Band Directory
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2nd Drawer Down

Eclectic mix of rock, pop, blues, folk and country music: songs of acoustic guitars, mandolin and percussion accompaniment. Forgotten classics with a mature yet fresh twist.


Alan McKelvey

“A band not to be missed, Alan’s guitar skills are second to none, and his voice is the gem of the local scene”, Empire Music Hall. Alan has notched up a well-received series of gigs all over the country and the UK, leaving behind only satisfied music lovers. Whether it’s an intimate acoustic performance, soulful R&B experience, he’s got the tee shirt.

Allison McGrath and Soulantics

Allison McGrath

Allison’s original songs bring influences from John Martyn, Sade and Etta James, a soulful blend of jazz, blues and folk. Allison’s band ‘Soulantics’ features Karl Hughes, Dermot McQuaid, Gareth Hughes, Mervyan Crawford and Paul McMahon. With the vision to record and perform original songs, the band released their critically acclaimed album ‘Overboard’ in 2012 which received cracking reviews and a MRU award for Best Soul/Jazz/Funk band.


In 2007 Allison formed her own band ‘Soulantics’ which features Karl Hughes, Dermot McQuaid, Gareth Hughes, Mervyan Crawford and Paul McMahon. With the vision to record and perform original songs, the band released their critically acclaimed album ‘Overboard’ in 2012 which received cracking reviews and a MRU award for Best Soul/Jazz/Funk band.

Amanda St John

Amanda St John

A soul, blues, pop singer from Glenariffe, Co. Antrim. Amanda is a mainstay on the Northern Ireland radio, festival and gig circuit and has been described as “An incredible vocal performer and songwriter” by BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean. Amanda launched her debut album ‘Grow’ in May 2016.



Back Bone Blues Bands

Back Bone Blues Bands

These lads have been playing together for over 35 years and are made up of the talented Karl Hughes on drums, Raymond McEvoy on vocals, Gareth Hughes on guitar and Ritchie McEvoy on bass. Many of the bands songs come from the pen of Ritchie with influences such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Rory Gallagher and Van Morrison.


Ben Reel Band

Ben Reel Band

Ben’s music has evolved into an honest earthy, soulful sound that has matured like a fine wine and he has very much his own sound today. Over the last 7 years Ben has enjoyed successful tours in Europe, UK & U.S.A receiving rave reviews and attracting a growing fan base.





Blackwood blues, rock band is a dynamic power trio featuring the inimitable styles of Sam Davidson lead guitarist and vocals [ex Taste], Lyn Mc Mullan drums [ex Redhouse] and Laurence Dugan bassist [ex Pontiax]. Together they bring an exciting edge to classic blues, early Taste numbers and Sam’s own originals.

Bluez Katz

Bluez Katz

Supporting Van Morrison and Larry Garner, The Katz have also opened for musics greats Peter Green, Paul Jones and The Yardbirds. They can find Muddy, Sonny Boy, Jimi and BB all in one groove! Bluez Katz front man Ian Sands is the founder of the International Blues on the Bay Festival Warrenpoint.


Casino Jazz Band

The Fabulous Casino Jazz Band is a toe tapping dancing experience not to be missed. These guys bring you their unique sound and style of the New Orleans Dixieland Jazz, tunes from Burbon Street in the oldest quarter of New Orleans to standards like Midnight in Moscow.

Clara Rose

Unforgettable powerful vocals, carefully crafted songs and water-tight band. Authentic roots n’ blues with a pinch of folk. With acoustic guitar in hand Clara Rose has been on the road with The Clara Rose Band and with The Don Baker Band playing shows & festivals nationwide, across Europe and the USA. 2017 sees Clara Rose embark on recording her second solo album with her band.

Clare Sands

With a fiddle in one hand and a guitar in the other, Cork based Clare Sands is a 23 year old musician, songwriter and composer. She performs in a variety of genres, her own material being a unique amalgamation of Folk, Trad, Jazz & Blues. Clare released her debut album ‘Join Me At The Table’ to critical acclaim in late 2016.


Clive Barnes

Clive Barnes

Clive Barnes is a guitarist, singer and songwriter of rare quality. Clive has released four studio albums to date the latest of which, ‘The Ghost Country’ garnered rave four and five star reviews with his previous album, ‘Welcome To Farewell’ winning Album of the Year in US publication Acoustic Guitar.


