Chester Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival 2015 Announces Line Up

Geno Washington
Many of you will remember our Chester Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival. Well, this year’s instalment looks even more exciting, with the likes of Geno Washington, The Riotous Brothers and The Rainbreakers already confirmed.

That’s right, Solid Entertainments is delighted to announce that Chester Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival 2 will be taking place at The Live Rooms on Saturday 17 October.

To build on the success of last years festival, the line-up in 2015 had to be even more special, so with the aforementioned acts and many more stepping on stage; it will most definitely be a festival to remember and one not to miss!

Geno Washington is a legend of the 60’s Soul, R & B and Northern Soul scenes and one of the greatest frontmen from the latter half of the 20th century. His hugely charismatic presence on stage and love of performing, makes him an inspiration and a joy to witness, it’s not surprising that two of the biggest selling UK albums of the sixties were his live albums!

On his performance at Durham Blues Festival in June this year, Mick Burgess of The Chronicle wrote “ Washington was the perfect headliner, with his imposing frame and huge personality he brought a real vibrance to the whole day”

With an international flavour, this year’s full line-up comprises of:

. Geno Washington – his standing in the music business is epic and almost 50 years on, his reputation as a live performer is still unsurpassable!
· Connie Lush and Blues Shouter – Connie is recognised as one of our finest Blues singers, winning “Best Female Vocalist UK on five occasions!
. Erja Lyytinen – is Finland’s current Queen of the Slide Guitar and is enjoying her own ground breaking career as a contemporary blues artist!
· Matt Woosey – a refreshing musical song writing and playing style that combines acoustic blues, folk and rock conveyed with an accomplished vocal delivery!
. The Riotous Brothers – there’s something here for those who demand that their blues is packed into eight or twelve neat bars!
. The Rainbreakers – are a four piece rock outfit that create a raw and hard-hitting sound, influenced from a range of different styles!

When artists of this calibre get together, festival goers can expect to see top class live performances and hear a range of incredible sounds, with sets that incorporate a creative mix of Blues, Rock, R & B, Soul and Folk, not forgetting the nostalgic classics and great songs from the incredible Geno Washington. The team here at Young Academic are very excited about this intriguing addition to this summer’s festival guide.

Event Info

Date:  Saturday 17 October 2015 (2pm-10pm)
Venue: The Live Rooms, Homer House, 1 Station Rd, Chester, Cheshire CH1 3DR
Tickets: Early Bird tickets are only £23, advance ticket’s £25 and to book, please call 01472 349 222 or go online at

You can find out more about the line-up, details on the festival and the venue at

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Take A Look at Some Artist Bio’s

Geno Washington

originates from Evansville in Indiana, USA and first came to England in the 1960’s as part of the US Air Force. His love of Blues and Soul music soon found him jamming with local bands in and around Ipswich and eventually led him to London where he caused a sensation singing with top R&B acts Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames and Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band at the legendary Flamingo Club in Soho. The rest, as they say, is history.

Geno teamed up with some of London’s hottest musicians and Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band very quickly became established as the most exciting live band in Britain, regularly topping the bill over World famous artistes, as nobody in their right mind wanted to go on stage after a Geno show!

His live shows were immortalised in two of the biggest selling albums of the 60’s – “Hand Clappin’ Foot Stompin’ Funky Butt Live” and “Hipsters Flipsters and Finger Poppin’ Daddies”. His status as the undisputed “King of Soul” was cemented forever by Kevin Rowland and Dexy’s Midnight Runners in the 1980’s with the World-wide No.1 smash hit single “Geno”, which paid homage to the great man himself and is still played regularly today on national radio and at Geno’s live gigs both before and after shows.

Throughout the years Geno and his band have continued to tour extensively all over the World and have released several highly acclaimed albums and singles. His latest live double album simply entitled “It’s Geno Time”, recorded at the legendary Half Moon in Putney, is widely regarded as his best work to date: you only have to listen to the audience reaction to know that Geno has lost none of his magic as he and the band deliver a blistering set of Soul classics to a wild crowd who wouldn’t let them off stage!

Geno’s life long love of Blues and R&B has led to yet another chapter in his illustrious career with the formation of “Geno and the Yo Yo’s” which features the long standing rhythm section of the Ram Jam Band (Geoff Hemsley on drums, Steve Bingham on bass and Stuart Dixon on guitar) which is a hard- hitting, fast-moving show of R&B / Blues / Soul classics that has audiences on their feet from start to finish and is receiving rave reviews wherever they play.

Whether it’s Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band or Geno Washington and the Yo Yo’s you can be sure of one thing and that is a barnstorming live show that never lets up in intensity or excitement and delivers the goods every time!

Connie Lush & Blues Shouter

Connie has been recognised as one of the finest Blues singers in the UK, winning five times, “Best Female Vocalist Uk” earning a place in the gallery of greats, alongside Alexis Corner and Eric Clapton to name just two. Twice voted “European Blues Vocalist of the year” by the French Blues Trophies Awards” and nominated again “Best UK Blues Vocalist” 2011-2012.

In recent years, Connie has performed in over 30 countries.  She has played at some of Europe’s largest and most prestigious festivals, including Glastonbury Festival 2011 and wowing audiences in Moscow, New York and LA , recording in “The Cotton Row Studios” in Memphis and of course singing at BB Kings, Beale St….Connie also toured with BB King through the Uk, finishing at  The Royal Albert Hall London.

Connie is also a known songwriter, writing for TV and featuring at Jazz FM and other radio stations as a DJ.  She continues her love affair with audiences everywhere, bringing her enormous “Gusto” for life and music wherever she goes.  As BB King said “That woman makes my heart sing!”

