BY BILLY SUTER
AMERICAN Charlie Love and South African Dan Patlansky are among highlights of the two-day Durban International Blues Festival which, established in 2005, will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2.
The venue will be The Plant, Station Drive Precinct, off Durban’s Umgeni Road, following the festival’s successful change of venue and capacity turn-out there last year, says publicist Tanya van Agthoven-Marais.
The event had a bigger format, ran for more days and featured more artists in previous years, when it was held on Durban’s Wilson’s Wharf, at the small craft harbour, but fans are assured there will be just as much fun with the smaller progamme this year.
“When the festival was staged for the first time at Wilson’s Wharf, the intention was to create an event synonymous with Durban alone, and to make Durban the ‘blues capital’ of South Africa – hopefully the continent of Africa eventually,” says festival director Themi Venturas.
“The intention was, and still is, to educate music lovers and to encourage their support of this easy-listening style… and we think we have achieved this with a steady growth of fans and growing attendance every year,” he adds.
The festival will open at 7.30pm on Friday, September 1, with Johannesburg’s The Smoke and Liquid Band, followed by another Gauteng outfit, Black Cat Bones.
The headliner that night will be Charlie Love, a versatile guitarist, harp player and band leader who was born on the south side of Chicago in 1956, and introduced to the blues by his mother and father at an early age.
He will be backed at the festival by locals Calli Thomson on keyboards, Andy Turrell on drums and Llewellyn Chetty on bass.
Love has had an illustrious career that has seen him share stages with many diverse musicians, including Mighty Joe Young, Big Time Sarah, JW Williams, James Cotton, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells, Jeff Healy, Tom Jones, Greg Allman, Jeff Dale and Jeff Stone.
Love has taken to the road in recent years, performing at many international jazz and blues festivals. In 2014, he was invited to the Durban International Blues Festival as the blues ambassador for the United States.
The blues festival programme on Saturday, September 2, will start with a free Fender Concert, from 2pm to 5pm, at Glenwood Village Music, featuring a host of fine local musicians.
Then, at 7pm that day, Durban band Cinnamon Blue will start the music at The Plant, followed by Durban’s excellent Rusty Red trio (Luke Wyngaard, Chris Melling and Skippy Kubheka), Cape Town’s Gerald Clarke, then the headliner –globally acclaimed local blues guitar ace Dan Patlansky.
Admission is R150 a head to each of the weekend events at The Plant, where doors will open at 5pm. Booking is at Computicket outlets.
The organisers have announced that a merchandise table at The Plant will offer select T-shirts and CDs by featured artists, while also on offer will be food vendors and a cash bar with a selection of SAB beers, ciders and other choices.
R100 will get you a raffle ticket for a R15 K Lewitt, custom-designed bass guitar
For more information and updates visit www.durbanbluesfestival.co.za