Blues fans made their annual pilgrimage to Tenby for the town's annual Blues Festival as pubs, bars and cafés hosted non-stop live music all day, and at night the main stage at the De Valence Pavilion featured a remarkable line-up of talent.

She didn't officially have the top-of-the-bill spot on Friday night at Tenby's De Valence Pavilion, but Grainne Duffy took it anyway.

She's a blues woman for sure, but she's also a hell of a soul singer – with a voice that could take a classic such as "I'd Rather Go Blind" and give the Etta James version a run for its money.

And when she backs off the mic to take a guitar solo, the bonus is that she can also conjure up the spirit of Peter Green's haunting tone and phrasing.

If all that weren't enough, she had the best band of the night behind her, with her fellow guitarist Paul Sherry a stunningly emotive player.

Runners-up were the excellent Big Joe Louis, whose downhome trio proved you could strip the blues right back to basics and groove like crazy; and the crowd-pleasing, high-energy Malone-Sibun Band.

Words can't adequately convey how good Sugaray Rayford's barnstorming BB King-meets-James-Brown performance was on Saturday. The US phenomenon was backed by a superlatively hot and tight six-piece band, but his voice and presence were so huge that you felt he could have brought the house down on his own.

When, as a benevolent dictator, Sugaray wasn't ordering audience members to get up and shake their booties, he was warning those of a religious persuasion to leave before he started getting down and dirty.

Sugaray, though, is such a mesmeric performer that he got away with his lyrical devilry – and with playing until past midnight and still leaving everyone wanting more.

Before all hell (and Sugaray) broke loose, there had been comparative calm with laidback Louisiana sounds from the excellent cajun/zydeco band Whiskey River, and a lively set from blues-rockers Crawlback with the big, sultry vocals of bassist Bella Collins.

Sunday’s show was kicked off in energetic fashion by the Dusk Brothers, a menacing-looking duo who sported dark shades and black cowboy gear.

But the menace evaporated as soon as their first song was over – once they started their patter, the crowd quickly warmed to these chatty Bristolians.

The show was closed by promising US blues and country singer Gina Sicilia, but it was always going to be difficult to follow the second act, the triumphant John Verity Band.

Seventy-year-old Verity is best known for his stint as the frontman of Argent in the 1970s, but that was only a brief interruption in a 50-year solo career.

If anyone in the audience was expecting to find Verity in decline, he very quickly proved them wrong. He still has the mane of prog-rock hair, still finds the high notes, and still plays both blues and rock guitar with effortless panache.

Review by Nigel Summerley and Rob Barnes of