Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Festival Update


6/03/10, John Hammond
6/04/10, Charlie Musselwhite and The Tablerockers
Marquise Knox - Albert Castiglia
6/05/10, Magic Slim and the TearDrops
Otis Taylor and his band
Fast Johnny Ricker and Super Chikan & The Fighting Cocks
Eureka Springs Blues Weekend Tickets Now On Sale
Contact: Charles Ragsdell
Phone: 816-679-8597

Now on sale for this year's Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, June 3, 4, 5 & 6 in beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Presented by the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, the 2010 Eureka Springs Blues Weekend will once again feature a lineup that reads like a "Who's Who of the Blues". There are multiple Blues Music Award (BMA) nominees and winners, multiple Grammy nominees and winners, and two Blues Hall of Fame members. Headliners include John Hammond, Charlie Musselwhite with The Tablerockers, Magic Slim & The Teardrops, and featured artists include Bob Margolin, Shaun Murphy, Kelley Hunt, Super Chikan & The Fighting Cocks, Otis Taylor, Shawn "Lil' Slim" Holt, Marquise Knox, Albert Castiglia, and Fast Johnny Ricker. Continuing our support of the International Blues Challenge, we will also feature performances by Ozark Blues Society Solo Winner Buddy Shute, Ozark Blues Society Band Winner Isayah's All Stars. Once again, world-class performance photographer David Horwitz will be exhibiting almost 40 years worth of blues photography at the Basin Park Hotel's Ozark Room, where he will also host a photography workshop at 10AM on Saturday morning. Also, there will be blues acts in clubs around town, as well as free music in Basin Park throughout the weekend. Some of the acts around town include Doghouse Daddies, Earl & Them, Eef & The Groovy Blues Express, Levee Town, Mark Montgomery, Patrick Sweany, Penelope and The Unusual Suspects, Rich Berry, The Americans, The Jug Band, and many more. A full listing of the venues and their acts will be posted at as details become available.

Thursday night starts off with Bob Margolin and John Hammond in The Auditorium. 2008 Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Hammond has performed thousands of shows around the world, and has played with everyone from Muddy Waters to Eric Clapton to Jimi Hendrix. Well, actually, Hendrix played in John's band! John will be performing songs from his 2010 Grammy nominated album Rough & Tough, as well as hits from his 32 other albums. John is also featured on the album Things About Comin' My Way- A Tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks, which is nominated for the 2010 Blues Music Award for Acoustic Album of the Year. John has been nominated for sixteen Blues Music Awards, winning seven. Bob Margolin is perhaps best know as Muddy Water's guitarist for years, but earned his own spotlight through years. His performances with legends like Pinetop Perkins, WIllie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Stroger and Hubert Sumlin have helped introduce classic blues to a whole new generation. Bob has been nominated for seven Blues Music Awards, and has twice been honored as Guitarist of the Year.

Friday night in The Auditorium features piano player/guitarist/singer/songwriter Kelley Hunt, followed by Charlie Musselwhite and The Tablerockers with special guest Shawn "Lil' Slim" Holt. Kelley Hunt has long been a midwest favorite, and with her latest release Mercy, Kelley has received international praise. Elmore Magazine says Hunt is "a superb live performer, immediately drawing you to the power of her music and her voice." 2010 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Musselwhite is performing a very special show, a sort of blues family reunion with his old friend Larry Boehmer, who leads the area blues band The Table Rockers, and Shawn "Lil' Slim" Holt, Charlie and Larry's God-son and Magic Slim's son. (Rumor has it that Magic Slim might even be coming to Eureka Springs early just to see his son ripping up The Auditorium with Charlie.) Charlie Musselwhite was born in Mississippi, learned to play the blues growing up in Memphis, then moved to Chicago where he played harp with major Chicago blues artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. Charlie embarked on a solo career in 1967, and has recorded 24 hit albums, winning 23 Blues Music Awards along the way!

On Friday The Basin Park Hotel Barefoot Ballroom opens the evening with Marquise Knox, who will turn the heat up in the Ballroom atop the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, and then turn the stage over to guitarist Albert Castiglia. Marquise is from St. Louis, Missouri and is nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Debut Artist. His shows at Beale on Broadway in St. Louis are always packed, and Marquise made quite a stir when he joined David "Honeyboy" Edwards as Honeyboy's guest during his performance at last year's Blues Weekend. BMA nominee Albert Castiglia got his start in the blues band The Miami Blues Authority, but moved into the big leagues when Junior Wells asked him to become his guitarist. After Junior's passing, Albert played with Sandra Hall, then recorded his first solo album in 2002, appropriately named Burn given Albert's incendiary slide work. His shows are filled with high-energy, get up and dance blues, as is his latest album These Are the Days.