Cold Porter

cold porter

Featuring the voice of Eilish McCarthy, Cold Porter deliver a wide range of music spanning decades and genres. Expect anything from sixties soul to seventies funk blended with jazz and blues/rock classics. The band have been playing together for over a decade now and a have a strong local following.

Crow Black Chicken

crow black chicken

Crow Black Chicken have earned back-pats aplenty for their dirty southern blues sound. This power trio of Christy O Hanlon [Vocals, Guitar], Stephen McGrath [Bass] and Gev Barrett [Drums, Backing vocals] combine elements of folk, hard rock and the blues of bands like Gov’t Mule to create their greasy no messin blues rock sound.


Crowbar Blues

Crow Katz

Crowbar Blues formed in May 2006, they have played all the major blues festivals in Ireland including, Belfast City Blues, Harvest Time Blues, Blues on the Bay & Blackstairs Blues Festival. Front man Simon Smith is the 7 Hills Blues Fest founder and is joined by his brother Jonny on drums. Expect head down rockin blues!

Dave McHugh

Award winning Blues Guitarist Dave McHugh has led his own band for over 20 years now. With his beloved Fender Strat and Marshall amp, Dave and his band are a mainstay on the Irish and European blues scene. Despite being compared to Irish Bluesmen Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, Dave has his own unique style.


Dana Masters

Originally from the Deep South in the United States, Dana grew up with the sound of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music all around her. Her love for music developed as she grew up and lead her to studying music, majoring in vocal performance at university. From live work with BBC Radio 4 and Proms in the Park to singing regularly with Van Morrison, Dana’s reputation as one of Ireland’s top vocalists continues to gain momentum.

Grainne Duffy

Grainne Duffy

Grainne Duffy is a contemporary blues based artist hailing from Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. Described by The Sunday Times as ‘a blues singer of real integrity’, she is a pioneer of her own style while also paying sincere homage to her roots, soul, blues and rock traditions. She is a seasoned artist and has been spending the last number of years touring in Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and beyond.

Jackie McAuley

jackie mcauley band

Formerly of the famous ‘THEM’, alongside Van Morrison, Jackie’s musical career blossomed having performed with Lonnie Donegan, Fairport Convention and Rick Wakeman. This is an outstanding blues band of the highest calibre!

Lee Hedley Band

lee hedley band

In the past Lee has toured and played alongside The Corrs, Westlife, The Commitments, and various Chicago Blues legends including John Primer and the late Phil Guy. Lee has recorded vocals for Rock god & Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton (Texas). Rapidly becoming a world respected artist, this sought after Blues vocalist and frontman, appears at all the major festivals throughout Europe.

Little Wilgar & the Crackpot Preachers

Born in ’65 this hard working bluesman picked up the harmonica at nine years of age and has been blasting out tunes ever since. Well known on both the local and international scene Mike “Little” Wilgar and his band “Little Wilgar & The Crackpot Preachers” have received great praise from blues critics and fans.

Ludwig & Co

Ludwig & Co

Ludwig & Co are a seasoned professional two piece equally comfortable in any genre. Journeymen in the realms of folk, rock and blues, they litter their repertoire with songs that are a little different from other blues acts.  For a duo with no backing tracks, hats or gimmicks these guys really ‘fill-out’ the sound.

Mark Braidner Band

Mark Braidner Band

A competent slide and finger style guitarist influenced primarily by the pre-war blues of the 1920s and 1930s Mark Braidner along with his band offer a mix of everything from Ragtime and Houkum styles through to down home Delta blues. Their driving beats and infectious rhythms get toes tapping wherever they play.

Mike Brookfield

Mike Brookfield

Mike, who has been getting rave reviews in Europe for his recent live shows and indie album ‘Love Breaks The Fall’, is thrilled to be part of this years festival. “Definitely in the category of the Champions League… world class.” Rock Times.“…a great album!” Classic Rock/The Blues Magazine. Mike’s highly anticipated new album is soon to be released.

