One of the nation’s earliest blues music events of the year — and the biggest blues festival in the Valley — will celebrate its 20th anniversary Saturday in Mesa.
Blues Blast, a festival known for spotlighting local musicians alongside bigger-name national acts, kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mesa Amphitheatre. The Tommy Castro Band headlines.
Castro, who appears on the current cover of Blues Revue magazine as “the most dangerous man in the blues,” is fresh off four wins at the 2010 Blues Music Awards: Band of the Year, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year.
Also slated to perform are three-time Blues Music Award winner Deanna Bogart, winners of the 2008 International Blues Challenge, Trampled Under Foot, Valley favorites Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns, and 2010 Arizona Blues Showdown champs Krimson Chord.
11:05 a.m. Krimson Chord
12:05 p.m. Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns
1:15 p.m. Trampled Under Foot
2:40 p.m. Deanna Bogart
4:10 p.m. Tommy Castro Band
Spectators are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs and sealed bottles of water. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Pre- and after-parties, featuring musicians the James Harman Band, Nathan James and Johnny Rawls, take place 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix. Admission is free with a Blues Blast ticket stub.
Blues Blast is hosted by The Phoenix Blues Society, which also organizes the Arizona Blues Showdown, the annual statewide preliminary round for the Blues Foundation’s international competition in Memphis, Tenn.
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