Autumn blues ahead

Tina Turley, left, and Big Johnny Blue, right, direct from Canada with drummer, Kiwi Dean McGaveston, ahead of their appearance in the Cambridge Autumn Festival. Photo: Steph Bell-Jenkins.

Canadian performers Big Johnny Blue and Tina Turley are bringing their unmistakeable ‘bluesy music with a rock n’ roll edge’ to Cambridge for the Cambridge Autumn Festival later this month.

They gave The News a preview of their talent outside the Cambridge Town Hall last week in a recce ahead of their March 30 appearance.

Born in Scotland, Big Johnny Blue moved to Canada, to Hamilton in Ontario, when he was young and linked up years later with Tina Turley, an established country crooner.

Kiwi Blues Connection featuring Terry (guitar/vocals) and Deborah Oldham (bass/vocals), and Hamilton’s Haggis Maguiness (harmonica/vocals) and Dean McGaveston (drums) are backing Big Johnny and Tina.

Turley craves music right down to the depths of her heart and soul. “I dive right in with my whole heart. It’s like an addiction,” she says, “You can’t shed it, you can’t break it, you can’t stop it. I couldn’t live without it. Wouldn’t want to. It feeds my entire being.”

And the road to her finding exactly where she stands as a musician in the music scene as a Canadian woman and ultimately where she wants to be, has been a “put-it-all-on-the-line,” challenging emotional, “will you sacrifice everything?” journey.

Music is playing a big part in this year’s Autumn Festival starting with the Musica Bella performers at St Andrew’s Church on March 28.

Paint it Jazz, a fundraiser for Hospice Waikato featuring the Nairobi Trio and artists Richard Adams and Neal Palmer, is at The Woolshed in Te Awa Lifecare Village on March 31.

Wrapping up the music part of the festival in the afternoon of Saturday April 1 is the Hamilton Big Band, also at The Woolshed.

Read more: Cambridge Autumn Festival

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