AMERICAN Grammy-nominated, singer/songwriter Jason Mraz is among the second round of artists named to perform at the 20th anniversary Bluesfest at Belongil Fields in Byron Bay from April 9 to 13.

Mraz has been near the top of the Australian charts for 35 weeks, and like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper before him, was discovered and introduced to Australian audiences last year at Bluesfest.

Festival director Peter Noble said the second round announcement of artists included a cross section of big stars and cult heroes, a quality-rich, something-for-everyone affair, with roots folk and country-rock, one or two soul legends, some exciting contemporary songwriters, hip-hop party boys, world music and much more.

Second round artists include: Jason Mraz, Xavier Rudd, Paul Kelly, Drive-By Truckers, Booker T Jones, James Hunter, Blues Traveller, CW Stoneking, Ash Grunwald, AYO, Rodney Crowell, Dallas Frasca, Spectrum, Pete Cornelius and the De Villes, Hot Club of Cow Town, Resin Dogs, Tijuana Cartel, Veneno, Mic Conway's National Junk Band, and Morning Of The Earth, the cult surf movie and concert, featuring Brian Cadd, Lior, Old Man River, Mike Rudd and Tim Gaze.

The new names join first round artists including Ben Harper, Relentless 7, John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lucinda Williams, Zappa Plays Zappa, Angelique Kidjo, Tinariwen, Eric Bibb, Seasick Steve, Tony Joe White, Ruthie Foster, Blind Boys Of Alabama, Watermelon Slim and The Workers, Toni Childs, Luka Bloom, Alpha Blondy, Alabama 3, The Easy All Stars, Special Beat, Augie March, Blue King Brown, Saltwater Band, Sonny Landreth, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Benny Gallagher, Bob Log III, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, The Bamboos, Watussi, Lowrider and Nu Yorican Nights.

“There's a great range of super-talented international and local artists in this announcement, established names and thrilling newcomers,” Mr Noble said.

“We've got Booker T Jones backed by the fantastic Drive-By Truckers, who'll also play their own sets, Paul Kelly returns following his very strong recent album, plus CW Stoneking, Xavier Rudd and Jason Mraz, who will impress people big time.”

“And make sure you catch Spectrum, a classic Aussie original jam band from the 1970s who will rock the house.

“We've even got Morning Of The Earth, a cult early 70s surf movie screening while the soundtrack is performed live in concert.

“Some of our very own creaky Byron Bay surfing locals, including 1965 USA surfing champion Rusty Miller, actually feature in the movie footage.”

Mr Noble said there would be more artists' announcements in the weeks to come as well as news about the brand new Bluesfest stages.

Tickets are selling fast, there are still some camping tickets left, but these too are almost gone.

For ticket information on all accommodation options visit www.bluesfest.com.au

Tickets can also be purchased by phoning the Bluesfest office on 6685 8310.


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