A favourite of Australian blues fans, Ray Beadle's guitar and vocal styles evoke numerous blues legends while building his own form and flavour that has seen him become a mainstay of the local blues scene for 20-plus years.
The Sydney musician will be part of the action when the inaugural Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival
gets underway next week (4-6 June) for three days of live music featuring more than 100 artists.
"Wow! Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival! Long time coming," beams Ray. "I can't wait to perform at the various venues and see a heap of great acts. May this be the first of many great years ahead of Jazz & Blues in the Shire."You're playing a number of sets at Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival; given the past 12 months, it must be exciting to be part of a music festival again?
Yes, it's awesome to be back playing festivals again. I can't wait to play Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival, there are so many great acts performing.You have a number of different performances at the festival; where can people see you play and what type of performances can they expect?
I am playing at Cronulla RSL on Sat 2pm with my Organ Trio, which consists of Clayton Doley on organ and Andrew Dickeson on drums. This is '60s jazz and blues in the style of Jimmy Smith and George Benson.
On Saturday evening we head to the Brass Monkey for two special shows with the soulful Jade MacRae (vocals), Clayton Doley (keys), Andrew Dickeson (drums), Jonathan Zwartz (bass). On Sunday I head to Dunningham Park 3:30pm to play a set of originals mixed with some Texas-style blues in the form of power trio with George Brugmans on drums and Ben Edwards on bass. Have you found you've tinkered with your live show, how you interact with audiences given the dearth of live shows?
Not really. I think we as a musical community are going to be in an adjustment period getting back into the swing of things just as we went through when everything stopped in 2020.Similar question; as a musician, the lack of interaction with music lovers and live audiences – how have you coped with that void?
I spent a lot of time in the studio over the last 12 months as I think everyone has.You're also slotted to perform at the rescheduled Bluesfest in October; fingers crossed it goes ahead – to be part of such a collection of Aussie music talent must be rewarding personally?
Very much so. I am very grateful to be invited to perform among Australian music royalty for sure.You recently released an album, 'Twisted Blues!', with Clayton Doley and Andrew Dickeson as The Guitar Organ Drums Trio; is that a project you will be expanding with more live performances, releases?
We will be continuing to perform shows with this project. I am really enjoying playing with both Clayton and Andrew. I think we have something special and I can see us releasing more albums into the future. Who have you been listening to of late, whether they be classics or newer acts you’ve discovered?
I have been listening a lot to a guitarist named Pat Martino lately. A wealth of inspiration there to dig into.You mentioned on Facebook recently that you have a new guitar; tell us more about your new prized possession?
Yes, an Ibanez LGB300. A very special guitar that I will be playing Sat 5 June at Cronulla Jazz & Blues. It is a George Benson signature model guitar.Another Ray Beadle solo album; anything on that front you can share?
I can say that there are more releases coming soon. The next release due late July is one that I am very excited about. Watch this space.Thanks for your time Ray; anything else you’d like to add?
I would just like to encourage everybody to get out and support your local musicians, and remember how lucky we are that we can even go out and socialise and enjoy ourselves compared to the rest of the world. Make the most of it.
2021 Cronulla Jazz and Blues Festival takes places throughout Cronulla (Sydney) 4-6 June. The rescheduled Bluesfest
(Byron Bay) takes place 1-3 October.