Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival line-up announced

Hitman Blues Band will play Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2

Hitman Blues Band will play Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2 - Credit: Archant

An all-day rhythm, blues and rock festival will return to Harpenden this summer.

Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival line-up includes the Matt Woosey Band

Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival line-up includes the Matt Woosey Band - Credit: Archant

Solid Entertainments presents Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2 at Harpenden Public Halls on Saturday, July 22.

Showcasing the quality of live music in the UK, enriched with a distinct Americana flavour, the festival will be headlined by Hitman Blues Band & The New York City Horns.

The line-up will also include five other very different, but striking bands – Lisa Mills, Red Butler, Matt Woosey Band, Jack J Hutchinson and Split Whiskers.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “With this calibre of artist stepping on stage, festival-goers can expect to see top class live performances and hear a range of incredible sounds with sets that incorporate a creative mix of blues, rock and R&B, with a sprinkling of Gospel in the mix.

Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival

Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival - Credit: Archant


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“No need to worry about searching for food and drinks on the day either, there will be a range of alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, real ales available and a varied menu that should meet everyone’s taste.”

With his charismatic personality, Blues Grammy-nominated Hitman knows how to put on an entertaining show, playing superb blues originals and covers with a hugely-talented band.

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New album The World Moves On is being hailed as their “best yet”, while previous release, Blues Enough, was in the running for awards.

Mississippi native, and now Alabama resident Lisa Mills could be called a blues singer, or a gospel singer, or a torch singer or an R&B singer, and each label would be accurate.

Dynamic rock/blues band Red Butler is fast making a name for itself across Britain and Europe.

Audiences instantly tap into the fire and passion generated by the young band from Brighton.

Alex Butler established the band in 2012, and for a long time the line up comprised Alex (lead guitar and backing vocals), Jane Pearce (lead vocals), Charlie Simpson (drums) and Mike Topp (bass and backing vocals).

With the heavier sound of second album Nothing To Lose, Dan Spellman (guitar and backing vocals) joined the line-up.

Jack J Hutchinson will appear at Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2

Jack J Hutchinson will appear at Harpenden Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2 - Credit: Archant

The end of 2016 saw the biggest change to date when Jane opted to leave the band to pursue her own career.

Dan has since stepped into the role of lead vocalist, having performed with other bands.

Matt Woosey drags the acoustic guitar kicking and screaming into fresh relevance, with his acclaimed solo shows darting between folk, roots, ambient and electronica.

“You’ve got to keep progressing,” says the Malvern-based singer-songwriter.

“Like John Martyn. Like Robert Plant. Like Radiohead...”

Jack J Hutchinson is a London-based blues guitarist and songwriter.

Expect loud, electric blues that is equal parts Magic Sam and Elmore James, with a touch of Peter Green thrown in for good measure.

Split Whiskers are an energetic five-piece from Cambridge and Leicester who have their roots firmly planted in Chicago blues, crossing boundaries into rock, Americana with more than a hint of the Delta.

Fronted by Gilby ‘Fat Slim’ Fletcher on vocals and blues harp and Johnny ‘Magic Boy’ Wright on vocals, acoustic, resonator and electric guitars, they are joined on drums by Tony Hill, by Claudia ‘Beads’ McKenzie on bass and completing the line-up is Matt ‘Big Willie’ Willshaw on keys.

Doors to the festival open at 1.30pm and the music starts at 2pm and finishes at 10pm.

Early bird tickets for the festival cost £22 and are on sale now.

• To book, call 01472 349222 or go online at www.harpendenbluesfestival.co.uk/tickets.html

To find out more about the line-up and festival in general, visit www.harpendenbluesfestival.co.uk

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