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BLUESFEST announces Sideshows from Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Wailers, Sturgill Simpson & The Selecter

| 14 October 2015 | Reply

BLUESFEST announces Sideshows from Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Wailers, Sturgill Simpson & The Selecter

The Wailers

The Wailers

Music lovers who can’t make it to idyllic Byron Bay over Easter for Bluesfest 2016 will be happy to hear that an impressive array of Bluesfest sideshows will be coming to our major cities and a number of regional venues next March/April.

First up is a hugely talented star on the rise, American Alternative Country artist Sturgill Simpson, who will be in Sydney and Melbourne before making his Bluesfest debut next March. Sturgill Simpson has been heralded as the next Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash all rolled into one and cleaned up at the recent 2015 Americana Awards, taking out the Artist of the Year award and Song of the Year award for ‘Turtles All The Way Down’.

One of America’s most celebrated storytellers, Steve Earle and his long-time backup band The Dukes will be returning to Australia for Bluesfest and a huge run of sideshows. His latest release Terraplane (2015) charted higher than his trademark Copperhead Road peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues charts, No. 2 on the Billboard Folk albums chart, No. 3 on the Billboard Country albums chart, debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard 200.

Husband and wife Alt–Country duo, The Mastersons, will also be returning to Australia as the special guest on most of the Steve Earle dates, further details can be found below.

Also included in the first announcement are Jamaican Reggae icons The Wailers, led by legendary bassist and long-time band leader Aston ‘Family Man’ who have announced an extensive run of Bluesfest sideshows. The Wailers will be performing one of their classic albums in entirety at each show including; Exodus, Survival, Uprising and Legend (the best-selling Reggae album of all time) plus the big hits like ‘No Woman, No Cry’, ‘Redemption Song’, ‘Is this Love’, and more.

The Selecter will be bringing their legendary live shows to Sydney and Melbourne as well as Bluesfest next March. The Iconic Ska group dropped their best new album release in a decade earlier this year, the highly acclaimed Subculture mixed by UK dub-master Prince Fatty.

Many more official sideshow announcements are still to come in the lead up to Bluesfest, held in Byron Bay 24th- 28th March 2016.

Sturgill Simpson

Bluesfest Touring is honoured to present one of the biggest names in Country music right now: Sturgill Simpson.

From winning Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2014 Americana Music Awards to conquering the same awards ceremony this year, winning Song of the Year for ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ and Artist of the Year, Sturgill Simpson is fast becoming the most exciting, talked about artist in Country music in years.

Performing every major event from Bonnaroo to Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, international TV appearances & sold out headlining performances; Simpson’s music career is exploding. His current tour of the US has been so popular he was compelled to increase the original schedule by double to meet the demand from fervent audiences all over the country.

Not to mention a list of accolades that never seem to end – His highly acclaimed second album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 for Americana Album of the year. Topping just about every major music outlet’s hit list of 2014, the ground-breaking album came #18 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 50 Best Albums of 2014, #1 in American Songwriters Top 50 Albums of 2014, # 2 in Best Country Albums of 2014 & ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ #4 in the Best Country Songs of 2014. He also claimed #1 Album, #1 Male Vocalist, #1 Songwriter, #2 Artist & #6 single in the 2014 Nashville Scene Country Music Critics Poll.

Hailing from Eastern Kentucky, Sturgill is consistently referred to as the ‘real deal’ – the second coming of the true outlaws of Country music Johnny Cash & Waylon Jennings, with an edge that has brought him attention from David Byrne, Dan Auerbach, Dwight Yoakam & Jason Isbell. His music pushes the boundaries of classic Country to various genres, containing elements of Roots, Psychedelia and Soul and has even been described as “Country music for people who don’t like Country”.

His ability to sound concurrently both nostalgic and contemporary Country, largely owing to his song writing brilliance, has earned him respect from heavyweights of Country including legend Merle Haggard, who was quoted saying Simpson is “the only player in modern Country music who makes the cut”.

Lovers of music rejoice! Making his Australian tour debut in 2016, Sturgill Simpson’s star is on the rise and fast becoming renowned as one of the most important Country musicians today – make sure you get in and be one to say ‘I saw him when’!

The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW – TUE 22 MAR 2016
170 Russell, Melbourne VIC – WED 23 MAR 2016
— Also appearing at Bluesfest 2016 —


Steve Earle & the Dukes

Incomparable Country/Blues/Folk-rocker & pioneer of the Outlaw Country music movement, Steve Earle is returning to Australia.

Grammy award winning, prolific, and multi-skilled, Earle knocked the world on its head in 1986 with the ground-breaking Guitar Town, which shot to No. 1 on the Country charts and immediately established the term “New Country”.

A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt & Guy Clark, Earle is a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, Joan Baez & countless others.

From biting hard rock to minimalist beauty to politically charged masterpieces, Earle’s catalogue bursts with 16 exciting, varied releases including Copperhead Road, Train A Comin’, Jerusalem, the Grammy Award winning The Revolution Starts…Now, Washington Square Serenade & Townes, and his latest 2015 release, Terraplane, his first ever Blues album, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, won Blues Blast Magazine Acoustic Blues Album of the Year Award 2015, & outsold every release since Copperhead Road. He’s notched 9 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 country standard/pub-rock anthem ‘Copperhead Road’, 10 Top 10 albums & has 3 platinum-selling albums.

