ONE of the region’s most popular music gatherings returns in April with another highly impressive line up of international and UK artists.

After selling out for the past two years Bowness Bay Blues stages its eighth annual festival with organisers, the Rotary Club of Windermere, thrilled to bring New Jersey act the Billy Walton Band to the shores of Windermere.

For years six string ace Billy spent his time sharpening his skills, developing his stage act until he decided to step up to centre stage with the Billy Walton Band. The band has focused its effort in Europe; 13 tours since 2007 have established the group in the fertile British blues rock scene. A terrific guitarist, in 2010 Billy got the call to join in with one of the masters of the Asbury Park sound, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. For years Billy toured with the Jukes. A highpoint in Billy’s tenure with the Jukes was when they recorded a live version of Southside’s most acclaimed release, Hearts of Stone, with Little Steven.

Billy is a guitar hero fronting a great band that has a superb rock and blues soul sound who play The Wheelhouse at Bowness on festival Friday, April 12.

Also on the Bowness Bay Blues bill will be much loved Connie Lush and back by popular demand are The Stumble and Catfish. Supporting them at The Wheelhouse will be Northsyde and Cumbria’s own Five and Dangerous.

Opening the wonderful weekend of music on Friday, April 12, at the Lake District Boat Club, will be Mat Walklate and Alex Haynes duo.

And so the festival's five star list goes on with the Mike Ross Band, Dean Newton Trio, the folky infusion of slide guitar and melodic songs of L J Darley, plus Sean Taylor, Rev Doc and the Flying Squad, Blank Canvas, Bullfrog, Soulway, Jackson Rox. And Bowness Bay Blues would just not be the same without the magical mix of soft ballads and hard rock blues from The Elderly Brothers who have given their services free for the past eight years.

Charities to benefit from the Rotary Club’s 2019 festival will be The Alzheimers Society and The MS Society.

The festival runs from April 12-14. For tickets