Pee Wee Ellis at the Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival.

Quite an honour to get to see Pee Wee. This is the guy who was musical director for both James Brown and Van Morrison! A legend. He didn’t disappoint. Even as the mist of the sea fret rolled in he warmed the night up with some cool funk.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival – Lisa Mills

Straight out of the deep South Lisa sure had a voice and a great personality. It was good to hear a singer/songwriter with a guitar holding the stage. A powerful performance – a little too heavy on god for my liking at times (an American trait). I’m not big on god. She did some great bluesy numbers and a bit of country too – refreshing.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – Ben Beattie’s After Midnight Band with Simon Cunliffe-Lister

It was a great end to the festival to have Ben’s band blasting out some sax-rich Jazz with Simon helping out. They produced a varied programme with a bit of Chuck Berry thrown in. A great finale for a brilliant weekend of sunshine, stately homes, gardens and music.

The Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival – Rupert Lay Quartet.

The final day got underway with the Rupert Lay Quartet who were a trio? I was wondering if I had the right group? They also seemed to lack the double bass and steel pans. They gave a beautiful set of great Jazz guitar.

The Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – The Alligators

What better way to finish an evening than with a great blast of R&B. The veteran Alligators are stalwarts and always get the place rockin’ and everyone on their feet. The power trio perform old R&B favourites with a smattering of their own stuff and never fail to impress with their high-power showmanship and aggressive style.

Simon and Ben joined in with an impromptu jam and they obviously had a wail of a time (pun intended).

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – Claudia Edward in the tent

Claudia and the Naked Chords did a second set in the tent. It was quite different to her first set – more powerful and less restrained. The beat pounded, the guitar was strident and Claudia got the audience rockin’

I think Simon only organises these festivals so that he can have a great time playing with all the bands. He rarely misses an opportunity. It sets the tone for the atmosphere of the festival – it is friendly, homely and less formal. Great stuff. Go Simon!! 

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – Kaz Hawkins

Straight out of the Belfast delta complete with bowler hats the larger than life Kaz Hawkins stormed the festival with her powerful vocals and extravagant personality. With her great flouncy dress and headscarf she added a degree of bounce, flair and bravado that took the whole scene ten notches higher.

If there was a prize for personality of the festival Kaz would win it hands down. She was visually and aurally dynamite!! What a performance. I don’t know about Etta James and Janis Joplin but when Kaz sings ‘I Just Want To Make Love to You’ you know you’d be in for a night!

This was good stompin’ bluesy R&B!!

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – Claire Martin and Ray Gelato

Well I love ice-cream – gelatos are creamy and smooth – but not as smooth as Ray!!

After the power of the New York Brass Band we were into the ultrasmooth, silky tones of Claire and Ray and their standards. From raw to sophistication.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 – New York Brass Band

Well if the people won’t come to the music then take the music to the people. That is what the New York Brass Band did. After a short blast on stage they proceeded to wend their way through the crowd honking, blasting and wailing. Massed brass, weaving in and out was pretty inspiring. They got the crowd going for sure. With their bright tartan trews and exuberant style they swung with funky style.

Oh – and they weren’t from New York and they played New Orleans style. That’s an enigma.

Anyone fancy a bum bag?