The Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival returns on Saturday 22 July with more than 70 live performances for the nine-day celebration of the genre. This year, the long-running festival features a melting pot of artists of local, national and international acclaim. Gloucester – already the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner (see John Stafford Smith) – will welcome three artists from across the pond with grade A Blues credentials.
Texas native, Hamilton Loomis, was a protégé of the late, great Bo Diddley. He met the blues icon backstage at the age of 16 at Houston’s famed venue Rockefeller’s. Before the night was over, Loomis was onstage playing guitar with the legend. Diddley quickly became friend, mentor, collaborator and supporter, appearing on two of Loomis’ albums and presenting the cherished red guitar that he still plays.
Mississippi- born Lisa Mills, whose admirers include Robert Plant and Dr John, follows up her monumental and universally acclaimed tour of the UK and Europe in 2016 with a return to these shores and debuting new material from her album ‘Tempered in Fire’.
And finally, the Reverend Robert is no stranger to the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival and returns to play three gigs at three different venues! He first burst onto the scene in 2004 he took first place at the National Slide Guitar Festival in North Carolina The Reverend is known for his mastery of pre-war blues and powerful delivery.
Tim Porter, who works alongside organisers Marketing Gloucester, said:
“Once again the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival is represented by a wide range of artists. We are pleased to have several American acts in the line-up this year including Southern Soul, Gospel, and Blues singer and guitarist Lisa Mills from Mobile, Alabama; Texan Hamilton Loomis with his band, and The Reverend Robert from Illinois. As always, we include as many local acts as possible, plus artists on the UK circuit from across the Blues spectrum such as Mark Harrison, Kris Dollimore, Mat Walklate, and Keith Thompson.
The Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival is part of SoMAC (Gloucester’s Summer of Music, Arts and Culture) and runs from Saturday 22 July to Sunday 30 July. It consists of over 70 gigs at Café Rene, Angie’s Bar, The Cross Keys Inn, The Dick Whittington, The Fountain Inn, Gloucester Brewery, The New Inn, The Old Bell, Peppers Café, The Tall Ship and Tank. Admission is FREE at all venues. Visit the new website at www.Gloucesterblues.com for the full line-up and schedule.