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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

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.

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