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Words: Greg Phillips. Photos: Jason Rosewarne.

For many punters on a  3 day pass, Easter Sunday was their last chance to soak up the Bluesfest fare. Those on a 5 day bender still had an amazing array of choice in front of them over the next couple of days.

Alt country act Little Georgia featuring Justin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix, have built quite a large Bluesfest following after their many dynamic performances here over the years. Since releasing their acclaimed debut album All The While late last year, they’ve gained even more attention. Due to their rise, this year Little Georgia made it to the larger Crossroads stage and didn’t disappoint.

Down at the Juke Joint Archie Roach played to a  packed house, relating his life stories and strumming those beautiful songs which have become a part of Australian music’s DNA. Also part of the Boomerang Festival were Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, who not only produced a huge sound but were also visually stunning. As expected their  live version of the song Treaty had the Juke Joint area jumping.

Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real were back at the Mojo tent and have become one of the festival’s main attractions since they first appeared and impressed here a couple of years ago. Today’s set featured a joyous version of Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes and a touching guitar solo delivery of Amazing Grace in recognition of Easter Sunday. Hussy Hicks’ Leesa Gentz was invited up to duet on a poignant and powerful ballad too. It was also a great opportunity for Lukas and band to give us a taste of their next album with a heart warming performance of the title track Turn Off The News and Build a Garden.

The Marcus King Band have been one of the biggest surprises of the festival. With a huge sound coming from an incredibly accomplished band, their audiences have grown substantially with each new Bluesfest show.

Allen Stone had the Delta crowd dancing with his melodic roots and soul music. Gary Clark Jr packed out the Mojo tent with his moody brand of blues, and the Melbourne Ska Orchestra was having lot of fun with their huge Crossroads tent crowd. One minute they’re cranking out infectious ska tunes, the next the theme from the Austin Powers movie.

Tonight’s headliner menu specials consisted of either Jack Johnson or George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Day 4 and 5 of Bluesfest are some of the last opportunities to see the amazing Funkadelic collective in Australia, as Clinton intends to retire the band soon. Jack of course played to one of the festival’s largest crowds, who soaked up his famous folk rock anthems. Four days down and one to go in one of finest 30th birthday parties I’ve ever been to.

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