The first annual Blythe River Blues Festival was held May 26, 2012 at Quechan Marina. The festival featured Paul Winer, Blythe's own South Main Street Blues Band, Bernie Pearl Blues Band, 7th Sons with Bill McFadden, Deacon Jones, and Fran Banish.
Over 400 came out to enjoy this event on the river. Stay tuned for next year's festival.
BLYTHE - Gates to the 2nd Annual Blythe River Blues Festival will open tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the music kicking off at 1 p.m. at Quechan Marina in Blythe, located at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and the Colorado River.
The show will be headlined by Memphis-born blues great Eric Gales. Also, last year's headliner, Chicago bluesman Fran Banish, will return this year and the legendary former Canned Heat guitarist, Junior Watson, will take a turn on stage backed by Cadillac Zack's band, with Zack's band performing their own set prior to Watson's appearance.
Breakout artists The Record Company will play a set and the show will open with Paul Winer's boogie-woogie blues followed by Blythe's South Main Street Blues Band.
There will also be blues performances by the Dance Yard's DH2 Crew between sets.
There will be food and other vendors as well as a beer garden set up at the event.
Prior to the show the Rec-N-Crew will be holding a horseshoe tournament at the other end of the park with its own beer garden. Registration begins at noon and the tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $25 per player and prizes will be $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd and $200 for 3rd. Contact Oscar Galvan at (760) 774-2752 or Quitty Pinon at (760) 550-4396.
Desert Roadrunner will be providing XTend-A-Ride service. Fare is $5 per person one-way and service starts on regular route with drop offs at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. For service during the event, contact 760-922-1140 to schedule a ride.
The Blythe River Blues Festival is a fundraiser for the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce and the Joe Wine Blythe Recreation Center.
Below is a summary of the bands:
Eric Gales got his first record deal at 15 with Elektra Records and started a career at 16. Inspired by the likes of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughn among others, Gales plays the guitar upside down and left-handed like another of his influences, Jimi Hendrix, but Gales doesn't reverse the strings and he has his own style of playing the blues that is purely Eric Gales.
Fran Banish, the Chicago bluesman who headlined the first ever Blythe River Blues Festival last year, is returning this year with an even more exciting band and a new CD hitting the market. Joining Banish will be Paul Allen on drums, Dale Jennings on bass, Carl Byron on keyboards and Lisa Newberry doing some singing with Banish.
Junior Watson's career began playing San Francisco Bay Area clubs in the 1960s, which led to a role as the guitarist for Canned Heat in the 1980s. In between, he was a founding member of The Mighty Flyers, which prior to that was called the LA Midnight Groove, then the Chicago Flying Saucer Band. Watson has also toured the States and Europe with his own band. He'll be playing with Cadillac Zack and his band on Saturday night.
Bringing 1960s West Side Chicago Blues to the 2nd Annual Blythe River Blues Festival, Cadillac Zack learned from the very best Chicago had to offer. Having moved to the city from Boston in the early '90s, Cadillac Zack has played with nearly 300 great blues artists and compares his style of blues with that of Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Hip Link Chain.
The Record Company
Three friends hanging out and listening to John Lee Hooker on old vinyl records led to the creation of The Record Company, a very young blues band with a unique old school sound. Together for only a year and a half, The Record Company has been making a name for itself in the blues industry, playing blues festivals throughout the States and Canada.
The band includes Chris Vos on the lap steel guitar, harmonica and vocals, Alex Stiff on bass and Marc Cazorla on drums.
South Main Street Blues Band
The South Main Street Blues Band, a Blythe-based garage band that has its roots in the childhood friendship of guitarist Tom Farrage and vocalist, harmonica player John Boyd. Other band members include Gary Mays and Joe Sundies.
Paul Winer boogie-woogie blues
Quartzsite book store owner Paul Winer will eturn for a second year of opening the show. Winer spent 25 years performing professionally as Sweet Pie, a boogie-woogie blues pianist, vocalist and songwriter.