Best Bluesfest Debut Acts

On 120 hectres of blissful nature just north of Byron Bay, Bluesfest music festival sets up for five days of local and international blues, soul, funk and roots.

While there are some repeat favourites playing at this year’s annual Easter-break festival (think Mavis Staples, The Gypsy Kings and George Clinton) we’ve listed four acts who are debuting their very first Bluesfest in 2015.

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley was discovered by and signed to Daptone Records after working as a James Brown impersonator, while in his 50s; releasing his first album at 62. A musician with a whole lot of heart, Bradley will be playing alongside his star-studded band, comprising of musicians sourced from The Dap Kings, The Menahan Street Band, and Budos Band. Sure to be a Bluesfest highlight.


Alabama shakes

Hanging out for that raw “Yeaaaaa” that starts off their most recent single Don’t Wanna Fight. This American quartet received three Grammy Award nominations for their 2012 debut album, Boys and Girls, and will be releasing their second album later this month. Widely praised for their energetic live shows, and outstanding musicianship, Alabama Shakes will bring their unique brand of roots rocks to Bluesfest this weekend.



Australian-grown duo who have gained a strong following after releasing their sophomore album, Passerby, (produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner) last year. The Wall Street Journal listed the album in their Best Albums of 2014. Sub Pop Records founder Jonathan Poneman, met and signed the duo within the first 48 hours of hearing the masters for Passerby. You’ll be swaying while enjoying their ever-so-sweetly delivered indie folk.


Marlon Williams

Emerging New Zealand talent Marlon Williams has a croon that could melt the coldest of hearts. He’s playing Bluesfest and touring with The Yarra Benders to launch his new single Dark Child from his forthcoming debut album, set for a late April release. Having recently toured with the likes of First Aid Kit and Justin Townes Earle; Marlon Williams is one of the most promising, rising stars of the blues.