Blues Fest 2012 Day 1
Portland Celebrate the 4th Of July
The 25th Annivers 2000 ary of the Waterfront Blues Festival kicked off yesterday with a fantastic lineup to help celebrate the 4th of July. The waterfront was packed by mid afternoon with eager residents vying for a solid spot to view the fireworks later on. And as always, the fest benefits the Oregon Food Bank, so make sure you bring some cans of food if you're heading out this weekend.
When we arrived we were treated to the Tell Mama: A Tribute To Etta James revue. Featuring Linda Hornbuckle, Lisa Mann, Duffy Bishop, Rae Gordon, Amy Keyes, Lady Kat, Larhonda Steele, and backed by the DK Stewart Sextet with the “Soul Survivor Horns,” the Queen of the Blues was certainly in attendance yesterday. Playing some of James' most well-known hits, as well as a few lesser known tunes, these ladies brought their all to giving Etta a proper send off.
The Kevin Selfe and his Big Band didn't hesitate to get the crowd on its feet when they walked out on stage. A three-time Muddy winner for Best Blues Act, Selfe laid down some classic-sounding guitar work, while his band backed him without missing a beat. Originally a teenage guitar prodigy, Selfe has established himself as one of the most exciting blues guitarists on the scene today.
Too Slim & The Taildraggers play thick, mean, and dirty blues. As we approached the stage, you could hear Tim "Too Slim" Langford bending his guitar strings like it owed him money. The whole set was smoking, but when they pulled Duffy Bishop onstage to sing a tune, that's when the crowd really started losing it. Langford and Bishop locked themselves in a tight groove throughout the tune, and the capacity crowd ate it up.
Curtis Salgado plays the harmonica like no one else in Portland, and we're lucky to have such a blues icon calling our fair city home. But he's also one of the most soulful singers as well, and his band cooks. Salgado, the original inspiration for the Blues Brothers (according to the departed John Belushi), is an icon for a reason. For the next two hours his tight band rolled out the hits and at the pinnacle of the set, the fireworks starting blazing behind the stage from a barge in the Willamette. It was truly a special evening for everyone that was in attendance.
And this goes on for four more days! Stay tuned for more coverage of the fest, and head out to catch Toots and the Maytals, among others, this evening.
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