With a sound that is deeply rooted in traditional blues melodies and infused with contemporary rock and roll flair, the Gloucester Blues Project is flying the flag high for this ever-evolving genre. Formed in mid-2005, the band exceeded their humble beginnings as a temporary side project and progressed to achieve worthy recognition and acclaim in and around their home town of Pietermaritzburg. Appearing on stages from KZN to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Gloucester Blues Project has developed a loyal following as well as an austere sound unique enough to call their own.
From renditions of blues standards to more unclassifiable originals, the band’s emotionally charged lyrics and poignant compositions appeal to a wide-ranging audience. They draw influence from a multitude of musicians including early blues pioneers like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, electric guitar gods Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, and more rock-based outfits like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.
Experienced musical siblings Andrew and Ian Dickinson, on guitar and drums respectively, form the original core of the dynamic outfit. Hailing from a hard rock background, the brothers inject a velocity to an ostensibly sombre musical genre. This is coupled with the creative song writing talent of rhythm guitarist and vocalist John Goodall, who contributes a traditional blues flavour that resonates throughout the band’s music. The newest member is bassist Mark McTaggart who became a part of the project in 2009. An experienced Maritzburg musician, Mark’s effortless bass licks and raspy vocals are a wonderful addition to the group.
The Gloucester Blues Project plays regularly in KwaZulu-Natal and has enjoyed performing with the likes of Dan Patlansky, Southern Gypsey Queen and Josie Field. The band has represented the blues at major South African festivals including the Splashy Fen Music Festival, the International Blues Festival in Durban, the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg and a tour to Maun in Botswana entitled the Rockavango Blues Tour as well as taking to the stage in a host of smaller music venues across the province.M
More recently, the Gloucester Blues Project has broadened their horizons and honed their skills by performing in tribute shows dedicated to popular musical icons Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones (the latter of which saw them sharing the stage with SA music stalwarts The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters). The tribute gigs were hugely popular and very well attended, with both eliciting repeat performances.
The Gloucester Blues Project has just completed their first album - Blackridge Sessions – a self-produced record that showcases the band’s years in the rehearsal room and on stages across SA.
13 December 2015
Rock Bistro, Umzumbe
Contact / Bookings
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