Is it Spring yet? Doesn’t feel like it today. Dreary and cool, but the snow is gone and there are daffodils and hyacinths in my front yard, the crocuses are already history for this year. There! Can you hear it? It’s a ways off, but you can almost hear it! When the wind blows from the direction of the river, it’s almost clear! Guitar licks, bass lines, a backbeat and even some horns! Its…it’s … The Summertime Blues! It’s almost here!
I can see it! Right there below! Blues on the river from Eau Claire to Durand! A little here, a bunch there, and man it’s going to be all over the place real soon. Tuesday Night Blues at Owen Park in Eau Claire starts May 31st with Lucas K And The Coolhand Saints. The guys who opened at Lust For Blues 3 and closed up our Young Blues Night in 2010 and had the crowd dancing in the aisles. This year’s lineup is stacked with talent and great bands, a of them new to our series but that have been making names for themselves throughout the Wissota region.
Included are the bands voted numbers 1,2 & 3 in Volume One’s “Best Of” polls. The Best Blues Band, three years running, Mojo Lemon, the pride of Durand, WI, Left Wing Bourbon and Augusta’s own Howard Luedtke & Blue Max. That’s a winning lineup all by itself, but we have lots more to help break up the workweek and make it seem that much shorter. Returning to this years lineup are the Jonestones led by the venerable David Jones, Sue Orfield with her band as well as with Catya & Code Blue. The Love Buzzards will be back again as well as Pete Newman & The Real Deal and those old blues dogs The Steve Meyer Band. Deepwater Reunion will grace our stage once again and Sparky will be bringing his Friends to entertain on the summer stage this year. Two completely new groups to us will be the Jayson Collins Group, with a very polished, jazzy variety of blues, and Ross William Perry with his band. There is not a Tuesday night that isn’t well worth the trip to Owen Park.
5/31- Lucas K & the Coolhand Saints
6/14- Howard Luedtke & Blue Max (Pay it Forward)
6/21- Left Wing Bourbon
6/28- Sparky & Friends
7/5- Jayson Collins Group
7/12- Code Blue
7/19- The Steve Meyer Band
7/26- Deep Water Reunion
8/2- Pete Neuman
8/9- Love Buzzards
8/16- The Sue Orfield Band
8/23- Ross William Perry
8/30- Mojo Lemon (UCP/Bike Show)
Can you smell the food? Joel will be selling dogs & brats, Famous Dave’s Barbecue sandwiches will be available again, and 9 Degrees will have folks lined up for their ice cream. Pay It Forward will have their popcorn & cotton candy for a great cause and every one of the nights promoting our chosen non-profits will have sno-cones available. We’re hoping our jewelry vendors Juanita & Pam will be back and there might be some new faces, too.
The first weekend in August Blues On The Chippewa will be once again providing 15 plus bands for free to benefit the food shelf in Durand. Free camping, a Car Show and Art Fair. I’ll get you more info on that in the next couple months.
My buddy Snapshot, from WHYS 96.3’s Best Blues Show on the web, tells me there are some great concerts going to be happening in the region. Catch him every Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the latest blues news.
Here are some of the Blues artists coming to Eau Claire;
Purgatory Hill 4-30-11 @ The Mousetrap (10pm)
Pete Neuman with Special Guest The Pumps 5-20-11 @ Little Grand Theater (7pm).
WHYS Presents "Girls With Guitars" featuring Tracy Lea Landis, Catya (with Sue Orfield), Ireene Keenan Jr., and Mary Cutrufello @ Harmony Corner Cafe (6pm - 10:30pm). This is a fund raiser for WHYS and is an Acoustic show.
Please go to chippewavalleyblues.com for additional info.
Now it’s starting to really feel like spring and I’m anticipating music outdoors in the summertime. Can’t wait! Thanks for lending me an ear. See ya around.