First off to bat is the remarkable Dweezil Zappa, son of fretboard luminary Frank and an eccentric, mind-bending musician in his own right. He’ll be bringing his coveted Hot Rats tour to venues around Australia this April to celebrate 50 years since the release of his father’s album of the same name; an art-rock masterpiece which would go on to inspire the likes of Steve Vai, John Frusciante and many other seminal guitarists. Zappa’s last visit down under in 2017 was bonkers, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from a tour playing Hot Rats.
After releasing her major-label debut earlier in the year, Australian born bassist and songwriter Tal Wilkenfeld will also be straying from the Bay to deliver a run of sideshows around the country. Although she’s performed with the likes of Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock and Todd Rundgren, it’s Wilkenfeld’s work as a solo artist which stands out the most; she’s a phenomenally talented composer and really doesn’t deserve to be lumped into the backdrop of veteran male artists. We’d highly recommend sussing her shows out!
If you like funk, you’re in for a treat here: Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles have locked in sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney this April, where there’ll be delivering a hot set of improvised jazz, funk, gospel and soul grooves to melt your earholes. Henry’s a fucking monster on the Hammond, and his work as a session artist for the likes of Snarky Puppy, The Roots and Michael McDonald is phenomenal – his band also exemplify a level of musicianship which many strive their entire lives to achieve.
As the golden ambassadors of Malian contemporary music, Amadou & Mariam will be treating Australian crowds to a masterclass in Afrobeat this April on their Bluesfest sideshows. With a musical relationship that dates back over 45 years, the duo’s unique spin on Malian Blues has seen them receive worldwide acclaim, and with African grooves steadily infiltrating the consciousness of Western music in recent years, it’d be naff to deny the influence Amadou & Mariam have had upon the popularisation of their style outside of continental Africa.
Last, but definitely not least, The Allman Betts Band have announced shows in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the 50th anniversary and undying legacy of The Allman Brothers Band. The band’s debut album, Down To The River, is one of 2019’s most celebrated blues releases, and with talents such as Devon Allman and Duane Betts leading the group, there’s no doubt this will be serious display of classic blues shreddery.
Phowah – what an announcement! Check out all the dates and details below – tickets for all sideshows go on sale Monday November 25, and presale starts this Thursday.
Dweezil Zappa Plays Hot Rats
Thursday April 9 – Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane QLD
Sunday April 12 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
Monday April 13 – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday April 15 – The Gov, Adelaide SA
Friday April 17 – The Astor Theatre, Perth WA
Wednesday April 15 – Howler, Melbourne VIC
Thursday April 16 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles
Wednesday April 8 – 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
Thursday April 9 – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
Amadou & Mariam
Sunday April 12 – Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
Tuesday April 14 – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC
The Allman Betts Band
Wednesday April 8 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney NSW
Monday April 13 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Head to the Bluesfest Touring website for all tickets and enquiries.