Summertime Blues 2015 was a great success. The artists that we presented this year were a mix of old friends, some first time performers at the festival, and international touring artists representing the biggest names that the society has ever been able to present.
Friday kicked off with The New Mother Earth first timers at the festival started us off. The Petting Zoo another Blues Jam favourite gave a high energy performance. Followed by great sets from the Jason Buie Band and Poppa Dawg. Our headliner for Friday did not disappoint, Marcia Ball and her great band gave us a night to remember.
Saturday’s rain and wind didn’t deter our fans. Everyone pulled together and helped each other out. And a good time was had by all.
Saturday kicked off with the Deb Rhymer band. Deb was wonderful helping out by playing a longer set while other bands struggled to get all their musicians here from Victoria due to an accident on the highway. The Sinners did a great job performing without Summer Hay and Buddy Love, that were caught on the other side of the road closure and couldn’t make in on time to perform. Mark Crissinger and the Crissinger Band got thing going with a great set, with Mark in the crowd playing to the people. Perennial favorites Lazy Mike and the Rockin Recliners showed their usual warmth and had everyone up dancing. Murray Porter gave a truly inspired performance and a great change of pace to the day. Harpdog Brown and the Travelin Blues Show kicked it up a notch and had the whole crowd going. Little Victor, all the way from England, showed why he is known as the King of Grit with his old school back to basics style of the blues. Then Elvin Bishop came on and reminded everyone why he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elvin at 73 did a blazing set with his band. Featuring great dual guitar leads and wonderful story telling. What a way to finish out Saturday.
Sunday was a mix of new comers to the festival and Blues Jam mainstays. The Ole Johnson Band kicked us off and didn’t disappoint. Frank Alexander and Alexander’s Bluestime Band brought in extra horns to give the festival crowd an even better show and Frank was on top of his game giving a great performance. Luv Train showed why they continue to be a Blues Jam favourite with a rockin set. Then Jack Semple stepped up and introduced himself to the crowd that may not of known him very well but they do now. He tore the place up with his blazing guitar work and soulful vocals. The Soul Shakers gave us a cooking set of soul laced blues. Uncle Wiggly and the Hot Shoes Band was back this year and showed why they are a favourite with festival crowds. Our closer for the Night was CJ Chenier and he and his band showed what the power of Zydeco can do. He had the whole place dancing and smiling.
Thanks to everyone for joining us at this year’s event. I have already started working on the lineup for the 2016 Summertime Blues Festival. It will be bigger and better yet again. See you in 2016.
Nanaimo Blues Society