Clubs vs. festivals......

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Sun Feb 17, 2002 4:18 pm

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-17-02 AT 11:23 AM (CST)[/font][p][font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-17-02 AT 11:22 AM (CST)[/font]

Wonderin' where's your favorite place for live blues ?
Do you like the intimate , cramped loud club or would you prefer the wide open festival setting , with different stages , a variety of acts and shorter sets ?


I got a rich mans woman ...livin on a poor mans pay.........
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby notsonhouse » Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:32 pm

Personally, I prefer the festivals. Nothing better than St. Louis on Labor Day weekend. 110 degrees in the shade, no clouds, and the heat coming up from the cobblestone streets of the district where the festival is held.
Seriously though, I love festivals. Food, different sounds, different foods, alcohol for those inclined. Great atmosphere. Caught Michael Burks at ours last year. That man can tear it up.


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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Mon Feb 25, 2002 11:05 pm

Man,I never make it down to St Louis for that one . Usually , either Madison,Wi or Peoria,Il has their fests that same weekend. My wife lived down in St Louis for four years and always wants to take me down to the landing (without the kids of course). It's a really neat area.........


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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby socal_blues » Tue Feb 26, 2002 3:43 am

Festivals are AN EVENT. They only come around once a year, you start getting all geeked up to go months before, they generally have 6+ artists and it's outdoors. Not to mention scantilly clad babes dancing in the crowd. There's nothing better than a summer blues festival. However I also love the small local dive that barely seats 40 where the local badasses do their thing week in and week out. I guess you can't have one without the other.
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:16 pm

I myself, have mixed opinions on this one . While I love the festival setting : outdoors , multiple stages most of the time or at least multiple acts , lots o' food , sun and fun : It seems most I have been to cater to much to the blues-rock crowd.
There are exceptions of course , and the rock bands do attract a crowd that may otherwise never be exposed to the real lowdown blues . That said , can there be anything better than a cramped , sweaty , smoky bar in downtown Chicago with.......oh for instance, Magic Slim and the Teardrops right in your face , playing till the wee hours of the morning ? I don't think so!!!
So there you have it , another non-commital entry from the Woofman..............


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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby blueswriter » Wed Feb 27, 2002 12:05 am

I'd have to opt for the club setting. I've been to a lot of outdoor festivals, which are great. NO J&H Fest, Chicago Blues Fest, etc. and I love 'em. But, when it comes to gettin' in the alley, there's nothing better than a sweaty joint filled with smoke and the smell of cheap booze. I remember the nights of long ago at the Speakeasy in Cambridge, MA - I got to see some awesome stuff... Big Walter, Otis Rush, Roosevelt Sykes, Johnny Shines, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Shaw, the almost original Roomful of Blues when Duke was fronting that outfit, Robert Jr. and countless others. As with many places we all can recall with water in our eyes, the Speakeasy went the way of urban renewal and became a parking lot! Now, that's progress. And seein' Magic Slim & The Teardrops, close and personal just rippin' it up? Well, that can be a life changing experience. But, I'd suggest an extra pair of shorts and jeans... for those who haven't witnessed his sets, you might wet yourself!

Can't tell my future, I can't tell my past. Seems like every minute, sure gonna be my last."
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby bosco » Wed Feb 27, 2002 2:49 am

I go to 'em all. The crowds at the Fests don't do anything for me, neither does waitin in line to whiz! You do get the most bang for your buck though; usually 5-6 good bands a day if you can hang that long. The clubs offer access to the musicians and as everyone knows, bluesmen don't shy away from a party! I have personally sat and drank with; Lonnie Brooks (twice), A.C. Reed, Donald Kinsey, Lurrie Bell, Big Jack Johnson, William Clarke and James Petersen. As in the last post, a lot of those clubs are gone now and I fondly remember them with wet eyes. I can't recall a time that I got choked up about a Fest that is no more.

