Celebrating rock ‘n’ roll, roots and country and blues, Red Rooster offers a contemporary music festival like no other, embracing the sights, sounds and flavours of the Deep South complemented by excellent food, drink and East Anglian hospitality, writes Tony Cooper

Cake all round, too, as this year Red Rooster, at Euston Hall near Thetford, notches up its tenth anniversary.

East Anglian Daily Times: Asleep at the Wheel will be at Red RoosterAsleep at the Wheel will be at Red Rooster (Image: Dean Chakley Iores)

Alongside the last-ever UK festival headline performance from revered Austin, Texas, outfit ‘Asleep At The Wheel’, Red Rooster also sees the first-ever festival appearance of Galen & Paul, the critically-acclaimed collaboration between Paul Simonon, the legendary bassist of The Clash and The Good, The Bad and The Queen with Damon Albarn. He’ll be joined by celebrated solo artist/multi-instrumentalist, Galen Ayers.

East Anglian Daily Times: The festival takes places on the Duke of Grafton's estateThe festival takes places on the Duke of Grafton's estate (Image: Simon Godley)
A musical extravaganza of New Orleans and Memphis-driven music comes with Take Me To The River Allstars featuring original members of The High Rhythm Section (who, incidentally, played on every Al Green record) as well as Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson.

They’ll be joined by the North Mississippi Allstars comprising Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson, Big Chief Bo Dollis, Martin Shore and Boo Mitchell, the son of Willie Mitchell, the ‘father’ of the Memphis sound.

Since her standout performance on Jools Holland’s ‘Hootenanny’, Muireanne Bradley, a 17-year-old finger-picking guitarist/singer from County Donegal, is bringing her distinctive style of country and ragtime blues after hitting the No.1 spot on the UK album download charts while London-based folk-psyche country band, The Hanging Stars, will bring their psychedelic folk and cosmic country sounds.

A musical genius, the autistic savant and blind pianist, Derek Paravicini, makes his Red Rooster début and will be joined by globetrotting pianist and founder member of Jawbone, Paddy Milner. 

Derek (who performed for Muhammed Ali and did a couple of shows at Buckingham Palace) took to the piano aged two and was on stage at London’s Barbican Centre by age nine. He was featured in the TV series ‘Extraordinary People’.

Other bill-toppers include Robert Finley, Bob Log III, Kitty Liv, The Dirty Strangers, Rosco Shakes and Dylan Walshe.

East Anglian Daily Times: Kitty LivKitty Liv (Image: Dean Chalkley lores)
East Anglian-based country rock band, Brown Horse, deservedly gets on the bill, too. A band rooted in a collaborative approach to songwriting, this six-piece outfit mixes guitar-driven ’90s alt rock with the folk and country sounds of the ’70s - just the right mix for Red Rooster.

The line-up is staggering this year and further strengthened by the likes of Vieira and The Silvers, McKinley James, Little George Sueref, Joe Harvey-Whyte and Bobby Lee, Roscoe Shakes, UFO Rodeo Band, Nick Etwell’s Nola 5, Dylan Walshe, Rosco Shakes, Sister Suzie and Andy Twyma, Erika and The Ravens, Snakemilk, J.S. and The Lockerbillies, Swamp Truck, Kaspar and The Swamp Dogs, The McCurdy Bros, The Cain Pit, Jack Browning, Locks, Laurence Kingston, Mamam Oh No, The Molee Shakes, 4D Jones, Santa Rita, Dave Sutherland, The River Shack curated by ‘Come Down Meet The Folks’ and José McGill and The Vagaband.

If the music isn’t enough, Red Rooster is well known for its high-calibre food offerings and this year will be no different. But new for the 10th anniversary bash, Red Rooster has teamed up with award-winning BBQ specialists, Meat Street BBQ, who’ll be offering a sit-down ‘gourmet’ banquet on each day of the festival.

Weekend tickets cost £149.50 + booking fee and contained within this price are three nights of camping plus complimentary parking while children aged 12 and under, enjoy free admission.

Red Rooster, Euston Hall, Suffolk, 30th May to 1st June. Tickets: www.redrooster.org.uk