BLUES IN MY SYSTEM...FEELING GOOD...Great Southern Blues Festival 2013

Australia's flag
Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Narooma
October 24th 2013
Published: October 24th 2013
Edit Blog Post

BLUES IN MY SYSTEM...FEELING GOOD...Great Southern Blues Festival 2013.

The M.C. bounded onto the stage...leant into the mike and said "How good was that? Amazing talent...and he's only 16."

The guitarist leant into the mike and said "Fifteen actually."

The crowd yelled "more...more".

Denise and I were staggered...have followed his career ever all his CDs.

That gig was 14 years ago.

And he's returning to Narooma this year with that original band...Dad on drums, Uncle Phil on bass, Pete on guitar & vocals...Pete Cornelius & the of our favourite bands...awesome talent.

We go to the Great Southern Blues Festival most years...October long weekend...about 30 bands each time...some travelling from across the globe...guess that means we've seen a few bands in our time...and some of them several times...Pete the most times of all...can't have too much though.


Years ago they'd hand out pieces of paper and ask what bands we wanted them to bring out.

I'd write "Popa Chubby" each time...and this year 2013...he's coming to Narooma...first visit to OZ...gigs Friday and Saturday nights...getting there way we're missing out.


Narooma...south coast of New South Wales...6 hours plus drive south of Sydney...take the inland Hume Highway this year...the coastal Princes Highway getting more congested each year.

We used to tent it for years like most of the punters...some years pull a campervan...impossible to score houseboats one year (which went to Queensland the following year-bummer)...but a few years ago our luck changed.

The year before, just after we headed off to the festival...a crazy 17 year old did a RHT across our bows on a hill and hit the gutter about a metre in front of us. I jammed on the brakes and went through his passenger side door. If I had not had the brakes replaced the week before he would have been killed. I was travelling downhill and he had been coming the other way!!!

Had to hire a car to get to the Festival...pretty pissed we missed the first night of bands...pretty pissed the 17 year old said he'd had several accidents...and somehow hadn't lost his licence.


I digress...the following year our luck changed for the better.

That year we faced torrential rain all down the heavy we couldn't face setting up the tent and stopped at a motel about an hour before Narooma. Missed all the Friday night bands again that year.

Yet in the morning it cleared...entered Narooma early Saturday to the hill overlooking the bridge and channel...water glistening fresh and clean..."Vacancy" sign at the Eco-Lodge on top of the hill...hard on the brakes...LHT.

A group that come up from Melbourne each year had cancelled due to the we grabbed their giant a deposit each year for the next year...dry accommodation assurred...way to go...King bed beats wet or hard ground every time.


What about the music I hear you say...sorry can't really hear you...we like the music loud...what you saying?


This year kicked off with Claude Hay from Katoomba (Blue Mtns)...awesome solo artist who uses overdubs and makes his own guitars including a double neck...last time we saw him was a dark dive in Sydney...nice to see him on the big stage.

Next was Chris Cain...last time we saw him was about 15 years ago or more...from USA...big reputation but only remember the name. I rate him as a "white B.B King"...his version of Sweet Sixteen took me into orbit and kept me there for the whole many times.

Two other Tents were rocking...but I stayed in this one as in half an hour is the one I've come to see...Popa Chubby (USA)...and I'm getting front row...Denise comfortably seated in the little stand down the back.

Saw my mate Murray Foote...official photographer for the Festival...and his partner Jools. We've attended a birthday gig for Jools in their loungeroom in of the best gigs we've ever been to...the Canberra Blues Society rocked the house that night.

Murray's concert pics are the reason I decided I had to get a better camera for when Den & I attended the Festival in the Desert at Timbuktu in Mali, West Africa in 2011...yep...inspired by those award winning photos of yours Murray.

Well I had to pick his brains before the Popa Chubby gig didn't I?

Hope you see improvement in my concert pics...lots to learn...not technical...but getting there.

And how was Popa Chubby?

Far out...he was beyond awesome...big big breaks between tracks...incredible skill...Roy Daniels on bass..joined by Sari Schorr for the last half...also from New York...staggeringly powerful voice...the tent was rocking hard...steam coming off his bald head...the Holmes Brothers (USA) coming out for one front row swooning with 3 guys from Coffs Harbour...couldn't have been a better gig to finish the night...couldn't have been better.


There were 3 guys outside our room next morning Bernie & Mike brothers from Melbourne and their mate Greg...great company. Hope to see them next year.