Connie and the Band are currently recording songs for their forthcoming album, which is due for release, early Spring 2015

The Rainbreakers

Are a four piece rock outfit that create a raw and hard-hitting sound. Influences can be heard from a range of different styles that echo back to the stylings of the late 60’s and 70’s, layering a combination of rock, pop, blues and soul.

Holding on to tradition, but by no means purists, Rainbreakers indicate a fascination with older artists such as Free and Hendrix, yet the band draws significant influence from the contemporary sounds of The Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr and Monophonics. Since their formation in 2012, Rainbreakers have played countless amounts of shows at club venues and festival stages, resulting in the development of their own sound that truly represents themselves as well as the experiences they share. The band’s impassioned and fervent live performance has given leverage to acquire a strong and honest following in their hometown and across the country.

Alongside the release of their latest EP ‘Blood Not Brass’, Rainbreakers are already set to perform with Chantel McGregor and Laurence Jones on their 2015 UK Tours as well festival bookings including Stourbridge Blues Festival, Farmer Phils and many more.

Erja Lyytinen

Think about the history of slide guitar players and Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell and Son House immediately come to mind. Think electric blues and you can trace a 50 year lineage from the death of the great Elmore James to Finland’s current Queen of the Slide Guitar Erja Lyytinen.

The Sky Is Crying is Erja’s timely homage to the great Mississippi slide guitarist. Erja has enjoyed her own ground breaking career as a contemporary blues artist, but on this her tenth album, she’s gone back to her blues roots and cut, in her own words; ‘a raw and down to earth blues album’.

Co-produced with her guitarist and MD Davide Floreno and Mike Hightower, The Sky Is Crying showcases Erja incendiary playing and passionate vocals with her rock solid tour band, with the additional contributions of a superb horn section and special guests.

It’s rare for a blues artist to truly spark as Erja does with her weepy solo on It Hurt’s Me Too. She’s experienced enough to build a percussive groove on the slide led instrumental Erja’s Contribution To Jazz and adds a wonderful arrangement to the title track, bathing it in shimmering guitar and a deeply emotive vocal.

She’s also savvy enough to alter the lyrics of Got To Move, to reflect a female perspective, but then again she’s never been short of self belief to match her undoubted talent, which explains her ability to shape an album of slide led covers to her own ends.

The only non cover on the album is the aptly titled King of the Slide Guitar, which combines dobro dexterity and sprightly acoustic guitar with stellar rhythms and an evocative vocal to match her thoughtful lyrics. And lest we forget it, the album showcases the magisterial beauty of her playing, as she explores a wide range of tones, tempos and deep solos in her relentless pursuit of feel and the essence of Elmore James.

Born in Kuopio, a small town in central Finland, Erja was raised by a musically-orientated family on the sounds of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Deep Purple. She also listened to a lot of pop music, especially Madonna and Michael Jackson. By the age of 15 she was singing and playing the violin with her mother (a bassist) and father (who encouraged her to take up his own instrument – the electric guitar).

A 2010 graduate from the prestigious Helsinki Sibelius Academy, Erja signed her first record deal in 2001 and has been a professional gigging musician for a more than a decade.

Each successive album in her 10 album career has seen a growing emphasis on song writing and subtle arrangements – in this case mostly loyal to the originals- to match her mesmerising playing. The Sky Is Crying distils the essence of her guitar playing in the context of a contemporary take on traditional blues.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing any blues musician is to bring something new to the table and the fact that Erja manages to do that effortlessly while paying homage to the legacy of Elmore James, speaks volumes about her ability.

Matt Woosey

Refreshing song writing and playing style has acoustic, roots-based music at it’s heart but is not limited to a particular genre. His self-penned songs are conveyed with an accomplished vocal delivery which has gained him praise from sources such as Paul Jones (BBC2), Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music) and a variety of respected publications in the UK and around the globe.

With his consistent touring of The UK and with many tours of Europe as well as South African and Australian tours under his belt, Matt has expanded his fan base considerably in the last couple of years and has managed to make a big impact on a variety of different music scenes.

Wildest Dreams is Matt’s most recent studio album and is his seventh full length release since 2008. This album is similar to his previous material in that it contains a certain number of blues and/or blues influenced songs although the overall spectrum of his song writing is broader and more mature than before. Ranging from ethereal folk to trippy vibes and from sun drenched West coast pop to full-on blues riffage, Wildest Dreams takes Woosey fans and new listeners alike on a journey through the man’s soul and musical heritage.

The appeal of Wildest Dreams for music fans is the versatility of the song writing and playing on the album without watering down Woosey’s trademark sound and energy. The band is tight and the songs are performed with a free flowing ease which bridges the cross-genre stylings effortlessly.

Today, Matt’s playing is often compared to Rory Gallagher’s improvisational flair and John Martyn’s heavy handed acoustic onslaughts.

This year, following the success of Wildest Dreams, RoBar Music Records released Matt’s first live album entitled While The Cat’s Away…. It was recorded at The Gallimaufry in Bristol during their weekly residency during 2014. The evening caught them in a jolly mood with the aid of certain local beverages of the apple variety. It has been a long time coming and something that people have been asking about at gigs, so we’re really pleased to finally have something to put out there which showcases the musical rapport between the boys live on stage.

The Riotous Brothers

Formed in 2003 and features Mash Sonnet on Guitar & Vocals, Paul Long on Keyboards & Vocals, Mat Lake on Bass and Dirk Maggs on drums. In early 2014 they will released their 3rd album of ten originals songs.

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