A Rundown Of 2019 Bluesfest Sideshows

Fantastic Negrito plays Bluesfest sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne. Fantastic Negrito plays Bluesfest sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.

Can't make it to Byron Bay's Bluesfest (18-22 April) and suffering early symptoms of fomo? There is good news; at least if you live in Melbourne or Sydney.

There are a host of official Bluesfest sideshows happening across the next fortnight.

Scroll down for a comprehensive look at which artists and bands will be forcing themselves away from Byron's pristine beaches and glorious sunshine, and onto southern stages for their own headline shows.

David Gray

British singer-songwriter David Gray had already released three overlooked albums by the time 'White Ladder' brought his mix of acoustic instruments and electronic samples to the mainstream.

During the span of David's career he has had 12 million album sales, the bestselling album in Ireland ever and a Grammy nomination.

Tue 16 Apr - Enmore Theatre (Sydney) - sold out
Wed 17 Apr - Enmore Theatre (Sydney)
Fri 19 Apr - Palais Theatre (Melbourne) - selling fast
Sat 20 Apr - Palais Theatre (Melbourne) - sold out

Fantastic Negrito

Even with two consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Fantastic Negrito chatted with us last month to tell Australia he's still just a hustler from the streets of Oakland. “Hey, you gotta be a hustler to win a Grammy too,” Fantastic laughs, “hustling don’t stop, it just changes.

“The kind of hustling you're doing changes, but you’re always hustling and you’re always out there on the grind, and that’s a good thing. We’re hustling for good.”

His latest triumph is his 2018 album 'Please Don't Be Dead', which earned Fantastic his second Grammy earlier this year.

Sun 14 Apr - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)
Mon 15 Apr - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne)

Flogging Molly

This Irish-American seven-piece Celtic-punk band, Flogging Molly are influenced and associated with bands such as The Pogues, The Clash, Green Day, Reel Big Fish, The Dubliners, Save Ferris, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Dropkick Murphys.

With over 20 years drinking Guinness and making crowds skank (it was a thing) around the world, the band are back with a new album 'Life Is Good' and are excited to let fans from Melbourne and Sydney listen.

Sun 14 Apr - The Croxton Bandroom (Melbourne)
Thu 18 Apr - Metro Theatre (Sydney)

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

George Clinton’s final Australian tour, this is officially the last time you will catch the Godfather Of Funk performing with Parliament Funkadelic in Australia.

The 77-year-old and his band of merry prankster-musicians offer the most off-the-wall live shows with the funkiest psych-funk from outer space. Catch the originator before he ‘Give Up The Funk’ for real.

Sat 20 Apr - Enmore Theatre (Sydney)
Thu 25 Apr - Forum Melbourne

Iggy Pop

The man who needs no introduction, Iggy Pop makes a welcome return to Australia as one of the headline acts at Bluesfest 2019; he will also play his own shows in Melbourne and Sydney.

Vocalist for The Stooges known for his wild stage antics and unforgettable live performance, Iggy Pop is an enduring musical icon who demands to be seen in the flesh.

Mon 15 Apr - Sydney Opera House
Wed 17 Apr - Sydney Opera House - sold out
Sun 21 Apr - Festival Hall (Melbourne) - final tickets

Larkin Poe

The Lovell sisters – Rebecca and Megan – are distant relations of one Edgar Allen Poe, but they named the band after their great-great-great-great-grandfather.

As one of the fastest rising American roots-rock-blues bands, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the sisters call among their fans Russell Crowe (he tweeted about them), Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

They told us last month that after taking control of the recording process for their 2017 album ‘Peach’, they wanted to produce ‘Venom & Faith’ the same way. "It was about sticking to our guns, and that being able to make all of the creative decisions between Megan and I as sisters was something that we really cherished."

'Venom & Faith' is their fourth release to date and hit #1 on the Billboard blues album chart.

Mon 22 Apr - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) - limited tickets
Wed 24 Apr - Howler (Melbourne) - sold out

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real

Lukas Nelson just took out a BAFTA for Best Film Music for his collaboration with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga on 'A Star is Born'. He also appears in the film as a member of the band.

Aside from being Willie Nelson’s son and Neil Young’s bandmate, Lukas is one of the most requested artists, an exceptional performer and a really, really down-to-earth dude.

Tue 16 Apr - Meeniyan Town Hall (Melbourne) - sold out
Wed 17 Apr - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) - final tickets
Thu 18 Apr - The Factory Theatre (Sydney) - selling fast

Marcus King Band

Hailing from South Carolina, Marcus King is a 22-year-old guitar phenomenon with a voice most country/ bluesmen would sell their soul for.

