June 2014 Archives

One of the more interesting Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival tie-in events is the annual Ewes, Brews, Stews & Blues.

Taking place at the Goldmines Hotel on Sunday 20 July at midday, it is a celebration of live music, craft beer, and lamb stew. It features acts such as Tony J King, Urban Creatures, Birdhouse, John-Luke Shelley, Jojo Smith, Archer, Alanna & Alicia Egan, Bendigo Uke Group, Aaron Wales, Jo Woodward, and Luke Harrington. More acts are expected to be announced.

Can't wait for the 20th? Do not stress. The two days preceding the concert will feature Goldmines Hotel's own Justin McPhail showing off his beer braised lamb and craft beer skills on stage at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo Showgrounds.


More information on Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival can be found at bendigobluesandroots.com.au.

The Goldmines Hotel also has a website: goldmineshotel.com.

Incidentally, so does the Australian Sheep & Wool Show: sheepshow.com.


Aboard The Blues Tram

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In its few years of existence, the Bendigo Blues And Roots Music Festival has very quickly established itself as an essential part of local live music culture. Punters do not even have to grow bored waiting for that exciting weekend in November, with more and more festival related events taking place during the year.

The Blues Tram had come a long way since its meagre debut voyage in September 2012. Now running monthly, it is an exciting and unique blend of Bendigo's heritage trams with its thriving music scene. Each journey features a performance from two talented blues artists, one of whom is always a local musician.

This month, I finally made it onto the tram for my first trip. I was not disappointed. After boarding the tram at Central Deborah Goldmine, we were welcomed by our host, KLFM's Julius Porlai. After giving a brief and entertaining history of the tram and the tour, it was over to Erica Hawkey, the local performer for the day.


Erica's set was powerful and introspective. Her soulful vocal style complemented the journey. It was very easy to get lost in the addictive musical hooks while Bendigo's distinctive architecture cruised by the windows.

After a leg stretch at Emu Point, it was back the way we came with the multi-instrumental ditties of none other than Tony J King. Hailing from South Australia, Tony is a man out of his time. Telling stories about ravens and pirates, Tony's tunes provoked many a tapped foot and nodded head.


The Blues Tram promotes a friendly and jovial atmosphere, providing an excellent preview for November's festival while also being a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It is a unique experience and a brilliant idea.

For more information about Bendigo Blues And Roots Festival and the Blues Tram, go to bendigobluesandroots.com.au.

Erica Hawkey can be found on Facebook: facebook.com/ericahawkeymusic.

Tony J King has a CD. It can be found at tonyjking.com.

Keep an eye on my new podcast, Local Chats. I plan to talk about the Blues Tram in an upcoming episode.

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