The Blues Band will ensure that the Sunday evening concert at Ely Folk Festival 2012 finishes in a blaze of toe-tapping blues glory as Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Rob Townsend and Gary Fletcher bring their blend of blues passion, skill and enthusiasm to the stage.
The individual members of The Blues Band were already held in admiration by generations of rhythm & blues fans when they formed back in 1979. Almost two and a half decades and over 16 albums later they continue to add to their growing army of followers, and it’s not unheard of to find three generations from the same family at a gig.
The band are today acknowledged throughout Europe and beyond as being amongst the very finest purveyors of rhythm & blues. They have inspired numerous other blues bands, many of which have come and gone. It’s a credit to both the band’s talent and to their many thousands of fans’ loyalty and support that they have since sustained such a long career, and brings into question the oft-spoken phrase by parents despairing of their aspiring musical offspring, “When are you going to get yourself a proper job?”
These boys have real feel – for their music, for their audience and for each other. Playing with maturity and passion is second nature to all of them …. Paul Jones has devoted much of a creative career spanning almost 40 years to this eternal, inspiring form – the very base and roots of rock & roll ….. Dave Kelly, with his late, great sister, Jo-Ann, introduced a whole generation to the works of Memphis Minnie, Son House, Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell …… the blues bit Tom McGuinness in the late ’50s and has never let go – the same sharp, tight grip which still holds Rob Townsend and Gary Fletcher within its spell. So here they are, as enthusiastic as ever – Britain’s finest, most skilled practitioners in the art of the blues. The Blues Band.