The lineup is official. We have some great acts planned for 2014! We are looking to begin at noon, so the doors will open at 11 AM. We have our Crossroads Blues Challenge winners the Alex Wilson Band opening the day for us. Alex was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge and has performed in Memphis twice now at the IBCs. We are hoping the third time is a charm and they come back as winners!
Next up is the ever popular Liz Mandeville and her band! They perform at 2 PM. Liz brings her high energy act from Chicago to us and we can't wait to hear it! It has been far too long that this red headed blues diva has graced a stage in the Rockford area and we are proud to finally bring her back!
The Jimmy's will bring their swinging blues and other styles of music to the Rockford Aviators Stadium at 4 PM. Jimmy Voegeli on keys, Perry Weber on guitar, the Young Horns, Mauro Magellan from the Georgia Satellites on drums and if that is not enough Bun E. Carlos will also sit in on drums! If their show Saturday in Loves Park was any indication, a party will break out when these guys play!
At 6 PM, the ever cool Doug Deming and Dennis Gruenling will take the stage with the Jewel Tones. These guys both put out fantastic CDs that have gotten much radio airplay and when they were featured in our Byron Blues Fest they were fan favorites! This will be a great set of rocking and swinging music!
At 8 PM our headliners will be...John Nemeth!!! From hi Blind Pig Records bio..."Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 with his dazzling national debut album (Magic Touch), John Németh has wowed critics and audiences alike with his riveting vocals and harmonica prowess. The Philadelphia Inquirer testified to his standing in the current music scene with the comment, "Classic soul and R&B styles have been revitalized by artists such as James Hunter, Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, and Sharon Jones. You can include John Németh on any list of the best of them."
On his latest release, Name The Day!, the dynamic soul sensation continues to reinvigorate vintage American rhythm and blues with his uncanny ability to skillfully blend retro and modern blues and soul into compelling music that is simultaneously old and new."
Between acts we will feature local acoustic blues man Dan Phelps up in the covered pavilion on the third base side of the stadium. Acts on the Field of Blues, between acts up on the concourse with more music. 10 hours of music from noon to 10 PM (we close at 10:30 PM). Tickets will once again only be $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Crossroads Blues Society is an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois that works to conduct Blues in the Schools programs for area schools. Sponsorship donations for the festival are tax deductable and are used to cover the many costs of running a music festival.
Costs include band fees, lodging for non-local bands, a stage, sound and lights, electrical work, insurance, licenses and more. It takes a lot of money and effort to run an event of this magnitude. We had a dedicated core of volunteers who support us.
Festival sponsorship levels:
·Festival Sponsor: $5,000.
One available. Festival name will included sponsor (e.g. “The Acme Field of Blues Festival.” Benefits include logo integrated into festival logo on tee shirt front and all uses, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other advertising plus 100 free tickets
·Platinum: $1000 and up. Benefits include larger logo on tee shirt, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other advertising plus 25 free tickets.
·Gold: $500 to $999. Benefits include smaller logo on tee shirt, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other advertising plus 10 free tickets.
·Silver: $200 to $499. Benefits include name on banner on stage, larger name on tee shirt, recognition in program and other advertising plus 4 free tickets.
·Bronze: $100 businesses, $50 individuals. Benefits include small name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other advertising, small name on tee shirt plus 2 free tickets.
Gold and above sponsors also get to have a tent/booth at the festival and may place banners in the park. All sponsors are also frequently noted on stage after each act. We expect a large crowd at our festival. Any level of sponsorship can help to make this dream a reality. In-kind sponsors for services and such are also desired.
All proceeds from the festival will be used to fund and hopefully expand our Blues in the Schools (BITS) program. Crossroads Blues Society has conducted 125 BITS programs for almost 40,000 students since its’ inception in May 2002. We are proud to add music events to school calendars and to help keep the blues alive by educating the next generation of music fans about the roots of all American popular music.
We ask that your business consider becoming a sponsor for the 2014 Field of Blues Festival and thank you for your time and consideration!