Mirenda Rosenberg

Mirenda Rosenberg

Some singers own the stage, but Mirenda Rosenberg is famous for owning the stage, the dance floor, and sometimes the audiences personal space when she performs. Mirenda shares her personal history of Black American Music through raw, viceral songs. Her musical expedition spans the decades, including the music of Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, & Curtis Mayfield as well as her vivacious original tunes.


nite hawks

The fabulous ‘Nitehawks’ are a tight, rockin’, brass-led sextet that will surprise and entertain any audience. The ‘Nitehawks’ return to Armagh for the 7th year with their original line up; playing a brand new, stonkin’ programme of classic blues, soul and R’n’B. Get steamy with the ‘Nitehawks’ at Mckenna’s Bar.



Obsidian are a 4 piece classic rock/blues band from Armagh, who do a mixture of covers and original songs. They offer a crowd pleasing, wide range of smouldering bluesy originals and cover bands such as Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Fleetwood Mac.


One Horse Pony

One Horse Pony

Cork band, One Horse Pony, have topped the iTunes Blues Chart with their single ‘Staring Blues’, played Electric Picnic and the Guinness Jazz Festival. They combine acoustic instruments, strong vocal harmonies and an uncompromising drive to deliver their stomping live shows. Their current album, ‘Blue When I Go’ is available on iTunes.


Paraic Walsh

Paraic got into blues via Blues Rock guitarists like Clapton, Hendrix and Gallagher which soon led him to earlier acoustic bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. His sole acoustic appearance at 7 Hills set is driven by his soulful playing and smooth baritone vocals and contrasts a range of blues styles with a Rock twist.

Pat McManus Band

Pat McManus

Former Mama’s boys and Celtus guitarist and violin virtuoso Pat McManus, along with band members Paul Faloon and Marty McDermott are currently on their 10th year anniversary tour playing their own special brand of blues rock infused with a touch of the Celtic. This year will see the band record their 6th studio album and with a touring schedule packed to the max, they are always ready to rock.

Paul Sherry

Paul Sherry

Paul Sherry’s up tempo blues rock shows are a mix of guitar driven licks, rust and dust sounding vocals from top to bottom. His new album Songstone has turned a new corner to a more songbased side with great melodies and a funky pop rock rhythm section.

Preacher Casey’s

Preacher Casey's

Bringing a new sound to the local music scene blues meets folk via a journey around the rootsy country of the Deep South and beyond! It’s good time music with an edge, with influences ranging from Rory Gallagher, Andy Irvine, Woody Guthrie and the Old Crow Medicine Show.

Preachin’ Blues

A blues duo based out of Co. Cork with a common passion for blues music that has influenced our style. A high energetic live performance combining acoustic guitar, lap slide, resonator and bass stomp box, performing both originals and covers.

Riley and the Moonrockers

riley and the moonrockers

Riley & the Moonrockers are a 3 piece Rockabilly/Rock n Roll band from Co. Cavan. With an energetic live show that has been entertaining audiences all over Europe playing with legends such as, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, the bands enthusiasm for what they do shines through in every performance.

Ronnie Greer’s Organ Trio

Ronnie Greer's Organ Trio

Evoking the classic organ combos of the 1960’s and 70’s Blue Note record label, blues guitar legend Ronnie Greer demonstrates the jazzier side of his playing, in the company of two of Ireland’s finest musicians, Scott Flanigan on Hammond organ, and Dominic Mullan on drums. But fear not! Plenty of blues in there as well!!


Roy Fulton

roy fulton

A regular and favourite is internationally renowned guitarist Roy Fulton, who makes his return to the festival with a full band of equally superb musicians. Roy has been described as a blues virtuoso and his fiery and passionate playing style is balanced by a disciplined and complete command of the instrument.

Rubber Plants

The Rubber Plants are Northern Ireland’s most established Led Zeppelin tribute band. This trio bring the authentic Zeppelin brand of exciting hard rock and lightness of touch for which the original masters were famous, to every gig. They have toured in England several times and have headlined the annual Led Zeppelin convention, where they were hailed as one of the best ever Zeppelin tribute bands.

Rusty Jacks

Rusty Jacks

Rusty Jacks are a five piece gritty Irish ‘Southern Blues Band’ who take Southern Blues straight to your heart with a wide spectrum of the Blues genre, playing a healthy mix of the classics and their own material from their highly acclaimed three albums. “This is Blues With Bite” – Blues Matters Magazine.

