Wood(bury)stock proves big hit again

Once again the Wood(bury)stock music festival has raised more than £1,100 for FORCE.

Now in its fourth year, the two-day extravaganza at the Maltsters Arms in Woodbury is organised by Steve Jessop and Ray Kemp of The Travelling Bluesburys band

This is Steve’s report of the event.

“Friday night kicked off with a very entertaining selection of acoustic blues and ragtime with a sense of humour from Nine Pound Catfish followed by perennial favourites Julian Piper and friends in fine form with their strong and varied American blues set.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, The Kris Barass Band hit the stage. One to watch is an understatement. An extremely talented individual with a vastly talented band, they simply blew everyone’s socks off. Wood(bury)stock has been very lucky to book them this time. By next year we expect them to be playing major blues festivals countrywide and beyond.

“So after that what next? Shovelhead, a prodigious local band who always draw a crowd and put a smile on their faces wherever they play. Their set was perfect to finish the evening off. A lot of people went home happy that night.

“Saturday afternoon once again brought the promise of showers but it was decided to go ahead outside anyway. Alan Hooper started proceedings with an accompaniment of rain and one person in the ‘audience.’ Undeterred Alan pressed on, the rain stopped and people started to turn up.

“Jeremy Way, front man of Far From The Delta continued with a strong set of acoustic blues. The Hatman and the Fatman gave us a selection of music from a wide variety of genres. They were followed by Steve Baldwin, recently moved from Hebden Bridge to Devon and Steve Dalgleish, who came down from London just for this gig. Both decided spontaneously to sell their CDs and donate the takings to the charity. What a generous act.

“Just as they were finishing off the next act, Woodbury Community Choir, turned up and joined in with the chorus of Steve and Steve’s Perfect Day before entertaining us with something completely different and quite refreshing. Rounding up the garden session was Bicton Street Blues who recently played Exmouth Festival.

“Then Saturday evening started. Full of life Doctors Orders made their fourth appearance at this festival and were their usual exuberant selves, getting the evening off to a great start.

“Blue Swayed Blues followed on in their usual ebullient style before something completely different. The Chicken Slacks made their first appearance at Wood(bury)stock and with their unique brand of high energy country and western went down a storm. ‘Can we do it again next year?’ they asked. So the audience was asked. Apparently they’re booked again.

“Then, the new line up The Travelling Bluesburys hit a smooth groove with their reworking of blues,  J.J. Cale and Robben Ford numbers enhanced by the mellow tones of Ray Beavis as guesting on sax.

“Finally, The Sugar Shakers played a storming set, once again bringing a touch of Canvey Island with their strong mixed repertoire of Dr. Feelgood and traditional blues numbers. More happy faces going home that night.

“Such is the interest in this small festival now that the organisers are booking bands for next year already. All in all two great days of entertainment and a useful donation to an extremely worthwhile cause.”

Featured picture by Neil Ewins. To see more images from the festival go to neilewins.com