Bluesfest adds Kesha, more headliners

Latest drawcard: Kesha, who’s latest album Rainbow, has won critical acclaim.Kesha.

Sheryl Crow.

Melissa Etheridge.

Leave it to the wildly eclectic and cool Bluesfest to redefine the market for a grandiose festival of blues.

The above three women were all added to the line-up this month in the third announcement of star attractions at Byron’s legendary Bluesfest, March 29-April 2.

Others added to the bill included William Crighton, Holy Holy, Ziggy Alberts, Colombian-born music star Juanes, Brazilian samba star Seu Jorge, Icelandic music star Asgeir, Scottish new trad band Elephant Sessions, Harts, Newton Faulkner, Afro Celt Sound System and Harry Manx.

Manx and Faulkner, along with previously announced Bluesfest invitee Canned Heat, will all be playing sideshows at Lizotte’s in Newcastle.

Previously announced musicians coming to the 2018 edition of Bluesfest include Lionel Richie, Robert Plant, John Butler, Tash Sultana, Seal, Jackson Browne, Gomez, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jason Isbell, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Rag N Bone Man, Jose Gonzalez, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers,Government Mule, Chic featuring Nile Rogers, and First Aid Kit.

Those performers alone cover the gamut of blues-infused music:

– Richie, a member of the Commodores (Easy, Three Times a Lady, Still), went on to penned several hits as a soloist, extending his career with a move into adult contemporary music and collaborations.

-Isbell, a former member of the American southern rock band The Drive-By Truckers, has blossomed into a progressive Americana superstar with soulful songs about modern America.

– Robert Plant, an original member of Led Zeppelin, has continued to write hits in various music formats, including his eccentric new album, Carry Fire, in 2017.

There are several more artists of lesser fame and equal talent: like blues legends Joe Louis Walker andBobby Rush, jazz guitarist Walter Trout; African star Youssou NDour, rising rocker Benjamin Booker; country rocker Lukas Nelson and his band The Promise of Real.

Kesha turned out her third album, Rainbow, this year to great critical and fan acclaim.The pop princess last toured in 2011 in support of her first studio albumAnimal.