Gráinne Duffy (Ireland)
Grainne Duffy is a unique talent; raw and powerful, edgy and elegant. Growing up in Ireland she gained exposure at an early age to artists like The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Pretenders, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Rory Gallagher. This led to Grainne picking up the guitar and beginning her musical journey, forming a band with her sisters.
After completing a music degree at NUI Maynooth she recorded her first album 'Out of the Dark' in 2007. The immediate reaction to her first release soon made her a regular on the festival circuit in her native Ireland. She was asked to appear for 3 days at Glastonbury 2008 where she shared the stage to great success with artists like Joan Baez, Suzanne Vega, Sinead O Connor, Seasick Steve and a number of other dignitaries. Alongside appearing at many of Ireland's leading festivals, Grainne has toured many corners of Europe including the world's most northern blues festival, 'Dark Season' at Svalbard, Norway.
In 2011 Grainne and her band recorded her second album 'Test of Time' with eleven self penned tracks spanning her many and varied influences. Her wonderful mix of blues rock and soul charged with true emotion and feeling can win over any audience and leave you begging for more. www.grainneduffy.com.
John Meyer's Blues Express (Australia)
John Meyer hails from Western Australia and appeared at the Phuket International Blues Rock Festival in 2009 with KNiKi. This year he brings his own smokin' hot band and we're excited about this multi-award winning guitarist returning.
John started playing gigs in Perth nightclubs at age 16 and later toured extensively with some of the big names in Australian music including Rose Tattoo and Chain, recording and co-producing two albums with Chain. John recorded his first all instrumental album in 1992, followed by a second in 1999 titled 'The Shaman' with jazz/fusion influences to critical acclaim. In 2003 he was inducted into the West Australian Music Industry's 'Hall of Fame'.
November 2004 at the Bridgetown Blues Festival saw the launch of the album 'John Meyer's Blues Express' featuring Peter Oats on bass and vocals and Ric Eastman on drums. The band was here in 2011 and is the third band returning in 2012 by popular demand. Their latest album will be available at the Festival. www.johnmeyer.net.au.
AkashA is a 7-piece Malaysian band, playing music straight from the heart. Like Malaysia itself, AkashA is a fusion of four cultures – Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Western. From these roots they explore all corners of the globe by experimenting in Blues, Jazz, Cuban Jazz, African, Latin, Celtic, Asian – just to name a few.
Representing Malaysia at world music festivals around the globe, their mission is to dazzle, to enthrall, to delight and to move you. One moment they'll have you whooping with the sheer joy of life and in the next they'll have you weeping with the tragic beauty of it. The music of this band brings out each individual's inner space of creativity.
The band played at the Phuket International Blues Rock Festival in 2010 and 2011, and will return in 2012 by popular demand. Do not miss this unique band at the closing of the show on Friday 24 February. www.akashamalaysia.com.
Chris Thomas King (USA)
Chris Thomas King was born October 14, 1964, in Baton Rouge. He signed a major recording contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1989 and in 1995, he started his own independent production company and record label, 21st Century Blues. Soon after he found success as a film composer and actor, winning three Grammy Awards by 2003.
King's major role in the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000 gained him an international mainstream audience. Telling the story of down-home blues singers in Mississippi, the movie starred George Clooney and King played the role of Tommy Johnson, a true-to-life blues singer from the 1930s. The soundtrack reached number one on the billboard charts and has sold over ten million copies.
Following hurricane Katrina, which nearly destroyed King's New Orleans home, he wrote and recorded his most personal album to date, simply but eloquently titled 'Rise'. 'Baptized in dirty water', a slow driving 12 bar blues which featured a soaring electric guitar performance, was nominated for a Blues Foundation Award for 'Song of the Year'. www.christhomasking.com.
Clas Yngström (Sweden)
Clas Yngström is one of, if not the top blues/rock guitar player/singer in Sweden. With his band SKY HIGH he has toured the world and recorded numerous albums since its launch in the late seventies. His main influences are Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, and classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Albert, BB and Freddy King.
SKY HIGH have shared stages with many of their favorite artists over the years, many of which have become friends and fans of the group, including Chuck Berry, Albert King, BB King, Albert Collins, Stevie & Jimmie Vaughan, ZZ Top, Johnny & Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Kim Wilson, Lazy Lester and many more.
Clas will come to Phuket with a lineup featuring original SKY HIGH drummer Uffe Åhman and ace bassist Arne 'Mr. Dynamite' Blomqvist. The set will be original blues and rock material mixed with some Jimi Hendrix, as well as some great classic blues. www.skyhighblues.com.