ROBERT VINCENT Plays Saint Mary’s in Billericay the High Street on Saturday 14 May.  At the Recent UK Americana Awards, Robert won the Bob Harris emerging artist award – and is sure to have a great future ahead of him.  Robert played in my garden in 2014 – when no-one had heard of him!!  A cracking up and coming local band, The 45’s,  who play a mixture of classic funk/soul and pop will be in support (don’t be put off by the fact that Ben and Annabel (along with Ben and Gary) play in this – they are very good! Tickets are available from ‘we got tickets’ and links can be found on our website here This gig is attracting a lot of interest from across Essex/London so be sure not to miss out by leaving it too late. Proceeds from this gig will be shared between Saint Mary’s and Communitas Care (working in Uganda – see below).

ROOTS AND FOLK MINI FEST This is a development of my annual ‘Gig in the Garden’ and takes place on Saturday 25 June.  I have three fantastic acts in store as we welcome back the equally fabulous Tinderbox and Rob Halligan and introduce my new colleague Dan Pierce.  Tickets are priced at a very competitive adults £8 (gate £10) 13-17 yrs £4 (gate £5) & under 12’s free!   I have an upper limit of 200 and so if you are planning to come along be sure to book your tickets ASAP – and save a couple of pounds in the meantime. More details can be found here

BRENTWOOD FESTIVAL Takes place from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 July.  Not sure if any of you have attended this in the past – we have and had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed The Human League last year! I remember when it was a beer festival with music and now it’s a music festival with beer!  This year has a 1980’s feel with Level 42, The Boomtown Rats, ABC and Tony Hadley amongst many others.  We’ve got our tickets for the Sunday and we’d love to share our dancing space with you!  More details can be found here

NEW MUSIC Like many of you, I’m always interested in what’s new and I have a few recommendations for you:

  • The Lake Poets: The Lake Poets. A fantastic debut album from Sunderland songsmith Martin Longstaff, produced by Dave Stewart.  No, I don’t know him – but I knew his aunty from school and youth club!  I was hoping to get Martin to come to Billericay but it’s probably a little out of my price range!  He’s on tour soon – look out for him.
  • Lauren Housely: Sweet Surrender. Saw Lauren in February at St Pancras Old Church, Kings Cross.  Her band were amazing and this is a very accomplished first album.
  • Chris Stapleton: A brilliant CMA Album of the Year with touches of country, blues and rock.  You won’t be disappointed!  Check out ‘Whiskey and You!’
  • Jeff Healey: Heal My Soul. A previously unreleased album by guitar virtuoso Jeff Healey is a welcome addition to a great back catalogue.
  • Don Henley: Cass County. Released last year but still worth a belated listen.  Especially as he is on tour in the summer.
  • Charlie Worsham: Saw Charlie at the CMA songwriters at Country2Country and on one of the free stages.  Great debut from an ‘up and coming!’
  • Ashley Monroe: The Blade. Also saw Ashley at the CMA songwriters Country2Country.  An accomplished third (and her best) album.
  • I’ve also got to say that Jeff Wayne’s: War of the Worlds is worth a peep at the Dominion Theatre.  Love Theatre are offering 2for1 tickets!

Don’t forget that we have a couple of excellent Blues Clubs in Billericay the New Crawdaddy Blues Club who are based at Billericay Town Football Club and meet on Friday evenings and Blues at the Farm who meet on Saturdays at 2.00 pm at Barleylands Social Club.  They both have some excellent acts appearing and it’s worth keeping an eye on their websites or signing up for their emails.

Do let me know of any gigs in your part of the world that might be of some interest and please pass on this email to anyone you know who might be interested.

Be blessed and keep on keeping music live.