Planning is underway for the Inaugural
Field of Blues Festival, to be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The festival will be held at Aviators Stadium
in Loves Park. Gates open at noon, the music starts at Noon and goes until 9:30 PM. The park will close at 10 PM. This is our second year
with the festival continues Crossroads dream to bring a blues festival back to
the Rockford metro area.
We will feature five bands on the big
stage. All food catering services will provided
by the baseball park and its’ staff. Advanced
tickets will be only $10 and $15 at the gate.
We will try to hold down food and beverage prices to make the day
affordable. To do this we need a little
help from our sponsors.
Crossroads Blues Society is an
all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in the State of
Illinois that works to conduct Blues in the Schools programs for area schools. Sponsorship donations for the festival are
tax deductable and are used to cover the many costs of running a music
Costs include band fees, lodging for non-local
bands, a stage, sound and lights, electrical work, insurance, licenses and more. It takes a lot of money and effort to run an
event of this magnitude. We had a
dedicated core of volunteers who support us.
Festival sponsorship levels:
Festival name will included sponsor (e.g. “The Acme Field of Blues Festival.”
Benefits include logo integrated into festival logo on tee shirt front and all
uses, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other advertising
plus 100 free tickets
$1000 and up. Benefits include larger
logo on tee shirt, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other
advertising plus 25 free tickets.
$500 to $999. Benefits include smaller
logo on tee shirt, name on banner on stage, recognition in program and other
advertising plus 10 free tickets.
$200 to $499. Benefits include name on banner on stage, larger name on tee
shirt, recognition in program and other advertising plus 4 free tickets.
$100 businesses, $50 individuals. Benefits include small name on banner on
stage, recognition in program and other advertising, small name on tee shirt plus
2 free tickets.
Gold and above sponsors also get to
have a tent/booth at the festival and may place banners in the park. All sponsors are also frequently noted on
stage after each act. We expect a large
crowd at our festival. Any level of
sponsorship can help to make this dream a reality.
All proceeds from the festival will be
used to fund and hopefully expand our Blues in the Schools (BITS) program. Crossroads Blues Society has conducted 123
BITS programs for almost 40,000 students since its’ inception in May 2002. We are proud to add music events to school
calendars and to help keep the blues alive by educating the next generation of
music fans about the roots of all American popular music.
We ask that you or your business consider
becoming a sponsor for the 2014 Field of Blues Festival and thank you for your
time and consideration!
We thank you for attending our inaugural fest! Some tips as this is new for all of us...
Aviators Stadium is actually located in Loves Park, right on the Rockford border. It is right off of Riverside Blvd and Riverside Blvd is one of the Rockford exits on I-90/I-39. Coming from the south and east on I-90 or I-39, it is the third Rockford exit after the Illinois 20 and State St/Business 20 exits. Coming from the north and west, it is the third exit in Illinois after the Rockton/IL-75 and then the IL-173 exits. The stadium is on Interstate Blvd, immediately east of the highway. Ample parking is available at the stadium; parking is $2. There are 1,200 spaces in the lot. Over flow parking will be off of Interstate Blvd and also to the east at the YMCA.
Kids are welcome, 5 and under are free, kids 6 to 12 are $5 at the gate (no advanced sales).
Do stay cool. Bring an umbrella (not for rain but for shade). There is also a huge 50 x 105 foot pavilion to get out of the sun and stay cool. Summer is here!
Do bring sunscreen. The weather report looks great!
Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. On field seating is allowed. You can sit in the stands, too. The stage will be facing the third base line and centered about where the shortstop usually plays. Sit in front of the stage only, please, not behind it.
Do visit Blues Central under the pavilion. On sale there will be fest items like shirts and koozies, CDs and artist merchandise, and information on how to become a member of Crossroads Blues Society. There will also be music between acts and other cool stuff like Hard Times Cigar Box Guitars, Guitars for Vets, and other blues societies. Delmark Records and Bob Koester will also be around!
Do have a great time!
Don't bring coolers into the festival. No outside food and beverages are allowed and the Aviators do not allow tailgating in their parking lot.
Don't bring pets. No pets allowed. Sorry!
Don't smoke at the fest unless you are in a designated stadium smoking area.
