Fine art and blues music might not seem the most obvious of bedfellows, but Daniel Hunt, who has been running a Chelsea-based gallery for over 25 years, and who also describes John Lee Hooker’s music as something that “really gets my blood pumping” is an aficionado of both, and it is the latter that he celebrates when he welcomes blues-lovers to Haydon Down Farm for Blues Down Festival on the 13th of August.
When UK Blues extraordinaire Will Johns (son of legendary producer Andy Johns) spent some time with Daniel at Haydon Down Farm, they both realised that Haydons Bank forms a natural amphitheatre, and that the space was just crying out for a gig.
“We just had to do it!” Daniel exclaims, “When Will came to stay a couple of months ago and played an open air gig in Bridport, I realised I’d forgotten just how alive live music is”.
So the touch paper was lit on an event which brings some of the UK’s finest blues and roots musicians to West Dorset.
Of course Will Johns had to play; his latest album ‘Bluesdaddy’ hit the number 1 spot in the Roots Music Report’s UK album, and his masterful balance between old soul & modern flair, has seen him become a festival favourite across the UK and European blues circuit.
Brooks Williams, the Cambridge UK-based, Statesboro, Georgia US-born guitarist singer/songwriter, was another natural choice. Described as “the real thing” by Martin Simpson, Brooks has released an incredible 29 albums in 30 years, and is the definition of a “road dog” musician.
Booked by Daniel on the recommendation of none other than The Who’s Pete Townsend, Reg Meuross & Geraint Watkins will be performing material from “Master Storyteller” (PennyBlack Music) Meuross’s back catalogue as well as a new collection of songs based on the life of Woody Guthrie ‘Fire & Dust’.
The Danny Giles Band (Danny Giles – Guitar & Vox, Pat Garvey – Drums, & Jon Chase – Bass) bring their no nonsense attitude full-blooded rock with a twist of blues, gospel and soul to the party too, and completing the lineup are experimental-virtuoso cellist Calum Ingram, intricate picking singer/songwriter Jasmine Rodgers, and award-winning keyboard/Hammond player Stevie Watts.
“The last year and a half has been so tough for musicians and audiences alike” says Daniel, “with Blues Down Festival I wanted to bring back a bit of hope, a bit of happiness, a bit of the hippie-vibe even!”
Blues Down Festival 2021 takes place on the 13th of August, at Haydon Down Farm, Askerswell. Music runs from 3pm to midnight and festival goers can camp until Saturday afternoon for an extra £5 (giving them plenty of time to recover from the previous nights frivolities!).
Tickets are available from HERE at a fantastic price of just £35.
For more information please visit: HERE