His mentors were Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks and he grew up performing with his dad Marvin King. Words can’t quite do it justice, so hit up his upcoming Australian sideshows for a spectacle you won't forget.

Mon 15 Apr - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) - final tickets
Wed 17 Apr - Northcote Social Club (Melbourne) - sold out

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell changed her name from Johnson to Ndegeocello at age 17 – it means 'free like a bird' in Swahili.

The ten-time Grammy nominee has been credited for sparking the neo-soul movement and has been fusing hip hop, soul, jazz and funk in her music since 1992. At age 50, she is one of the grooviest performers around.

Her 1996 cover of Bill Wither's 'Who Is He (And What Is He To You)' is arguably better than the original… and that is saying something.

Sat 20 Apr - The Factory Theatre (Sydney) - limited tickets

Nahko And Medicine For The People

Nahko And Medicine For The People are no strangers to Bluesfest and their conscious tribal anthems have raised the roof of the Bluesfest tent, and grown their global tribe of like-minded fans as they spread their powerful, musical message promoting social change.

Known for his exciting, high-energy performances Nahko Bear and his Medicine For The People is a performance not to be missed. Catch them in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Wed 17 Apr - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Sat 20 Apr - Metro Theatre (Sydney)
Sun 21 Apr - 170 Russell (Melbourne)

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

The Denver-based, vintage rhythm & blues band were formed in 2013 by Missouri-born Nathaniel Rateliff.

He learned to play the drums and joined his family gospel band at age seven. When his father was killed in a car crash, Nathaniel took up the guitar and began writing his own songs, eventually leaving the church due to internal disagreements.

After several years writing and performing in Denver, his 2015 album was to be a “last-ditch effort before throwing in the towel on his music career”. Hey presto – the first single ‘S.O.B’ went soaring and the rest is history.

Sat 13 Apr - Metro Theatre (Sydney) - sold out
Sun 14 Apr - Metro Theatre (Sydney)

Mon 15 Apr - The Gov (Adelaide)

Wed 17 Apr - The Croxton (Melbourne)

Thu 18 Apr - The Croxton (Melbourne) - sold out

Ray LaMontagne

Illusive, brooding and deeply authentic, Ray LaMontagne is a private figure with a lot to give. Compared to Otis Redding, Van Morrison, Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, Ray is said to have quit his job and pursued music after waking up to the song 'Treetop Flyer' by Stephen Stills on his alarm clock.

This is his first Australian tour in ten years as he doesn’t like to travel.

Wed 24 Apr - State Theatre (Sydney) - sold out
Thu 25 Apr - State Theatre (Sydney)
Sat 27 Apr - Palais Theatre (Melbourne) - sold out
Sun 28 Apr - Palais Theatre (Melbourne)

Shakey Graves

Before 31-year-old Alejandro Rose-Garcia aka Shakey Graves became a blues, folk and rock singer, he had acting roles in 'Friday Night Lights' and 'Spy Kids'.

Starting his music career as a one-man band, he released an album and EP before adding bandmates to the mix and getting the nod for Best Emerging Artist at the 2015 Americana Awards.

The Mayor of Austin, Texas (his home town) has even proclaimed a 'Shakey Graves Day' on 4 August.

Mon 22 Apr – The Factory Theatre (Sydney)
Tue 23 Apr - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) - sold out

Snarky Puppy

The New York-based quasi-collective has gone from the best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music.

Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition, with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that can reach the most critical or most carefree audience.

Sun 21 Apr - Enmore Theatre (Sydney) - selling fast
Fri 26 Apr - Forum Melbourne - selling fast

Trevor Hall

It was Trevor Hall's 2009 track ‘Lime Tree’ that everyone fell for and every song and album since seems to pierce the heart with a lovely kind of earnest tenderness. Beautiful and heartfelt music you can’t help but warm to.

The 32-year-old mixes folk, roots and reggae with themes revolving around spirituality and life exploration. Check out his new album 'The Fruitful Darkness' or see the experience for a perfect for an evening of contemplation.

Wed 17 Apr - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)
Thu 18 Apr - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) - selling fast

Vintage Trouble

Vintage Trouble blew away Bluesfest audiences with their blistering sets at the festival in 2016 and 2017, leaving new fans in their wake, eager to see them again.

The band is the real deal, playing old-school rhythm & blues mixed with a bit of rock, pulling off some amazing stage antics with outfits lifted right from the '50s.

Wed 24 Apr - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)
Thu 25 Apr - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne) - selling fast


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