Mike interested in attending the Festival in the Desert so we gave him Guy Lankester's details.

He's the Lawrence of Arabia look-a-like that gave Denise away at Our Tuareg Wedding at Timbuktu...wouldn't travel there with anyone else.

Lot of bands Saturday...stellar cast.

Pete Cornelius & the Devilles (Tas)...second track "All My Heroes Are Dead"...wrote it his teens...won an of my favourite all time blues of the gig rocking the house...reliving past festivals.

Watermelon Slim (USA) & Fiona Boyes...Oz's rep in the World Music Awards for Best Female Artist...always love seeing Fiona...plays with Bobby Rush, Watermelon Slim & others when in USA.

Wolf Mail (Canada) of our favourites...flew in from Japan for this gig...blistering blues...see him each time he's in Sydney...still remembers my name...asked me later "Did you see my gig Dave?"..."Of course I know me" I said.

The Holmes Brothers (USA) their Speaking in Tongues CD years back...joyful spiritual harmonies.

The Backsliders...Dom Turner on steel & slide guitars, Rob Hirst (drummer for Midnight Oil) & Ian Collard on harmonica...iconic Oz sounds.

Mal Eastick Big of Oz's best line up...always see Big Mal.

Another dilemma who to choose to end the night...Chris Wilson (Oz's best harp player) & Crown of Thorns...sorry Chris...saw you in April...gotta see Popa Chubby again.

Wow...they say Popa was jet-lagged last night...tonight he not only took me into orbit...but out of the solar of the best gigs I've ever seen...even had me saying he was the best guitarist I've ever seen...that good!!!


Still buzzing from Popa the night before...had me recollecting I've seen some of the best guitarists ever...can I say Popa is the best when I've seen:

Rory Gallagher (twice)

Frank Zappa

Roy Buchanan

Keith Richards (the Rolling Stones)

Phil Manzanera & Chris Spedding (Bryan Ferry)

Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)

Ike Turner (Ike & Tina)

Thiejs van Leer (Focus)

Jethro Tull



Bonny Raitt

Chris Duate

Eric Clapton

B.B King

Buddy Guy

Shuggie Otis

Billy Gibbins (Z Z Top)

and that's for starters...

And what about the maestro Aussies like Jeff Achison, Tommy Emmanuel, Dave time to name them all...the GSBF showcases some every year

Can I rate Popa the best of all?

Well...He's certainly up there.


Weird as it may seem we just wandered from tent to tent today...spent a socable day just cruising...watched my Manly Sea Eagles in the Rugby League Grand Final on the big screen while Ezra Lee then Ash Grunwald in the Albert King tent drowned out commentary...unlucky not to win...that forward pass from the Roosters not seen by the Ref hard grapes from sirree.

Taking photos of punters in T-shirts of Blues Festivals & artists from around the pics herein...spreading the TB message...chatting the blues.

Last gig was Chris Cain...joined on stage by some of the favourites...Pete Cornelius, the Detonators, Alison Penny...really love a jam to end the Festival.

And I

In the Caribbean...See Ya There
thank Neil Mumme...a local from Narooma who started the festival in about 1997...sold out to the big promoter Michael Chugg a few years ago...who moved it to Bateman's Bay and nearly killed it.

Neil bought it back and returned it to its spiritual home this year...Narooma...could feel the energised vibe all weekend...thanks Neil.


Met a guy in a "Legendary Blues Cruise" T-shirt...goes each year to Blues Heaven in the the goss.

Paid our deposit...booked the Blues Cruise for January 2015...hope to tie in Christmas with our son Simon in Toronto, Canada...tour the USA.

And to top it off...a special TB couple are going to join us on the Blues cruise...a bingo bonus.

Hope they're good dancers.

Soon find out.

Ahhhh...Can hardly wait!!!

Relax & Enjoy,

Dancing Dave

Additional photos below
Photos: 135, Displayed: 28



View from our window

24th October 2013

Hey rocker
ahh! Dancing One another good music festival the t-shirts what a unique way of seeing the weekend...see you at the next gig
24th October 2013

see you at the next gig
My dance partner...we saw Wolf Mail at the Basement in Sydney just after the Great Southern Blues Festival...Wolf was on fire that night...and next Tuesday we're seeing Dave Hole at Lizottes. How about you joining me for a cruise in the Caribbean? Get some more Blues in our system...feeling good?
24th October 2013

Blues In His System
Yep - I think you made a good choice for the top spot with this one - definitely a story in this image.
25th October 2013

