Patti Smith to play ‘Horses’ in its entirety at Bluesfest 2017 – first lineup announcement

September 8, 2016

We at the Cliteratti Club are very excited and happy to share the news that Patti Smith will honour the lasting influence of her album ‘Horses’ over the Easter long weekend in Byron Bay with a special Bluesfest show centred around the album.

Patti Smith released ‘Horses’ as her debut album on December 13, 1975. Already a familiar presence in the early New York punk rock scene, Smith recorded Horses at Electric Lady Studios, with John Cale as producer.

With a punk attitude, a DIY aesthetic, and a poet’s heart, ‘Horses’ was greeted with critical respect, but scant airplay in the US, which was at the time largely dominated by Barry Manilow, Captain and Tenille, Elton John, The Bee Gees and other sugary confections. Never mind, something else was happening in New York.

Somehow Smith’s powerful album punched through and found a respectable position in the top 50 on the Billboard charts. Forty-two years on, it’s still finding its way into  record collections and psyches of activists, punks, feminists, poets and and lovers around the world.

I’ll never forget seeing that album cover for the first time, encased in shrink wrap at my local record store, a few years after its release. I was a downstate Illinois kid and ‘Horses’ was not an album that one listened to at kegger parties in the middle of frozen cornfields after the local football game.  And of course there were no coffee houses or boho micro-breweries to discuss ideas or politics or philosophy into the wee hours.  Still, somehow, I heard about her – a Chicago girl who didn’t comb her hair if she didn’t want to, as I heard. And I found her.

I was entranced by the album cover, taken by Robert Mapplethorpe, of Smith wearing a white shirt, a Salvation Army purchase, with a black jacket slung over her shoulder. It was a pose that she described as “a mix of Baudelaire and Sinatra“. She didn’t look like the women on any of the album covers, no lipstick, no flirty smile. She didn’t sound like them either. She sounded like three chords (ok, maybe five) and the truth. Of course the sound was important. But there was so much more. The words. In a Patti Smith song the words are the weightiest part of the equation.

Equal parts intellect and passion, always a visceral performer, Smith has always maintained that she’s “not one of those people who needs the limelight. If I’m performing, that’s what I’m doing. If I’m not, I don’t long for it. I don’t need the approval of an audience, or applause.”

FIRST LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT AND TICKET INFO:

Over the coming weeks we’ll be profiling some of the other artists at this year’s Bluesfest, but this is the show for us, this is the big one in a festival that promises many fine moments.

We’re also thrilled to see Billy Bragg, Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Booker T and Rickie Lee Jones on the bill.

Bluesfest Director Peter Noble said, “It must be hard to believe, but it is very true, that months, and in a few cases, years of work have gone into this artist announcement.

“It has taken over three years to get the very in-demand Patti Smith confirmed, a similar time also for Billy Bragg. Patti will perform her acclaimed album ‘Horses’ in its entirety.

“We will pay homage to the current King of the Blues, Buddy Guy who at 80 years old is still delivering incredible live performances. His two exclusive plays at Bluesfest will be the only opportunity to see him in Australia.”

The 28th Annual Bluesfest to be held over the Easter long weekend in Byron Bay, Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April 2017.  Click here to buy tickets.

The first 2017 Bluesfest artist announcement includes:

ZAC BROWN BAND
PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND
PERFORM HORSES
THE LUMINEERS
BUDDY GUY
(EXCLUSIVE)
BONNIE RAITT
MAVIS STAPLES (EXCLUSIVE) | BILLY BRAGG
JETHRO TULL
TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE
GREGORY PORTER | SNARKY PUPPY
ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES
BETH HART
(EXCLUSIVE)
LAURA MVULA | ROY AYERS
BOOKER T PRESENTS THE STAX RECORDS REVUE
ANDREW BIRD
RICKIE LEE JONES | JOAN OSBORNE
TURIN BRAKES | THE STRUMBELLAS
JAKE SHIMABUKURO
DUMPSTAPHUNK |NIKKI HILL | IRISH MYTHEN
….with many more to be announced!

 

 

 

Leave a Reply