Thursday, February 2, 2012

Couer D’Alene Blues Festival 2012 March 30, 31 & April 1

Let the festivals begin! You gotta love the coming of spring in the Pacific NW if your a blues fan. Blues Festivals start to coming to life, and the season is in full bloom by summer. The gorgeous town of Couer D' Alene, Idaho just across the Washington State line from Spokane is one of the spring blues festivals to enjoy.

The Inland Empire Blues Society (IEBS) gave The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival the award for Best Blues Event in 2011. The organizers hope to improve this festival every year and show everyone why they earned the award. In keeping with their award win, they have chosen all IEBS award winners to perform this year with over 20 awards given amongst all the acts joining the festival, as well as TWO international touring acts.  The organizers are predicting this to be the BEST Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival ever, and cover the blues from Acoustic, to Electric Slide, to Rocking originals, to R&B and back again. Read below to find out more...

A Summary of Festival Events Includes:
  • Delta Preachers, winners of the Best Acoustic Blues Act from the IEBS in the newly remodeled Whispers Lounge Friday & Saturday afternoon 4-6:30PM
  • Boat Cruise and Dock Party on Friday March 30th. 7:00PM

Blues Cruise will feature The Fat Tones & Laffin' Bones Friday March 30 7PM
These are two great party bands. The Fat Tones are Hall of Famers with the Inland Empire Blues Society having won multiple awards multiple times. The Fat Tones's Bobby Patterson just won the 2011 Best Blues Guitarist as well. Laffin’ Bones just won Best Blues Band. This is the Tones & Bones Fat& Laffin’ Party Time Blues Cruise. They are hooking two Cruise boats together and putting a band on each one, Then tying their sound systems together so the sound is in each boat. They will do alternating sets. The party is from 7-10PM Friday March 30th. The boat will cruise on Lake Couer D'Alene from 7:30-9:30PM with partying at dockside before and after including Full bar and dancing.

The Main Event
The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Convention Center will host a party that includes 2 stages and 4 incredible bands on Saturday, March 31st. With a stage on each end, there is no down time. Two stages of Blues make for a seamless transition from one band to the next. This party starts at 7PM, The 2012 Four Band lineup includes: 

     7PM - Big Mumbo Blues Band

They have won the Best Blues Band from the IEBS for 3 years in a row, so were ineligible to win again this year, so they won 5 other awards instead including Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Keyboardist, Best Drummer, Best Female Performer. A six piece soul thumping R&B blues band that has started this party every year for a good reason. They’re really good at it. 

     8:30PM - Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings

One of the two international headliners, Roy Rogers is arguably the best slide guitarist performing today. He has had 8 Grammy nominations as a producer and performer. He has received numerous accolades for his songwriting (Grammy Nomination for ‘Song for Jessica’, Grammy nomination with Bonnie Raitt on ‘Gnawin’ On It which he co-wrote), as well as his work on movie soundtracks and television.

Rogers was a featured guitarist with John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band in the early 1980s. He has recorded not only on his own to critical acclaim, but with others including Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Norton Buffalo, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, Ray Manzarek and many others. He has been touring worldwide since 1982 and has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Montreux, North Sea Jazz Festival, Pori, Pistoia, New Orleans Jazz Festival and more. His ability to electrify and move audiences is legendary.

     10PM - Coco Montoya

The second headliner was mentored by legendary bluesman Albert Collins. Coco went on to become the guitarist for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers for ten years before leading his own band to win Best New Blues Artist in Memphis at The Blues Awards back in 1996.

Critics rave and audiences adore this true master of the electric blues. His last album, I Want It All Back , was produced by Keb Mo’ and Blues Revue said, "Blistering contemporary blues... piercing attack, funky, shivery guitar tones and aggressive, soulful vocals." The Village Voice declared, "The fiery blues that issue forth from Coco Montoya's guitar are awe-inspiring and boogie requiring." A self taught guitar slinger who plays with an emotional intensity few string benders possess, he plays left-handed and up side down in the style of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. He has played every major Blues Festival around the world and is a favorite performer at every one of them.

     11:30PM - Kenny James Miller Band 

The Festival closer, hailing from Kalispel, Montana. This very rocking trio has tore it up around the Northwest lately, having just been given the Best New Blues Band award from the Inland Empire Blues Society. Known for their great live performances, this mostly original band has become a mainstay at area festivals. Last Spring they were also a Washington State Blues finalist for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis having won the Spokane Semi-Final Competition. But mostly, this band rocks the blues.

On Friday and Saturday in the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Splash Lounge two of the areas most popular dancing blues bands play.

After the Blues Cruise Friday night, Splash will feature Sammy Eubanks. Award winning vocalist and favorite frontman Sammy Eubanks and his band will rock the house. His last album Riding Alone just won Best Blues Album from the IEBS and he was also awarded Best Male Vocalist by The Washington State Blues Society. Also, be prepared to dance.

Saturday night at the Splash will feature The Fat Tones, so if you don't catch them on the blues cruise you can catch them here. Smoking hot blues and a favorite regional dance band, this one is fun. Bobby Patterson is also an IEBS winner this year, for Best Blues Guitarist. “Their harmonies are amazing, Bobby Patterson’s guitar playing is world class, and their songs are guaranteed to make you dance.” –Robert Horn W.B.S. Bluesletter

A Gospel Brunch will close the Festival on Sunday, from 10AM to 2PM

The Shore Lounge will host the Spokane Community Gospel Ensemble featuring a cappella vocalists made up from the Spokane Community Gospel Mass Choir. 

Ticket , Lodging and Other Information...

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