2005

NAROOMA BLUES FESTIVAL

2005

aka

 

Telstra Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival

 
HeartBeat Entertainment | The Telstra Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival logo

Narooma -  celebrating its 10th Year hosting the Telstra Great Southern Blues & Rockabilly Festival - is a Southern NSW coastal township nestled beside the pristine waters of Wagonga Inlet and surrounded by majestic National Parks.  Narooma is located just 5 hours south of Sydney, 8 hours north of Melbourne and 3 hours east of Canberra.  This layback summer holiday destination, is now world famous for the Blues & Rockabilly Festival that comes to the town's Smyth Oval every Labour Day Long Weekend in October.  Friendly Festival - Friendly Town!

HeartBeat Entertainment | Smyth Oval Narooma - daybreak 01 October 2005

Dawn on Saturday, 01 October 2005

VJ King Jr | Trademark Logo
  A Narooma Story  

We first met Rod and Myra Niemeier on a warm Winter Sunday morning, 9 June 2002, at a Sydney Blues Society sponsored, Nick Charles, gig at the invitation of, and hosted by Julie Fox at Sweeneys.

Nick and VJ exchanged autographed CDs, and prior to his afternoon performance Nick took aside a bunch of youngsters and held a guitar workshop.  Among his eager students were a young 15-year old Terry Niemeier and VJ King Jr - then 11 years of age.

It was a day we shall long remember as it was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with The Family Niemeier.

A month earlier, in May 2002, following the publishing of a Julie Fox article featuring VJ King Jr in the March edition of the Sydney Blues Times, Neil Mumme had emailed HeartBeat Entertainment with an invitation for VJ Jr to perform at the October 2002 Narooma Blues Festival. Invitation gratefully accepted, it was, however, Rod who secured VJ Jr's introduction to Pete Cornelius and the DeVilles (Bruce Cornelius and Phil Wilson).  The rest is, indeed, history - the set culminated with an crowd-sponsored encore that saw Rod Niemeier (MC for the gig) lifting a pint-sized VJ Jr (still playing his guitar) onto his shoulders before a cheering and appreciative crowd.

A witness to this event, journalist David ("Tug") Hooper, would later write, in an article headed The Gourmet Blues Traveller - Narooma 2002:

 

“A waft in the air, one I recognise...  it's Pete Cornelius and the DeVilles for entree.  Pete's guitar playing is even slicker and his dad Bruce on drums and Phil on bass makes your ribs vibrate.  This year a little blond entree with red cap named VJ King Jr (age 12 or less) played lead guitar duels with Pete (now18) on his sixth year at the Festival.  The music we love is in good hands.

 

“Pete doesn't simmer over low heat; it's salt in the fire straight up. Being the last act for the night in this tent, Pete had time to serve up a full course and extras... while the little red cap of the young entree sat patiently awaiting his moments of glory for encore. And an extended encore it had to be as the little fella on the MC's shoulders and Pete dwelled at their ovens.

  The Blues Times (Sydney) Issue 121, March 2003, pp. 6 & 7

 

Narooma 2005 was to be no exception. Rod's determination for the punters to hear VJ Jr perform smoothed the way for his being able to attend the festival and enabled the linking up with the Lemon Squeezin' Daddies for a special Sunday evening performance.

A bonus was our dear  friend Phil Emmanuel's impromptu calling up of VJ Jr onto the stage during Phil's set with Johno's Blues Explosion. Phil and VJ Jr (on Ian 'Johno' Johnson's guitar) opened with a blistering Guitar Boogie rendition - the two of them blazing away with their axes at five paces.

So, "Thank You!" ... to Julie Fox, Neil Mumme, Pete Cornelius, Lemon Squeezin Daddies, Johno's Blues Exposion, Phil Emmanuel .... and Rod & Myra Niemeier.

It would be remiss in this Narooma Story not to recognise the old bluesman who first introduced VJ King Jr to the Sydney Blues scene - one of the meanest harp players from the deep south, John Chalmers (aka "Hambone"). Unfortunately, we haven't seen or heard from him since he returned to the swamps of Mississippi a couple of years back after a disagreement with former SwampGas band member and friend, Willie the SwampRat .... however, one day he'll probably surface to read this - so, thanks Hambone!

And, to Tim Holt, ABC Radio (SE Bega), thanks for doing the interview with VJ!

VJ's Narooma highlight! - the Sunday morning Gospel Service featuring Vika and Linda ... it was truly sensational.

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festibal 2005 | VJ King Jr with Rod Niemeier (MC)
VJ with Narooma's Celebrity MC and good friend Rod Niemeier

FLASHBACK

- 1999 -

HeartBeat Entertainment | VJ King Jr rehearsing for his first professional gig - aged 7 years

March 1999

- 2002 - - 2005 -
HeartBeat Entertainment | VJ King Jr | Narooma Blues Festival 2002 with Pete Cornelius & The DeVilles

HeartBeat Entertainment | VJ King Jr | Narooma Blues Festival 2005 with the Lemon Squeezin Daddies

3 years later

October 2002

3 years later

October 2005

NAROOMA GALLERY

2005

Saturday, 01 October 2005

VJ King Jr is hosted by Phil Emmanuel and Johno's Blues Explosion

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festibal 2005 | VJ King Jr with Ian "Johno" Johnson of Johno's Bues Explosion
Ian 'Johno' Johnson sets VJ up with a strap adjustment on Johno's famous Fender Strat
HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr playing Marty's Blues
Marty's Blues

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr playing Another Joy

Another Joy
HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr playing Another Joy
VJ (the little ham!) turns to pose for a side-of-stage Rod Niemeier shot

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr and master guitarist Phil (The Wiz) Emmanuel

Phil Emmanuel (right) and VJ play up a storm with Johno's Blues Explosion

Albert King Stage

photo by

Julie Fox

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with Phil Emmanuel

VJ with Phil Emmanuel - the two first met and played together at a Camp Quality charity fundraiser gig in March 2003
HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr poses with the Narooma Mums Mafia

a few young ladies from the narooma fanclub pose for a photo with VJ

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with Chris Cain

one of VJ's super heroes, bluesman Chris Cain (USA), on his fourth tour of duty to the festival

photo by

Rod Niemeier

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 01 October 2005 | VJ King Jr at the autograph table

"this is the best part of the night - meeting the young (female!) fans ... :O) " - VJ

Sunday, 02 October 2005

an impromptu set hosted by Steve Garry and the The Lemon Squeezin' Daddies - Mojos & Jellyrolls Stage

Ian Hollister (Harp) Jonathan Simpkins (guitar) Peter O'Neill (Bass) Robert Floyd (Drums) Stephen Garry (Lead Vocals)

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with Stephen Garry of Lemon Squeezin Daddies

VJ King Jr provides backing for Stephen Garry singing Sweet Home Chicago

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr playing Sweet Home Chicago

Sweet Home Chicago

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with Jonathan Simpkins of Lemon Squezzin Daddies

VJ and Jonathan Simpkins in a duelling guitar solo
HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with drummer Robert Floyd of Lemon Squeezin Daddies
VJ and (obscured) LSD drummer Robert Floyd

photo by

Rod Niemeier

HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr mid solo

on another blues planet
HeartBeat Entertainment |  Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr
cruisin' in the zone
HeartBeat Entertainment | Narooma Blues Festival 02 October 2005 | VJ King Jr with Lemon Squeezin Daddies

Jonathan Simpkins egging on VJ in an extended solo - while a bemused Steve Garry waits for the nod to continue the song

On slap bass is Peter O'Neill and faintly visible behind and to the left of Peter is harp player extraordinaire, Ian Hollister

photo by

Rod Niemeier

 

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