Our 3rd Annual Winter Blues Festival kicked off on Friday, January 15th and concluded on Saturday, January 16th. While Saturday was an early sell out, Friday was nearly just as successful and stood as another evening of equally exciting performances. Let’s face it, the Narrows always delivers.
Doors opened at 5pm on Friday and the festivities began at 6pm with acoustic blues master, Mark T. Small. Mark is well versed in the early 20’s and 30’s blues pioneers and has become a local favorite since he began playing over 40 years ago. Nobody plays acoustic blues better than Mark T. Small.
Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas performed next. Matthew Stubbs was named Outstanding Guitarist from Blues Audience Magazine and has been a Boston Music Award Nominee for Blues Act of the Year. His group plays soulful instrumental blues and world music.
The show continued with British, blues guitar hotshot Davy Knowles. The journey began for Davy Knowles growing up in the Isle of Man, learning to play guitar by listening to the likes of Gallagher, Clapton, Knopfler, Green and Mayall in his father’s record collection, and honing his skills playing the local music circuit. Knowles’s professional career started with a bang – arriving in America age 19 with his band Back Door Slam, an acclaimed debut album, “Roll Away”, and rave reviews at SXSW.
The show concluded with our headliner, and Muddy Waters’ ex-guitar player and vocalist, Luther “Guitar Jr” Johnson. Luther was one of the premier blues artists to emerge from Chicago’s music scene. Nobody knows old school Chicago Blues quite like Luther “Guitar Jr” Johnson.
Four extraordinary bands, and six whole hours of blues music that blew us all away. Not to mention all of the magic that occurred on Saturday night. If you missed the Winter Blues Festival this time, there’s always next year. Happy listening, music fans!