the lineup

The Garage, Lon­don, 17 March

Guitarist - - Contents -

Nether­lands’ Mas­cot La­bel Group has had an­other great year, with a brace of al­bum re­leases prov­ing again what a hot­bed of blues gui­tar tal­ent the in­de­pen­dent la­bel has on its ros­ter. Now it wants to show­case some of those play­ers on the road through Europe with a night of heavy blues gui­tar that will en­able fans to meet and learn from artists too. We spoke to la­bel owner Ed van Zijl to find out more. It feels like this tour is a real cel­e­bra­tion of the gui­tar tal­ent on the la­bel, what does each of the artists play­ing on this tour rep­re­sent for Mas­cot? “Ex­actly right! It’s a gui­tar fes­ti­val first and en­ables us to bring our younger artists to an au­di­ence. Gary Hoey will open the show – al­though he is more known as a rock guitarist in the US, he’s a gen­uine blues guy. He opened up for Beth Hart in Ger­many in 2017 and the re­sponse was so good that we just needed to have him out here again.

“Quinn Sul­li­van is only 18, but he has phe­nom­e­nal tal­ent. Search the web and you’ll find many videos from him, one be­ing from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, age six. I per­son­ally pre­dict a great fu­ture for him as he has what it takes and we will guide him as well as we can. He can be a real sur­prise for peo­ple when they see him on this show. He is men­tored by Buddy Guy.

“Eric Gales is one hell of a gui­tar player. And now that he’s been sober for more than a year and a half, he’s been able to show us just what a tal­ent he is. A great head­liner for the small fes­ti­val. The spe­cial guest is Lance Lopez who will re­lease an al­bum on Provogue in March.” Could this be­come a yearly event? “That is the plan. We have been work­ing on this for years, but get­ting an idea and then turn­ing it into re­al­ity are two different things. We’re start­ing small with seven shows, but we’ll an­nounce the sec­ond ver­sion shortly after the first run has fin­ished. It should see at least 10 shows, adding in an ex­tra coun­try. So, yes, it’s planned for ev­ery year, but it’s a trav­el­ling fes­ti­val and will not nec­es­sar­ily be back in the same town the next year. It’s great to bring young tal­ent in front of an au­di­ence, as the first few miles are al­ways the most dif­fi­cult.” Fans be­ing able to meet the artists and at­tend a gui­tar clinic with Eric makes this a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. Is that some­thing you’d like to do more of in the fu­ture? “Yes, we want to bring the two to­gether. We have more plans for this for fu­ture ver­sions of the fes­ti­val, but it needs to grow first.

“First and fore­most we want the artists to make con­tact with the au­di­ence and be able to show what and who they are. For that rea­son, all artists will bring their own full bands. It’s not just one rhythm sec­tion and then a change of gui­tar player. That is im­por­tant to me. Ob­vi­ously we need the sup­port from the fans in or­der to be able to keep this fes­ti­val go­ing in the fu­ture. We will do our best to bring the best qual­ity to our au­di­ences that we can.”

Tick­ets for the Lon­don show are £35 in­clud­ing a meet-and­greet with the play­ers af­ter­wards. Tick­ets for the show and pre-show gui­tar clin­ics (and Rockin’ The Blues al­bum) are £50. The al­bum is also cur­rently avail­able to buy sep­a­rately. For more in­for­ma­tion and to buy tick­ets visit www.rock­inthe­blues.com

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