Our third CD in the Train Trax series is out now and provides another snap-shot of the blues music scene through Hugo's eyes and ears...
This year Victoria’s legendary Blues Train celebrates 18 years of ridin’ the rails; bringing world-class blues acts to tourists and music fans alike, whilst showcasing the natural beauty of the Bellarine Peninsula, just over an hour from Melbourne.
In 1994, inspired by the stories of the old blues masters jamming it up on Mississippi freight trains as they travelled the Deep South, local Pt Lonsdale boy Hugo T Armstrong utilised the Bellarine Railway in southern Victoria, to create what has become a world-class tourism event.
Hugo has over 24 years’ experience in the music industry, including 8 years as the Director of the nationally recognised Tourism Hall of fame recipient Queenscliff Music Festival. He also spent 21 years presenting the popular Now Dig This radio programme on Melbourne’s PBS 106.7FM. He is the current Chair of Bellarine Tourism.
The Blues Train experience begins at historic Queenscliff Station with a hearty meal. At each stop revellers swap carriages to see one of the four great blues acts performing on The Train. With a capacity of 200 (50 in each of the four carriages) it has become enormously popular as a function venue and has successfully hosted parties of up to 200 people including weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions and Christmas celebrations. However, you don’t have to have a big group to have fun – couples love it too!
In 2006 The Blues Train was recognised by Tourism Victoria and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) as one of the top 101 Things to Do in Victoria, coming in at number 6 on the list (out of 75,000 votes). It was the only music related attraction and small business in the top 10.
The 18th season kicked off with a bang in August with a Blues Brothers themed night for the Victorian Visitor Information Centre Summit.
This season we are proud to present a strong line-up of Australian blues acts including Claude Hay (recently toured the USA); Jimi Hocking; Shaun Kirk and recent Victorian Blues Performers of the Year including the Andrea Marr Band and Dreamboogie.
Most of this years’ performers are featured on the new Blues Train compilation CD Train Trax Vol 3, which continues the celebration of the amazing achievement and development of such a unique venue.
The CD is available when riding The Blues Train or via The Blues Train website www.thebluestrain.com.au/store
Hugo T Armstrong said “The Blues Train has come a long way since 1994, from a few locals entertaining locals, to national and international performers joining regional acts to play The Train
Over the years the number of shows and the number of punters have increased but the quality of the acts has always remained the same. The affection that the performers have for The Blues Train is reflected in an increase in songs about The Blues Train.
I am blessed to be surrounded by great musicians, many who have become part of my extended family - and I am flattered that we have, in some part, provided inspiration for those who have inspired us to bring blues music to a wider audience.
This, our third CD, is another snap-shot of the blues music scene through my eyes and ears. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I have. SHAKE RATTLE N' ROLL."