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Think You Know the Muster? Think Again… Blues Bar Stage Set to Shine

July 7, 2018 Whats On No Comments Email Email

If you thought the Gympie Music Muster was all about Lee, Troy and Beccy, prepare to be surprised by Albert, Minnie, Fiona and Ian. The Muster isn’t promising the southern vibe of the Mississippi Delta, but the Amamoor State Forest near Gympie will become the nation’s blues and roots oasis from 23rd – 26th August this year, with the festival’s Jim Beam Blues Bar. The announce of the full program this week (click here to view) has everyone talking about the new face of the Muster…

Eric Clapton, Emmy Lou Harris, Bill Wyman and The Everly Brothers have played and sung with arguably the world’s best guitarist in Albert Lee, who is performing at the Muster this year.  Eric Clapton has described him as, “The greatest guitarist in the world. The ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he is gifted on just about every level.”

Albert Lee will be joined on the bill by Kevin Borich (celebrating 56 years in the industry) and former Cold Chisel guitarist, Ian Moss, both of whom will be performing up close and personal in the Blues Bar throughout the entire weekend.

Fiona Boyes runs with the tag “best gal guitarist …since Memphis Minnie” and with acoustic, slide and fingerpicking instruments in her tool kit, she’ll be mixing it up with some livelier bluegrass and roots-style sessions.

“I’ve always loved the enthusiastic crowds at the Gympie Muster, and the festival’s unique, beautiful, bushland setting,” said Fiona Boyes. “This year’s focus on quality roots music acts, with strong cross-over appeal for blues and country fans alike, makes the opportunity for me to perform at the 2018 Muster especially exciting!”

Ian Moss is a musician on par with legends such as Knopfler, Clapton, Santana, so says the industry. Now in his sixties, Moss still has the same kind of energy that made Cold Chisel the best live rock band Australia has ever seen, and this year will be bringing his new album, a compilation of soul and bluesy music, to the Muster main stage and this year’s Vox Guitar Jam.

Also adding a new flavour to the line-up this year is the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, a 26-piece band led by energetic and charismatic vocalist Nicky Bomba of ex- John Butler Trio fame. No act like this fun-loving big band has ever graced the Muster stage before – patrons should prepare to be surprised and entertained in equal measure.

The Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Muster Program Director Jeff Chandler said the Blues Bar will be the place to kick back when the boot scooting becomes overwhelming.

“If country music is the heart of Muster, blues is the soul,” Mr Chandler said.“For 37 years we’ve been providing our patrons with the true Australian music festival experience… bringing together this country’s best musicians to perform over four big days.  While neither the Blues Bar nor the genre are new to our lineup, this year marks a renewed offering that might give the most seasoned of Muster-goers a chance to find even more to love about our event.”

And finally, the devastating passing of one of Australia’s greatest electric guitar players and Muster veteran, Phil Emmanuel, has inspired the addition of his close friend Pop Standen to the line-up. The two performed together many times over the years, including at a Muster or two, and Pop is proud to pay tribute to his dearly departed mate through a performance at the 2018 festival. Phil, who was scheduled to play at the Muster this year, will also be honoured in a Phil Emmanuel Tribute, part of the Vox Guitar Jam.

Phil and good friend Pop Standen, taken a few weeks before he passed

“Many people have tried to describe Phil’s skill as a guitar player…there aren’t words for that,” said Pop Standen. “But not many got to know him personally. I spent hours driving, flying, eating, sleeping with him…And during that time I felt like a brother to him. Our sense of humour was so similar. He was a simple little fellow with a gift to create an amazing sound from his guitar, sure… But for me he was also a great mate.”

Even with these new additions, the massive line-up as always includes a little something for everyone. This year, the full bill includes…

The Gympie Music Muster, held in the beautiful Amamoor Creek State Forest in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, is an unmissable and uniquely Australian event. Run by the community, for the community, the festival has raised over $15 million for charities Australia-wide since its inception, and is the only festival in Australia to provide multiple avenues supporting new and emerging talent.

One ticket price gives Muster goers free camping and multi-venue access to all performances, to experience everything Australia’s biggest country music celebration has to offer. The family-friendly, community atmosphere is unbeatable; ‘there are no strangers at the Muster, only friends you haven’t met yet’.

The Gympie Music Muster runs from Thursday August 23 to Sunday August 26, 2018 .

Tickets are available via​

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