Day Three should’ve been known as Buddy Guy Day. Blues Royalty visited the festival, moving on to the stage with all the fire, wit, cheek, voice, guitar skills and sexiness of a man a quarter his age. Laying down the law from the opening chords of “Damn Right I Got the Blues”, Guy showed us that if he still gets the blues, he knows how to deal with them – whether it was admonishing the sing-along crowd “I’ve been here before, I KNOW you know the words”, beaming when they got it right, counting the number of photographers in the pit or making verbal lurve to every woman in the great tent, he seemed to be relishing being in Byron Bay as much as we did having him there.
Another force of nature to grace Day Three – Beth Hart had us eating out of the palm of her hand from the second she appeared. The word from media who’d interviewed her was that Hart is a genuinely warm, grounded, beautiful soul and her personality shines out of her with every song. Jake Shimabakuro didn’t disappoint and anyone who had doubts that a ukalele can dominate was forced to eat humble pie. He is an undeniable genius and combines his ferocious talent with a warm, down-to-earth stage persona that had us all beaming.
Other highlights of the day included the amazing Nikki Hill who opened the day for Crossroads Stage and the legendary Ricky Lee Jones who held us all in thrall. The half way point of the festival passed and with two days still to happen, it’d be easy to feel like we’ve already seen it all but a brief gander at the lineup for Days Four and Five prove we’re only just getting going. Watch this space…
All 5, 3 & 1 day Festival and Camping tickets are now on sale through Bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6685 8310
Photos by Linda Dunjey Photography