The 17th Vintage Blues Music Festival provided a night to remember for more than 1500 people who filled Albany’s Wignalls Winery on Saturday evening.
The weekend’s line-up featured four Eastern States acts, two from Fremantle and one local bluesman in what was one of the festival’s most diverse programs.
Young Fremantle indie-pop quartet Sam Carmody and the Warning Birds welcomed the crowd with a fresh and energetic set featuring some catchy original tunes, before well-known troubadour Moondog J donned his fedora and took to the stage.
Moondog J – real name Jeremy Jongsma – entertained the crowd with travel tales from his time in the USA, some driving original songs and a few striking blasts of his trademark harmonica.
In a first for the festival, featured headline act Wendy Matthews performed her set well before the sun went down in an early surprise to the many loyal fans thronging the front of the stage.
Her set included well-known ballad The Day You Went Away and featured some friendly banter with the crowd in-between songs.
Brisbane singer-songwriter Katie Noonan toned things down during her hour-long set, earning rousing applause for her mesmerising vocals and gentle arrangements.
Her song Emperor’s Box, which she recorded with her band The Captains, provided an evening highlight.
Twilight was falling by the time Russell Morris and his band leapt to the Alli Paull stage and his hard-nosed rock anthems dulled the sunshine into submission in no time.
Morris’ trademark hit single The Real Thing cropped up in a set featuring songs, and their accompanying stories, from his new album Sharkmouth.
Mia Dyson continued the loud-and-proud theme Morris established, delivering the longest set of the evening with an energy that never wavered.
Concluding the evening slightly ahead of schedule were Fremantle band Dilip and the Davs.
The festival also provided an occasion to announce Wignalls Winery’s next concert, featuring Australian rock legends Mental As Anything, taking place on Australia Day.