Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ

Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ

Where Blues, BBQ & Culture Meet

Author: Alissa Johnson

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (USA)

BROWN COUNTY, Ind. — Southern Indiana-bred singer-guitarist Reverend Peyton is the bigger-than-life frontman of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.

That passionate inspiration has made Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band America’s foremost country blues outfit and fuels the Rev’s new release, The Front Porch Sessions. Peyton’sdazzling guitar mastery is equaled here by his knack for vivid, emotionally impactful songwriting, and his originals are matched in their authenticity by the deeply felt vintage blues tunes that he covers. The album showcases the Rev’s irrepressible personality while echoing the enduring spirit of such acoustic blues icons as Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Furry Lewis, whose “When My Baby Left Me” receives a memorable reading.

This will be The Rev’s first time to Australia before they head off on tour around Australia and to play at Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Kevin Borich Express

Kevin Borich –

Hi – For over 51 years I’ve ridden the musical wave, recording at 12yrs old in New Zealand, progressing through the La-De-Da’s with hit records, living & loving the professional musician’s life here in Australia, thanks to those who enjoy the fruits of my mission.

Much to my surprise, on October 24th 2017, I turned 70yrs old – => What the!!? – the new 60? – Nah! That sounds desperate!! – But thanks to the Cosmos, the kid inside is still alive & I’m still producing my original “FunkinRockinBlues” CD’s, DVD’s and playing live shows of all descriptions, this “Girrakool Blues Festival” being in the top shelf along with others I’ve had the honour to play.

If I told you all the highlights I’ve had re: Shows, the famous people I’ve performed with, it would take too long, if you are interested checkout that will give you a hearty slice of name dropping, plus you can subscribe to my news letters for news & future enjoyment via live performances.

So welcome to this amazing line up of Talent, and I hope you enjoy my contribution along with band members – Jon Carson Drums & Chris Gilbert Bass.

All the best – Cheers n Love Kevin

– – –

Kevin’s a bit lazy so >

He played The Historical SUNBURY Festivals.

Has actually played on stage with the likes of Carlos Santana, [at the Rock Arena Shows to 60,000 people, & at Sydney’s Entertainment Centre with Buddy Miles on Vocals]- – Joe Walsh [The Eagles],- Ritchie Blackmore [Deep Purple], Taj Mahal, Living Colour, – Legends Bo Diddley & John Mayall. Also Jamming with Ronny Wood [The Rolling Stones in Ronnie’s basement NY]

Was foundation member of The Party Boys, the name he thought of.

Has played support shows for Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Jeff Beck, Status Quo, Peter Frampton Buddy Guy – as well as our very best Australian Artists including Renee Geyer, Richard Clapton, Marc Hunter, Joe Camilleri.

Played the “Last Waltz Revisited” shows at the Sydney Opera House in April 2016, which also featured Tim Rogers, Richard Clapton, Olympia, Paul Dempsey, Vika & Linda Bull with the RockWiz Orkestra – yes that’s how they spell it! + The New Zealand Version by Liberty Stage Productions!

The True Legend to witness!!


The Backsliders

Iconic Australian blues group – Backsliders – are leaders and virtual pioneers in their own genre – ‘delta-blues wall of sound’.

As a three piece, they can lift the roof off any venue – moving from straight ahead, in your face, ‘amped up’ original blues – ‘Blues ’not ‘Roots’ that is – to ‘all-acoustic’ unplugged ‘way down south’ delta blues.

These guys have been writing, recording & performing acoustic-based blues for nearly 25 years – even before ‘roots and blues’ became a catch-phase with bands across the country.

Multi-media celebrity, Doug Mulray describes them as ‘the best acoustic blues band in the country’

2011 ARIA Blues and Roots nominees and I-Tunes Australian Blues and Roots album of the year winners, Backsliders have been playing, touring the festival circuit and recording for 27 years.

The latest release (due March 2014) ‘Dark Side’, their 13th to date, features their trademark driving Delta and Mississippi Hill country blues sounds mixed in with original 21st Century new blues anthems.

