The Blues Trail takes place from noon until 11pm on the Saturday of the festival and from noon until 7pm on the Sunday in many hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars around Tenby. Admission to all these gigs is free.
Details of who is playing where and when, together with an accompanying map, will be published nearer the date of the festival. Tickets for the main events are on sale elsewhere on this website.
Performers Booked are
The Bay Rum Hounds
The Bay Rum Hounds feature harp, percussion, and guitar. They play country blues, hokum, early Chicago style electric, gospel and swing.
Bella Collins & Gareth Evans
Bella has been wowing audiences at Tenby Blues Festival since she first performed when very young at the late night session. This year she graces the Blues Trail with her duo partner, Gareth Evans, a Pembrokeshire chap now living in Cardiff. Gareth’s guitar work at times incredibly delicate, at others totally incendiary, is the perfect accompaniment to Bella’s smoky, heartfelt, Jazz tinged, near unique vocals. Despite favourable comparisons with Amy Winehouse and Bonnie Raitt, Bella is most definitely her own woman.
Bella has released CDs with both Gareth and her own band.
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 Swifts Club, Monkton, 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 has released 7 full length albums to date and has been critically acclaimed by major music magazines like MOJO, Uncut and Q as well as receiving radio support from Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2. In 2017 he released ‘The Nashville Songs’ – an inspired collection of songs co-written in Music City, USA. A dynamic, soulful and passionate performer Rees employs a wide range of roots styles from vintage old-time country, delta blues, upbeat Rockabilly, dark clawhammer banjo and stripped back acoustic storytelling. He has toured with ‘Country Outlaw’ heros like Steve Earle and Billy Joe Shaver as well music legends John Cale, Wanda Jackson and most recently the great Mavis Staples.
Dec & Eugene’s Juke Joint
A big hit at last year’s festival, we bring back Dec & Eugene’s Juke Joint. 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, Albert Lee, Deke Leonard, Paul Lamb, and Ben Waters. GLAS, fronted by Dai John on vocals and bass, with the drums of Sam Andrews, and lead guitar of James Oliver are one of the hardest working bands on the scene with regular festival appearances all over the UK and beyond.
Their latest album, released on Proper Records and consisting entirely of self-penned tunes is selling like the proverbial rock cakes. Glas return to the Blues Trail because they love Tenby. And Tenby loves them.
‘Gary Hall, Celtic soul man, infused with the epic sweep of Springsteen.’ The Guardian ‘Listen to Hall closely and hear touches of Dylan and Gram Parsons: straightforward with all the power of a freight train.’ Folk Roots. ‘Gary Hall’s contribution to shaping what we now refer to as “Americana” should not be underestimated.’ Whisperin’ & Hollerin’.
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.
Ian Cal Ford and His Acoustic Preachers
Ian Cal Ford, son of Cal Ford “The Welsh Johnny Cash”, has been performing around the world for 25 years solo and with his bands The Railmen and White Doves. He’s coming to Tenby following the release of his critically acclaimed Wood & Wire album which features him and His Acoustic Preachers playing an exciting mix of Blues, Gospel, Bluegrass, and roots country.
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.
Keith & Julie Richards
Hailing from Blackwood in the Welsh valleys, this acoustic duo features earthy vocals and harmonica playing from Julie, driven by Keith’s solid blues picking and slide guitar. Together, they deliver their own take on a range of blues classics, along with a few self-penned numbers thrown in for good measure.
Lee McCrory & James Oliver
We just had to have Lee back with his idiosyncratic tunes and passionate Tom Waits style vocals. As an added bonus he’ll be joined on stage by the master of twang (and more) by James Oliver of GLAS.
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”.
Low Down Dirty Dog Blues Band
A hypnotic and exciting trio playing down home steel guitar blues, melodic country, and Americana
Marc Davies Band
The Marc Davies Band are currently electrifying audiences, playing their own songs and a wide selection of blues rock including music by Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Gary Clark Jr, John Mayer, James Brown, The Doors, Cream, John Lee Hooker, Rory Gallagher and more. Numerous gigs including a recent spot supporting Eric Bell of Thin Lizzy have seen the band steadily building a reputation due to some fiery guitar playing and soulful vocals from Marc, and an incredibly tight rhythm section comprised of Huw Owen on bass (Wenfflam) and John Munro on drums (Pino Palladino, John Sloman, Gary Moore, David Knopfler).
The Mean Mistreaters with Johnny Bird on Harmonica
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.
Stone Sole River Band
Encompassing hard rock, progressive blues, alt folk and psychedelia, Stone Sole River has built up a strong reputation performing throughout the UK. Following the release of their debut album Terra Mama they 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. Featuring Tenby regular Mike Parker on guitar and vocals.
String Theory is the side project of incendiary guitarist Luke Doherty whose band has been lighting up festival stages throughout the UK and Europe and who is one of the young British Blues performers tipped for the top. Nominated in this year’s British Blues Awards.
Jonathan Nicholas is an acoustic blues musician hailing from the industrial heartlands of the South Wales valleys. With a passion for playing Delta Blues from a young age starting after hearing Robert Johnson for the first time, he has immersed himself in the Delta culture. Having mastered the playing style and with guitars from the 1920s and 1930s he is able to produce a sound as authentic as you could wish for in any Juke Joint. Pre-war blues on prewar guitars.
‘The best young player of Delta Blues I’ve seen in years and years”. – Andrew Smith (Author of Moondust & Totally Wired, Broadcaster for BBC & Guardian Journalist)
Old Strafford are three old friends and musicians who got together to play music from the genres they love. Expect ‘30s Blues, Gospel, Jug Band, Swing, and Americana. Plenty to enjoy and even sing along with.
Yet another of the wonderful Blues bands plying their trade with energy, passion, and authenticity in the Principality.
Smokestack Lightnin’ are a five piece blues rock band from Cardiff and they kick up one hell of a glorious racket!
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.”
George has played and recorded with many bands and artists including Pressgang, Peter Sarstedt, Roy Bailey and The Outcast Band. He has toured extensively in many countries from Moldova to the USA and has performed at festivals including Dranouter (Belgium), Jubeck (Germany), SxSW (USA), Glastonbury (UK) and Cropredy (UK).
He fronts his own accordion driven blues band Bluebox and works with fiddle player Helen Adam in the highly successful duo Fiddlebox. At Tenby he’ll be performing his solo Blues set on accordion!
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.