I got the blues... and that’s a good thing! The 16th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival kicks off today at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place. As in past years, the setup will feature two side-by-side stages of top-name entertainment, plus educational workshops, children’s activities, and great food.
Thursday – Duffield/Caron, Mike Espy & Yakety Yak, Tarbox Ramblers, Fruteland Jackson, Coco Robicheaux & Dave Easley
Friday – BluesTime Band, Left Paul Trio, 6 Hands Down, Stacy Mitchhart, Reba Russell, Jimmy Thackery, Out of Favor Boys
Saturday – Garage Band 101, Fatt Lapp, Nomad Willy, Thirsty Perch, Blue Heaven, Left Turn Blues Band, Chris Canas Band, Crossroads The Resurrection, Delta Moon, Larry McCray, Sista Monica, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Blue Moon
Admission is $5 Thursday, $10 Friday, and $12 Saturday (do the math… that’s only about-a-buck-a-band. Beat that!)
Of course, ALL the acts on this year’s bill should be fantastic, but real standouts for me will be Tarbox Ramblers (a great performance at last year’s Wheatland Festival), Jimmy Thackery (a true guitar hero!), Larry McCray, and Smokin’ Joe Kubek.
To top things off, this year’s festival will be bookended by some longstanding local friends. Duffield/Caron will open the fest on Thursday, featuring longtime KPL friends Tom Duffield and Lorraine Caron. Loraine, a regular on WMUK, appeared at KPL earlier this spring with Mark Sahlgren and is our celebrity pronouncer at the Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee. Capping off the festival on Saturday night will be our good friends, the Blue Moon Blues Band, featuring their new front man, Bryan Michael Fischer. They’ll rock your sox off at the festival, but can also catch Blue Moon in a more intimate setting at KPL in October as part of our ongoing live music series. Willie Dixon once told me... “you’re in between the blues, now, boy…” Indeed!
The guitar in the photo? It’s a “Kalamazoo,” a budget brand (1933-42) once made locally by Gibson. Be sure to check the KPL catalog for new music, hidden treasures, blues, local artists, and lots more music!
16th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival