Coming soon to a stage near us – Women of the Blues…

Lauryn Hill - playing an exclusive set at Bluesfest on Good Friday.
Lauryn Hill - playing an exclusive set at Bluesfest on Good Friday.

There’s some old favourites – the John Butler Trio for example, there’s a new headliner – Lionel Ritchie – and there’s a line-up of amazing performers for this year’s 2018 Bluesfest.  Including Lauryn Hill, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow – so if you like the female  this is your lucky year!

Melissa Etheridge is making a welcome comeback to Bluesfest this year.  Byron Bay embraced the singer/songwriter on her previous visit, who some years ago survived a battle with cancer.  Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the singer unerwent a particularly brutal form of chemo.  “My work had always been a drug-free zone,” she’s said, “but the chemotherapy that was prescribed was called “dose dense”: a harsher, stronger chemo than the usual because I had the benefit of not having to work during the treatment. My close friends told me that, as an alternative, medical marijuana was a natural way to help with the excruciating side effects of chemo.”

Medical marijuana not only worked – the experience changed her life. “It opened my mind to a new way of thinking about my body, my health and the future,” she says.  Etheridge has been a medicinal marijuana smoker for nine years, and finds that it helps her to regulate her sleep, relieves pain from the gastrointestinal effects of the chemo, helped with depression and gave her back her appetite! And for those who have been priviliged enough to see her perform already you’ll know she is one hell of an act.
Melissa Etheridge (left) and Sheryl Crow - Bluesfest then Australia.

Melissa Etheridge (left) and Sheryl Crow – Bluesfest solo then Australia together.

Present her at the same festival as the indomitable Sheryl Crow and it’s going to be a truly outstanding Bluesfest for those of us who like some women with our blues.  Crow has had her own fight with breast cancer, as well as battling a benign brain tumour, and some years ago, a very public broken engagement.  She moved back to her home-state of Missouri, 14 years ago, settling in Nashville on a 50 acre ranch and adopting two children.   The nine-time Grammy winner is a public eco-warrier.  “It’s been way too long since I was in Australia,” she says.
BUT not only but also, after the disappointing news that Kesha had dropped out, who came storming in but Lauryn Hill – can we wait???  Hill, arguably one of the most influential artists in the history of R&B will play an exclusive set at the 2018 festival, on Easter Friday in Byron Bay. Hill established her reputation in the music world as the lone female member of The Fugees, whose record sales would make them the second biggest selling R&B act worldwide since Michael Jackson.

After leaving the band she released her iconic solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” which changed the face of popular music when it was released in 1998. The album’s innovative mix of traditional soul, hip-hop beats and politically charged rap was a revelation. It won five Grammys the year it was released and has gone on to be included in dozens of “Greatest Albums Ever” lists such as Mojo’s 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime, Q’s Top 100 Albums Ever, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and it came in at number 2 on NPR’s 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

Etheridge and Crow are both set to perform their own solo spots at Bluesfest before teaming up to hit Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in early April.  Now that will be an outstanding gig.


For more info on the 29th annual Byron Bay Bluesfest go here:




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