Interview by Bob Gordon

Answered by Sandy McClelland (bass)


What’s the best thing about playing festivals?


Festival crowds are always ready to get straight onboard and into the vibe. The organisation of the shows is always top notch and runs smoothly. Having new audiences at each new festival is great. Festivals are the best all round.


Do you have a Blues at Bridgetown experience that you’d like to share, either performing or as an audience member?


Every Blues at Bridgetown is a great experience, but sharing the stage with other awesome artists is always great. And a pretty special time was when Jim and my son Keb joined us for a slow blues tune when he was 12 years old. Pretty awesome!


Where do you feel you fit in musically along the blues and roots scale?


Smack bang in the middle, I think. We definitely love the blues but like to keep it up tempo with a bit of sting. For many years Jim only played acoustic guitars and took a more roots approach with heaps of percussion thrown in. Now it’s a return to the electric guitar and a good dose of blues slide playing, a few ballads and a bit of funk. The full mix we hope.


What have been the highlights of your music career thus far?


So many. Meeting James Brown when he came back in his limo to pick up his hairdryer from his green room backstage at the very first West Coast Blues N’ Roots festival (2004) at Kings Park was a good one.


Getting to meet many of our idols over the years, really. Playing the P&O Blues Cruises was another great time. Getting to travel is the best.


What have you been mainly focussing on in 2023 and how is it coming along?


2023 has been the year of the dementia song Jim wrote about his and Belly’s Dad. He died back in April this year from Alzheimer’s disease. The song, The Lights Are On, is about Stan’s demise and how it affected their Mum and family. Everywhere he plays it we have people say they’ve cried and understood the song because the disease affects so many people these days.


What are your plans and hopes for 2024?


We are just gonna keep plugging and see where it takes us. The Lights Are On is being recorded and hopefully there’ll be a new album. We are off to Tassie in March to the Forth Valley Blues Festival and whatever else comes our way.


What can folks expect from your performances at Blues at Bridgetown?


For Bridgetown 2023 we just hope to bring some light-hearted joy, some good danceable tunes, a happy vibe and a good time. The world could do with it.

Good times, good music.


Friday 8.15pm Blue Owl’s Nest

Saturday 7.50pm Geegelup