Teen to open blues and roots fest

AT JUST 14-years-old, Yarwun resident Jack Blandford has been charged with the honour of opening the Agnes Water Blues and Roots Festival this weekend.

Performing on Friday, Jack will be the very first act on the music program, which starts at 2pm.

"Yeah it's pretty awesome. I haven't opened before, played on the market stage and jam sessions before. It's a bit of an honour," he said.

Jack, who has been playing music for the last eight years, describes his style as blues and rock, and he's a fan of ACDC, Carlos Santana and the John Butler Trio.

His 50-minute set will include his original compositions, some covers and the Cleveland Blues, another band on the festival line-up, is expected to give a guest appearance.

Mum Karen is very proud of Jack and she says he comes from a musical background.

"My daughter plays clarinet, keyboard and drums… His father plays clarinet, saxophone and keyboard. He just plays with Jack and they jam together. If we go together somewhere there's a jam session, they usually all get up and play."

"I'm the groupie," she laughed.

The family is somewhat a travelling musical troupe, checking out the local music scene before deciding whether they should return and play.

That's how Jack first discovered the blues and roots festival.

"We went down a few years ago, because we were told there was a jam session there," Jack said.

"I played a few songs and watched for the rest of the weekend. Then we booked in for my market stage the next year."

The Year 10 Toolooa High School student will next be seen at the Harbour Festival Talent Quest, where he placed second last year.

Jack may also have an exciting recording career ahead of him, after playing the slide guitar for some tracks on The Cleveland Blues' new album, called Rich Man, Poor Man.

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