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Suffolk’s Annual Blues Festival Takes Shape

The line-up for June’s StowBlues in Stowmarket is coming together rather nicely. As ever, the event is being held at The Museum Of East Anglian Life and this year it falls on Saturday, June 6. Myself and Mike Rushmore have been curating the day since it began several years ago and we do our very best to ensure a full and varied bill.

Gates open at midday with the first act on stage an hour later. The music then comes think and fast over the next eight hours and as you’ve come to expect it’ll be an eclectic mix of international, national and local names. At the time of writing not every slot has been finalised but I thought I would take this early opportunity to let you know about three of the acts we have confirmed.

Making her StowBlues debut will be Sweden’s very own one woman band Sofie Reed. She plays Lee Oskar harmonicas, the dulcimer, lap steel guitar and stomps her foot on an old wooden wine box.  In the words of Lee Oskar himself : “Sofie Reed is a multi-talented artist who gives so much of herself as a performer. Her sense of rhythm, phrasing and overall artistry make her one of the most interesting artists on the international music scene today. I’m thrilled that she plays Lee Oskar Harmonicas as she sure knows how to bring my favourite instrument to life with finesse, flair and great feeling.” High praise indeed from one of the masters.

It’ll also be a StowBlues first for Suffolk outfit Tore Down. They’re a blues-rock trio who’re firmly established on the Ipswich music scene thanks to their no-nonsense approach to classics by the likes of Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Fronted by guitarist and singer Alan McWhirter they took last summer’s Maritime Ipswich Festival by storm. They looked really at home up there on the big BBC Radio Suffolk stage and Mike and I had no hesitation in getting them on board for StowBlues 2020.

Talking of my StowBlues co-founder, Mike’s wonderful acoustic quartet Back Porch back in downtown Stowmarket this year after being unavailable for the 2019 festival. For the past decade and a half the band have been a permanent fixture on Suffolk’s music scene and they’re always the first name on my list of acts to play StowBlues. Thankfully they are back where they belong on the first Saturday of June.

All the acts are being recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk. There are very early bird tickets on sale for just £10 until the last day of this month. For the next couple of months they are still a very reasonable £12. In the week leading up to the event and on the day itself it’ll cost you £15 which remains an incredibly cheap price to pay. You can buy advance tickets from    

Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster is BBC Radio Suffolk's longest serving presenter. Foz presents Drivetime and features an eclectic selection of music with much of it coming from local bands and singer-songwriters.

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