Back for its seventh year, the Leek Blues & Americana Festival will run from 1st to 6th October with a packed programme of over 70 events in 20 venues around Leek.
It all kicks off on the Tuesday night with a screening, at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, of Amazing Grace, Sydney Pollack’s concert film and documentary about the late Aretha Franklin’s concert of her legendary gospel album, shot over two nights in 1972, and shelved for release due to ‘technical issues’ until this year.
Headline act, Martin Harley will be at the Foxlowe Arts Centre on Wednesday 2nd October. Ranked at number 16 in the 2018 Total Guitar Magazine’s list of acoustic guitarists, Cardiff born Martin plays an exciting mix of country blues interspersed with slide guitar and vocal harmonies.
On Saturday night at the Foxlowe, multi award winning Little Victor a.k.a the ‘Beale street Blues Bopper’, sponsored by ctd Architects, promises an exciting performance with his mix of old school rockin’ blues and cabaret stage antics with support from Chuck Berry tribute act, Red Berryn.
The free live music programme starts on Thursday 3rd with bands playing a plethora of gigs up until the Festival ‘Last Call’ at the Roebuck on Sunday night from 7.30pm until close.
New venue to this year’s festival, Old Mill Smokehouse present an afternoon and evening of Americana on Saturday, featuring The Rye Sisters, a Lincoln based duo, powerhouse acoustic trio, JayWalkers and locally sourced, Sweet Old World, a 5-piece band performing Lucinda Williams songs.
With the next generation of music fans and families in mind, Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers, sponsored by Charles Cotton Hotel & Restaurant, present their unique blend of vintage jazz/blues style songs about dinosaurs, seaweed, cheese and much more at their Saturday afternoon show in the Foxlowe Arts Centre.
Leek based American exile, Helen Walford will be presenting Music Magic aimed at mums and toddlers at Trinity Church on Thursday morning and Sparrow Park stage, sponsored by Old Smithy Tattoo Parlour, will present a full programme of entertainment to compliment the Sunday Supplement market featuring musical entertainment from Aprille and the Shower, Pig Man and Li’l Jim.
The Festival relies heavily on help from sponsors and this year there are over 20 sponsors from the local business community who give financial backing and support plus this year’s festival partner, Leek Town Council. Chair of Leek Town Council’s events committee, Councillor Matt Swindlehurst said: “Leek Town Council is delighted to partner with the Leek Blues & Americana Festival. The festival helps to promote Leek and brings great economic benefit to the town which spins off to retailers, accommodation providers, taxi firms etc., as well as the pubs and restaurants who host the live music.”
Anyone wanting to preview the musical feast on offer during the festival can do so on the dedicated Spotify playlist and YouTube channel both titled ‘Leek Blues and Americana 2019’ or you can check out all the gig listings and artists at www.leekblues.co.uk or on Facebook and Twitter.