2010 Blues and Art Festival

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San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
The Blues and Art Festival

Blues Slide Show

The 4th annual Blues and Arts Festival enjoyed a record crowd during a breezy afternoon. The music got started in the late morning and continued until about 10PM.

The bands at this year's event were outstanding. Beckie Sue and Her Big Rockin' Daddies, on her first visit to San Felipe from Washington State, galvanized the crowd with her white heat delivery and her band's instrumental virtuosity.

Chet Cannon and the Committee, a new addition to the stage this year, rocked the crowd with his smoky voice booming against his sax and guitar backup.

Michele Lundeen, a veteran of the festival since it began four years ago, was her usual unstoppable self. Her dynamic vocals had the crowd dancing in the dust before her feet.

Of course our local talent held their own against the imported expertise. The Agave Blues Band maintained their high level of style and prowess, with Arturo's riffs on the guitar a great crowd-pleaser. And the Vatos Locos, always popular in local venues in and around San Felipe, encouraged the dancing to continue throughout their set.

Sean Carney Band with Phil Berkowitz are also first timers to the festival, but they played as if they had been part of the event's fabric from the very start. Sean's vocals and strings, backed by Berkowitz' mean blues harp, had the crowd waving their cheers. They were a great addition to the calendar this year and everyone hopes they will be back again.

Ruta 69 from Ensenada delivered a younger blues sound, anvil hard and aggressive, and may be the harbingers of a future blues style that accesses the anger, rather than the pathos and melancholy, of the modern soul. A signal change is the resistance to 'bending' the notes, preferring to 'kink' them instead.

Javier Batiz, eagerly anticipated, was unfortunately the last of the musical lineup to play. Many had already left the ball park by the time he stepped onto the stage.

The absence of Johnny Mastro and the Mama's Boys was felt this year. Their Blues Brother look emerging from the mystic clouds of the smoke machines would have been a great addition to the roster. Alas, the smoke machines were on hiatus too.

The organization and execution of the event was, as always, exemplary. All those involved should feel proud they are shaping a yearly attraction that has brought media spotlights to center on our small town in a positive and entertaining way.


Beckie Sue and her Big Rockin' Daddies
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