PELTING rain failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds at the Bridgetown Blues at the weekend.
The rain poured down on the Street Party and Stall Day on the Saturday, causing those who travelled from far and wide to huddle under shop awnings - but the music didn’t stop.
The Blues is a universal language of emotions which puts into perspective various misfortune, betrayal, regrets, and loss. We all get the blues – however the music is about how we understand them and deal with them.
The Blues packs away the hard luck pains and urges us to let our hair down, to have fun and enjoy the blessings we have.
The Blues is the name given to a musical form and genre that originated as a narrative in African-American communities, mostly in the deep south of the United States of America at the end of the 19th century.
Today’s Blues music digs deep from the spirituals, work songs, field hollers, the laments, shouts and chants from those now long gone who were impoverished and disenfranchised of the rights we enjoy and take for granted.
The Bridgetown Blues festival, which started humbly in 1993, has almost 20 years later helped put the town on the map.
At least 100,000 people have come through for the event over its two decades.
The performers were happy to be there, in meeting up with each other at a significant event in their stretch of festivals Australia-wide.
All of them gave their all, and some were really great.
Lanie Lane was the festival’s top of the crop performer. It was standing room only throughout her performance. Her smoky voice was deeply distinctive and could sway Cool Blues, Delta Blues and Blues-rock.
She had couples in each other’s arms. Ms Lane and her band were the not to be missed performance of the 2012 festival that connected deep down into the hearts and souls of those who came to listen.
Another salt of the earth talent was Kim Churchill, whose soulful voice was accompanied by his two-handed tapping, earthy stomp box, melodic harmonica and unbridled passion.
Mr Churchill said he worked really hard in his last year of school for good marks, but didn’t know if all life decisions should be made when he was 17.
He went to his school career advisor and said what he really wanted to do was to save up and buy a camper van and travel the country playing music.
"My career advisor said this was a poor choice of career,” Mr Churchill said.
“Well, I got that camper van."
Minnie Marks was another great performer, with a powerful voice that will take her places. She is an original artist, with a great repertoire of her own songs that dig deep into traditional Blues.
She can expressively bend her pitch of the major scale minor 3rd to major 3rd.
Polished singer and songwriter Mia Dyson performed her crowd favourites.
Piano player and vocalist Ali Penney delivered enjoyable upbeat rhythms.
The locals, in The Riders, Tracey Barnett and Steve Keir (Chook) and Daun Crozier (Foot), delivered big time.
Chook’s resonator guitar stomped the original style of Delta Blues straight from the passion of the Deep South.