The January Blues Meltdown featuring Charlie A’Court and friends – Carson Downey, John Campbelljohn and Christine Campbell – will hit Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, Sydney on Friday, January 31st.
Charlie A’Court is synonymous with impassioned performances that grip an audience the very moment he takes the stage. Planted at the crossroads of roots and soul, A’Court’s mighty voice, fierce guitar work, contemporary songwriting and five solo recordings, have earned him a large loyal following and a host of awards from Music Nova Scotia and the ECMA. His latest release, Triumph & Disaster, was recognized with the 2013 East Coast Music Awards for both R&B/Soul Recording and Blues Recording of the year as well as current nominations from the national Maple Blues Awards in the Male Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year categories. Along with non-stop touring throughout Canada and the USA, A’Court has graced stages in the UK, Europe and over the past couple of years, has spent significant time touring in Australia where he’s recently released a compilation album (Sun Is Gonna Shine).
The pride of North Preston, Nova Scotia, Carson Downey has been singing and playing the blues for nearly three decades. His life changed in the mid-1980s when he went to hear Joe Murphy, a legend among Maritime blues and roots-music aficionados. “It’s hard to put into words, but something just clicked. Then Joe says to me, ‘I know you play, come on up and play something.’…I managed to put together a few Johnny Winter songs, and it went over well. The next day he called and asked if I wanted to play in his band. I knew instinctively why he wanted me: I brought a spark to his band. Maybe I wasn’t as seasoned as some, but I was burning with the fire of a man with a new love”. Downey’s first album, All The Way , met with critical success, along with over a dozen awards, several tours from coast to coast, as well as extensive tours of Germany, Greenland, Asia and parts of the USA. His follow up recording, Burnin’ Up Live, captures what Downey does best: burning up a stage with his intense delivery. A new studio CD is receiving the final touches and is expected to be released shortly.
Born 1955 in Sydney, Cape Breton singer/guitarist/songwriter John Campbelljohn is a multiple award winner. Rolling Stone says, “The string magic of the front man fascinates!” Blues News says, “What applied to Neil Young or Joni Mitchell in former times, now applies to John Campbelljohn.” Campbelljohn’s been featured on recordings that include Sting, Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, Leonard Cohen, Joe Ely & Willie Nelson plus productions by Sony Pictures Television. Rich vocals and distinctive prowess on the slide guitar have made him a favourite at festivals in Canada and Europe. Campbelljohn’s sophisticated and progressive approach to song writing gives him a distinctive edge, mixing rock, blues, reggae, Celtic and country into his signature style. The result is a sound that can pummel the audience into submission one moment, while captivating them with its subtlety the next. [READ MORE WGO COVERAGE OF JOHN CAMBELLJOHN HERE]
A killer guitarist, a classically-trained pianist, a raw, honest songwriter and an incomparable singer, Christine Campbell ranges from a raspy powerhouse to a soft…powerhouse, and brings entire audiences to a hush…and to their feet. After several years of thrilling the crowds with her Les Paul as front-woman for rock band Stone Mary (winners of the 2011 MusicNS award for Best Loud Album), Campbell is showing another aspect of her musical soul, her diversity. Throughout the years, Campbell has been writing songs that haven’t found a place in her hard rock outfits. These songs now have a home, on her self-titled debut solo CD, which showcases her bluesy, country roots, and creates a more intimate, stripped down experience for her audience. She still rips strong, intricate leads, but does so on an acoustic guitar.
Shake off your winter blues at The Blues Meltdown featuring Charlie A’Court, Carson Downey, John Campbelljohn and Christine Campbell. Tickets on sale now at MTCC box office, by phone at (902) 539-2300 and Gord’s Sports, 44 Reeves Street, Sydney.