The previous release, ‘Starvation Box’ was heralded as their best to date, has been described as sounding like “hungry youths from the Deep South. Tracks have featured on the 2013 series of ABC TV’s ‘Underbelly’ program.

Slide Guitarist, multi-stringed instrumentalist, so ngwriter and vocalist, Dom Turner, is the founding member of the group. Dom’s influences are many and varied – a blend of delta blues, piedmont blues, rock, dub and sounds of Asia.

He is a highly regarded speaker on blues and roots music and has guested on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) radio programs and presented music workshops at festivals and in universities (both nationally and internationally).

As well as playing in the Backsliders, Dom has toured as a solo artist in the USA, playing Augusta Blues week in West Virginia in 1996 and 1998, and in early 2006, he toured Mexico with US blues greats, Del Ray and Steve James.

In 2004 Dom was voted Songwriter of the Year’ at the Australian Blues Awards in Goulburn, NSW and has a sculpture in recognition of this honour at the Goulburn Visitors Centre.

Drum and percussion virtuoso and songwriter Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil), an acclaimed name synonymous with the best of Australian music, has been with Backsliders for 12 years. As a founding member spending 25 years in Midnight Oil, Rob’s work needs no explanation- he stands as one of the world’s great drummers – now drawing on his early jazz and swamp-rock influences to produce a sound that is integral to the Backsliders 21stcentury blues grooves.

Rob’s achievements in the music industry are many and varied including In publishing his first work of prose on Pan McMillan – ‘Willies Bar & Grill’ telling the story of Midnight Oil’s USA & Canadian tour just after September 11.

Joining Dom and Rob are two of Australia’s most innovative and dynamic harmonica players; the legendary Brod Smith (Dingoes, Brod Smith’s Big Combo) and ARIA award winning harmonica genius Ian Collard (Collard, Greens & Gravy).

The 2 blues-harp dynamos play alternate gigs, each blazing his own trail to the raw energy of the Backsliders soun
d. It’s a furious ride – with Dom Turner and Rob Hirst doing their thing, setting the grooves and taking no prisoners, and Ian and Brod (you never know who you will get) firing-up the amps to fuel the maelstrom.

These guys are renowned for captivating live shows – an eclectic mix of blues styles moving from driving delta blues
riffs and jungle-like rhythms to ‘Piedmont’ blues influenced ‘all-acoustic’ unplugged treatments of 1920’s songs by blues heroes such as Mississippi Fred McDowell and Robert Johnson.

The achievements, success and reviews over the band’s 25+ years tell it all.

The 2011 album, ‘Starvation Box’, their 12th release, has been heralded as their finest work to date. The 2007 ‘Left Field Holler’ is an eclectic mix of hard hitting, frenetic new blues mixed with poignant ballads again taking the band to new limits. The 2005 ‘Live’ album is a collection of live performances from the Basement in Sydney, as well as the Melbourne blues festival.

The 2003 DVD, ‘Live at the Basement’ features live footage from one of Backsliders many gigs at The Basement in Sydney. The concert featured tracks from Backsliders’ 8th and latest album, ‘Hanoi’. Described as a new direction for a band that welcomes evolution and seems to expand their audience with every new release, ‘Hanoi’ was voted ‘Rhythms’ Magazine Readers Poll Blues Album of the Year for 2002 and was a 2002 finalist at the prestigious Australian Record Industry Awards (ARIA). ‘Hanoi’ is a studio album of mostly original songs by Dom Turner and Rob Hirst. The band’s previous album, ‘Poverty Deluxe’ (1999), was a 1999 ARIA

Kevin Bennett & The Flood

Kevin Bennett, well-respected indigenous Singer/Songwriter with Sydney Blues/Roots band The Flood, Aria nominee and CMAA Gold Guitar winner in 2006 (with The Flood for Best Group), 2011(with Kasey Chambers for Vocal Collaboration) and 2016 (with Bennett, Bowtell and Urquhart for Best Alternative Album and Best Group), writes relevant, contemporary Australian music containing elements of Blues, Rock, Folk and Country – telling stories of where he’s from and where he might be going, his past and his future….he sings his life.

