Working with local festivals is something the Blues Train thrives on. Having worked in affiliation with the Queenscliff Music Festival over a number of years, this winter the team has paired up with the inaugural Low Light Queenscliff festival to bring you a series of Sunday Sessions.
As the Blues Train is off-line for two months over winter, the Low Light Queenscliff festival serves as the perfect chance to get your dose of the blues during the colder months and to come see Queenscliff, in a different light.
Running each weekend from June 22 to July 15, the festival is a month-long celebration of local and international acts and culinary talents. The Sunday Sessions with the Blues Train will see train favourites take to local venues for an intimate free performance alongside a delicious meal.
Acts programmed for the festival begin with Alister Turrill on June 24; with Anna Scionti, John McNamara and Francesco Melli following on the afternoons of July 8 and July 15. The music performance is free for you to enjoy and will be hosted in some of Queenscliff’s finest restaurants where you can dine in on local produce for a late lunch. Shows will take place in Athelstane House, Big 4 Beacon Resort, Vue Grand and Circa 1902. Full details of the shows and performers can be found below.
Alister Turrill at Athelstane House
1-3pm Sunday, June 24
Alister Turrill masters a talent for the blues well beyond his years. Recognition of this came with winning the 2011 Melbourne Youth in Blues award, which saw him receive guidance from some of Australia’s most respected blues artists. Since then he has performed across Victoria, with slots at the Queenscliff Music Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival. He has shared the stage with Jeff Lang, Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel and supported the likes of Ash Grunwald, Tim Freedman, Shane Howard and Charlie Parr (US).
Anna Scionti at Big 4 Beacon Resort
1-3pm Sunday, July 8
Anna Scionti is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and slide guitar player. When she’s on her cigar box guitar, lap steel and stomp you’ll easily become mesmerised by her blend of electrified and dirty rhythmic blues. Anna has represented Australia in Memphis, Tennessee in the 2016 International Blues Challenge as vocalist and guitarist for Miss Whiskey. Her self-titled EP debuted at No.2 on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Charts in November 2017.
John McNamara at Vue Grand
1-3pm Sunday, July 8
John McNamara is so good, even Australian music icon Russell Morris felt nervous in his presence: “The bastard made me feel insecure, he’s so good!” Releasing his latest album Rollin’ With It in March last year, the album debuted at No.1 on the International Blues Airplay Charts. Likened to the greats of Otis Redding, Bobby Bland and Sam Cooke, John continually receives praise from critics and fans on his authentic Memphis sound.
Francesco Melli at Circa 1902
1-3pm Sunday, July 15
Born and raised in Italy, Francesco Melli soon moved to Spain to complete his university studies where he also toured as a solo performer in bars and restaurants. It was in Spain where Francesco was first introduced to flamenco music, which opened him up to a whole new world of how he wrote and played his songs. A highlight for Francesco was seeing an 80-year-old Chuck Berry jump around on stage at the Blue Berry Hill Bar in St. Louis. He brings a wealth of experience from his travels and performances to Australia, where he’s found his new home.
See the full program via the official website lowlightqueenscliff.com.au.