2017 Festival Lineup

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John Tuala JT

Over 25 years as a performer JT has honed and crafted a distinct sound and
found his home in the acoustic blues style. Having been a stalwart presence across Auckland’s bar scene in bands such as hard rock act Burning Janet in the 80s, 7 piece The JT Banned and with Jodi Butler in blues duo Zebra Crossing in the 90s, he discovered his true calling in the pure blues sound in the mid-1990s and has been refining his captivating solo style ever since. As a youngster through the 60͛ s and 70’s JT was exposed to the blues-rock sound of performers coming out of the UK, such as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton and the U.S.A. Clos
er to home, Tama Renata (Herbs) was a crucial influence in the development of JT’s musicianship. A guitarist JT had long admired, they became friends in 1992. It was Renata that JT credits for teaching him the chord skills, or as JT describes it, giving him a colour palette, which enabled him to play guitar with the subtlety and expressiveness for which he is now known. It was also in the early 1990s that good friend Jodi Butler introduced JT to the pure blues sound of the original musicians of the deep Southern USA – Muddy Waters, Willy Dickson, Howling Wolf, etc. Within which JT found his musical home.
JT thrives on the interaction with the audience in a live solo performance, being able to develop a communication with the room through the music he is playing.
It’s that interaction that drives me, and that goes for both within music and without interaction with people. And playing music has given me a freedom to move among different worlds.

Tony Painting and The Power. Auckland-based Blues Rock Band fronted by UK born guitarist and vocalist Tony Painting, their special brand of blistering guitar based boogie blues/rock is a real show stopper.

‘Tony Painting and his band are known as Australasia’s best Stevie Ray Vaughan cover band, recreating an incredible likeness in style and quality to the great man himself. This is one concert not to be missed in the Festival!’

Notably known for their blues/rock styling’s , Tony and The Power can and do cover a wide range of musical genres or styles, and depending on the venue or function for which they have been hired, you could expect to hear them play anything from Stevie Wonder to Dire Straits, Santana to The Beatles. Unlike other blues stylized bands the depth and collective experience within The Power means they can just about play anything. The key to this is a lineup of seasoned musicians with diverse musical back grounds.


Leo LaDell and the Generators

With The Generators, Blues runs in the blood. Father and Son duo Leo and Oscar LaDell bring two generations of a passion for playing the Blues to audiences across New Zealand. With Leo’s rich, soulful vocals, and Oscar’s fiery, intense harmonica, backed by driving guitar from both, the duo combines a wide repertoire of songs from Blues legends with compelling, energetic performances.

The Fabulous Murray Brothers

The first Murray Brothers gig was over 25 years ago – at the Glass Pig, Tarrington, UK. Since then the Brothers have been fortunate enough to play 100’s of gigs all over the world (from festivals to funerals). In various line-ups over the years they have shared the stage with (amongst others) Buddy Whittington, Imelda May, Shakin’ Stevens, Nine Below Zero, Chris Farlow, Steve Gibbons and Tim Healy.

Warwick and Stafford’s talent have been recognised internationally when playing alongside members of The Move, Tom Jones Band, Queen, ACDC, Simply Red, Van Morrison, Free, The Robert Plant Band, and The Chris Barber Band – to mention but a few.

At this year’s festival The Fabulous Murray Brothers will be playing an unplugged(ish!) duo set and a full line-up set featuring the amazing Aaron Nonoa (Bass) and Mark Thomas (Drums) from Strange Brew.


Jules & Jam-Man

Jules Kesha Aiau has a powerful, rich, soulful vocal style and her brother Peter Kesha is a musical genius on piano-keyboards. Both are well experienced musicians who have performed overseas and throughout New Zealand. While they won’t be performing with their full band line-up, the Dunedin based, talented brother and sister duo will definitely excite your ears and musical taste buds! – A highlight not to be missed!

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Tracing its roots back to Scarfie blues band The Mudflat Houserockers in the mid 80’s, Bluestone plays an eclectic mix of electrified blues from around the world. Their influences include Dr Feelgood, Nine Below Zero, Delbert McClinton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, BB King and Muddy Waters.

Valley Bluegrass

Valley Bluegrass formed nearly four years ago and regularly play their authentic bluegrass music at many Central Otago venues, garden bars, cafes, weddings, private functions and Farmers Markets etc. The band is presently Carola Dunbar – fiddle, Robbie Stevens – banjo, Sean Donald – guitar and Dave Coleclough – upright bass

When Ramblin’ Rick Stringer and Warwick ‘Electrolux’ Murray first met at the 2011 Fiji Jazz & Blues Fest an instant friendship and musical camaraderie was formed. Now they are thrilled to bring you ‘The Strait Shooters’ so named because half the band live in Wellington and the others in Portobello – so a lot of time has been spent shooting back and forth across New Zealand’s Cook Strait!
This band is a collaboration between The Federation and Strange Brew, and brings to life their shared musical styling’s in a hot mix of funk, blues and soul. Lee van der Schuit joins the band to lend her high energy vocals and BV’s to the line-up; Ramblin’ Rick Stringer vocals, keys, harp; Warwick ‘Electrolux’ Murray vocals, guitar, ukulele, harp; Aaron ‘Funky Chief’ Nonoa bass, vocals; Mark ‘Tom Tom’ Thomas drums.
This band will get you ‘Shakin What Ya Mama Gave Ya!’ – and Rick and Warwick both play a mean blues harp so look out for a little dueling harmonicas in their set and for impromptu talented guest stars on brass!
Bulletproof convertable

