Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Mud Can't Dampen Bluesfest; Dylan Disappointments but Star-Packed Line-Up Still a Hit

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Mud Can't Dampen Bluesfest; Dylan Disappointments but Star-Packed Line-Up Still a Hit

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bancroft david.bancroft@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE first thing to hit you as you entered the Bluesfest grounds on Tuesday was the mud. It was just about everywhere.

I say just about everywhere, because the only places there wasn't mud more than ankle deep was where there were pools of water or tents.

And as anyone with experience of flooding in the Clarence knows (and that is most of us), where there is mud there is smell.

The thing was, though, once you got over the shock of the mud bath, you soon got to appreciate what an amazing event this is.

It was billed as having the best line-up in Bluesfest history and it would be difficult to disagree.

I went on Tuesday, the final day of the 2011 event, and artists included Grace Jones, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Michelle Shocked, Leon Russell, Tony Joe White, Collard Greens and Gravy, Tim Finn, Paul Kelly, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic and the headline act, Bob Dylan.

If it wasn't the best line-up in the history of the event, it was certainly the best I had seen.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see as much as I would have liked.

With things to do on Tuesday morning, I decided to leave Grafton a bit after 1pm hoping to catch some of each of Tony Joe White and Tim Finn, who were on at different tents from 3.30pm.

I thought that would have given plenty of time, but didn't account for the vagaries of the Pacific Highway.

From near the speed radar at New Italy until Woodburn I was stuck almost exclusively in first gear, and the same traffic snarls hit again for about five kilometres near Fowlers Lane (another former outdoor rock venue), south of Byron Bay.

Once there, though, all was forgotten.

And the pick?

For me (and I'll let Rodney Stevens have a say later) it was hard to choose.

Bob Dylan was an obvious drawcard and it was tremendous to see such an icon of the music industry in person.

But he wasn't the pick musically. …

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