Blues In His System
Hi Jo. Always a hard choice as to the opener when I have heaps of pics to choose from...yep...I like this one too. And with all the pics of T shirts in this blog, I hope to score a cracker in the Caribbean to wear at the 2015 GSBF...gotta look my best I reckon!
25th October 2013

More than just a dancer.
This guy seemed to stand out in amongst that lot. Looks a bit suspect to me.
25th October 2013

More than just a dancer.
What? The good lookin' one...definitely more than just a dancer!!!
25th October 2013

"Touring the USA"...
We hope you have time to come this way! Would that be early 2016 if you are spending Christmas with your son in Dec 2015? By the way, my Mom's from Toronto...spent many vacations there during college with relatives...not sure why I didn't become a Canadian...I wouldn't have had to worry about the draft! We are concerned about the fires around Sydney and hope you are safe.
25th October 2013

"Touring the USA"...
You guys are in our discussions for a visit to Colorado...a bit of Home & Away. Christmas in Toronto would be Xmas 2014 & USA Jan 2015. Hope we can make it happen.
25th October 2013

You have to go to Woodford!
I don't care how great this festival was, if you haven't been to Woodford, you haven't lived. If you don't love it, I will refund your money.
25th October 2013

You have to go to Woodford!
What...Popa Chubby goes to Woodford??? You're pulling my leg!!! Yeh, I hear Woodford is fantastic...Mike & Ros that went to Mali with us swear by it. you get t-shirts as good as I got at GSBF...or blues that takes you to heaven & return?
25th October 2013

What came first: dancing or music?
Looks like great fun was had by all! No wonder you started the Girls, girls, girls music forum!
25th October 2013

What came first: dancing or music
Hi Alma. As I hope some think of me as more than just a dancer...actually the blues in my system came first...never got rhythm until I danced through Mali & Ethiopia...Denise says I've always danced to my own ectopic beat. You live in Africa...where music & dance mixes with air...mmmm.
25th October 2013

fun gigs...good times! amazing photos to go with it, as usual :) keep dancing! x
25th October 2013

fun gigs...good times!
Hi Tynnie. I also have the pleasure of having a doctor who encourages these activities to promote wellbeing...even says I should have 3 to 4 holidays a year and not just 1...guess if I get into trouble I can say I'm following medical advice!
25th October 2013

A year earlier...great!
Colorado in the winter is you and Denise ski? Otherwise, we can just enjoy time together, take in local scenery with hikes, and perhaps take a road trip. Just south and west of here...Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California...the weather will likely be more conducive to traveling...and has many great national parks. I would suspect there aren't many Blues Festivals during the winter, but you are the expert on that. Keep us in mind!
26th October 2013

A year earlier...great!
Sounds like an offer too good to refuse Bob. We'll be in touch.
26th October 2013

Incredible photos!
I've really got to hand it to you--listening and moving to heavenly music and managing to take out-of-this-world photos--what a dance! You're a fine juggler!
26th October 2013

moving to heavenly music
Thanks Tara. I have a lot to learn to get to the quality of Murray Foote's concert pics but I really enjoy the pics of the other festival goers. The music this year was blues at its best.
26th October 2013

In your element!
I have been so busy at work I have gotten out of touch with my blog reading, but this one popped up and I knew it would be a great read. And it was! What a blast you and Denise have had! Love your photos too.
26th October 2013

In your element!
Can't get enough of it Rachael...another gig coming up on Tuesday...the secret of Wellbeing in our books
28th October 2013

I may be from Africa, but my rhythm was given to the rest of the Africans as unlike you, I cannot dance to save my life. I do believe though, that we would all be lost without music.
28th October 2013

my rhythm was given to the rest of the Africans
Don't believe it Alma...sounds as if you've lost it...need to take the time to find it...and then...karoomba
5th November 2013

Fantastic photos!
What an incredible development in your photography between your last concert blog and this one! I can understand why you were so proud of your efforts when we talked a little while ago. So many images possess such great lighting, framing and a moment so beautifully captured.
6th November 2013

Fantastic photos!
Thanks for your encouragement Shane. I didn't get the ISO right the first night which really disappointed me when I looked at the shots on my computer but was glad I had changed the settings for the next night as they came out much better. This has given me the springboard to ger better & better (hopefully). So thanks also for your help on the technicals. I really love the T-shirt shots though!!!

Tot: 1.08s; Tpl: 0.08s; cc: 44; qc: 52; dbt: 0.046s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.7mb