The Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival is celebrating over fifteen years of this vibrant festival in Gloucester. In its current guise in started again in 2000, but had to be partially cancelled in 2007 due to the floods, though after a major mopping up some venues did manage to host acts.
In 2016 it was based around the town centre in a variety of pubs, café’s and restaurants with the main stage outside Café Rene being used at the weekends.
During the week it had a wide range of Blues artists including Damon T, The Rumblestrutters and Chicago Bytes and on Friday 29th July hosted the official album launch of the new Sons of the Delta (acoustic duo) album entitled “Red Hot at Peppers”. This was a live recording from a session at Peppers at the 2015 Blues festival.
It featured two local Gloucester musicians Mark Cole and Rick Edwards who are active in the local scene and also play with the Jigantics (who had a new album launch at the Convent, Stroud the following day).
The venue was packed with fans and interested blues aficionados, who dodged the rain showers, enjoyed the great food prepared by Toby and Anne, and enjoyed the set.
Earlier in the week on Tuesday we had heard the early blues slide guitar style of Damon T, born in New York but now based in Gloucester, at Peppers Café, the impassioned singer/songwriter Barney Porter at Tank by the Gloucester docks (missing his partner Jerv on percussion due to family farming commitments) and the Texan country sound of Brennan Leigh and Noel McKay at the historic New Inn.
Finally, on the Tuesday at Café Rene we had the excellent Debbie Bond band with Debbie on vocals and guitar and partner Rick Asherson on keyboards and backing vocals with drummer Mick Barker.
Debbie gave us a set of Alabama based powerful blues taken from her recent album Enjoy the Ride – Shoals Sessions along with some other favourites. All went down well, along with the beer, to an appreciative audience.
Café Rene have been putting on music as part of the festival for 14 years and hosted on their main stage, on the green behind the café at the weekends, such notable acts such as Victoria Klewin and the True Tones, Sari Schoor and the Engine Room and Band of Friends (celebrating the music of Rory Gallagher.
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