Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Fest

Famous Dave's rib joint will take over Minneapolis's Peavey Plaza for its sixth annual free blues fest, this year featuring another solid lineup highlighted by a stellar collaboration among three indelible blues icons: guitarist Hubert Sumlin, pianist Pinetop Perkins, and harmonica ace/singer/drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Perkins, a few weeks shy of his 97th birthday, and Smith, a youthful 74, were both stalwarts of Muddy Waters's band, Perkins plying his influential style after taking over the piano chair from Otis Spann, Smith anchoring the band's rhythms on the skins. The duo have a terrific new album of classic, sizzling Chicago blues out this month, too: Joined at the Hip (Telarc) features Perkins's sprightly piano, Smith's wailing harp, and fine vocals from both as they negotiate an assortment of Smith originals and blues classics. Sumlin, meanwhile, has been highly influential in his own right as the virtuoso guitarist for Howlin' Wolf's band for some 25 years. Another heavyweight in Dave's lineup is Texas guitar-slinger Guitar Shorty (a.k.a. David Kearney), who has a great new album of his own—Bare Knuckle—out on Alligator. His sprawling, electrifying style of contemporary blues rides his gritty, muscular vocals as much as his scorching guitar, which once backed Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, and influenced his brother-in-law, Jimi Hendrix. Also noteworthy is Galveston guitarist Hamilton Loomis, who stirs a mess of swampy R&B, soul, and funk into his brand of blues, as well as the most venerable of Twin Cities blues outfits, Lamont Cranston. Other prime talent rounding out the action on Dave's two stages includes the Joe Juliano Band, Ken Valdez, Moses Oakland & Paul Holland, Lisa Wenger, and Cool Disposition. For more info call 952.294.1299 or visit www.famousdaves.com/bluesfest. (Pictured: Hubert Sumlin. Photo courtesy of Blue Mountain Artists)
Sat., June 12, 12-10:30 p.m., 2010

 
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