Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival - Sunday

The Legendary Eddie Shaw

I arrived a bit late. The Howlin Wolf Tribute was already underway. Lil' Wolf was already onstage and sounding excellent. This was a good set. Good tunes. Good vocalist. Tight band. It was good stuff.

The Caravan of All Stars was up next with a variety of vocalists. Some of the vocalists included: Xmphoni, Eldridge "Big Cat" Tolefree and Teddy "Bluesmaster" Watson. Terrible Tom performed several R&B classics and was anything, but terrible.

The Russell City Memorial Band consisted of a great horn section including Gino Landry, Carl Green and Bobby Webb. Gobs and gobs of great saxophone music was delivered during this set.

JC Smith followed with his band. It was the first time I saw JC Smith with his band. They were very good. Sid Morris joined them on a few songs. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith came on stage and blew some great 50s style harp.

After a nice long set, they were joined by Vann Shaw and Nellie "Tiger" Travis. Nellie Travis is a bad ass singer from the Mississippi. She relocated to Chicago, where she has rapdiy established herself as a fine singer. She put on a really nice set where she led the audience in a huge version of the Electric Slide.

She was followed by the fabulous Eddie Shaw. The first time I saw Eddie Shaw was over twenty years ago in a little neighborhood bar near the West Side of Chicago. He was great then; he is still fanstastic and shows no signs of slowing down. He sounded fantastic and concluded the day with his own tribute to Howlin' Wolf. For the last several songs, he was joined by Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with Carl Weathersby. This was a fabulous set.

People made the trek from as far away as Reno, Phoenix and Anahiem to attend this festival. It was a fabulous weekend. It was like being in Chicago without the four hour plane flight. Ronnie Stewart assembled a killer lineup for this festival. He wanted to do a Chicago thing and he put together a great show.

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