2009 Deep Blues Festival

With an outrageously brilliant concept for a music gathering, the Deep Blues Festival launches its third incarnation this summer in a new setting, still focused on the gritty, raw essence of the blues and its natural affinities to punk, roots rock, and seminal folk and bluegrass. After putting 74 acts on the bill, including 14 from such international blues hot spots as Sweden and France, festival organizers may regret abandoning the relatively bucolic pastures of Lake Elmo for the cramped confines of the Cabooze. But, to their credit, the festival feels like it should be somewhere like Mississippi's Hill Country, one fount of its generally prevailing spirit. Anyway, many of the participants are obscure even in blues circles, which has no correlation to their abundant talent or the intensity of their performances. There'll be crusty, genuine Mississippi blues vets like Elmo Williams, Hezekiah Early, and T-Model Ford, punk-blues fire-breathers like the Black Diamond Heavies, unique 21st-century country-swamp-blues from such as the North Carolina female duo the Moaners, as well as sightings of blues scions like Kent Burnside (R.L.'s grandson) and his New Generation band. The sizable Minnesota contingent will include John Koerner, the Brass Kings, Davina & the Vagabonds, and the Roe Family Singers. Don't be misled by the lack of "stars" or the setting. This is an event of major significance. 18+. (pictured: the Black Diamond Heavies by Patrick Boissel)
Thu., July 16, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; July 17-18, 11-2 a.m.; Sun., July 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 2009

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