Brandon’s not feeling blue

Brandon Lee Webb

Brandon Lee Webb

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A WIGAN blues musician and his band have cleared the first hurdle on their way to a dream festival appearance on the other side of the pond.

The Brandon Lee Webb Band, from Orrell, will be one of six acts who will battle it out in the New Year for a place in the national final of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues.

The group, made up of Brandon on acoustic guitar and vocals, Dan Bromsgrove on slide guitar and Jamie Cranny on bass, impressed the competition’s judging panel enough with their song Rollie Burn Scars to merit a place in the North West heat on January 11.

The band will take to the stage at the True Blues Club in Newton-le-Willows along with five other acts, all competing to reach the national final in London and finally make it through to a main stage slot at the Harvest Blues and Jazz Festival in New Brunswick, Canada, next September.

Brandon, 36, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us, we’re delighted to be going through to the next stage.

“To win the heat and reach the London finals would be great, but to win outright and be flown out to New Brunswick to play a major international festival would just be the best experience.”

The band was put together around a year ago after Brandon travelled Stateside to record a solo album, and its take on acoustic blues is influenced by musicians from across the genre’s history, including BB King, Rory Gallagher and Kelly Joe Phelps.

The three-piece will now take on acts from across the region, including The 45s, the After Hours Blues Band and the Laurence Jones Band, to try and get another step closer to a dream Canadian adventure.

The Battle of the Blues is currently in its third year and aims to find Britain’s finest unsigned blues acts to perform at the Harvest festival on Canada’s Atlantic coast alongside a host of internationally-renowned names from the worlds of jazz, blues and world music.

Any blues fans unable to make it to Newton-le-Willows in January can tune in to the evening’s music online courtesy of the club’s community radio station.

For more information about the band, visit www.brandonleewebb.com. For the competition, search for New Brunswick Battle of the Bands on Facebook.