Hello 2020 and goodbye to 2019…what a year it was! I want to thank you for all helping us to have such an amazing year. There were so many highlights…starting the year on a high jamming with Van Morrison, Eric Bibb, Paul Jones and Bernie Marsden.
Reaching the semi final representing the UK Blues Federation in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Winning the European Blues Challenge in the Azores!
Releasing my dream album to such a great reception, including making it to the top of the IBBA (Independent Blues Broadcasters Association) chart in April and being nominated for Best Album in the European Blues Awards.
The album didn’t win, but I DID win Best Female Vocalist in the European Blues Awards 2019.
The thrill of breaking new ground playing great gigs and festivals all over the UK and Europe, some of them in countries new to us.
Appearing on the front cover (and inside) of the brand new, excellent book, 50 Women in the Blues, alongside Koko Taylor, Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples. Phew! What amazing company. Many more Women in Blues share their stories inside, accompanied by great photographs. Click here to order your copy of this fabulous book, by Jennifer Noble, which has been gaining rave reviews.
Then the wonderful news that Pain & Glory reached Number 1 in the IBBA chart for 2019…that means it was the most played album across the Independent Blues radio network throughout the whole year! Wow! I’m so grateful for everyone’s support.
This year is already looking very exciting, too. Danny and I are so proud to be heading back to Memphis as the first ever UK Blues representatives to compete in the Solo/Duo category of the International Blues Challenge. We’ve already received our first slot, which will be part of the International Showcase (purely open to artists from outside of the USA and not counting towards the end result of the challenge) on Tuesday 28th January at 9pm, at Blues City Cafe. It feels like we’ll be returning home, as this was the venue where we played all our shows last year, so we’ll be off to a great start. We’ll find out our Quarter Final slots, for the Wednesday and Thursday, when we arrive.
As a completely independent act (no management, no Arts funding, no record company as we run and fund our own), being able to take part in the IBC is such an important opportunity for us to network and spread our music across the world. It’s impossible to say how much competing in the UK, European and International Challenges has propelled our career and contributed to such a successful year in 2019. A huge thank you to the UK Blues Federation for making it all possible. I’m also very much looking forward to cheering on our UK band representatives, The Achievers! I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun together flying the flag for UK Blues.
Please consider joining the UK Blues Federation to support and help keep blues in the UK alive and well. Without them there would be no UK Representatives in the IBC or EBC. If you join, you’ll also have a say in some of the nominations for the UK Blues Awards and the UK Blues Challenge. Just click here.
The rest of the year is already packed with some brilliant gigs and festivals. I hope to see you at one…or a few!