The 3rd Annual Blues and Art Festival

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
The San Felipe Blues Festival, 2009

Saturday evening the new moon was holding water, as Faulkner said in one of his books. It also embraced the 3rd Annual Tecate Blues and Arts Festival.

The Lions Club and Mexico Living Guide, with financial help from a vast roster of sponsors, did a great job of organizing and promoting the event, which drew seven Blues groups from the San Diego area as well as our own Agave Blues and Vatos Locos bands.

The music was superb and the groups who are habitual émigrés to the festival keep improving their sound. Shelle Blue and Michele Lundeen were particularly galvanizing and inspired repeated ovations from the crowd. New to San Felipe, Lisa Cee, recently from a gig with the remaining members of The Doors, gave the crowd what it wanted, all-out Blues. Johnny Mastro and the Mama's Boys were here again and sounded better than ever. Along with the Mofo Party Band, Chet and the Committee, the Backwater Blues Band and Shelle Blue, the music side of the festival was well represented.

Blues is indelibly linked to the harmonica and during the festival there was no shortage of wild harping. A pulse-quickening performance by The Queen of Steam's Blues harpist bent more reeds than Moses.

Arturo Yee, working his axe for the Agave Blues Band, only seems to improve over time. He's made great progress and is a welcome addition to the quality sound of this local group.

The Vatos Locos, playing to a smaller crowd before noon, had them dancing and clapping in front of the stage.

The artistic side of the festival was reflected by a good turnout of local and imported talent. Jewelry, painting, pottery, sculpture, photography and an assortment of crafts were arrayed under Tecate tents along the east side of the ball park. Although their view of the stage was obscured by the food vendors, at least they could enjoy the savory aromas that promenaded through the venues.

Below are photo links to slide shows for both the Blues and Arts sides of the festival. Have patience, though. These are large downloads.

Blues Festival
Arts Festival
The Blues
The Arts