It was a super time at the Riverfront Blues Festival, again !
This has got to be one of the nicest festivals around – very friendly, not too big, open to all and excellent music.
This year we were treated to such outstnding acts as Tab Benoit, EC Scott & Band, Vasti Jackson, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Johnny Sansone, LowRider Band, James Cotton Band ….. I could go on, but you get the point. Two super after parties one hosted by Travis Haddix and the other by Victor Wainwright & the wildroots band – phew ain’t nothing but a party y’all.
If I were going to (for the sake of this post) list my top 5 they would be the following:
James Johnson and the ladies, playing custom made chiktars and pleading for “somebody shoot that thang !”, are always a fun time, there were some problems with an amp that marred early part of performance but good time music, fun coupled with hi-energy and chiken scratching dancing always makes for a great show.
#4: LowRider Band
The large majority of the three letter named band from back in the day, featuring Harold Brown, Howard Scott, BB Dickerson and Lee Oskar from said band. These guys have yet to disappoint putting on a show both on and off the stage as they venture into the crowd.
#3: Tab Benoit
Sraight up blue collar, hard working musician who reminds me of the late Luther Allison in the way that he just gives it his all each night. Story telling, disarmingly friendly yet focused and versatile, Tab once again proved why he is a fan favorite. Look for him and his power trio at Bluestock Friday, August 26,.
#2: Johnny Sansone
First time that I have seen Johnny as his own entity. Have seen him as part of Voice of the Wetlands with Tab, Anders Osborne and others but this was my first chance to dig deep into the Johnny thing. He thrilled everyone, showing equal virtuosity at harp or accordian. With his new release making the #1 slot on BB King’s Bluesville Picks to Click it’s all good for him.
#1: James Cotton
Mr. Cotton alone is worth the price of admission, but pair him with a killer band featuring, Tom Holland, Darrell Nulisch, Noel Neal and Jerry Porter and you can’t beat them with a stick ! Having a young Joshua King on stage only made it better.
*Honorable mention: yeh I didn’t think I could get away with just five, LOL.
April Mae & The June Bugs a NJ three-piece band that brings rock-a-billy sensibilities with just enough grease to keep ya slip slidin’ to towards ecstacy ! Fun times, fast times and a crowd pleasing set made them the surprsie hit of the Bandwagon Stage. Yeah New Jersey !
Smokin’ Joe & Bnois King they went electric this time and brought that Texas shuffle and grit to the East Coast. Smooth performance and likable personas. BNois voice is smooth as aged whisky and the band just killed it.
And as always Mr. Gary Allegretto and his Blues Music Award winning charity ‘Harmonikids’ and Hohner harmonicas giving lessons bertween sets and raising money for a good cause, thank you G-Man !
So now to the photo part. Here are the links to the three days of the festival, about 50-60 or so in each day. Enjoy the photos the good ones were taken by Blues411 photographic wizard, the crappy ones were done by yours truly.
http://blues411.com/gallery/index.php?album=riverfront-festival click on link then across the top are links to Days 2 & 3.
Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease