Coin Acoustic Blues Festival

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Country and Region SpainAndalusia
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Coin, Malaga, Andalusia Spain
Festival Contact Information

Terry Clear

Festival Description

The first Coin Acoustic Blues Festival took place on April 11, 2009 in the Plaza Alameda in the lovely Andalucian town of Coin. This first edition was very successful and the organizers look forward to continuing the event in 2010! The acoustic blues festival featured a stellar line-up of regional and international musicians in a beautiful venue under the Andalucian sky, surrounded by orange trees in full blossom and palm trees waving gently in the breeze—what could be better? FREE ENTRY!

Festival Dates September 24 - 26, 2010 TBC
Festival Links

Festival Story:

Impressions of the inaugural edition of the festival
The first Coin Acoustic Blues Festival took place on Easter Saturday, April 11th in the small market town of Coin, not far from Malaga in Spain. The location was a plaza ringed with palm trees, with a big bandstand, fountains, and a children’s play area – the scent of orange blossom was in the air. After a lengthy sound-check, Marbella based “Moonshine Still” took to the stage and proceeded to demonstrate just how good dedicated musicians can be after just a few weeks together. You would swear that these guys had been together for years, not just a few weeks. Their set list was imaginative and varied and the audience showed their appreciation so well that the boys in the band must have been very, very pleased with themselves.

Steve Payne was up next and set about proving that he can still sound fresh and innovative after more than 30 years in the business. He impressed the crowd with some old standards mixed in with some tracks from his new album, and showed his skill with the slide guitar. He very unselfishly called Shar-Baby up on stage with him for a couple of numbers, to give the audience a taste of what was to come later in the night.

“The Hot Gamblers”, another band from Marbella, slipped onto the stage as the applause for Mr Payne died down – a quick sound-check and they were into their own style of old time blues, with a lot of influence from people like Bessie Smith, Mississippi John Hurt etc. This band shares their drummer with “Moonshine Still” (and with several other bands — he’s much in demand!), and he pushed them along with a frantic beat at times. This band really got the audience up and dancing, and they were pushed into an encore at the end, where they gave a great barber-shop style rendition of “Pick a bale of cotton”.

An American musician who lived in Spain years ago, Richard Ray Farrell, was next on the list. A lot of the audience remembered him from his earlier life here and from his visits since, and welcomed him back enthusiastically while he ran through some Big Bill Broonzy songs, and some songs from his recent CDs, including the one he made with Spanish musician Raimundo Amador. Richard puts so much into his music that he was visibly wilted when he finished.

Time then for a guitar duo from the east of Malaga, “Blues & Beyond” – a couple of English guys living in Spain and beginning to make their mark as a consistently good musical act. Blues & jazz is their thing and they mix the two styles together very cleverly. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular in the area where they live, and that popularity is spreading. The temperature had started to drop, darkness had taken over, and there had been a few brief drops of rain, but the crowd was not deterred – they knew that Shar-Baby was coming. They’d heard a little taste of he with Steve Payne, and they’d spoken to her while she was with them listening to the other acts – incidentally, she didn’t leave her spot by the band stand the whole time, standing and enjoying the music whilst selling CDs & Tee Shirts that she carried with her on the plane from Alabama.

Shar-Baby’s music was probably the most authentic blues that the majority of the audience had ever heard, and authentic is definitely the right word. She very generously invited a lot of the other musicians on stage with her at various times during her set – the harmonica player and singer from “Spinning Coin”, both of the lads from “Blues & Beyond”, Steve Payne, and visiting vocalist Maggie Ross, who had flown over from England for the festival.

And finally, “Spinning Coin” themselves, to wind up the show. This band from along the Costa Del Sol, comprises three different nationalities (English, Argentine & American) who all gel really well to produce some great music and it’s no wonder that they are so popular along the coast. With father & son guitarists Dave & Simon Barraclough laying down the blues, and Argentine harp & bass players working with Tony on the “cajon” to provide the backing, American singer Kat was encouraged to belt out some superb songs. A bunch of guys from a Harley Davidson bikers club had turned up and were thoroughly enjoying themselves – they had a couple of good dancers in their group too! The only low note of the festival was the fact that the temperature dropped a little more than was seasonally normal, but people mostly ignored it – next year the festival will probably drop back to mid-May when it’s a bit warmer and the weather should be a little more settled. All in all, a very good start for Coin with a successful first festival.


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Practical Info:

  • Plaza Alameda
    Coin, Malaga, Andalusia
  • Note—The venue is lacated 30 minutes inland from Marbella/Fuengirola/Malaga
  • FREE


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