Time for a dry, descriptive post of a few selected blues festivals. Festival season is upon us, and in early June, the Western Maryland Blues Festival Takes place in Hagerstown, Maryland and the Chicago Blues Festival the following weekend. July has several major festivals. I will be at the Pocono Blues Festival at the end of July. Unfortunately I am unable to attend any of the other events because of other travel plans (I will be at Montreal for the annual Jazz Festival the end of June) and work. These festivals may vary in scale, but a look at their line-up shows just how great a showcase for blues music each one is.
The 26th Mississippi Valley Blues Festival takes place July 2 to 4 at the Davenport, Iowa riverfront. One of the oldest continuous blues festivals it is put on by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. This year’s festival will feature 28 acts over three days. Performers scheduled include Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials, Ana Popovic, Zac Harmon, Vasti Jackson, Rosie Ledet, Ruthie Foster, Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues, Shawn Kellerman, Lucky Peterson, The Legendary Blues Cruise Revue featuring Tommy Castro and Debbie Davies, Dave Riley and Bob Corritore, and The Nighthawks with Hubert Sumlin. It opens Friday July 2, will be a tribute to descendants of blues legends, featuring Mud Morganfield, Bernard Allison, Little Pink Anderson, Caroline Shines, Lurrie Bell, and Shirley King. For more information check out http://mvbs.org/ and the festival site, http://mvbs.org/fest.
Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival takes place July 2 through July 5 in Portland, Oregon. The Festival is the Oregon Food Bank’s major fundraiser and over the course of the Four Days will feature a wide range of performers including Taj mahal, John Mayall, Booker T, Bobby Rush, Galactic with Cyril Neville, JJ Grey & Mofro, Chris Thomas King, Commander Cody, Curtis Salgado, trombone Shorty, Michael Burks Band with Lucky Peterson, Walter Trout, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Moreland & Arbuckle, Super Chikan, Janiva Magness, Paul Cebar, Curely Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Corey Ledet, Andre Thierry and much much more. There are also Delta Music Experience Cruises associated with the Festival and much more. For more information, see http://www.waterfrontbluesfest.com.
17th Festival International du Blues de Tremblant (Tremblant International Blues Festival) takes place July 9 to 18, in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, about an hour and half drive north of Montreal. Performers for the featured shows include Anthony Gomes, Bernard Adamus, Bobby Bazini, Janiva Magness, Mark Hummell & Mike Morgan, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Tommy Castro and Zachary Richard. This multi-stage event has yet to announce the full line-up. For more information check http://www.tremblantblues.com/home.
The 19th Pocono Blues Festival takes place at Big Boulder Resort in Lake Harmony PA, July 23-25. One of the premier blues events it presents 20 real deal blues acts including World Class Headliners, acts that rarely come to the Middle Atlantic and Northeast and other lesser known acts on two mountain stages and a tent stage. Friday evening July 23 will present Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes, Johnny Rawls and Lady Bianca. Saturday July 24 will present Wanda Johnson, Marquise Knox, Veronika Jackson, Roy Roberts Barbara Carr & AJ Diggs, Chick Willis, Johnny Bassett, Theodis Ealey, CJ Chenier, and the Chicago Blues Legends (Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, Bob Stroger, Hubert Sumlin and Bob Margolin). On Sunday, July 25 one will see The Campbell Brothers, Diana Braitwaite with Chris Whitley Band, Alabama Mike, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Joe Krown Trio (Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington and Russell Batiste), Homemade Jamz, and Mavis Staples. WIth the ski slopes serving as the backdrop, this is my favorvite blues festival with its mix of blues and a wonderful setting. For more information check www.poconoblues.com.