2012 Chicago Blues Fest Lineup Announced
The 29th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free blues festival in the world, will be held June 8–10 in Grant Park. Listeners, over 500,000 of them, will be treated to the legendary lungs of Grammy-winner, Mavis Staples, the guitar talents of Texas Johnny Brown and soulful crooning of Floyd Taylor. The three-day, five-stage festival of blues music honors both past and present legends of the blues.
Closing the festival on June 10, Mavis Staples will celebrate more than 60 years of performing as well as her 2011 Grammy win for "Best Americana Album" for You Are Not Alone. Not only is she a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, she is a Chicagoan.
The blues community suffered some major losses last year—David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and Willie " Big Eyes" Smith—and the Chicago Blues Festival will honor these performers with tributes throughout the weekend. Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and Howlin' Wolf will also be honored. Texas Johnny Brown headlines the June 8 tribute to his fellow Houston native, Lightnin' Hopkins, with his stirring, unique guitar sound. KM Williams, Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown will join in to remember the late blues guitarist.
Saturday's performances will begin with Paul Kaye's salute to "Honeyboy," with whom Kaye played and toured with up until his death in 2011. Then the Muddy Waters Disciples, featuring Mud Morganfield, Kenny Smith, Bob Margolin, Barrelhouse Chuck, Lil Frank and Bob Stronger will take the stage, offering up their songs and sounds in memory of Pinetop Perkins and Willie Smith. Floyd Taylor's headline performance that night at the Petrillo Music Shell is in memory of his father, legendary soul and R&B singer, Johnnie Taylor, while the Front Porch Stage holds a special tribute to Hubert Sumlin. The inspired guitarist for Howlin' Wolf helped shape the sound of great rock guitarists: Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Bob Margolin, Eddie Shaw, Kenny Smith, Dave Spector, Johnny Iguana, Bob Stroger and Bob Corritore will be part of the set.
Before Mavis Staples belts out her blues on Sunday, attendees with hear a tribute to Koko Taylor by the all-female performances at the Petrillo Music Shell. Melvia "Chick" Rodgers, Jackie Scott, Deitra Farr and Nora Jean Brusco will each take the stage on the closing night of the festival as well.
The Chicago Blues Festival will release the complete line up as the event draws closer, but visit their website at www.chicagobluesfestival.us or follow them on Twitter @ChicagoDCASE for more information.