Bulltproof Convertible are a hard and fast Rock’n’Roll trio; they play largely original music drawing on a wide variety of musical styles’ principally fifties rock’n’roll. Country and blues with a hint of jazz and gypsy- all fused together into one high energy ,tight and edgy performance.Silas ,Paul and Alex are all seasoned road dogs when it comes to gigging over the years up and down New Zealand and the U.K.They guarantee you’ll feel like dancing

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Terry Ebeling

Terry Ebeling plays harmonica guitar and sings, performing original songs and a fascinating assortment of covers of other songwriters’ songs, his professional presentation and powerful music combine to provide the audience with a magical experience.
Terry Ebeling’s style of blues/roots/rock has proved popular with audiences around the world for over twenty years. In the late 70’s, Terry performed in bars and cafes in Germany for a year, then joined a blues band in Kansas called Blue Plate Special. In 1980, with his two brothers, (as The Ebeling Brothers) moved to Phoenix Arizona where they played any venue they could find, and began perfecting their busking act. Terry and his brother Billy travelled to Europe when they launched the “Continental Drift tour” in 1982. In 1987, Terry again rejoined his brothers in Auckland New Zealand where they did support for Brownie Mcghee, Robert Junior Lockwood, and played an after- concert for Pink Floyd at David Gilmour’s special request.
Terry returned to the States, where he lived in Austin Texas, enjoying success in the venues in and around Austin, the “live music capital of the world”, where a highlight was playing harmonica with Willie Nelson. The Ebeling Brothers have released four albums together, including the EMI release “All You Can Eat”, and their latest, “Wrong Side of the Planet”, Terry has released an album with his acoustic Texas band, Hunker Down, and is now working on a solo project.
The Ebeling Brothers did support for part of the Little River Band’s New Zealand tour in 1997.



Local Dunedin band, Ambulant is an eclectic mix of international styles which is hard to pigeon hole as it has evolved and honed over the three decades of jaunting  around the globe looking for adventure.


The result is an agreeably surprising rhythmic lyrical style tunes played passionately by Ambulants, musicians whom are all individually practiced in the art of enjoying their craft to share with music lovers.  The genre today includes acoustic or electric rock, folk & blues, providing a wide panoply of styles to different audiences.

Warwick Murray

Warwick Murray and His World of Blues Solo

Warwick Murray is one of the most entertaining and energetic multi-instrumentalists and singer-songwriters around. An accomplished blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player he has toured with bands in the USA, the UK, Fiji and the Pacific, and South America as well as New Zealand and Australia. He appears yearly at jazz festivals in Chile where his group La Maquina de Blues has won national music awards and released two albums. He is a regular at Winterfest and New Year celebrations in Queenstown and has undertaken over a dozen successful tours across New Zealand with the Strait Shooters. Formerly of Wellington’s favourite blues band, Strange Brew, he also plays in one of Wellington’s best known bluesrock line-ups The Crying Shame often appearing at the Bristol Blues Club. Warwick also writes songs and plays music from around the world on spanish guitar, ukulele, mandolin and banjo and has recorded two albums of singer-songwriter material (‘From the Ocean’ on Barn Records and ‘Paekakariki Moon’ on Refried Audio). He has appeared on TV One  singing his own compositions, his Youtube channel has over 50,000 hits, and a recent video of Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile on ukulele achieved 16,000 hits in two weeks. He had National Radio series in 2014 featuring eight of his compositions. When appearing solo at Portobello he will be taking us around the world playing and singing diverse blues music with elements of bossanova, folk, flamenco and jazz on a range of instruments that together form his World of Music show.

Link to his music here

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Cat Tunks

Just a little part 70’s, shadows of a gospel soul priestess and a former life of a jazz & blues diva, Catherine Tunks is a performing artist that doesn’t buy into the genre moulding factory very easily.

Give this girl a telecaster and one could be reminded of an attitude not unlike Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, or Samantha Fish. Mix in a little black magic and gospel, and find yourself on a road trip through the land where the boundaries of blues, americana jazz and soul become one, with the band boys in the back seat and mama firmly at the steering wheel.

Armed with her trusty guitar, this time without her usual 7 piece band & performing a rare stripped back series of acoustic shows especially for this years Portobello  – she dives deep into the musical roots of her country church upbringing, the Irish and NZ Maori heritage giving her that undeniable South Pacific groove amongst the Louisiana style mystery. With vocals that can soar through many moods, Cat Tunks will give her audience an obvious seduction that comes only from a life well lived on and off the stage.

An original songwriter and former band leader of jazz/funk/blues group BlackSandDiva for the best part of a decade, she has travelled the world as a performing and recording artist with two acclaimed original albums, a Waiata Maori Music Awards nomination and an impressive list of festival appearances and collaborations with musicians from all over the globe. She is currently also touring her latest EP release with her blues/country soul fusion group ‘The Beautiful Dreamers’.

Buy Your Tickets Today

Part of the proceeds will go to building a new boat ramp at the Portobello wharf.

Buy Your Festival t-shirt!

Buy your limited edition Portobello Blues Festival t-shirt for only $35. Men and women’s sizes available.  To buy your t-shirt pay into the Festival account 06-0909-0439410-00 with the mention of your name and a contact number. Only 50 t-shirts available so hurry! Possibility of getting your t-shirt signed by the musos on the night of the concert.

The Portobello Blues Festival is kindly supported by: