By: Tom Pragliola
This was my third time at Tampa Bay Blues Festival. Great line-up, great sound, great location. Free after shows at a local club.Good choice of food vendors. Friendly atmosphere. It’s one of the best. Some highlights:
Samantha Fish: Samantha has a devoted following and always gets a very enthusiastic reception in Tampa. She gave the crowd everything they wanted in a rousing set. [PHOTOS]
Jonny Lang: Closing out the first day of the festival, Jonny Lang played a strong set consisting mostly of his older material, including Lie To Me, Still Raining, A Quitter Never Wins, and Red Light - all performed with Jonny’s trademark intensity. [PHOTOS]
The Connection with Mike Welch and special guests: One of the most anticipated sets for me, especially after the previous nights show at Ringside Cafe, a local club in St. Petersberg. With the recent loss of soulmate Mike Ledbetter, Mike Welch poured everything he had into his performances. He was joined at different times by guests Vanessa Collier on sax, Curtis Salgado on vocals, and Kit Holliday on vocals. The Connection consists of Scot Sutherland on bass, Luca Chiellini on piano and organ and Andrew “Blaze” Thomas on drums.
Boz Scaggs: Closing out the 2nd day of the Festival, Boz was met with a very curious crowd. Having recently released a blues-oriented CD, what would Boz choose to play? Boz did not disappoint those folks looking to hear his classic hits. In addition to a number of songs from the latest recording, “Out Of The Blues”, Boz entertained the crowd with “Harbor Lights”, “It’s Over”, “Georgia”, “Lido Shuffle”, and “Lowdown”.
Tab Benoit: On Sunday, the weather was overcast and a bit windy, with a rain storm predicted for the evening. The weather was pleasant enough all day, but the storm was imminent. As the final act, Tab took the stage 15 minutes early so as to perform as long as possible. There was an extra bit of urgency in Tab’s singing and playing, and his sound was strong. As the band began playing the 4th song, “Shelter Me”, the winds picked up and the rain began. And the wind and rain quickly became fierce as Tab sang “...the wind will blow, the rain can pour…” and people started scrambling for shelter. With everyone seemingly on the move, the band finished playing the song in a pouring rain and howling wind, and scrambled to protect the equipment. Tab and the band gave 110% for their brief 20 minutes of music. Although disappointed that the elements caused an abrupt end to the set, it was a notable ending to a great weekend of music, food, and fun. [PHOTOS]
~ Festival Photos ~