Kirk Fletcher
Kirk Fletcher

Widely considered one of the best blues guitarists in the world, Kirk Fletcher has respect and acclaim of critics, peers and fans across globe. He is a four-time Blues Music Award nominee and has played with a variety of popular artists, including a four-year role as lead guitarist of Fabulous Thunderbirds. He is also frontman of his own band, having released three studio albums and a live album. A fourth studio album is currently in Kirk first picked up a guitar at age eight, playing alongside his older bror Walter in ir far's church. It wasn't just a gospel influence that Walter shared with Kirk, but an appreciation of many musical styles from Jimi Hendrix to Steely Dan. One of most important lessons Kirk received from his bror was about having great guitar tone, something Kirk is known for today.

That early experience guided Kirk through high school as a member of jazz band, and by graduation he was collaborating with friends and taking off on road trip tours around Sourn California. Many of those friends have gone on to play with popular artists like Mariah Carey, All-4-

One, TLC, and Snoop Dogg. However, pop music was not Kirk's passion. One day he found himself in a small L.A. guitar shop, Music Works, which ultimately became his second home after meeting Jeff Rivera, Robben Ford's guitar tech.

“We started hanging out and I would help load gear, change strings and just be a fly on wall to some of most amazing music I've ever heard," Kirk remembers. “ sound of Robben's guitar will ring in my head forever. This was a very important musical time for me because I had nothing to do but play guitar."

It was in next few years that Kirk's full introduction to traditional blues occurred. He started seeking out or musicians who shared this same understanding – enter Al Blake, lead singer and harp player for Hollywood Fats Band. After hosting dinner every Sunday, Al would offer Kirk early 20th Century blues records as dessert. He also helped establish connections to or famous West Coast blues artists like Junior Watson and Richard "Lynwood Slim" Duran. So followed Kirk's first gigs as a blues guitarist and eventually recording of his first album I'm Here and I'm Gone for JSP label out of England.

Al Blake would also introduce Kirk to Kim Wilson of Fabulous Thunderbirds, who invited him into his n-project, Kim Wilson's Blues Revue. Wilson brought Fletcher furr into blues family from California to Texas and n out touring world. One highlight during this time was at Antone's Night Club 25th Anniversary Week in Austin, Texas, which gave Kirk opportunity to perform with his blues heroes Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin. Wilson also tapped Kirk to play on his Grammy-nominated Smokin' Joint live album. Shortly reafter a call to collaborate came from blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, confirming that Kirk was becoming one of most in-demand blues guitarists on scene.

"This is where I really developed my own sound and Charlie was cool with me being me," recalls Kirk. It also brought about his second solo recording titled Shades of Blue for Delta Groove Music. "I found a happy place between music I grew up on and blues I'd been playing up to that point." Timing couldn't have been better to explore se shades of blues as Kirk collaborated a who's who of blues players on project, including singers Kim Wilson, Janiva Magness and Finis Tasby. Little did Kirk know that timing would also line up for an open guitar slot with Fabulous Thunderbirds around same time.

So began four years on road with Thunderbirds and time spent with many famous blues artists along way, including a brief stint with late Doyle Bramhall Sr. and a few guest appearances playing for Cindi Lauper and Michelle Branch. Kirk contributed to Thunderbirds' Paint It On album before embarking on anor record of his own, a release entitled My Turn on Delta Groove label. His boldest statement yet, it was also Kirk's first vocal performance. It allowed him to grow and explore as a musician and songwriter steeped in tradition yet unafraid to break new ground. Since n Kirk has been singing and leading his own band between occasional international tour as a member of blues super-group Mannish Boys and as lead guitarist for Italian mega-star Eros Ramazzotti. He just finished a live album, joined Joe Bonamassa's live tribute to three Kings of Blues and is currently in studio recording his next project.

Kirk is hands-down one of the best blues guitarists in the world.

Joe Bonamassa

More info at http://kirkfletcherband.com/

The Katie Bradley Band featuring Dudley Ross

Few artists have independently travelled so quickly, after releasing a self-released album, and Katie Bradley is increasingly gaining momentum and emerging as a Great British Blues Artist embarking on the forefront of The British and International Blues music scene.

Blessed with a truly expressive range, a powerful but delicate voice; Katie's musicianship takes on another dynamic with highly sought after Blues harp playing. Katie Bradley's music is a unique and contemporary take on the classic feel of Blues, Gospel and Soul; with a library of heart felt songs of rare emotion and integrity.

More info at http://katiebradleyblues.com/

Advance tickets £16 stbf from Tickets Scotland. Buy online here. Over 18 only.