Report and photos by Jason Rosewarne
Blues Music Victoria presented the 2023 Victorian Blues Music Hall of Fame last night, an emotional but joyous evening at Memo Music Hall in St.Kilda.
The night kicked off with a welcoming speech from Blues Music Victoria President Dennis Salty Trevarthen before Eddy Boyle and friends took to the stage to harp things up a notch.
The first induction of the night was an Industry icon Award for Hugo T Armstrong, acknowledging his promotion of the blues not only with the famous Blues Train but also his work with community radio station 3PBS and the Motor City Music and Queenscliff Music festivals.
Hugo thanked the entire blues community for allowing him to continue with his passion as a blues music lover for over 35 years, and his wife and daughter for their continued support during a really difficult time during covid for him and his Blues Train business. Hugo was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Jimi Hocking.
Next up was the People’s Choice induction. The Ukulele Queen of Bellarine Sarah Carroll gave a heartfelt speech while inducting local guitar legend Shannon Bourne into the hall. Shannon thanked Chris Wilson, Sarah Carroll, Fenn and George Wilson for their support, friendship and giving him the opportunities he’s had, not just in music, but in general life. Shannon’s proud family were in the audience to cheer him on too. Mr Bourne then went on to show why he is held in such high regard as he blew the audience away with his guitar skills, performing with his band Checkerboard Lounge.
After a short break, Salty was back on stage to introduce Eddy Boyle, who then welcomed Ian Collard into the Hall of Fame. Ian gave a great speech about how when he started playing his harmonica, all he wanted to do was play that instrument. However, as all working musicians know, you also have to wear so many other hats in order to keep doing what you love, such as booking gigs, writing songs, being a tour manager and everything else that needs to happen to get his music out to the people. Ian’s band Collards, Greens & Gravy then performed a blistering set to an appreciative audience.
However the night was far from over with an all star jam still to follow, which included Shannon Bourne, Jimi Hocking, and Eddy Boyle along with blues vocal great Andrea Marr.
Congratulations to all of the inductees and congratulations to Blues Music Victoria for keeping the vibe alive and presenting such a wonderful evening of blues music.
Blues Music Victoria Website