The Garage, London, 17 March
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