The Flood line-up is KB (Vox/Guitar), Glen Hannah (Guitar/Vox), Wayne ‘Killer’ Kellett (Bass/Vox) and Mik McCartin (Drums/Vox).

The Flood has recorded 5 universally acclaimed albums including ‘The Ballad Of KB’, which was recently named in the Top Twenty Australian Country Albums of all time, while Rhythms magazine calls The Flood ‘the best Australian Roots band since The Dingoes.’

Z-Star Delta (UK)

Z-STAR DELTA are fast becoming hot music property in Australia, being hailed as the highlight of many a festival, thanks to their most legendary live performances.
Fronted by international artist, musician and producer Zee Gachette (Z-Star, SlowTrainSoul) on vocals, acoustic guitar and drums, with a guitar prodigy by her side on Electric, Lapsteel, Synth, Loops, FX and Bass. It’s an impressively huge sound for a two piece band, that travels through an intoxicating and modern mix of Country Blues and Desert Rock. Musically speaking, it’s no surprise that Zee’s captivating tone and grit have been likened to greats such as Nina Simone and Janis Joplin. But what’s even more striking is that these powerful vocals are being delivered whilst she drums with a compelling, Bo Diddly-inspired, tribal intensity. This is a must see!!

“Nitrous-injected hyper-blues that spiritually hail from the Mississippi Delta…” – 100% Rock Magazine
“Fast rising blues duo” – Beat Magazine
“(Zee is) a force of nature” – Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
“It’s from the soul (their music) comes, and to the soul it connects” – GlamAdelaide


AJ Ghent [j-ent] (USA)

AJ Ghent [j-­‐ent], constructs a musical sound that can be heard howling from the church to the streets to the clubs. His style can be defined as fresh, nostalgic, electrifying and roots rock, -­‐-­‐ fusing blues, funk, rock, and pop, mashing it into a genre he likes to call, NEO BLUES.

The energy and passion which resonates from AJ’s music, from the strum of the guitar and the conviction of the vocals, the pounding rhythm of the drums, to the thought provoking lyrics, is sure to be felt by any crowd. AJ aims to create an unforgettable experience for music lovers, with the hopes of taking them to a musical paradise. A little hip-­‐shaking, finger snapping, head nodding is all you need for this tuneful travel excursion.

He calls James Brown, Prince, and his family heritage as influences. He can be heard picking, sliding and strumming all over those strings, whether it’s one of his custom built 8-­‐string lap steel hybrids or his acoustic resonator.

What is different from most lap steel players is AJ performs standing upright like a guitar player, using his over handed technique to play slide, so that he can dance, and have more mobility during his live shows. AJ was born to fly!

AJ Ghent [J-­‐ent] is a musician hailing from Fort Pierce, Florida and growing up was all about the music. Music has truly been running through his family for generations; such as his great uncle Willie Eason, the creator of the “Sacred Steel Tradition,” and his grandfather Henry Nelson, the founder of the “Sacred Steel” rhythmic guitar style. This style is played by many names today, such as Robert Randolph, The Campbell Brothers, and more.

“Forged in the congregational hotbox of the Southern Pentecostal House of God church, sacred steel music is an electrified rhythm, punctuated by sharp blasts of soaring solos, played on amplified lap steel guitar. It’s an open tuning, on an eight-­‐stringed instrument, and sometimes it can sound like the roaring, whooping and hollering voice of God himself has joined the gospel fervor.” (reference Connect Savannah, 2013)

So around 12 years old, the young AJ got a hold of something special; “it was one of the first sacred steel CDs, with my father, my grandfather and my great uncle on there. At that point, I became interested in the instrument, and I would listen to that thing until I broke it.” (reference: Connect Savannah August 2013)

After High School, AJ traveled down to the West Palm Beach, FL area with his sister, Tiffany Ghent to explore the city’s range of genres, from hip-­‐hop to R&B, while playing in Top 40 music bands. However, AJ was in search of something more, a style that was uniquely his own.

