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush

As we announced a little while back, Rick Palin, Managing Director of the Skyfire Promotions Ltd group of companies, recently joined the Board of the UK Blues Federation and we are happy to announce an exclusive offer from Skyfire for UKBlues members.

A three month PR project with Skyfire normally costs £950.00. However, for members of the UK Blues Federation, Skyfire are  offering a 25% standard discount off that price, permanently.

In addition, Skyfire will make a donation to UKBlues for each and every member who takes advantage of this offer so not only will members be getting a special deal but UKBlues will be receiving additional financial support to help us achieve our aims.

Rick comments: ‘’The UK Blues Federation as I see it is an important part of the future and past preservation of the heritage of blues music within the UK.

As a specialist in PR campaigns surrounding album launches, tour support and other areas Skyfire offers an extensive range of services with an 8-year trading history and impeccable references we certainly know the scene.

A PR campaign is vital to the success of getting your material out there to a worldwide audience of press and radio and if required we can even distribute but as most of you are aware this is sometimes a very costly process. Skyfire is geared towards helping support the artist and keeping the money where it firmly belongs, in the artist’s pocket.’’

To take advantage of this offer, you must be a member of the UK Blues Federation and details of how you can join can be found here.

Skyfire and UK Blues are working together to build a presence for the blues scene in this country.

UKBlues thanks, Rick and Skyfire for this very generous offer.

UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush


We are delighted to bring you details of a very special offer from Northern Ireland based Platform Media. This offer brings bands, venues, just about anybody who is looking for physical promotion material, a competitively priced package comprising a banner, flyers and posters with free shipping throughout the UK & Ireland.

UKBlues recently used the services of Platform Media for some business cards and we were very pleased both with the result and with the speedy and attentive service and support both through the design process and after we had placed our order.

To benefit from this offer you need to be a member of the UK Blues Federation and details of how you can join can be found here.

Our thanks go to the guys at Platform Media for both their assistance and this offer.

Thank you for for your support of UKBlues in what it is doing. Please do your bit by spreading the word to your friends and colleagues. Check out the benefits of membership and see why it is a great idea to join!

(See our website for details of more membership discounts, how to join etc.)


UKBlues Federation Become A Member Like Connie Lush





The UK Blues Federation is pleased to announce that they are putting in place the UKBlues Awards to commence in 2018 to give the blues community in the UK the opportunity to recognise and applaud those involved with the blues in the UK.

Many people have expressed the opinion that UKBlues is the ideal body to undertake the organising, running and overseeing of an annual awards process given that it is an Affiliate of the Blues Foundation and an Active Member of the European Blues Union as well as the organiser of the annual UK Blues Challenge. The UKBlues Awards is a natural next step for UKBlues and furthers its stated aim to support and promote the blues in the UK.

A new, dedicated website is in the process of being created and voting in the awards will take place over a four-week period in February with a high profile, high-quality awards presentation ceremony taking place later in the year.

For UKBlues, Ashwyn Smyth, Chair, said: ‘It is evident from discussions we have had that many people have missed there not being any blues awards this year and, after much discussion and thought, we have decided that UKBlues should look to fill that gap. We have a very clear idea of how we should proceed with these awards and will be looking to create something that will draw support from across the blues spectrum in the UK. Above all we want to see an Awards process that does justice to all the recipients and nominees and to all those involved with the blues in the UK. Other musical genres have high profile and successful Awards and we feel it is high time that the blues in the UK enjoyed something similar. It will not happen overnight and will take a great deal of commitment.

Above all we want to see an Awards process that does justice to all the recipients and nominees and to all those involved with the blues in the UK. Other musical genres have high profile and successful Awards and we feel it is high time that the blues in the UK enjoyed something similar. It will not happen overnight and will take a great deal of commitment.

It is clear that building the profile of these Awards will take time but with the support of all those involved with the blues in the UK, we believe we can create something of which the UK blues community can be proud.’

More information about the UKBlues Awards will become available over the next few months.

Bluesdoodles have covered the Blues Challenge Read what we said about the 4th Blues Challenge held at The Cavern Liverpool “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”.  Read More…..


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


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

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?


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

UKBlues Federation Joins Forces with British Blues Archive

Kaz Hawkins Band Playing in Denmark & MemphisUKBlues Federation Joins Forces with British Blues ArchiveUK Blues Federation
Joins Forces with
British Blues Archive



The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is delighted to announce that with immediate effect the British Blues Archive (BBA) is to amalgamate with UKBlues and come under the organisation’s ‘umbrella’ with BBA’s online archive material being incorporated into the Education section of the UKBlues’ website .

In addition UKBlues and the British Blues Archive are working with the British Blues Exhibition    and Early  who have agreed to migrate some of their relevant online content to further enhance the brand new and comprehensive resource afforded by this new venture.

