festival really packs a lot of big fun and great music that rivals the
biggest of all the festivals. Little, meaning physical area and how close
the fans are to the stage. There is nothing little about the festival
itself, as there was a large crowd of people, many familiar faces to the
performers for sure, and many newer, up and coming fans.
It was heart warming and inspiring to see the Hix Brothers Junior All
Stars, made up of young people who really wailed on the blues and rock &
roll that us veterans grew up on. They gave us all hope that the music of
those who wrote it all, will live on for yet another generation to
appreciate. Thank you All Stars.
We only got to experience Saturday’s performances, but we got what we came
for. After the Hix Brothers Junior All Stars performed, Guy King and his
Little Big Band was up and they were absolutely the most enjoyable group
of musicians we have ever heard. They were original and exciting with Guy
King on telecaster and wailing vocals kept us fully engaged through his
interactions with the audience, keeping us part of his show. The horns
were on it, with great sounds coming from the saxophones and trumpet. The
keyboards, drums and bass guitar tied it all together for a memorable
music experience that we are looking forward to seeing again. It’s always
a pleasure to find a band such as Guy King and his Little Big Band because
they add a deeper meaning to the music that we love so much, and they are
one of the reasons we developed Portraits in Blues.
Ronnie Baker Brooks did a great job, and after he did “I Just Want To Make
Love To You”, he acknowledged the great Muddy Waters and remembered him
when he sang it in his style. He also sang it in the style of John Lee
Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, which the fans absolutely loved.
Ronnie Baker Brooks is a terrific musician in his own right, but there was
only one person who could ever do “Crossfire”, although Ronnie gave it a
good shot. He is definitely someone that can play the blues with a deep
To be in the surroundings when Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith,
Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin and Bob Stroger are playing together is such a
special event, and we felt such emotion. These artists have been there
since the beginning practically, and they are owed a huge debt of
gratitude because of their contributions to the blues. So many performers
today would have less, had these inspirational bluesmen not been doing
what they do so well. Time has seasoned them well, and every time we get
to experience them, we are truly, truly grateful.
Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt A Whirl Band closed the event, and what
awesome entertainers they all are. Jimmie plays and sings with every bit
of himself in every song. Billy Pitman always gives 1000 per cent, and the
whole band gets the crowd jumpin’. The horns really add to the unique
sound of the band, and when Lou Ann Barton came out to sing, she really
rocked us all.
Watching Jimmie reminds us of the carefree days of a few years back, when
nothing could ever keep us down, and if it did, it wasn’t for long. It
felt like the 60’s again, and we didn’t want him to stop playing.
Then Jimmie played by himself, and reached deep into our hearts with “Six
Strings Down.” There is nothing more to say about that, except Thank You
Jimmie, for never forgetting Stevie. We are there, too, singing that song.