Something was bubbling…

Fresh with his marriage to his bride MarLa, a singer herself, he set his eyes on Atlanta, GA. When he arrived in Atlanta, AJ took on sideman jobs, studio session work. Not long after, AJ met the legendary Colonel Bruce Hampton who began to mentor him; teaching him what mattered the most; “time – tone and space” for all his music and life journeys. AJ was invited to play in Hampton’s band, Pharaoh’s Kitchen, which he did for about a year -­‐-­‐ and like true Colonel Bruce style, the elder statesman always reminded AJ to be ‘true to himself.’

He has had a colorful career thus far playing and opening for such legendary acts like Zac Brown, The Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks, Robert Cray, and Gov’t Mule. He can be heard on various recordings with Zac Brown, Luther Dickinson, and featured on Zac Brown’s 2013 Grohl Sessions Vol. 1 alongside Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters). AJ’s band has had various formations, from a trio to a full-­‐size live band with horns, playing small clubs to mid-­‐large sized festivals and arenas; dazzling audiences everywhere. In 2015, he released a DVD/CD called LIVE AT TERMINAL WEST – recorded and filmed at the Terminal West venue in the old King Plow factory in Atlanta, GA. This was well-­‐received by fans and critics praising the fearless leader! “The 11-­‐song album is a relentless, high-­‐energy romp through gospel, soul and funk-­‐infused landscapes, with a couple of cool-­‐down moments just so the audience can catch their collective breath.” (Relix, 2015)

At the age of 31, AJ Ghent [J-­‐ent] knows where his talent comes from and isn’t afraid to explore other sounds. The Neo-­‐Blues Project is something different: A musical fusion form that takes art and skill to master, something that AJ Ghent [J-­‐ent] has spent his whole life perfecting. Look, watch and listen for this on March 3, 2018.

Chris Wilson Band

CHRIS WILSON has been an essential part of blues and rock music in Australia since taking the stage with the Sole Twisters twenty years ago. Stints with Harum Scarum and Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls followed, and the end of the 80s saw Wilson as one of our finest vocalists, harmonica players and songwriters, fronting the superb Crown of Thorns.

His instrumental gifts have oft been utilised on recordings by the likes of James Reyne, Hunters and Collectors, Vika and Linda, Renee Geyer, Archie Roach, X, Deb Conway and Ross Hannaford’s Dianna Kiss. Chris has enjoyed the company of Australia’s best musicians on stage and in the studio when realising his own visions in song.

Chris has performed in the U.S. at SXSW and two Folk Alliance Conferences. He has won the respect of many overseas artists, among these Joe Henry, Charlie Musselwhite and Tony Joe White. Bob Dylan once made a special trip backstage to shake Chris’ hand after a show together in 1992!
Chris has appeared at every major Australian festival and his performances, filled as they are with his own brand of sensuality and the dynamic power that leaves his audiences so satisfied, are always a highlight. Chris’ stage presence, voice and talent are all as big as the country he lives in. CHRIS WILSON is a master of his craft.

Sarah Carroll & Her Psychedelic Wildmen

“..a brilliant singer and songwriter” Jeff Lang
“..totally believable songs…outstanding” Billy Pinnell
“..Aided and abetted by a stellar lineup of musicians, this is music that wanders freely off the country reservation, bringing soul-infused horns, gospel and folk traditions along for the ride..a great album of songs…You can’t ask for much more than that.” Jarrod Watt, ABC Ballarat, Oct 6 2008
“...her second solo album retains affectionate links with the vintage Nashville swoon of Patsy and Loretta…a calm, clear voice that’s neither overtly Melbourne nor Memphis.” Michael Dwyer, The Age.

Bondi Cigars

This award-winning quartet has well and truly established themselves into Australia’s musical heart since forming in 1989.

Rarely has an Australian band received as much consistent and widespread acclaim from critics and music fans alike as the Bondi Cigars. With half a dozen albums under their belt already, and over a dozen years of constant touring, this award winning quartet have well and truly worked their way into Australia’s musical heart.

The Bondi’s have consistently delivered the goods; with Down In The Valley nominated in the 2003 ARIA awards for Best Blues & Roots Album, 1995’s After Closing Time awarded Best Blues Album at the 1996 Lithgow Blues Festival, and two of their songs, Lead Me Not Into Temptation and Intensive Care, chosen to feature on the popular ABC Seachange album.

In 2015, the band released their 10th album, “Child in the Desert” and it has been well received by fans and critics.

The band has been invited to perform at festivals such as The Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival, Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival, Moomba Festival, Queenscliff Festival, The Byron Bay East Coast Festival and The Kangaroo Point Festival. The band are also regular guests at leading Australian venues such as The Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide, The Basement in Sydney, The Healer in Brisbane, The Charles Hotel in Perth and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne.

With their fantastic mix of blues, soul, funk and R & B, they have maintained their status as one of this country’s most in-demand touring acts, with shows numbering over a hundred and fifty each year. Over a decade later, many original fans are still supporting the band.

The Bondi Cigars have also built a solid reputation as one of the best live acts in the country.

As with all great bands, the sum of the whole exceeds the sum of the parts and The Bondi Cigars are no exception:

Shane Pacey (vocals and guitar) the principle songwriter and vocalist, came to the Cigars after playing with bands such as Sydney’s Earls Of Duke. His song writing and dynamic vocals, teamed with the fluid rhythms of Alan, have largely defined the sound and direction of The Bondi Cigars.

Alan Britton (bass and vocals) brings to the band his many years experience playing with some of this country’s foremost roots outfits including the Mangrove Boogie Kings, the legendary Dynamic Hepnotics and the Foreday Riders. His instinctive feel for a groove and ability to ride the rhythm lay the base for those great Bondi tunes.

Eben Hale (guitar and vocals) was a driving force behind the successful Blue Mountain Blues Club, playing in the house band at the Club’s meetings as well as taking a behind-the-scenes role booking acts and ensuring their events ran smoothly. Eben’s burgeoningsong writing talents and effusive guitar lines add an extra dimension to the already vibrant sound of the Bondi Cigars.

Frank Corby (drums) From Boston, Massachusetts, USA, now a resident in Australia who cut his teeth in various Drum Corp, Swing and funk bands before playing in various original rock, R&B and funk bands touring all over the USA. Since arriving in Australia he has lent his awesome skills to acts such as Gangajang, Floyd Vincent and the Childbrides, Guy LeClaire and Latin big band Babalu. He was resident drummer with the Blue Mountains blues jam band where he played regularly with soon-to-be Cigar, Eben Hale.


ByonwithComments Off on 19-Twenty

19-Twenty are: Kane Dennelly – Vox and guitars / Syd Green – Award winning producer and percussionist – Drums, Dobro / John Gwilliam – Double bass and BV’s.

19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene.

They are electric. They are manic. An infectious riff and groove based blue-billy-grass-rockin’-roots band.

Imagine walking into a bar a little bit cut and a little bent sideways. You look to the stage, lights are turned down, amps cranked up. You hear one part Gary Clark Jnr, one part Black Keys, and a whole lot of drunken sailor. This is what the latest single ‘Sailor Jerry’conjures.

The 19-Twenty lads have been performing their high-energy sonic party nationally, headlining sell-out shows and festivals in all states and territories. Constantly on the road or in the sky, they have toured seven times around Oz and performed gigs throughout Europe including Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and a suite of gigs in London (a highlight was a spell at the famous Alley Cat nightclub in SoHo). Performing anywhere and everywhere, this straight-up 100% independent act have been blazing throughout Europe and Australia and gaining new music fans/fiends from their live shows.

Check out their latest video: