Six well-known blues bands over three evenings Labor Day weekend highlight the 14th annual Blue Wing Blues Festival. The Festival is held in the early evening outdoors under the sycamore trees between the Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Restaurant in Upper Lake CA.
Headliners this year include the Australian blues singer and slide guitar mistress Kara Grainger, the incomparable Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, and the big band blues sound of Big Mo and the Full Moon Band.
The event starts at 6 PM each evening beginning on Saturday September 4 and extending through Labor Day Monday September 6. Patrons are seated around comfortable tables in the garden and served a delicious buffet supper while enjoying the music. A SHORT VIDEO including clips from past festivals can be found on YouTube.
“We missed a year of the Festival last year because of the COVID crisis,” says Blue Wing owner Bernie Butcher, “but all of the great musicians lined up last year were eager to come back this year. So the program should be fabulous.”
Butcher is taking extra health-related precautions with this year’s event. The entire program is outdoors and seating capacity has been reduced by 20% to allow for more social distancing. Masks will not be required while guests are seated at their tables, but will be required when up and about, either dancing, walking about or in the buffet line.
On opening night of the Festival September 4, the wonderful young bluesman from Portland, Ben Rice and his Band will open for the dynamic Australian vocalist and slide guitar mistress KARA GRANGER AND HER BAND. Kara “evokes comparisons to Bonnie Raitt, but she bears a style all her own, a relentlessly seductive, distinctly modern take on roots, blues and soul music.” Opening night TICKETS can be purchased online or by calling the Tallman Hotel.
On Sunday night September 5, Red’s Blues Band from Sacramento will open for the incomparable RICK ESTRIN AND THE NIGHTCATS. Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harmonica players, singers and songwriters in the blues world today. The fiery guitarist Kid Andersen now backs Estrin along with a great rhythm section. Because of the smaller seating capacity this year, the Estrin show is sold out.
Capping the Festival on Monday September 6, the “Queen of Boogie Woogie,” Wendy DeWitt will open for BIG MO AND THE FULL MOON BAND. This is big band blues at its best. Big Mo(Maurice Huffman) grew up in Germany playing for homesick GIs at U. S. Army bases. He now leads a full nine-piece band including special guest and German compatriot Volker Stifler on guitar. TICKETS for the Monday show can also be purchased online or by calling the Tallman Hotel at 707-275-2244 ext. 0
“I’d like to thank the many excellent local businesses that have continued to sponsor the Festival each year, and to support quality live music in Lake County,” says Bernie Butcher.
Major sponsors of the Festival this year include Bicoastal Media, Mary Amodio/Judy Conard, Kelseyville Lumber, Tom & Ruth Lincoln/Mellon Metal Arts, Joy Swetnam and Sysco Foods.
Also sponsoring are Daniel Ray Bacon, Brassfield Estate Wines, Bill & Patty Brunetti, Chacewater Wines and Olive Mill, Dancing Crow Wines, Gregory Graham Wines, Jon & Annette Hopkins, Obsidian Ridge Wines, O’Meara Brothers Brewery, R Vineyards, Steve & Carol Schepper, Shannon Ridge Wines, Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, Starkey Custom Apparel, Jed Steele, Tamar Distillery, and UCC Rentals.
Tickets at $60 plus tax include a BBQ dinner. They may be purchased online at Eventbrite.com or by calling the Tallman Hotel (located at 9550 Main St. in Upper Lake) at 707-275-2244 ext. 0.