It's almost Festival Season and even with the economy in such bad shape, I'm excited. I know many of the festivals are working on limited budgets this year, but perhaps they'll give everyone a chance to get away for an inexpensive day trip, listen to some great music and forget about the economy for a few hours. It's the same for me. I get to reconnect with old friends, both onstage and off, and listen to some artists who I've never heard and always wanted to hear live!
I'll begin at Alto Vineyards, Saturday May 9th at their Spring Wine Festival. I always love playing at Alto Vineyards, even though it's a long gig (5 hours). Someone once asked me if I could play a certain song there and I responded, "I sure can! In fact, at 5 hours, I'll play everything I know, and several songs I don't know!"
Sunday May 24th, I'll play the Lowertown Arts Festival in Paducah. It's a really unique festival, with all kinds of music. Saturday's lineup is great too with avant garde bluegrass outfit Bawn in the Mash and an artist I've really wanted to see perform, Amy LaVere, from Memphis. She's a very unique talent who has an unforgettable voice and plays upright bass. I'm so thrilled they booked her for the Lowertown Arts Festival, so I'm planning on coming up Saturday to see her set before we play on Sunday.
Friday, May 29th, we'll play in Oak Grove, Kentucky at the Spring Into Summer Festival. It's scheduled at their new amphitheater, and has a lot to do for the whole family. We've never played at the Oak Grove/Ft. Campbell area and look forward to it!
Friday, June 26th, we'll be in East Prairie, Missouri for the Mainstreet Festival, which is held in conjunction with the "Tour de Corn." Oddly enough, my brother, an avid cyclist, has ridden in the Tour de Corn several times and may again this year. I might ride in it this year too, as I love riding, but I don't go very fast! I'm hoping that East Prairie's native son and my buddy, Reid Howell can make it!
Thursday night, August 27th, I'll be back at the Hot August Blues Festival. It's the 20th Anniversary and they've got a good lineup! I'll be especially interested in hearing, for the second time, Eddie Turner, who I heard at the Chicago Blues Festival a few years back, and Lil Dave Thompson. I've seen Reba Russell several times over the years, and she always smokes em. I even remember her from Reba and the Portables in the 80's Memphis music scene! Turner goes way back. In fact, he even took Tommy Bolin's place in the legendary band Zephyr "back in the day."
In September, we'll be at the Cache River Basin Winery for a wine festival, and then September 19th, we'll open for Ronnie McDowell at the Old King Coal Festival in West Frankfort, Illinois. That will be a hoot!
Saturday, September 26th will be a real hoot! BBQ on the River and we'll share a bill with one of the hottest and longest running Blues bands around, The Beat Daddy's. It'll be great to see my buddy Larry and watch them play again. This is gonna be fun! Then it'll be time to take a break, watch some football and eat some wings! It'll be a fun ride!