Sarah and the Sandcastles

sarah and the sandcastles

Bringing a youthful, unique blend of energetic rock and blues to the next generation. Having performed at establishments such as Blues On The Bay, Crumlin Road Gaol and Titanic Quarter, they’ve been to the crossroads more times than seasoned players twice their age.

Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue are a father and daughter duo from Armagh. John has played saxophone and keyboards in many bands over the years. Courtnay is now following in his footsteps, singing and playing guitar. John owns ‘In The Shade Studios’, in Co. Armagh where they both work.

Short Fuse Blues

Short Fuse Blues

For twenty years these guys have honed their skills playing gigs and festivals all around the country. From the word go, a powerful engine-room of bass and drums drives a blistering harmonica and guitar driven force, often leading to a battle of reeds and strings that stands out. Driven blues delivered with intent!

SoulShine Blue

SoulShine Blue

This 6 piece soul/blues band consists of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, saxophone and two female vocals. They include a number of genres such as blues, rock and soul from artists such as Imelda May, Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton. This electric mix and fresh new take on soul, blues, rockabilly and swing makes for a groove and a melody that is infectious.

Soul Truth

Soul Truth perform a wide range of music, including blues, soul, funk, and old style rhythm and blues. If you like to hear more soulful blues, these guys will have you grooving from the dock of the bay, til the midnight hour, all the way back to sweet home Chicago.

The Blackstuff

The Blackstuff

The Blackstuff are from Donegal and Armagh. There are five members, the boys have a real live bounce with their own sound of rhythm and blues and have played all over Ireland and Scotland collecting fans wherever they go! Not to be missed.


The Brown Notes

If you’re looking for a tasty mix of blues guitar and soulful saxophone that will uplift anyone’s mood then check out The Brown Notes. The lads have spent the last year creating a mix of Blues, Rock and Reggae tunes of their own.

The Henry Girls

The Henry Girls are an Irish folk and roots music group consisting of three sisters, Karen, Lorna and Joleen McLaughlin. You’ll often see The Henry Girls on stage with a fiddle, ukulele, banjo, guitar, harp, mandolin, piano and accordion. Their new album “Far Beyond the Stars” was named are RTE Radio’s Album of the Week in March 2017, an incredible achievement.

The Mighty Quinn

the mighty quinn

“The Mighty Quinn” was formed in 2005 in the back of an Irish bar in Dijon, France.  Well known round the Manchester music scene, the band have travelled the continent from Dingle to Switzerland.  Expect high energy blues and folk with slide guitar and cracking harmonies.

The Soundbites

The Soundbites

The “Soundbites” from way back in the Monaghan Delta, are a four piece “Electric Blues Band”

Their passion for this music is obvious, with their lively guitar & biting harmonica sound. Their ever expanding repertoire of songs, including standards by Muddy Waters, B.B. King and maybe even a little Chuck Berry.

The Stone Cold Hobo

The Stonecold Hobos are a Rhythm n Blues band from Drogheda, Co Louth, consisting of drums, bass, harmonica, slide guitar and volcals. Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher and ZZ top with a dash of Muddy Waters best describes the band’s sound. Their energetic set comprises original material and a fresh look at old favourites.

The Watery Hill Boys

The Watery Hill Boys

The Watery Hill Boys have earned a reputation for their live performances as one of the best in Old Timey and Early Bluegrass Music.They continue to perform all over Ireland and Europe. For their visit to Armagh, Donal & Jim will present more Old Timey classic songs and tunes, including some selections from their forthcoming album ‘Old Time Duets’.


Thin As Lizzy

Thin As Lizzy

Thin As Lizzy, a tribute like nothing you have heard before, hallmarked for performing Thin Lizzy’s classic “Live and Dangerous” album with all the energy and enthusiasm of the original.  The Sunday Independent described Johnny’s deep rasping voice “as close to the real thing” as any singer has come.

Villiers and The Villains

Tony Villiers and The Villains

There’s a buzz everywhere this band play their heady original mishmash of 60’s blues, weird jazz and swamp country grooves. For reference think Creedence meets Dylan on a bus out of Woodstock driven by The Band. Not to be missed.

For more information on the 7 Hills Blues Fest

call: 028 3752 1800


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