Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waterfront Blues Festival starts this Friday!

And it may be arriving with clear sunny skies (right on time!) ...

I'll keep this short, as there is great coverage of the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival at Oregon Music News with articles that include interviews, music, and schedules.  I'd definitely check out their coverage and even drop by their booth over by the Oregonian Front Porch Stage (that's the one on the north side of the Hawthorne Bridge). they even have a mobile app for it if you have a smartphone - find it at

 Here's the full schedule from the festival site.

Of all the acts in town for the festival (too numerous to mention all), some of the acts I'm looking forward to include the Rebirth Brass BandMaceo ParkerLucinda Williams, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, the Honey Island Swamp Band, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp BandSteve Riley & the Mamou PlayboysChris Cain , Rosie Ledet, and Grady Champion.

There's a host of locals playing too including the Too Loose Cajun Band (with special guests Tony Furtado and Reggie Houston), Devin Phillips, Lloyd Jones, Rich Layton & The Troublemakers, Thad Beckman, Franco Paletta, Kevin Selfe, Curtis Salgado, Miriams Well, Hillstomp and lots, lots more ...

My favorite place to be is over by the Front Porch Stage where between Friday and Sunday (all day on Saturday) you can dance to some great Zydeco and Cajun bands. There's the Louisiana Pavilion hosted by Delta Music Experience (DME) where you can find all kinds of music, gifts, artwork, and information on places and organizations to feed your music soul (particularly if that soul feels connected to New Orleans and Louisiana).  I'll definitely spend a bit of time behind the table of the Mysti Krewe of Nimbus to help promote the Mardi Gras Ball we'll be throwing next February.

The FedEx Workshop Stage also has some great music in a intimate (and often shaded) spot that can give you a needed respite from the crowds near the main stages. Many of the main stage acts also play here - where the performances can be much more spontaneous and rewarding.

DME also is responsible for putting together six very popular Portland Spirit Blues Cruises (some already sold out!) - afternoon and evening trips on the Willamette with three levels of music  .... talk about a party boat!

Plus there are after-hours all-star jams on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - ticketed shows at the Marriott across the street, and free ones at the H50 Bistro at Hotel 50 ...

And remember, all of this goes to supporting the Oregon Food Bank. Admission each day is a donation of $10 and a couple cans of food.  You can also get passes in advance that are good for all days (with different levels of perks that can come in very handy) ...

The festival is something I look forward to all year.  Even with thousands of folks in Waterfront Park, it's actually a relaxing hang with friends and great music in a beautiful location for an outstanding cause. Hope to see ya there!

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