June 03, 2013
Twenty seven acts, on two stages, over three days - that's the schedule for the 29th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival next month in Davenport. Karen McFarland, co-chair of the entertainment committee, says the head-liner this year will be Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a young guitar player who recently travelled around the country meeting, and playing with blues legends such as Pinetop Perkins.
McFarland says festival organizers wanted Shepherd because he's a "big name" in the blues world these days, but also because he's young.
"It's something we've realized for a long time - that our demographic is more middled-aged and older. And to keep the blues alive, we have to pass it on to the next generation. So we're always interested in getting more young folks into the blues."
She says, with help from some sponsors, one night will be "Bike Night" with special parking set aside for motorcycles, and discount tickets will be available for veterans and anyone on active duty. This year's Blues Festival will be held in Davenport's LeClaire Park, July 4th through the 6th. As in past years, it will also include Blues School and workshops. (more info at mvbs.org)
(photo - Kenny Wayne Shepherd)