A group well known in the northland for their hard-driving blues and blues/rock, Willie's Thang have been a popular Twin Ports band since their formation in 1993. They are well known for their ability to rip-up any crowd they play in front of and this year’s Bayfront debut will be a great opportunity to experience this versatile and powerful Twin Ports band first hand.
Willie Murphy and the Angel-Headed Hipsters
After more than three decades, Willie Murphy has forged a unique musical legacy as a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, performer and multi-instrumentalist, to name just a few of the many hats he wears. Willie and the Angel-Headed Hipsters deliver classic R&B, funk, blues and rock, honed by years of experience and kindled by an abiding affection for the music.
Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls
The Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls play an energetic blend of Rockabilly, Blues, R&B, Rock 'n' Roll and Zydeco. The band has been described as "Rockpile jamming with Ray Charles at an after hours party in New Orleans." If you're a fan of raw, rockin', up-tempo grooves, pounding boogie piano, and twangin' guitar, they will have you saying "Hubba, Hubba" in no time!
The Keller Brothers Band
With The Keller Brothers Band, the future of the blues are definitely in good hands. These young players from Fargo by way of Austin, Texas play a combination of Texas and Chicago blues with healthy doses of New Orleans funk and Louisiana Swamp rock. It's refreshing to see the high-spirited energy and unparalleled musical skills that the Keller Brothers Band brings to the blues.
Mississippi born, East Chicago raised, Carl spent 15 years with Billy Branch before striking out on his own. Mixing Southern charm, soulful vocals, and fierce guitar-playing, Carl plays the blues, from down-and-dirty to scintillating Albert King influenced chops. This is one powerful blues performer that will leave you amazed and thoroughly entertained
Snooks Eaglin is the Crescent City's secret weapon, a blind, eccentric virtuoso of the electric guitar who at 64, plays with more intensity, taste, mastery, and musical command than most anyone you can think of. With a voice that is an extraordinary blend of hoarseness and velvet subtlety, and a dazzling guitar technique marked by fast intricate swingy runs and rhythmic chord clusters, Eaglin is in a class by himself.
With a career that traces the history of rock and roll Lonnie Mack was modern rock's first true guitar hero. His early music bridged the gap between '50s rockabilly and black roots music, and the psychedelic blues-rock of the following decade. His guitar playing "strikes like lightning" as he continues to amaze audiences wherever he plays.
You can't stop Rufus Thomas during his live performances, you can only hope to contain him. The irrepressible 83-year-old master showman captures a crowd's attention and leads every last member of the audience through a unique and soulful experience. Known as the Official Ambassador of Memphis Music, Rufus Thomas remains the consummate entertainer and showman with a reputation as a live performer that has grown to legendary proportions.
Playing together for more than a decade, The Busters always bring a refreshing mixture of original and traditional blues to their performances. This is a guitar and harmonica driven band that features a solid three-part harmony, making for a very unique and entertaining blues sound. If you like your blues with a little rock & roll edge, The Busters will definitely light a fire under your feet.
Big Walter Smith & The Groove Merchants
Big Walter Smith has always been one of the most popular and endearing blues acts to grace the Twin Ports area. The only performer to have appeared at every Bayfront Blues Festival, Big Walter Smith has been polishing his big-city urban blues sound for over 40 years and continues to deliver one of the best R&B shows in the Upper Midwest.
A major player in the Chicago blues community for more than 46 years, it was Hubert's 22 year association with Howlin’ Wolf that helped him make his mark in the blues world and music history. The significance of Hubert contribution to modern electric guitar playing cannot be underestimated as he has influenced a whole generation of rock superstars.
Walter Trout is one of the unsung heroes of blues/rock guitar. He has been called "a gladiator guitar player" and "the best guitarist in the world" by the press. When you see him play you will know why. Trout's incendiary guitar playing and powerful vocals will literally blast a hole through your soul
One of the originators of modern zydeco music, Boozoo Chavis recorded his first hit single in 1954, one year before Clifton Chenier had his first hit. Having inspired a whole new generation of accordionists, Boozoo Chavis, the undisputed king of the single-note and triple-note accordion, is one of zydeco music’s living legends.
Over the past 36 years Tracy Nelson has amazed audiences with one of the most distinctive, powerful, and soulful voices in modern music. One of the driving forces in the 1960’s folk/blues era, Nelson went on to rock stardom with Mother Earth and enjoyed a 3 decade solo career. She can easily steel any show with her astonishingly powerful vocals.
The Holmes Brothers
When the Holmes Brothers come to town get ready to pitch the tent because you are in store for one heck of a revival meeting -- only there is no preaching, its all music! From Wendell's growling lead vocals to Sherman's down in the basement baritone to Popsy's soaring falsetto you will be taken on an inspired musical adventure that has few rivals today.
Lone Star Shootout Featuring Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter & Phillip Walker
From the early 1950’s barrooms of southern Texas to concert stages around the world, these three bluesmen have entertained audiences for the better part of 5 decades. The Lone Star Shootout will feature the searing guitar playing, smoldering vocals and engaging good natured humor of these three blues legends as they serve up straight-ahead blues, swamp pop soul and "boarder town" salsa-fied boogie.
The Golden Swans
One of the Twin Cities' most popular gospel groups over the past 20 years, The Golden Swans’ unique 6-part harmony creates a stunning sound as they sing their way through traditional gospel and original compositions. Get ready as the Golden Swans deliver a spirited gospel revival that will have you on your feet clapping, singing and shouting for joy.
Lil’ Slim & the Back-Alley Blues Band
If you like your blues played down-and-dirty and spelled with a capital "B" then you need go no further than Lil' Slim & the Back-Alley Blues Band. The son of Magic Slim, Shawn Holt plays that old style Chicago blues without all the special effects. This is straight ahead, plug-it-in-and-play blues, done the way it was meant to be.
Mick Sterling & the Stud Brothers
Soul and R&B singer Mick Sterling has always had that unique ability to make his audience experience both joy and sorrow in his deeply moving performance. Always one of the more popular annual attractions to play at Bayfront you never know what Mick will end up doing during his thrilling performance.
A guitar-playing wailer from Port Arthur, Texas, Becky Barksdale is one of the top female blues/rock guitar players on stage today. She has spent time touring with Canned Heat and Michael Jackson and blends elements of electric blues and rock, creating an intense, powerful style that justifies her reputation as being one of blues' most dynamic performers.
Sue Foley brings a refreshing breeze to the blues community with her absolutely remarkable guitar playing and passionate vocals. In a field dominated by males, Sue Foley has the superb guitar skills that allows her to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best blues guitar players on stage today. Sue continues to break new ground and has matured into one of today’s finest female blues performers.
With a powerful stage presence and a big husky voice that claps like thunder, Sista Monica delivers some of the best uptempo, kick-butt blues, and low down gospel, and sweet soul music that you will ever hear. Look out, because Sista Monica, one of the hottest contemporary female blues artists on the music scene today, is definitely going to blow you away.
Blind since the age of one, Jeff Healey, one of Canada's most celebrated and accomplished musicians, was recognized as a 'musical prodigy' by his mid-teens. Since 1985 Healey has been ripping apart stages world-wide with his unorthodox technique and absolutely astounding guitar playing. With a boundless supply of energy, Healey's guitar style ranges from amazingly complex picking to raucously wild bursts of power.