Monday, October 02, 2006

Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival Narooma, NSW. October long weekend 2006

Daddy Cool reappears and plays among us, to the absolute delight of the huge audience !! The legendary OZ rock 'n rollers from the early seventies played classics plus material from "The New Cool" CD in a set which was better than imaginable. The harmonies are tight, Ross Wilson's vocals superb - "I'll Never Smile Again" was magnificent - Ross Hannaford's lead was eloquent and spare, and the rhythm section was boppier than you remember. They are cool, they rule, Daddy's back!!

The festival was held in beautiful Narooma, maybe for the last time due to local noise considerations - well you'd think the revenue would assist - but it's the vocal minority I guess.

The entertainment was well worth the price of admission as always. Unfortunately I was a bit crook so had to miss some acts - I didn't hear Bomba or Kevin Borich Express who Jamie my 17 year old son said were "awesome". Also there were a number of people buying the Audreys' CD, so they made an impact.

My faves from those I saw, apart from Daddy Cool were :
Charlie Musselwhite Band - a muscular swinging unit with old lege Charlie showing what a virtuoso he is, and what a nice guy
Jim Conway's Big Wheel - another fab harp player and wide choice of musical styles, also entertaining band
Kelly Joe Phelps - intense introspective performer playing to himself, but what a voice and masterful guitarist - those who missed him missed a brush with greatness
The Backsliders - with Broderick Smith filling the harp chair and adding his own personality - a very good gig
Lee Rocker Band - propulsive rockabilly with an edge from this ex Stray Cat

Kelly Joe Phelps

The Sunday service was blessed with the voices of the Gospel Hummingbirds. I was expecting Blind Boys' gruff sledgehammer vocals but these guys were smooooooth like 70's silky soul, but could steam it up as well with great guitar, rhythm and panache in their holy white 'meet Jesus' suits. In fact they were almost too good and maybe a bit too preachy for the blues crowd. Their parting song about "Meeting you in the Rapture" was almost The Three Amigos do gospel. Still, ya can't discount the sincerity...

The three speeches /sermons at the service were excellent. Thought provoking topics - diversity and ecology which we need more of in today's climate of erosion of human rights through the politics of fear and marginalisation. I read in Rhythms that Charlie Musselwhite , now in his 70s, was compelled to include three political songs on his latest "Delta Hardware" CD. "In the past I've never touched on anything political. I think it's patriotic to stand up and say what's right and he's [Bush] wrong. It's about greed and power and money - the worst president in history".

Legendary Charlie Musselwhite at Narooma 2006

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