The Capital Blues Club has a new home at Jack Hackett’s.  Formally ‘Bill Direen’s’ bar in the nineties, the stage at Jack Hackett’s hosted the very early gigs for the Blue’s Club back in 1996. After a long stint at The Bristol, the Club is fortuitously returning to its roots at the Crossroads of Dixon and Taranaki Streets.

Blues artist Pip Payne was the driving force behind the Blues Club in the early years. He is returning to the very same stage 22 years later for the (re)opening night party with his band ‘The Gospel Project’ featuring Wayne Mason on keys.

The idea to host the club really struck a chord with Jack Hackett’s manager – Matt McLaughlin.  “I’m a huge fan and supporter of local live music. I know beer and blues on a Thursday is going to be  really appealing, especially as we head into summer. I want Jack Hackett’s to be recognised as the go-to destination for Blues in the Capital. So we are committed to continuing this great tradition.”

Club member,  treasurer of 8 years and musician Julie Lamb is really excited about the move. “It’s a great new venue for us – it’s a  bigger space and the acoustics are great for the Blues sound. Every good club needs a good base, and we are thrilled with our new home.

I’m proud of our history. We are the longest running Blues club in the southern hemisphere. Every Thursday for 22 years we’ve brought Wellington live Blues music. We provide a regular dose of monthly Roots culture on Del Thomas’s radio show on Access radio, and the Blues stage within the CupaDupa festival is our baby.

The Blues Club plays a vital role in keeping the Blues alive. The NZ School of music does 3 big band nights a year at the Blues Club – The students come through and show their chops. The evening is studded with talent proving that the genre continues to inspire young musicians. We are immensely proud to support that.”

Founding member of the Blues Club, Dougal Speir says “The Blues has always has been relevant. It has that ‘special thing’ that never goes away. The structure of the Blues makes it incredibly accessible. Me? I’m a 3 chord wonder. But that’s basically all you need to express the full spectrum of life’s emotion. Jack White of the White Stripes said that he was profoundly influenced hearing the power of the blues expressed just with acapella and handclaps. It will influence people til eternity.

Julie adds “For over two decades, we’ve supported our local Blues artists with opportunities for their music and to develop our national Blues sound.  New Zealanders really connect to the rich blues history, culture and sound. It is a vehicle for telling ballsy stories. Its roots are in struggle and slavery, and the dark emotional storylines of racism and poverty are still relevant today. And since the very beginning, it’s always been great music to appreciate with mates and a beer in hand”.

Blue September – Blues musicians in support of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Dougal Speir and Del Thomas are putting together a band – Del n Doog’s Deepest Blues Band – to perform at a fundraising gig for Blue September – prostate cancer awareness month. This will be at the Mana Cruising Club, Pascoe Ave, Mana on Saturday 22 September. Put that event in your diary!

Capital Blues Radio – July 2018

This month’s Capital Blues Radio Show features tracks from the Bar-Kays, Lucinda Williams, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan and early (Peter Green etc) Fleetwood Mac. Vintage Trouble, our own Wellington Heads and Ray Charles precede more from Fleetwood Mac who wrap up the show. Your host is Del Thomas.  Del is on the committee of Capital Blues Inc., Wellington New Zealand and hails originally from Scotland.

Capital Blues Radio – June 2018

The wonderful Bonnie Raitt kicks off this month’s Capital Blues Radio Show.  Nick Granville, Robert Johnson, the Chris Amour Quartet, Johnnie Winter and Ben Harper follow but not before the first of several Neil Young tracks is played.  Also featuring are Matt Hay, the Murray Brothers and Jimmy Reed.  Your host is Del Thomas. Del is on the committee of Capital Blues Inc., Wellington New Zealand and hails originally from Scotland.