The Blues Band

Often celebrated as the finest British purveyors of rhythm and blues, each band member has a musical resume as long as your arm…

To start, Blues Band Guitarist and Singer, Dave Kelly, is no stranger to MusicFest.

I’ve been a fan of the Blues Band since I was a teenager,” explains Doug Cox. “They were a huge influence on me and many other blues players my age. So when I first managed  to reach Dave directly and invite the Band to the Festival, I was just as happy for him to say, ‘The Band can’t come but I will!’ ” Cox shares,  “Dave was one of the original people to bring Bluesmen such as Son House, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf to England where he would look after them, play in the band and introduce them to Europe.

Cox tells more about Dave Kelly and MusicFest. “Dave has returned to MusicFest 3 times and twice, brought some very special friends with him. His first guest was the legendary Scottish Blues Singer Maggie Bell. It was the only time she has ever performed in Canada! After that, he brought to us Christine Collister. He has since proclaimed publicly a few times that MusicFest is his favourite Festival of all time.  I had lost hope of us ever actually landing the Blues Band to play MusicFest when earlier this year, Dave reached out and told me they were on their last tour as a band. Dave added, how about we come to Canada and play for you as the last concert on our farewell tour?! Bingo!,” Cox laughs. 

Other Blues Band-mates include Paul Jones who was asked to join the Rolling Stones by Brian Jones in 1962. He declined that offer but accepted the next one, which was to join Manfred Mann as their lead singer and harmonica player.

Guitarist Tom McGuiness’s first serious band was The Roosters, where he shared guitar duties with Eric Clapton. He went on to Manfred Mann and later was one of the namesakes for the band McGuiness Flint.

Co-Founding Blues Band member Gary Fletcher, has also toured and recorded with the likes of Peter Green, Maggie Bell, Van Morrison, John Mayall and Long John Baldry.

Drummer Rob Townsend, played in the legendary band Family and while doing so, performed at some of the most famous festivals in history including the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury and they even toured North America with Elton John. Rob also spent time in a band with Andy Summers just before Andy went off to join the Police.


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