Also in Basin Park Hotel, the Ozark Room will feature Ozark Blues Society Blues Challenge band winners Isayah's All-Stars. Isayah is based in Fayetteville, and represented the Ozarks Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Isayah performed at last year's Blues Weekend as a member of Kory Montgomery's band, and returns with his AllStars for an full evening of great blues music in the intimate Ozark Room.

Saturday will open with David Horwitz's Photography Workshop in the Basin Park Hotel's Ozark Room, where David will share tips and tricks learned during his four decades of performance photography. Then, Saturday afternoon's shows at The Auditorium will kick off with the Ozark Blues Society's Blues Challenge solo winner Buddy Shute. Buddy represented the Ozarks Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge. Buddy was born in Memphis, and started playing professional at 16. In the '70s he drifted to New Orleans where he says "I went down for one night, woke up the next morning, and ten years had gone by." He performed a burlesque house on Bourbon Street, and on a paddle-wheeler on the mighty Mississippi. He had played all over the country, and recently landed in Fayetteville, where he also performs with Kathy Cole and Four Guys Named Moe. Following Buddy is Grady Champion, the winner of this year's International Blues Challenge. Grady is from Canton, Mississippi, and simply blew away the competition at this year's IBC finals. Grady, a harp player and singer, and his band bested over 120 blues bands from all around the world in the annual competition hosted by The Blues Foundation. His shows at The 930 Club in Jackson, Mississippi are standing room only, and he is a repeat performer at the legendary Chicago Blues Festival.
Next, 17- time BMA nominee and two-time BMA winner Otis Taylor and his band will take the stage with his original take on the blues that is sometimes called "Trance Blues". Guitar Player magazine calls Otis "arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time" with Billboard saying Otis is "one of the most innovative, thought-provoking blues artists to emerge in the last 20 years." We agree. Otis is touring to support his new CD Clovis People. The show continues with "The First Lady of Little Feat", Shaun Murphy. Shaun's departure from Little Feat was truly Feat's loss and the blues world's gain, proven by Shaun's debut solo album "LIvin' The Blues". Her credits include tours with Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, Meatloaf, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and The Moody Blues, and she has done studio work with Phil Collins, John Hiatt, Leon Russell, Alice Cooper, and Ted Nugent. The Auditorium show ends with a special performance of Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Slim and his band have been the subject of a documentary being filmed the past couple of years, and Slim and the producers decided to shoot the grand finale in The Auditorium! Magic Slim has been nominated for an amazing 40 Blues Music Awards, and has been awarded six of those coveted "Handys" over the years.

In the Barefoot Ballroom, people will be taking off their dancing shoes for sure, as they will definitely be up and dancing to Saturday night's double-header of Fast Johnny Ricker and Super Chikan & The Fighting Cocks. Fast Johnny Ricker has long wowed audiences across the Midwest with his innovative slide playing that Lonnie Brooks describes as "wild and mean". Fast Johnny's playing has been favorably compared to that of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, but his style can only be described as completely original. Super Chikan & The Fighting Cocks may come from the crossroads of the blues, Clarksdale, Missississippi, but don't let that fool you. Super Chikan is really an international super-hero in the blues world, having performed in over two dozen countries, and for presidents, premiers, prime ministers and ambassadors all around the world. Super Chikan makes his own guitars from everything from 5 gallon jerry cans to ceiling fans, and decorates them in the most beautiful folk art. His "Chiktars" are owned by presidents, actors, rock stars and blues fans, and are often auctioned for thousands of dollars. Super Chikan is nominated for four Blues Music Awards this year, including BB King Entertainer of the Year, Traditional Male Blues Artist, Traditional Blues Album of the Year for Chikadelic, and Song of the Year for "Fred's Dollar Store". That song has lead to Super Chikan becoming a celebrity spokesperson for the 600-plus Fred's Dollar Store chain. Super Chikan's shows at Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club are always sell-outs, and often turn into late-night jams. Expect some special guests, as Chikan always seems to draw all the blues players in the area to his encore jams

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