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A little taste of southern comfort

Warrenpoint — Various venues, Until Monday, May 31. This Bank Holiday weekend could prove to be filled with blistering blues if you make the trip down to Warrenpoint in South Down.

The ever-popular Annual International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival — which kicked off last night and runs until Monday — is now in its 12th year and offers 90 free gigs, 42 acts, Tall Ship Artemis Blues Cruises and a ‘Bluesberry' Food Fest.

Homegrown and UK talent join internationally acclaimed artists from Australia and America in the picturesque seaside town.

This year’s headline act is the great James Taylor Quartet, who fly in for a special one-off performance on Sunday night in Warrenpoint Town Hall (doors 7.15pm).

While its version of The Theme From Starsky and Hutch kicked off its commercial period, the band continues to challenge and create funk music masterpieces.

One of Ireland’s famous musical exports, Grainne Duffy, is guaranteed to ‘rock the boat’ when she headlines |this year’s Tall Ship Festival Blues Cruise.

Grainne, who launches her much-anticipated second album at the festival, has headlined gigs at Glastonbury and the Ulster Hall.

The extravaganza features the best in the business, including Mirenda Rosenberg, Rab McCullough, Big Daddy, The Smokehouse Boys, The Bluez Katz Blues Band, Australia’s Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson (above), Ex Mama’s Boy, Pat McManus, and renowned New York guitar hero, Chaz Depaolo.

For booking info and festival details, log on to www.bluesonthebay.co.uk or ring the ticket hotline — 028 9024 6609.

Belfast Telegraph