Elles 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 Rogue – Elles Bailey – Zoe 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.