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Memphis music bestows international award on Goodna hotel

TRUE BLUES: Owner of the Royal Mail Hotel and recipient of the 2014 ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ award Andy Cafe and his daughter Addie Cafe.
TRUE BLUES: Owner of the Royal Mail Hotel and recipient of the 2014 ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ award Andy Cafe and his daughter Addie Cafe. David Nielsen

THE US city of Memphis, Tennessee, might be renowned worldwide as the "Home of the Blues" but within Australia that title belongs to Goodna.

Specifically Goodna's Royal Mail Hotel which was recently honoured by the International Blues Foundation for its commitment to showcasing blues music.

For almost three decades, the hotel has provided a stage for blues and roots musicians - both locally and overseas.

This week, it was named among the 20 recipients of the 2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards in the International category.

It was the first time in history any individual, organisation or venue in Australia had won the prestigious award.

The venue had been nominated by the Blues Association of South-East Queensland.

Owner Andrew Café said it was a real honour to be chosen and that the recognition was something that he, his staff and the community could be proud of.

Mr Café said over the years, the hotel had established itself as an oasis for people who enjoyed quality, live music.

"We've hosted numerous acts from musical legends to up-and-coming artists," he said.

"But it's more than just blues, we like to feature various genres of music such as rockabilly, funk even the odd burlesque."

Awards committee chairman Art Tipaldi described the Royal Mail Hotel as a "national icon in the blues music industry".

He said the venue's long time support of blues music had made it a "must play" venue for any touring artist within the genre.

"It has been described as being the closest you can get to a real 'Juke Joint' in Australia," he said.

"After suffering devastating damage to the pub in the 2011 floods, fundraising blues music events were held across the country to help the pub get back up and running again."

The Blues Foundation, which was formed in 1980, has been dedicated to preserving blues music history, celebrating recordings and performances and supporting blues education.

The foundation will honour the winners at a ceremony in Memphis in January.

The blues

  • The term "the blues" refers to the "blue devils", which means sadness.
  • There are several variations on blues style, mostly based on the geographical region the style originated in, for example Chicago Blues or Delta Blues.
  • The main three instruments used are the guitar, banjo and harmonica.
  • The first recordings of blues music were from the early 20th century.

Topics:  blues, goodna, keeping the blues alive award, royal mail hotel


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