A Blues Sceptic Writes….. (Part One) – Den Cartlidge

I think I should start with a confession: I am not a Blues and Americana fan. On second thoughts, that probably sounds a little harsh. Perhaps a better description of yours truly would be ‘Blues sceptic’. Yes, that’s better. It’s not that I dislike the Blues, I just don’t get them in a world of music downloads, tuneless grime and hobbit lookalike Ed Sheeran.

Classic rock and pop: yes. Indie and electronica: definitely. I might even stretch to an occasional slice of country rock (well, I am from Cheadle originally). But Blues and Americana? Nah, not for me.

So what I am doing blogging about Leek’s premier Blues and Americana Festival?

How do I explain this? Oh yes – Dave Swarbrook made me do it.

‘You’ll enjoy it,’ he said. ‘The festival is chockful of superb bands and artists this year.’


‘I’ll recommend a gig for you and then you can review it.’

‘…I’m not a blues…’

‘How about Kirk Fletcher at the Foxlowe Arts Centre on Friday September 29th? He’s won four Blues Music Award and was a 2015 British Blues Award nominee. And did I mention that he’s one of the best blues guitarists in the world? And if that wasn’t enough, there’s great support as well from the always dependable Chris Bevington Organisation, last year’s headliners.’


‘So that’s settled then. I’ll see you at the Foxlowe’

‘Okay, Dave.’

Thanks to Mr Swarbrook’s impressive powers of persuasion, I will now be attending a certain gig at the Foxlowe on Friday the 29th September. Will Kirk, Chris and friends turn this sceptic into a new Blues fan?

Find out in Part Two!