Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1088

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Ooh La La! UK Singers & Bands Can Win Major French Festival Appearance

Blues Passions Pic
Blues Passions Pic Blues Passions Pic Robert Randolph pic Copyright: Simon Redley

British singers and bands performing original material in the Blues, Soul, Funk, Folk, R & B, Boogie, Swing, Country, Gospel, Hip Hop, Slam, Rock’n’Roll genres, are in with a chance of winning an all expenses paid trip to appear at one of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals; Blues Passions in France.

Hennessy International’s “Chase the Music, Own the Stage” is a worldwide search for fresh new talent to perform at this summer’s Blues Passions Festival in Cognac, France.

Sting, Hugh Laurie, Belgium’s Selah Sue and renowned Afro-Soul singer Imany are in the fabulous line-up. There are some superb blues acts on during this cracking festival. US stars Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Billy Boy Arnold, and Trombone Shorty. The fabulous Robert Randolph and Family Band - pedal steel like you never heard it played before (think Jimi Hendrix meets Buddy Emmons on LSD!!!) Robert and his band blew the roof off the Shepherd’s Bush Empire last June, when they shared the stage with Tedeschi Trucks Band. * 2011 UK gig of the year for me. *

The UK’s Dave Arcari and The Revolutionaires are appearing, and vocal legend Sir Tom Jones, star judge on BBC TV's hit talent contest The Voice, will deliver his gospel blues set. Mix & Dorp from Holland is well worth checking out. His recent album of blues and modern beats got a 10/10 review from this writer. Ireland is ably represented by The Cranberries.

Previous artists to grace the stage at Blues Passions include legends BB King and Ray Charles, the UK’s Massive Attack, folk star Joan Baez, Gil Scott Heron, Moby and Taj Mahal.

All competitors have to do, is submit a video of themselves to the “Chase the Music, Own the Stage” tab on the Hennessy International Facebook page, performing an original song, and a judging panel will select the best 10 entries. They will then be posted on-line for the public vote.

The judges - including: Maurice Hennessy from the Hennessy family, Blues Passions festival founder Michel Rolland and editor-in-chief of Clash Magazine, Simon Harper - are looking for musicians that can bring their own musical “uniqueness and dynamic performances” to Blues Passions. "Staying true to the roots of music and the Blues heritage."

The contest is open to any artist or band, signed or independent, from The UK, The USA, (excluding residents of California), India, Japan, Latvia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Africa and Nigeria. The artist or their agent/record label can submit the entry on their behalf. All rules are on Hennessy International’s Facebook page, on the “Chase the Music, Own the Stage” tab.

The contest opened on 9th April and all entries must be submitted by 6th May. The final 10 will be selected by 14th May, when the public vote opens. Voting ends on the 28th May, when the judges will make their final decision based upon the public’s vote and their own. The two winners will be announced on 6th June on Facebook.
The two winning acts – of 5 or less in number – win flights, hotel accommodation and three days at the festival - between 3 – 9 July 2012 - with up to two appearances on one of the many stages at the annual event.

Since 1994, Hennessy has supported the Blues Passions festival in the heart of Hennessy’s hometown Cognac, France, which they say reflects the luxury brand’s "dedication to music, culture and live performance."

To kick off the global talent quest, Hennessy showcase exclusive films from last year’s Blues Passions festival. The videos feature backstage footage, artist interviews, live performances and exclusive acoustic sessions, on the “Chase the Music, Own the Stage” Facebook tab.
Words SIMON REDLEY

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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