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Doheny Blues Festival 2010

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Blues guitarist Robert Cray

Blues guitarist Robert Cray

Photo courtesy Nozzle Records

The 13th annual Doheny Blues Festival has been scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd and Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 at the Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California. This year's festival will feature 26 acts performing on three stages, the performing artists covering a wide range of blues, rock, and soul music. The "Backporch Stage" will feature acoustic performances in a grassy lawn area, and an International Food Court will feature everything from BBQ to Cajun fare.

Doheny Blues Festival 2010 Lineup

Saturday night will be headlined by the Black Crowes, a favorite on the festival circuit that pursues a sound that is more rock than blues, with side trips into roots-rock and soul. The big blues headliner for the first night of the event is the legendary Taj Mahal, who will be performing with his well-traveled, top-notch Phantom Blues Band. Guitarist Eric Lindell will perform in support of his recent Alligator Records release, Gulf Coast Highway. Texas rockers the Fabulous Thunderbirds will round out the first day of the festival. Led by harmonica wizard and vocalist Kim Wilson, the T-Birds hit your ears hard with a guitar-driven, harp-crazed style of soulful Lone State blues and blues-rock.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Crosby, Stills, and Nash will headline on Sunday night at Doheny, the band’s folk-rock sound and perfectly-blended vocal harmonies an always entertaining diversion. Stephen Stills is a vastly underrated guitarist who once jammed with Hendrix, and is quite capable of hitting a bluesy lick every now and then. Guitarist Robert Cray will also headline on Sunday night, bringing his soul-blues sound and unique guitar tone to the festival crowd. Trance-blues master Otis Taylor – whose latest album, Clovis People, drops on May 11th – will perform, as will the extraordinary Duke Robillard Band and blues harpist John Nemeth. R&B great Bettye LaVette will knock ‘em dead with her larger-than-life voice.

Other artists performing at the 13th annual Doheny Blues Festival include:

  • Lisa Haley
  • Booker T. Jones
  • Lynwood Slim
  • Jackie Greene
  • James Intveld
  • Big Sam’s Funky Nation
  • Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

Performer Biographies

Over the better than four decades of his storied career, the great Taj Mahal has dabbled in acoustic blues, rock, folk, jazz, gospel, reggae, various African styles of music, even traditional Caribbean styles on better than 40 recordings. His uncompromising style and dignity has influenced blues artists as diverse as Keb' Mo', Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Corey Harris. Mahal has been out on the road for over a year in support of his Grammy™ Award-winning album Maestro.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds were formed in 1974 in Austin, Texas by singer and harp-wrangler Kim Wilson and guitarist Jimmie Vaughan. The band provided an important bridge between the classic 1950s Chicago blues sound and 1960s-era blues-rock. The band's trademark is straight-ahead barrelhouse blues with Texas roadhouse flair. Although Vaughan struck out on his own some years ago, Wilson and the band soldier on, with the talented guitarist Johnny Moeller filling the mighty big shoes of musicians like Vaughan and Duke Robillard that came before him.

Robert Cray was an esteemed blues guitarist long before the mid-1980s breakthrough that saw his soulful guitar style splashed across television screens playing MTV. Cray made his bones performing behind the mercurial blues guitar legend Albert Collins as part of his touring band, and came of age as a bluesman through the experience of constant touring. Cray's unique blending of blues, rock, and soul music opened the door for many artists to pursue a similar soul-blues sound, and the guitarist's popularity with mainstream fans has helped blues music make its way into the 21st century.

The festival fun kicks off each day at 11:00 AM with the gates opening a half-hour earlier, and the music will run until 9:30 PM each night. Check with the Doheny Blues Festival website for more information and ticket availability.

More festival information can be found on our Blues Festival Guide 2010

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