If his musical poetry isn’t enough, he is also a fearless political activist, an acclaimed playwright and actor, and now novelist, having released ‘I’ll Never Get out of Here Alive’ in 2011.

Steve Earle & his formidable band The Dukes are renowned for their rocking live show. Set to pack a punch yet again, returning often to Australia due to high audience demand. The seasoned, multi-instrumentalist offers musical prowess and provocative food-for-thought delivered with imaginative poetry and a glistening plethora of genres that sweep through a remarkable 30+ year career.

Joining Steve Earle & The Dukes on most sideshows are the special guests, American alt-country duo, The Mastersons. Hailling from Brooklyn, New York, The Mastersons comprise of husband and wife duo Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. Their most recent album Good Luck Charm (2014) received rave reviews such as this; “Boasting famed producer Jim Scott, Good Luck Charm strikes close to the jangle of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, while the effortless harmonies bring to mind the Jayhawks’ brand of Americana.” Austin Chronicle.

Astor Theatre, Perth WA – FRI 11 MAR 2016 with Special Guests The Mastersons
Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney NSW – WED 16 MAR 2016 with Special Guests The Mastersons
The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW – THURS 17 MAR 2016 with Special Guests The Mastersons
Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC – FRI 18 & SAT 19 MAR 2016 with Special Guests The Mastersons
MACKAY ENTERTAINMENT & CONVENTION CENTRE, Mackay QLD TUE 22 MAR 2016 with Special Guests The Mastersons
Tanks, Cairns QLD – THURS 24 MAR 2016
— Also appearing at Bluesfest 2016 & Port Fairy Folk Festival 2016 —


The Selecter

One of the biggest names in Ska 2-Tone, The Selecter, are coming to Australia in 2016 – so get your dancing shoes ready! The original front pair of Pauline Black & Gaps Hendrickson re-launched The Selecter in 2011 and have been blazing new paths since.

They’ve played at major festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, headlined UK tours and recorded three studio albums, the latest of which, Subculture, is mixed by UK dub-master Prince Fatty. Pauline & Gaps are also scheduled to play fifteen dates in 2015 with Jools Holland, including a gala performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

“We’ve been going from strength to strength because the reaction to us as a live band has been absolutely brilliant everywhere we go,” says Pauline, a tireless human and women’s rights activist who’s also hosted shows on Radio 6 Music and written a critically acclaimed autobiography.

You can’t take your eyes off them when they’re on stage. They deliver the same anarchic passion that fuelled Selecter gigs during the 2 Tone era, when they toured with The Specials and Madness at the peak of their early fame. As well as performing enduring popular hits like Three Minute Hero, Missing Words & On My Radio, and others from the Too Much Pressure album they’re writing incredible new material.

Rooted in ska, punk and reggae & they’ve even added a horn section, which fills out their sound magnificently. The quirky melodies and social commentaries remain. Their audiences are getting younger and they’ve succeeded in bringing many of their long-time fans along for the ride as well.

Powerful poignant, ever-evolving, and back with more gusto than ever, The Selecter will deliver Australian audiences with a rare, exciting set – you’ll have no choice but to get moving as soon as you hear their infectious classics!

The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW – WED 23 MAR 2016
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC – FRI 25 MAR 2016
— Also appearing at Bluesfest 2016 —


Bluesfest Touring is wrapped to present one of the most significant bands touring the world today: The Wailers. The Wailers will be performing four massive, unique shows, playing a different album out of Exodus, Survival, Uprising & Legend, in its entirety as well as their greatest hits including ‘No Woman, No Cry’, ‘Redemption Song’, ‘Is this Love’, and more at each show. That’s right – every show will be different show each time, stay tuned for further details.

The Wailers prodigious mission, led by legendary Aston “Family Man” Barrett, is to uphold the legacy of Reggae prophet Bob Marley. Together with Bob Marley, the Wailers sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide, notching up over 20 chart hits, including 7 Top 10 entries. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, the Wailers have performed for an estimated 24 million people worldwide & performed with other greats such as Sting, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Peter Tosh & Jason Mraz.

This is the line-up that pioneered roots rock reggae. Under Family Man’s musical leadership, they partnered with Bob Marley on the succession of hit singles and albums that made him a global icon, winner of several Lifetime Achievement awards, and Jamaica’s best-loved musical superstar. Family Man Barrett was Bob Marley’s right-hand man, co-writer, band leader, and responsible for finishing and releasing Marley’s posthumous release ‘Confrontation’.

For millions of people the heartbeat of Reggae remains the songs of Bob Marley and the Wailers. The anchor of the band is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who in addition to being Marley’s most trusted lieutenant, played on countless other classic reggae hits throughout the seventies. The authenticity he brings to the Wailers’ sound is indisputable and yet today’s line-up combines old school know-how with lead vocals from one of Jamaica’s most exciting new singers in Dwayne Anglin.

Tanks, Cairns QLD – THURS 17 MAR 2016
The Playhouse, Darwin Entertainment Centre NT – SAT 19 MAR 2016
Astor Theatre, Perth WA – MON 21 MAR 2016
Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney NSW – WED 23 MAR 2016
— Also performing all 4 albums Exodus, Survival, Uprising & Legend in entirety over 4 nights + all the hits at Bluesfest 2016 —

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