Blues fest enters 10th year

Once again, the time has come for blues lovers from all over the country to pack up their cars, busses and RV’s and head down to Tampa Bay for one of the hottest blues festivals around.

This year, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary with some of the hottest names in blues coming out to show their support.

The festival will run for three days and will feature a variety of styles from Susan Tedeschi, Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Clay, Bernard Allison, Walter Trout, Carl Weathersby, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Bettye Lavette, Chris Duarte, Marcia Ball and more.

Headlining this year’s festival will be the legendary Buddy Guy, who will be backed up by Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughn’s original band.

The festival will have food vendors set up serving seafood, Cuban food, wine, beer and other fest fare.

This year’s show will also be the inauguration of the festival’s record label, Live Blues Records.

The record label will be selling two CDs recorded at last year’s show. One of the albums Best of the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, is a two CD set that is almost two and half-hours long. It features artists, such as Delbert McClinton, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, Michael Burks and Debra Coleman.

The second disc features three songs by Kim Wilson and Rod Piazza separately, and six songs of them jamming together.

Last year’s festival was also filmed. Chuck Ross, the director of the festival, said that Universal Entertainment had expressed some interest in releasing it on DVD and may also use the film to generate a television program, which would be aired worldwide.

“We have a great thing happening locally, and now we need to capture it on TV, DVD and CD and export it to the world,” Ross said.

Along with support from a growing audience, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival has also received support from a growing number of sponsors including Sound Advice, Budweiser, the St. Petersburg Times, WMNF 88.5, Blues Review magazine, the Suncoast Blues Society, Bright House and Pepsi.

The music featured at Vinoy Waterfront Park this weekend is some of the best blues to visit Tampa Bay.

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival takes place this weekend at Vinoy Park. Three-day tickets are $50, Friday and Sunday only tickets are $20. Saturday’s tickets are $25. Children 12 and under are free.