Blues and roots kicks off

Simon Wooldridge | Bendigo Weekly | 09-Nov-2017

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Phil Manning
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Phil Manning is an Australian blues icon. 

This weekend, Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival punters will get the opportunity to see Manning play an intimate Sunday afternoon set on the iconic Blues Tram.

Manning, who has been performing for more than 50 years, was a member of early 1970s band Chain, and has featured in bands supporting artists such as Pink Floyd and Elton John.

A native of Devonport, Tasmania, Manning’s music career has taken him right across the world, including Ireland, the UK, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali. 

He has released nearly 20 albums – both solo, and with different bands. 

Checkmate Move (2010), followed a 2006 acoustic collection, in a recording career that goes back to 1969.

Phil Manning’s five-decade contribution to Australian blues, roots, and folk has been immense. 

He is equally adept in either acoustic or electric guitar “mode”, and has embraced world genres. 

His Blues Tram performance promises to be a festival highlight.

Manning plays on the last Blues Tram of a busy weekend. 

He is joined by Simon and Tammy London. They depart from Central Deborah Goldmine at 1pm on Sunday.

Saturday night’s Blues Tram offers quite a contrast. 

Shakura Chapman delivers a refreshing blend of soul, roots and blues. 

Her live performances feature her soulful vocals over live-looped percussion and guitars. 

Chapman is joined on Saturday night’s tram by Nashville’s Travis Bowlin. 

Bowlin is destined for “adopted Bendigonian” status after this festival. 

His energetic live shows at last year’s festival won him many fans. We can expect even more of the same this year.

Dan Dinnen is known to many Bendigo festival-goers in a former role as front man of Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men. 

His exquisite vocal range and sweet harmonica-playing was a feature of the Hoodoo Men’s festival performances the last three years. 

In addition to his harmonica skills, Dinnen plays finger-pickin’ guitar, tambourine, and stomps and taps his feet on a plank of wood. 

His original tunes include ballads, country-blues numbers and juke joint boogies. 

Dinnen is an energetic performer who delivers old-time blues feel and style with a distinctive individual voice and style. 

The Dan Dinnen Trio (he is joined by Jordan Hyde on double bass, and Benny Gerrard on drums from Catfish Voodoo), is scheduled to play three sets over the weekend – at the Farmers Arms Hotel on Saturday afternoon, the Wellington on Saturday evening and the opening afternoon set at the big all-dayer at the Metropolitan on Sunday. 

Dinnen kicks off a heavyweight, “mega-day” at the Metropolitan in Bull Street at 2pm on Sunday. 

He is the opening act in an 11 artist line-up. 

The Andrea Marr Band close out the scheduled acts, before Marr herself hosts the International Blues Jam at 11pm. Wayne Jury, Messin’ ‘Round, and Memphis-bound Bill Barber all feature during the course of the day.

Bendigo looks set to be blessed with some perfect high 20s weather these next few days. A record-breaking festival weekend is in store.

– Simon Wooldridge

Twitter: @spwooldridge

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