AN INTERNATIONAL singer and songwriter will be visiting the Staffordshire Moorlands for a new blues and Americana festival.
Leek's first Blues and Americana Festival will run from Wednesday, October 2, until Sunday, October 6.
The Festival, organised by a small team of volunteers, will be celebrating the best of Leek's rich history of home grown blues talent, whilst welcoming top national and international artists to the town's flourishing music scene.
The Wednesday will mark the start of the festival with music at The Foxlowe Arts Centre featuring the welcome return of Americana singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves as part of his UK tour to showcase his new album "Still Fighting The War". Slaid spins stories with a novelist's eye and a poet's heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter's Still Fighting the War spotlights an artist in peak form.
Cleaves' seamless new collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiselled.
Tickets for the Slaid concert are £12 and available from the Foxlowe Arts Centre and via the venue's website.
Other acts that will be performing throughout the Leek Blues and Americana Festival include: The Terry James Quartet offering a relaxed night of smooth music featuring female vocals, bass, sax and piano at The Cock Inn on the Thursday evening; and the gravelly vocals of modern country blues guitarist Jim McShee will feature at The Quiet Woman on the same evening.
On the Friday, at The Central Club, international artist Adrian Byron Burns will be back in Leek for his third visit.
Also on Friday, The Situation, based at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, present an Americana and Blues inspired evening with Dirty Rotten Souls, Suzie Does It, Kadence and Alix Musso.
In addition, local covers band On Parole will be rocking The Wilkes' Head beer garden and The Cock Inn will be presenting the west coast sound of Well Travelled that same evening.
Saturday's highlights include, in the afternoon, Stoke's very own Cajun Zydeco band Elvis Fontenot at The Quiet Woman and the unique sounds of Maharaja Blues along with local favourites The Midnight Magic Blues Band at The Cock Inn. In the evening Dirk Diggler's Blues Revue, supported by the rousing Reefy Blunt and The Biftas, will be at The Wilkes Head.
The Dan Machin Band at The Dyers Arms, Hayley Strangelove at The Blue Mugge, meanwhile across at The Wellington Inn, Les Hunt's Gravy Train will be performing live. Over at The Cock Inn, live blues continues with The Sam Ward Band and legendary, local band The Bluesmakers.
Following Sunday lunch, there will be a Live Blues Band Jukebox at The Quiet Woman; the eclectic mix of Leeks red-hot Smokin' Aces followed by ( jovial) Jolly Jock at The Cock Inn or The Fires performing a rare blues set at The Dyers Arms from 4pm. Then at the marquee and stage in The Roebuck beer garden in the evening there will be a Sunday session from Joe Bennet and The River Cards and then renown showman Dominic "Chuck Berry" Cooper will close the festival with some good time Rock and Roll.
Many of the music sessions as part of the Leek Blues and Americana Festival will be free admission. To see the full programme, go online to http://www.leekblues.co.uk/wp.