THE BLUES TRAIL 2017
The Bay Rum Hounds
Harmonica and guitar duo playing country blues, hokum, early Chicago style electric, gospel and swing.
Blues Jam with Pembroke Musicians Club
An opportunity for musicians of all ages and abilities to jam together. Equipment provided. Hosted by Pembroke Musicians Club which meets every Monday at the Cavalier Pub, Main Street, Pembroke.
A Red Hot ‘n’ Raw Rhythm ‘n’ Blues band based in and around Buxton in the Peak District. Regulars at the festival because we all love them so much.
The Chris James Band
Just back from the crossroads with a fresh rhythm section, Chris James delivers a contemporary funky take on the blues.
“Welsh singer-songwriter Christopher Rees’ work is strong and evocative. Sharp and punchy (touched with a little hell-fire akin to Southern devil’s blues), for this alone he earns the right to stand at top of the highest building and shout out his own praise. Once heard you will want to join him!” (Americana-UK.com).
Christopher Rees returns to Tenby with his long awaited new album, ‘The Nashville Songs’ – an inspired collection of songs co-written with some of Music City’s finest writers.
Crawlback are Johnny Bird – Harp & Vocal, Tiny Phillips – Guitar, Bella Collins – Bass, Sam Andrews – Drums
First time at the festival for this serious rockin’ blues group, based in South Wales, full of classy Tenby regulars from other bands.
As befits a former sculpture student, David Herbert performs carefully crafted acoustic blues. First show in his home area for some time.
Dec & Eugene’s Juke Joint
A big hit at last year’s festival, we bring back Dec & Eugene’s Juke Joint to Café Pura (at the front of the main venue, the De Valence). Chat, chill out and relax as the dynamic duo play vinyl only Blues, host an Open Mic, try and sell you blues related stuff, and generally let the good times roll.
Tenby based husband and wife acoustic duo have been dubbed ‘the Welsh White Stripes’, but they offer much more than that – not for nothing has Ritchie been anointed the ‘Godfather of Pembrokeshire electric guitarists’!
“…a good solo artist with a sense of humour and some good blues and blues influenced songs…”
– Blues in Britain
To capture the vibe and feel of classic blues, rock and roll, country, and R+B in a modern and contemporary way is no mean feat.
Step forward GLAS, a three piece band from South Wales. Featuring a combined collective of talent that has seen them share stages with the likes of The Groundhogs, Bill Kirchen, Crazy Cavan and The Rhythm Rockers, The Spellkasters, Gerry Mcavoy’s Band Of Friends , John Otway, Mick Pini, Deke Leonard, Paul Lamb, and Ben Waters. GLAS, fronted by Dai John on vocals and bass, with the drums of Huw Hannan, and lead guitar of James Oliver are one of the hardest working on the scene with regular festival appearances all over the UK and beyond.
They recently released their third album, a mighty collection of self-penned tunes. Main stage heroes last year, Glas return to the Blues Trail because they love Tenby. And Tenby loves them.
Hideaway Trio are a power trio who blend Blues, Rock and Soul/Funk into a sound of their own. Local Pembrokeshire heroes and one of the most popular acts on the Blues Trail so we have to have them back every year.
Jack The Biscuit
The band was formed from the remnants of T.S.Blues, Tin Pan Alley, The Rascals and In The Red. Over the past few years it has evolved into a four piece Blues band with the occasional hint of Rocking Blues.
Full tilt Rock ‘n’ Roll trio with more than a dollop of the Blues, fronted by Cardiff legend Pete Mathison on guitar. Former sideman to the likes of Ray Davies and Bella Collins, this is Pete’s main band.
Undoubtedly one of the big hits of last year’s trail when he played all afternoon with guitar maestro James Oliver, we just has to have Lee back with his idiosyncratic tunes and passionate Tom Waits style vocals.
Lennie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Band
Rocking blues band from Pembrokeshire that contains many Tenby Blues regulars including superb soundman Bruce on bass, Nino on drums, Steve on the 88 note work bench, and Darrell (former Blues Trail organiser) on vocals and guitar. No Lennie though.
“International rockabilly legend as frontman for the Rimshots and his Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio, solo John is an electrifying performer combining dazzling guitar with a glorious life-soaked voice which brings heart and depth to both classics and his own impressive songs. Be mesmerised by the missing link between Johnny B Goode and Johnny Cash”. Meltdown.
Tenby regular Guy is a Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist. His songs are intense and often personal. Guy’s guitar style is a unique self-taught style and worth travelling a long way to see. Hear him and you’ll want to hear him again. See him and you’ll definitely watch him again.
The Mark Pontin Group
Mark Pontin is a genuine triple threat. If he were solely a singer the new album from The Mark Pontin Group would stand head and shoulders above the pack on that strength alone. His effortless vocals can turn on a dime from gritty and raw to smooth and melodic, displaying enviable range without the strain and the kind of control and dynamics rarely seen in a blues/rock context. His abilities as a guitarist easily put him in the upper echelons of blues and rock players, in the UK or anywhere else for that matter. His beautifully nuanced playing, musicianly without over-indulgence, at times wrangles massive sounds from a Marshall amp, at others coaxes delicate harmonics from an acoustic guitar. As a songwriter, Mark displays the kind of versatility rarely seen within the often predictably rigid confines of the blues/rock scene and demonstrates how easily – when you know how – the genre can incorporate shades of jazz, funk, soul and pop music.
Since the release of their successful 2013 debut Days Of Destiny, The Mark Pontin Group established themselves firmly on the UK Blues/Rock scene. With rave reviews the album acheived extensive airplay all around the world. Recognition then followed from the network of Blues/Rock DJ’s and reviewers who nominated the band in 5 categories at the 2014 British Blues Awards. Finalists in the ‘Guitarist’, ‘Bassist’, and ‘Album Of The Year’ categories, the band reached the final 6 in ‘Blues Song’ and ‘Emerging Artist’ categories.
The Mark Pontin Group are never happier than when they are on the live stage utilising not only their remarkable individual talents but also great interplay and improvisation, with no two shows ever being the same. On the flourishing UK live circuit, the Swansea based band continue to make an impression, having backed established acts such as Royal Southern Brotherhood and Walter Trout, who was heard to exclaim ‘ What A Kickin’ Band! ‘. Obvious comparisons could be made to Cream or Hendrix though it could be said that MPGs abilities range further still, incorporating a rich variety of flavours into their own secret formula, the band bring the genre into the 21st century, with radio friendly tunes, and a huge onstage sound.
The Mean Mistreaters
Another local band that are Tenby regulars, undoubtedly one of the finest Chicago style bands on the UK circuit featuring a number of veterans from other bands including Stan (bass), Nino (drums), and Big Mo (harp/vocals) from swing sensations The Numbers Racket, Tiny (guitar) from too many Welsh bands to mention, and Steve (keyboards) from rock ‘n’ roll legends The Curveballs.
Mellow Down Easy
An authentic mix of rocking harmonica and jumping guitar blues from South Wales.
Solo show from the dynamic front man of Stone Sole River. Encompassing hard rock, progressive blues, alt folk and psychedelia, Stone Sole River has built up a strong reputation performing throughout the UK. With the release of their debut album Terra Mama they have toured extensively opening for American blues virtuoso Joe Bonamassa on several of his UK tours as well as performing alongside an array of classic rock and blues artists.
Early blues maestro Jonathan Nicholas is taking time out from the amazing Rumblestrutters trio to develop his solo career.
Folk, blues, and beyond from this group of veterans, phoenix like arisen from the ashes of the Mardy Jug Band.
Yet another of the wonderful Blues bands plying their trade with energy, passion, and authenticity in the Principality.
Taffy Was a Thief
A quirky inventive trio who deliver performances which expose their entertaining compositions of rootsy acoustica with hypnotic percussion, growling sax and sawtooth harp.
“All the world’s blues wrapped in the dirt of the valleys.”
The Worried Men
“These boys can show ’em all a clean pair of heels” British Blues Connection.
Another band we got to have back, their live show is sensational, a solid experienced and inventive rhythm section lay down a platform for guitarist/vocalist Jamie to deliver his pyrotechnical mash-ups.
Dave ‘Doc’ Cutter
First visit to Tenby for the frontman of retro/gonzo psychobilly band Doc and The Headshrinkers. Expect the unexpected.
Big Joe Bone
Big Joe Bone plays what he calls “Blues-Grass” music…..a mix of Delta Blues, Bluegrass, Oldtime, Gospel and Hillbilly music utilizing his raspy vocals, hard driving harmonica rhythms, sublime bottleneck slide guitar playing (on steel bodied resonator guitars) and lightning finger-picking skills on 5 string banjos…..all held together by a very heavy stomping boot!
Originally from London and now living on the Mid-Wales coast, Danny started playing guitar as a schoolboy and has now been travelling all around the UK playing his fast, furious Roots music to eager audiences since 2012.
As well as playing songs from great Roots musicians like Son House, Dock Boggs, Bukka White, Flatt and Scruggs, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Charlie Parr, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Robert Johnson …..the list goes on and on, Big Joe also plays his own songs, which fit right in to his eclectic set…..which shows that when it comes to roots music, he really “gets it”.