Festival Review – 2016 Nevis Blues Fest Part 1

I got another invitation to go back to the Nevis Blues Festival in April. This was the 2nd annual Nevis Blues Fest.

Where is Nevis you ask? That is exactly what I said last year when I first saw the information on this cool little fest last year.

Turns out Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean right next to St Kitts. And that ain’t a bad gig for someone from Illinois in early April. So we boarded the plane for a flight from Peoria, IL to Nevis Island at 5:30AM. Eleven hours later we arrived in Nevis just as the sun was going down.

Yvette Jackman our escort from the Nevis Tourist Authority picked us up at the Nevis airport and took us to our host hotel, the Hermitage Plantation. www.hermitagenevis.com

We had a late dinner that was superbly prepared. The photos below show the coconut encrusted shrimp (delicious!) and the view out to the eatery area to a park like common area. We had a really nice cabin and they even had fresh flowers on the table in the room. The plantation is on the side of the mountain and the view was spectacular.

The next day we headed to Golden Rock Plantation for lunch. http://goldenrocknevis.com.  Luxury at it’s finest! The landscaping and flowers everywhere were simply amazing!

We had lunch in the little gazebo on the right in the photo above. I had the seared tuna on the right.

Then we headed out for a Catamaran trip. Man it was cool as we played Taj Mahal’s Senior Blues album on the stereo system and sailed out to a bay on the other side of St Kitts. Our captain, Lennox kept us laughing and partying all the way out and then it was into the warm tropical water for some snorkeling.

Then after a stop back at the hotel we headed to dinner at the Yachtsman Grill www.yachtsmangrill.com before heading to the first night of the festival.

We arrived at the festival a bit late after dinner as the first band, Rehabilitation Band Impression, was leaving the stage. I was told they were great but we did not get to hear them. Next up was a 3 piece band from the Netherlands, The Rhythm Chiefs. The band is Danny van ‘t Hoff (bass), Rafael Schwiddessen (drums) and Dusty Ciggaar (guitar and vocals).

I have to say that Dusty is one classy Blues player. Serious chops and can say more with 5 notes than many guitar players can say with hundreds. This is the second time I have had the pleasure of hearing him as he also played with Ian Seigal last year (and this year too). Do your self a favor and check out this short lead break of Dusty playing with Ian a few months ago on YouTube. You will see what I mean! https://youtu.be/90LP-5JFsOU

Next up was a band from the UK, Northsyde. The band is Lorna Fothergill on vocals, Jules Fothergill on guitar, Ian Mauricio on bass and Hayden Doyle on drums.

Lorna is one power vocalist. Check out their music at www.northsyde.co.uk.

The final act for the first night was the lone American performer on the bill, Kirk Fletcher. Kirk is a talented guitar player and singer who had played with Joe Bonamassa and spent 3 years as the guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. He has been a solo performer on the Delta Groove label for several years now.

Kirk used the Rhythm Chiefs for his band and had a blast closing out the show! You can check out Kirk’s music at http://kirkfletcherband.com.

So ended the first night of the festival as we headed back to our hotel eager to come back for the second night of the Nevis Blues Festival. NEXT WEEK – Part II of the Nevis Blues Festival.)

Photos and commentary by Bob Kieser

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