LEADING American blues star Alvin Youngblood Hart has been named as the headline act at this year’s Blues at the Barns festival.

The Grammy award-winner will top the bill at this May’s festival of acoustic blues, folk-roots and Americana at Creeksea Place Barns, near Burnham.

He heads an exciting international line-up for the fourth annual event, which also boasts feisty female roots-rockers Dana Immanuel and the Stolen Band, Swedish/American singer and multi-instrumentalist Sofie Reed, Essex trio Joel Fisk and the Breakdown, folk, blues and jazz star Helen Watson and country-rockers the Bay Horse Boys.

Singer and guitarist Ben Tyzack, whose band the Spikedrivers headlined the very first Blues at the Barns, also makes a return to the festival on May 3.

The full line-up includes Essex pagan folk group Morrigan’s Path and Kent-based duo Dave Ferra and Katie Bradley.

Festival promoter and Burnham musician Tim Aves said: “We’re really excited about the line-up this year and particularly about being able to bring an artist of the calibre of Alvin Youngblood Hart to Burnham. He’s an amazing talent and someone we had been hoping to get for some time.

“All this year’s acts – and there are nine in total – are top-quality and will offer the depth and variety of music for which Blues at the Barns has become famous.

“A few people said last year they wanted to hear a bit more from the acts, so we’ve changed our approach to programming to give each act more playing time.”

Blues at the Barns 2020 will again have a festival campsite, a wide range of blues and Americana-themed food, and at least one ‘Festival Fringe’ gig in Burnham on Saturday, May 2 – the evening before the festival.

Tim added: “We’ll have music in the town on Saturday night, and then on our site until 11pm on the Sunday. We are offering people the chance to camp on-site Saturday and Sunday so they can enjoy a whole weekend of great music, let their hair down and enjoy a great time and a fantastic vibe in a gorgeous rural setting.”

This year’s ticket prices are down from £25 to just £20 (£7 under-12s), with an extra 10 per cent discount for four or more advance tickets.

They are on sale at the Parlour Cafe at the Creeksea site, on 01621 786503, or at bluesatthebarns.moonfruit.com.