Thousands of blues lovers from around the city united in a three day celebration of live outdoor blues music for the second year running. The festival is run under the auspices of the non-profit Calgary Blues Music Association and featured over 23 local and international bands--more than 100 musicians.
The weather was hot and the music even hotter. Refuge from the sun was available for parched blues fans in the tented beer garden, which turned into party central after the main stage shut down. The site is centrally located on the banks of the Elbow River at Victoria Park next to Stampede Park.
In a recent Gauntlet interview, Zora Young explained that "It's necessary to be original and be creative and do your own stuff." Her mesmerising performance with Johnny V proved that she's true to her word.
Also known as Mr. Blues, Wes Mackey jammed solidly with Jimmy Payne's Allstars. Their uplifting set featured his trademark super-smooth guitar style and vocals.
Maurice John Vaughn Band
One doesn't normally associate the trumpet with the blues, but this player from the Maurice John Vaughn Band demonstrated that it all comes from the heart. Calgary's Don Johnson was impressive as ever behind the drum kit.
Kathi McDonald's soulfully commanding delivery of blues classics was the perfect choice to close the festival.
Johnny Winter was the only performer who caused the audience to storm the stage in excitement. The highlight of his set was a slide-filled encore of "Highway 61 Revisited"
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