This unique partnership will create an unparalleled central resource and reference point for historical material relating to blues in the UK online and forms part of UKBlues’ stated aim to seek to provide educational material and facilities to widen knowledge of the blues in the UK and to assist those also seeking to do the same.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of UKBlues said: ‘We were thrilled and honoured when Peter Harvie, joint founder of the BBA, approached us to suggest an amalgamation. The BBA has a wealth of material of all sorts and Peter’s approach came as our webmaster, Alan White, was in the process of setting up an Education section of our website following our decision to seek to develop this aspect of our activities. So this was a great idea that came at the perfect time.

To then have the British Blues Exhibition and Early Blues offer to work with us to further enhance this was the icing on the cake and we thank board members Darren Weale and Alan White for their generous co-operation.

The Board of UKBlues is hugely excited about the possibilities that these new partnerships and co-operations afford us as an organisation but, more importantly, the blues as a whole in the UK. They also serve to reinforce our mission to become a focal point for the blues in the UK.’

Peter Harvie of the British Blues Archive said;  ‘We at the British Blues Archive are delighted to be joining UK Blues. The work being done by the British Blues Archive and UKBlues complement each other and the bringing together of our strengths has created in one place a tremendous resource, the place to go to for information, history, interviews and insights on British Blues. We at the British Blues Archive are tremendously excited about the amalgamation and are looking forward to new projects ahead with UK Blues’.


Kaz Crowdfunding to compete in Denmark & MemphisA reminder that, following the 3rd UK Blues Challenge held at the Robin 2, Bilston on 12th November 2016 and won by Kaz Hawkins Band, the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) has put in place a crowd funding campaign to help with the band’s costs attending the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, USA between 31st January & 4th February 2017 and the European Blues Challenge (EBC) on 6th, 7th & 8th April 2017 in Horsens, Denmark.

The band have estimated that they face costs in excess of £8,000 to travel to and from and participate in the two Challenges and UKBlues is seeking to raise funds to help the band to cover at least some of these costs.

Thank you to everyone who has been so generous as now we are early halfway to the target . Donate Here the campaign runs until 15th January 2017



JOIN HERE supporting UKBlues


UKBlues: The Federation Representing UK Blues


UKBlues: a new Federation to represent UK Blues and lead on the UK entry to the European Blues Challenge

UKBlues is a new organisation, one that is already an active Member of the European Blues Union (EBU). The EBU promotes Blues music, in all its forms, supporting the many long standing efforts of musicians, organisations, associations, venues, companies, and
individuals in Europe. UKBlues is taking on that role for the UK and working with the EBU
and stakeholders worldwide in the interests of British Blues music. Our work is approved
by our patrons, British Blues legends Paul Jones and Mike Vernon.

The Blues and Blues in the UK

The Blues is a historic, significant and timeless art form, and one with a lively
contemporary scene. It is a form of music which, whilst always respecting its African
American roots, now enjoys a world wide profile and an increasingly interconnected
community spanning venues, festivals, media and more. British Blues has long enjoyed a
foremost place in the world of music dating back to the British Blues Explosion in the

UKBlues – what we will do?

It is the goal of UKBlues to build upon this profile and legacy to the benefit of all. Our ongoing activities to this end will be many and varied. We believe greater co-operation and interaction between stakeholders both here and abroad will facilitate, amongst many other things, greater opportunities for artists and bands internationally, not least in terms of
airplay and gig/festival outreach. We also aim, through our website and newsletters and
other communications, to be an important information resource.

6th European Blues Challenge

One immediate priority, within these broader aims, is the 6th European Blues Challenge
(EBC) organised by the EBU, and which will take place in Torrita di Siena, Italy on 7-8-9
April 2016. UKBlues is honoured and delighted to be appointed by the EBU to operate the
selection process for the UK, the UK Blues Challenge.

The UK Blues Challenge

A selection panel has been created by UKBlues formed of nearly 200 musicians, writers,
promoters, venues, festivals, radio presenters, PR/promotions, agents, record labels, and
fans, including all UK Active Members of the EBU and representatives of the UK’s previous
EBC contestants. Each member of the panel has been asked to nominate three suitable
artists and bands for the challenge as the first stage of the selection process. They have
been asked to place their three selections in order (first, second, third) and UKBlues will
award points according to the position in which the acts are placed.
This first stage of the selection process closes on the 21 stAugust. Soon after, the top four
acts will be invited to take part in the second UK Blues Challenge which is being jointly
promoted by EBU Active Member Pete Feenstra and UKBlues and which will take place on
Saturday 24th October 2015 at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton in front of a panel of judges drawn from within the blues community, but who, for obvious reasons, will remain confidential until after the Challenge.

The panel of judges will be selected by UKBlues and Pete Feenstra, the co-promoter, and
they will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as is used at the EBC.
The winner will be invited to represent the UK at the EBC in 2016.

The voting is secret and safeguards have been put in place to ensure that there can be no
unauthorised or multiple voting and the members of the selection panel have been asked
not to nominate any acts with whom they are involved.

The process being operated by UKBlues has been fully disclosed to and approved by the board of the EBU, who are happy that it is transparent and maintains the required integrity for the EBC.

More information

UKBlues Website: LINK
UKBlues Facebook: LINK
UKBlues Twitter: LINK