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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Wed Feb 27, 2002 12:54 pm

Ya know , I've never had a problem hanging with the guys at a fest . Got to meet and shoot the bull with RL Burnside,Bob Margolin, U.P. Wilson , Corey Harris , Johnnie Bassett , Snooky Pryor , T Model Ford , Roy Book Binder , Anson Funderburg ,Etc . Seems the crowds are made up of mostly people just out for something to do , they don't have much knowledge of or respect for the artists . So the handful of fanatics such as myself get the opportunity to talk with the artists .
On the other hand , as Bosco noted , you get a real good chance in a club to have them sit down with ya and have a drink . This is how I've met Jimmy Johnson , Chico Banks , Gatemouth Brown , James Peterson , Coco Montoya , John Primer and Willie Kent .

And it always seems to me the guys are much more open and relaxed at the clubs . Just my experience....


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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby bosco » Wed Feb 27, 2002 5:25 pm

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Feb-27-02 AT 12:30 PM (CST)[/font][p]WOOF - While we're on the topic, I got the most excellent Club story to share. About 5 years ago in a 80 person juke joint called Jimmy G's Hot Spot in Ft Wayne, went to see Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers. Middle of the 3rd set and the house is rockin'. My wife and I are dancing 2 feet from the stage. There's an old upright piano along the wall and the drummer had stacked his cases on top of it. The vibration caused the bass drum case to roll off and on to the stage! It knocked over Jack's 3-way guitar stand and the 2 axes he wasn't using. He's still playin' an singin' looking down at this mess. Bein' a musician (I'm half-assed on guitar and a pretty fair harp player) I figured I'd help him out and be a roadie. I got onstage on one knee, removed the case, untangled the chords and put the guitars back on the stand. At this point I noticed a pint of Jack Daniels laying on the stage that he had hid behind the guitar stand. In the middle of a guitar solo he leans over and says "get yourself a drink." Not sure if I understood, he repeated himself, " nobody gets on my stage without takin' a drink!" I grabbed the hooch and sent bubbles through the jug, much to the delight of the howling crowd. (Jack took a drink too) I bought a CD that night, which he autographed, and we sat at the bar afterwards until they closed and threw us out. What a hoot...it's still one of my favorite club stories and one that I re-tell often. I know I'm strechin' this thread but does anyone else have a great club (or Fest) story to share? Love to hear...

went down to the crossroads.....BOSCO
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Wed Feb 27, 2002 8:39 pm

I had a Thread in the old forum called Meeting The Blues ...
it was stories like yours.....check it out .......maybe we could resurrect it in the new forum........



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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby mikedev » Thu Feb 28, 2002 4:21 pm

Smokey bar with Magic Slim gets my vote.

Also sounds like a good name for a band!
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby srvlives » Thu Feb 28, 2002 10:50 pm

I'd have to say festivals are my favourite. You can wander from stage to stage, it's a nice relaxed atmosphere and they're generally more family oriented. Been trying to get to Byron Bay for years, pity I couldn't get there this year. Buddy Guy, Eric Bibb, Bob Brozman, Keb Mo, should be some party.

Made it to the Goulburn Blues Festival a couple of years ago, took my wife down for the Valentines Day weekend. Only time I've ever bought myself a Valentines present.

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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby dcblues » Thu Feb 28, 2002 11:10 pm

>I myself, have mixed opinions on
>this one . While I love the festival setting :
>outdoors , multiple stages most of the time or at
>least multiple acts , lots o' food , sun and
>fun : It seems most I have been to cater
>to much to the blues-rock crowd.

There's one in Northern Virginia (Herndon Blues Festival) that's all acoustic.
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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby howlnwoof » Fri Mar 01, 2002 12:40 pm

AHHHH..all acoustic.....
Have thought about the one , I guess it may be more of a workshop type thing , out in Port Townsend.....
And I think they have an acoustic deal at the Fur Peace Ranch..
And Roy BookBinder was telling me about .........
I believe he called it MerleFest ? Think it was somewhere in Tennessee or the Carolinas ? But it also had folk / country / bluegrass and storytelling mixed in there........


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RE: Clubs vs. festivals......

Postby dcblues » Fri Mar 01, 2002 6:29 pm

>And Roy BookBinder was telling me
>about ......... I believe he called it MerleFest

I've never been to MerleFest, but I've heard great things about it. I'm pretty sure Doc Watson started it, in tribute to his son Merle. All kinds of musicians go, and I think it's mainly bluegrass and country. I'll have to go one of these years.

You would love the Herndon festival. I could have played it last year, but it was when I was in Europe.
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