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

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Wildfire, perfectly captures in a word the burning power of Elles Bailey’s vocals and stage presence as she sings blues that have captured in its blue flame, country, roots and soul. The voice is smoky with textures and tones that pulls out lyrics and coats them in Elles special brand of Bristol fanned Wildfire.

Often the word unique is used when talking about an artist especially on a debut album. In the case of Elles Bailey it is most definitely true. Her blues fuelled sound is lived-in, and is the fortuitous result of a childhood illness. Having recovered from both viral and bacterial pneumonia; her voice at the age of three had changed, leading to her ENT specialist prophetically observing, “If she ever wants to sing, she’ll be a natural blues vocalist!”

Wildfire started out as a demo that she had arranged to cut in Nashville whilst on a family road trip as Elles explained, “You know, ‘when in Rome’ and all that? But what was meant to be just one solitary track took on a life of its own. Before I knew it, boom, we had a whole album!”

Elles has surrounded herself with musicians chosen so that your ears mine through rich veins of blues tones and textures. Using musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, from USA guitarist Brent Mason and Chris Leuzinger, pianist Bobby Wood; and the rhythm combo of bassist Mike Brignardello on bass and Wes Little on drums. We always love some more glitz so joining the Wildfire party legendary Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Roger Cook came on board. Once back in the UK adding their depths of musical talents and blending the music into a continuous perfectly woven tapestry are Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ and Joe Wilkins on blistering guitar. Without the skills, oversight and direction from producer Brad Nowell this could have been a fire burning out of control instead we have music that is balanced and sumptuous.

Opening with a howl of guitar conjuring up wilderness, Wild West the scene is set with the title track as blues meets country coming back down the road. What really captures your musical ear is the voice; Elles has an understanding of the lyric taking it slowly, giving the words space and building the tension. The music and lyrics paint a visual picture in your minds-eye creating cinematic music. The winning combination of Bobby’s piano and Jonny’s Hammond soothes the soul as her vocals drop with smoothness of whipped rich cream sharpened with a jolt of citric.  The song is wistful and you empathise with the pain she is feeling as the drums beat out the road she has to travel as the perennial question What If I is asked again and again through the track. Leaving you wondering about your past asking your own What If I question.

Half way through the album and the delta slide guitar blues has an outing with Let Me Hear You Scream, again the shaping of the vocals gets the story told and we just want to hear her vocals growl with intent when she sings the title.  The tempo rises as if the wind is fanning the fire with Shackles of Love her soulful modulation and backing vocals curl around the instrumentation that she has under total control.

Again, the tones are full of interest country with added values as we check in to Barrel Of Your Gun, starting smooth the vocals harden and the mesmeric qualities of music that is rooted in the blues and flowers free using the qualities of lyrics vocals and musicians she has surrounded herself with. With a tribute to the blues man on Howlin’ Wolf we hear her howl and celebrate the blues in her own way that will become a trademark as her career further establishes itself. The music slows, her vocals sung softly as we have a true blues number with Girl Who Owned The Blues; Elles Bailey already owns her style of blues in her hands, Wildfire is going to win her more. Closing the album out with Time’s A Healer; leaving us with a quiet gentle number reflective and the voice shimmering like a reflection in a pool of silver water. Another picture painted and we want to listen to the album all over again.

The only slight dampening of the flames  in the music is that the tempo across the track is fairly similar, perhaps rather than blending the styles as she has in the majority of tracks. Some celebration of soul country and blues so listeners can see the variation and the power of the blending. This minor irritant did nothing to stop me enjoying the dozen tracks. Elles Bailey, has created a debut album that is sassy blues, modern using the rich treasure chest of roots, soul and country to create an album that burns hot and is fresh whilst being hot. This is music that crosses genres because it is excellent. The future of blues in UK is hot and strong with the fiery breath of Elles Bailey singing out to entertain and keep the blues alive. Wildfire, Elles Bailey What a Stunning Voice! Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire is hot with husky vocals blending roots sounds from Blues, country & soul set to be Voice of The Blues.


Elles Bailey  – Wildfire – Release date 1st September

Pre-order via Elles Pledge Campaign HERE

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Wildfire
  2. Same Flame
  3. What If I
  4. Barrel Of Your Gun
  5. Perfect Storm
  6. Let Me Hear You Scream
  7. Shake It Off
  8. Shackles Of Love
  9. Believed In You
  10. Howlin’ Wolf
  11. Girl Who Owned The Blues
  12. Time’s A Healer

Elles Bailey Scorching New Album Wildfire