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What’s On: Connor Selby, Forest Arts, New Milton

BLUES Award Young Artist of the Year winner Connor Selby will be at New Milton’s Forest Arts on Friday 20th October with support from Thomas Heppell.

Billed as a rising British star in the traditions of Eric Clapton and Peter Green, Connor Selby has already performed with his band at Wembley Stadium, at the age of 22, at the behest of The Who.

Connor Selby will be at New Milton's Forest Arts
Connor Selby will be at New Milton's Forest Arts

The young bandleader-guitarist-vocalist draws on influences as diverse as Eric Clapton, BB King, Ray Charles, Free and Nick Drake, creating a soulful blend of hard-hitting blues and emotional, introspective song writing which, at times, evokes a modern take on the best of the British blues boom of the 1960’s. He was winner of the Young Artist of the Year UK Blues Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Connor’s musical direction has been largely influenced by a burgeoning love of American roots music. He said: “I got interested in not just the music but the history and everything around it. I love the directness, the simplicity and earthiness of it.

“I love really how down-to-earth it is both lyrically and musically. I think with the blues, it’s fundamentally about very basic human emotions. Things like sorrow and pride and exploring the way we deal with everyday situations and problems.”

Supporting will be Berkshire-based musician Thomas Heppell who performs blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll solo or in his three-piece band. Originally from the south coast, he has been playing guitar and singing for over 10 years.

Over the years, Thomas has supported Chicken Shack and appeared on The Voice. In 2022, he supported Anton du Beke from Strictly Come Dancing, Robin Bibi and Mike Mayfield, as well as performing at the Tuesday Night Club in London, Swanage Blues Festival and Weyfest.

Tickets are £12 in advance or £14 on the door. For more information visit www.forest-arts.co.uk

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