IT seems an incredibly long way off, given the number of festivals populating the summer of rock in Australia, but already there’s a line-up announcement for next year’s Bluesfest, the annual blues and roots blast at Byron Bay in northern NSW across Easter. Leaping out from the big names is the return visit of Iggy and the Stooges. One wonders if Iggy and his cohorts will be performing from the entire Stooges catalogue rather than just
the album that features the recently returned Stooges guitarist James Williamson. Ron Asheton, the guitarist who played on the band’s first two albums, died in 2009. The current line-up played in its entirety during their last visit to Australia, as part of last year’s Big Day Out, and damned fine it was too. Also in the first Bluesfest rollcall are Ben Harper, Santana, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller and Glen Hansard and the Frames, those two bound together I suspect because Hansard, the Frames’ singer, will also be performing material from his recent solo album and possibly from his project. We shall see. More names will be added to the list for the five-day event in the coming months. SPEAKING of upcoming events, one of the hottest next month is the visit of American duo the Black Keys, whose career has blossomed significantly on the back of their album from last year It will be interesting to see if drummer Patrick Carney and singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach can replicate their primitive rock ’n’ roll in big arenas now that they are riding the mainstream. Let’s hope so. Meanwhile, Carney took a break from the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle this week when he got married to girlfriend Emily Ward in the back yard of their home in Nashville. Auerbach and 350 others were in attendance as Carney and his bride walked down the aisle to the tune of Tommy James and the Shondells’ WHILE we’re in Nashville, congratulations to Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, who performed at the Americana Awards in the city a few weeks ago. Not only that, but they were joined on stage by veteran guitarist and producer and all-round country legend Buddy Miller and celebrated producer and bass player Don Was. Following that, Australia’s first couple of alt country added backing vocals to a Nashville performance by another legend, Emmylou Harris. Judging by their emotional and regular tweets on their good fortune, the Chambers-Nicholson team had a pretty good time. SYDNEY Opera House has played host to Rufus Wainwright and Macy Gray in the past couple of weeks and one can’t help notice that more rock and pop events seem to be heading down to that part of Sydney than in previous years. The promoters there are to be commended also for giving opportunities to up-and-coming acts who wouldn’t normally get the chance to play at such an esteemed location. Just announced for a special event at the Opera House in February next year are a bunch of hopefuls including the Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon, Clockwork Robots, Scarecrows and the latest tip for stardom, the Silence. All of them will be joined on stage by the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Who knows how that’s going to work? HAPPY birthday to the never-idle Nick Cave, who turns 55 today, and to Joan ‘‘I Love Rock ’n’ Roll’’ Jett, who is 52.