THE countdown has begun to the day when Tenby will once more be alive to the sound of blues music.

The 14th Tenby Blues Festival takes place over the weekend of November 8-10 when over two dozen venues in the town will host gigs by over 30 different performers, and most of these gigs will be absolutely free.

Admission charges will only apply at the three ticketed venues – the De Valence for the main acts, Church House for acoustic performers, and the Giltar Hotel for the late night shows.

In the De Valence the Saturday night headliner will be the multi-award winning American blues ‘n’ soul colossus Sugaray Rayford and his seven-piece band.

Another American, Nashville-based Gina Sicilia, will headline on Sunday with her country inflected blues, supported by ex-Argent legend John Verity, plus swamp-blues duo The Dusk Brothers.

There will also be performances by Irishwoman Grainne Duffy and her band, Jamaican guitar firebrand Big Joe Louis, English Zydeco rockers Whiskey River, American Marcus Malone with his new band featuring former Robert Plant guitarist Innes Sibun, and Crawlback – a quartet formed from some of the finest Welsh r’n’b musicians.

Then on the acoustic stage and at the late night sessions the artists will be Mat Walklate and Alex Haynes, Kevin Brown, Keith and Julie Richards, Jonathan Nicholas, and Mike Parker, who will bring an undoubtedly mellower but equally intense and entertaining series of performances.

In addition the cafes, bars, restaurant, and hotels of Tenby will be rocking over the weekend from noon on Saturday and Sunday until late with an astonishing variety of performers playing pure blues or blues laced with rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, funk, folk, rock, country, Americana, and more, all of them free.

There’ll be regulars, newcomers, bands that have come from afar like Jimmy Regal and the Royals plus an essential collection of the cream of Welsh blues bands such as Hideaway Trio, The Mean Mistreaters, and the James Oliver Band (a band formed out of the remnants of Glas – one of the festival’s perennially popular acts).

This year sees the return of the popular Gene and Dec’s Jook Joint in the De Valence café where festivalgoers can chill, hang out, meet like minded souls, buy merchandise, and hear the sounds of the blues played on vinyl only.

Full details are available at the website – – the only site where tickets are on sale until the weekend itself. Weekend rover tickets are sold out but there are tickets available for individual events.

The box office will open in the De Valence at 2pm on the Friday of the festival where those who have pre-ordered tickets can collect their wristbands and any unsold tickets can be bought.