The Bisbee Blues Festival was a blast! Two days of music and as always, the lineup was stellar. This year's main action was at Old City Park in Old Bisbee. The weather forecast was a little scary (60s? rain?) but our weather karma held and it was gorgeous all weekend. You're welcome, Bisbee!
The first band on Friday was one of our favorites, the Bad News Blues Band. They got the festival started right, with Carla Brownlee belting out Want You to Be My Baby and other high-energy tunes. Next up was Hans Olson, who did the one-guy-with-a-guitar-and-harmonica thing. I'm always amazed when someone can do all that stuff at once. And he does it really well.
Friday evening closed out with the Deanna Bogart Band, and they burned the place down. DANG, they have a lot of energy! Bogart herself plays keyboards, and sax, and sings; the whole band is loaded with talent and personality.
I smiled all the way back to the hotel, where we sat in the saloon (this is the Old West, after all) and watched more live music. I don't have the name of the trio that played an awesome set of Western blues, but I did capture a shot of the guitar player. We fell into bed exhausted and happy, and slept like rocks. Which is good, because Saturday's music started bright and early, at the crack o'noon!
The day got off to a great start with Common Ground Blues. Glen Russell shouts the blues with the best of 'em, and if anyone was still nursing a hangover when they started playing, they'd surely have danced it off by the end of the set.
Next up were the Plateros, a trio of fantastically talented young Navajos who have a brilliant musical future ahead of them. These guys must be heard to be believed. Levi Platero is a guitar prodigy whose musical talent will blow you away. You know how there are some family bands where one guy is amazing and the rest are just there because they're family? This is not that kind of group. Levi's brother Douglas Platero on bass, and cousin Bronson Begay on drums, could back up anybody, anytime.
Next up were Cat Daddy & the 12 Barz Blues Band. Did I mention that there's very little shade at Old City Park, and that it was hot in the sun? OMG it was hot. Hot blues are great, but I had too much hot sun, and frankly by the time these guys came on I was exhausted. I snapped some photos and went back to the hotel to take a nap. I missed most of their set, and all of Trampled Under Foot.
Buzz and the Soul Senders were onstage when I got back from my nap (and dinner). This is a local Bisbee band, and they're just great. Wonderful harmonies, everyone seems happy to be there, and Buzz Pearson has a commanding presence and an excellent voice. Talent all around in this band.
The headliner of the night was Curtis Salgado. Ever heard of him? You should have, because he taught Blues 101 to John Belushi. Seriously, check out his website, there's a newspaper article all about it. But that's not all, folks. This guy won three 2013 Blues Music Awards: B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, and Soul Blues Album of the Year. The man knows the blues, and he's got a band behind him that totally rocks.
Next year will be the 10th Annual Bisbee Blues Festival. It'll be my fifth time attending. See you there?
(p.s. You can see my whole gallery of festival pictures here.)