The festival is in a small professional baseball park. Access to the field is on the outfield sides of both dugouts. Real bathrooms- no portable restrooms! Restrooms are on the first base side of the park. Beer, wine and a full assortment of liquor is available in the park along with a large assortment of soft drinks and foods.
2013 Inaugural Field of Blues Festival Guide to Festival
Artists and Crossroads Blues Society
The Inaugural Field of Blues Festival to be held at the
soon-to-be-renamed Rockford Riverhawks Stadium
on June 22nd has finalized their lineup and they have six great bands
ready to be featured on stage. Crossroads Blues Society is proud to announce
that Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, Willie Buck and Tail Dragger with the
Rockin' Johnny Band, Toronzo Cannon, Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames, Aaron
Williams and he HooDoo and the Flaming Mudcats will be the lineup for the
event.This lineup gets into deep traditional, funky, and rocking blues; the
energy and sound will please all blues fans and anyone else who attends. Gates will open at 11 AM and the fun begins
at noon! Advanced tickets are only $10
and admission at the gate is $15.
Parking is $2 and ample parking is available at the stadium.
The headline act is Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. From working at Chicago’s Red Carpet Car Wash
to appearing on national television, from gigging at the smallest ghetto blues
bars to performing on the biggest international concert stages, master bluesman
Lil’ Ed Williams has come a long way. Mixing smoking slide guitar boogies and
raw-boned Chicago shuffles with the deepest slow-burners, Lil’ Ed and his
blistering Blues Imperials – bassist James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike
Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton – deliver the blues, from gloriously
riotous and rollicking to intensely emotional and moving. Not since the heyday
of Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers has a blues band made such a
consistently joyful noise. Currently celebrating 24 rip-roaring years together,
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials ply their musical talents with skills that
have been honed to a razor’s edge. As much a family as a band, Lil’ Ed, Pookie,
Mike and Kelly have outlasted sports stars and presidents, musical fads and
fashion trends. And together, they continue to make blues history with each and
every performance and new recording. The
band won the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year in both 2007
and 2009 and also took home the Best Live Band Award in the 2011 Living Blues
Critics’ Poll. Blues Revue said, “Listen and hear how a great blues player can
make a guitar weep…Lil’ Ed is a blues master at the top of his game.”
Delmark Records are celebrating their 60th Anniversary and
we have three hot acts from their stable of blues artists coming out to our
festival. Two men with roots back to the
heyday of Chicago Blues will be coming out to pay tribute to them. Willie Buck and Tail Dragger will perform in
the Muddy Waters vs. Howlin’ Wolf Tribute with Rockin’ Johnny Burgin and his
band backing them up. Blues vocalist
Willie Buck was born in 1937 in the small town of Houston, Mississippi. Willie
performed on what became known as the "Chittlin Circuit" bouncing
between Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, North & South Carolina, Tennessee
and Texas. Shortly after developing his reputation, Willie migrated to Chicago
in 1953 where he truly immersed himself in the Chicago Blues scene and became a
real force on "Maxwell Street". Willie Buck has been leading his own
bands for over 40 years. Willie was
inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Chicago in the summer of 2004. James Yancy Jones, aka Tail Dragger, was born
in Altheimer, AR, in 1940. He was brought up by his grandparents and was
influenced as a child by the electric Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy
Williamson, and especially Chester Burnett, the Howlin' Wolf. Jones was a
Howlin' Wolf devotee, right down to his deep, gruff voice. After moving to
Chicago in the '60s, he began playing with blues legends on the West Side and
South Side. It was Howlin' Wolf who gave Jones the title "Tail
Dragger" because of his habit of showing up late to gigs. When Jones first
appeared on the Chicago blues circuit he was known as Crawlin' James. A number
of local West Side and South Side blues artists, including Hubert Sumlin, Carey
Bell, Eddie Shaw, Mack Simmons, and Willie Kent, got their start playing in
Tail Dragger's bands. The two together
enjoy the backing of guitarist Johnny Burgin, who came to Chicago from South
Carolina to attend the University of Chicago, and earned the name "Rockin'
Johnny" as a DJ at the college radio station WHPK. Rockin' Johnny began
playing in the ghetto clubs of Chicago's West Side with blues singer Tail Dragger,
and then began touring nationally as a sideman with former Howlin' Wolf drummer
Sam Lay and blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins. After learning from the
masters, he put his own band together.
The Rockin' Johnny Band plays vintage Chicago blues, but also is known
for a wide repertoire which ventures into Stax style soul, swing, and lots of
originals that are harder to classify. On stage, the band performs with
spontaneity and fun, always showcasing fantastic guitar playing. The band
consists of true veterans: Rick Kreher (rhythm guitar) played rhythm guitar
with Muddy Waters for four years; John Sefner (bass) was formerly with
Studebaker John and Eddie Kirkland; and Steve Bass (drums) also plays with
Chicago blues legend Eddy Clearwater.
One thing missing from Lil’ Ed’s bio is that his
co-conspirator in Westside and slide guitar and original band member was a guy
named Dave Weld. As a child Weld heard
the blues on old records and determined that he would become a professional
musician. While studying in New Mexico, he was tutored on guitar by Kurt Black.
He teamed up with the Hound Dogs, the legacy band of Hound Dog Taylor, which
featured Brewer Phillips and Ted Harvey. He also worked at one point with the
Howlin’ Wolf legacy band. In the mid-70s, Weld was back in Chicago where he
interviewed J.B. Hutto for an article for Living Blues magazine. He extended
his knowledge of blues guitar by taking tuition from Hutto, eventually becoming
especially adept as a slide player. He also met up with fellow slide guitarist
Lil Ed Williams, a nephew and also a pupil of Hutto’s. Weld, Williams and James
Young, another of Hutto’s nephews, started playing together as Little Ed And
The Blues Imperials in some of Chicago’s least salubrious blues clubs. In the
late 80s, Weld led a band he named the Imperial Flames, touring
internationally. In the 90s, Weld and
Williams sometimes teamed up as their band was in demand and was frequently
booked into leading Chicago blues clubs. Weld received rave reviews for his
appearance at the 1997 Weld made his first visit to the UK where he was very
successful. Caring for a terminally ill
relative has limited Dave’s ability to effectively tour but it also shows the
heart and compassion of this great musician.
The current band is staffed by veteran sax player Abb Locke (who has
toured and played with all the Chicago greats and the Rolling Stones), the
smooth voiced Jeff Taylor on drums , the sexy tones of Monica Mhyre on vocals,
and the ever-funky Dave Kaye on bass.
Dave and the band take traditional urban Westside Chicago into a new
direction with this superb lineup. They
have picked up their touring schedule and are always in demand here in the US
and in Europe!
Growing up in the shadows Chicago's blues mecca, Theresa's
Lounge, had a lasting effect on Toronzo Cannon. As a kid, Toronzo would listen
to the raw, soulful sounds of legends like Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and Muddy
Waters. "It wasn't just the music that got me, but the effect on the
people. I knew right then, that was what I was gonna do." These
experiences led him to pick up his first guitar as a teenager and begin to
learn to sing and play the sounds he heard. Inspired by the three Kings
(Freddie, B.B. and Albert), a little Hendrix and some 70's R&B/Soul,
Toronzo soon developed his own sound. "If I wasn’t gigging I was hitting
every jam session I could find. I couldn’t get enough." It was during this
time that he developed his own powerful, gospel-flavored vocal style and
electrifying stage presence. After
playing rhythm guitar with local artists like Wayne Baker Brooks and Joanna
Connor, Toronzo decided to form his own band, The Cannonball Express. He
immediately was in demand, playing some of Chicago’s greatest blues venues and
then clubs and festivals nationwide.
This will be a funky, energy-filled set.
Aaron Williams and the HooDoo formed as a trio in May of
2008; Aaron Williams (Vocals, Guitar), Eric Shackelford (Drums, Vocals) and Z
(Bass, Vocals) have the blues deeply rooted in the music they love to play. The
trio all met while Aaron was hosting a blues jam at the now defunct club, The
Cuda Café in Madison. Word spread
quickly beyond their hometown and the trio began to tour all over the Midwest
playing sold out shows in North Dakota, Illinois and Indiana. As the band
continues to grow musically they’ve fused blues, roots and rock music into and
original sound that a growing fan base is recognizing and following. Aaron, like so many other determined young
player’s had a veteran musician to learn the craft from, none other then his
father, Hammond organist, Cadillac Joe Andersen. Cadillac Joe, noticing his kid’s prowess for
the blues signed him on for his next project, The Cadillac Joe Blues Band.
Touring the Midwest extensively with his father, Aaron was able to learn the
craft and business of music. With the stock rising on the Cadillac Joe Blues
Band, one of the top blues clubs in the Midwest, Luther Blues in Madison, took
them on as their house band. This gave Aaron a large following and he was able
to play with some of the foremost blues players in the world. Shemekia
Copeland, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Carey Bell, Lil’ Ed, Anthony Gomes, Ana
Popovic, Taj Mahal, Canned Heat and the list goes on. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo’s music is
unwavering, filtering blues, soul, roots, and rock through a prism of emotional
authenticity. What emerges isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, rather something
undeniable, and the very definition of a force of nature. It’s real American
music at its core and at its best.
Opening the day will be a firm favourite in Auckland’s Blues
scene (as in Auckland, New Zealand), as well as at national and international
festivals, The Flaming Mudcats are a band that is well versed on what it takes
to please a crowd, exhibiting levels of professionalism and musicianship that
makes it easy to become a dedicated fan.
The pieces don’t just fit together seamlessly, they belong together.
Craig Bracken (Vocals & Harmonica), Doug Bygrave (Guitar), Ian Thomson (Drums)
and Sean McCarthy (Bass Guitar) are a rip snortin', fire breathin' outfit that
puts heart and soul into every note they play. Often gritty, sometimes raw,
they hold nothing back and play the blues like they had no choice in the
matter. Tinged with hints of Little Walter, George 'Harmonica' Smith, Magic Sam
and Jimmie Vaughan, the ensemble lays down deep grooves marked by solos with an
innate swing that is always impressive.
The Mudcats ooze personality, and pull off the tricky task of playing
tribute to their heroes without slavishly ripping them off. While their music may sound vintage, their
attitude is definitely current. They confidently move through different
components of the blues — shuffles, soul, funk, four on the floor rock and roll
and low down blues. Harmonica, incorporated with Jimmie Vaughan and Ike
Turner-inspired guitar licks is backed by the band’s hard working rhythm
section (who are neither too loud or too showy.
The Flaming Mudcats mission is to smile in your face and then kick you in
the ass, musically speaking. They succeed.
Audiences have bruises to prove it!
Between sets the illustrious Steve Ditzell will be featured
to entertain the crowds. A blues
guitarist with an inborn knack for timing and phrasing, Steve Ditzell has
performed consistently since 1976. He started out in Chicago where he performed
on the Blues Stage at the Chicago Fest, and went on to tour the U.S. and Canada
with Fenton Robinson Band. He then joined Koko Taylor & her Blues Machine
and toured Mexico with Son Seals, Willie Dixon, Blind John Davis, and Muddy
Waters and was later the lead guitarist for Big Mama Thornton & the Jay
McShann Jazz Orchestra in New York City's Carnegie Hall. Ditzell once again
toured the U.S. and Canada, with the Junior Wells and Buddy Guy blues band and
played festivals with Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Junior Wells. He
toured Brazil with Junior Wells, Albert Collins, and Buddy Guy and frequenty
gigged with Junior Wells during the '90s.
Ditzell also formed his own band in the ‘90s, the Blue Lightning Band,
where most of his recent time and work have been focused. The ultimate buitar player, Rockford loves
this multiple RAMI award nominee and winner.
The Crossroads Blues Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization that primarily raises funds in order to host Blues In The Schools
(BITS) programs in the greater Rockford area of northern Illinois. These programs are fully funded by CBS and
there is absolutely no cost to area schools for these programs. BITS is a nationally acclaimed cultural and
musical appreciation program that helps students understand the rural and urban
African-American culture. Age
appropriate content is formatted to deliver high quality learning experiences
that meet the goals and fulfill the mission of
Blues In The Schools, Inc. Based
on this premise, this program was developed to suit the needs of students in a
variety of settings from organizations to schools. Crossroads works to raise funds through
membership, donations and festivals.
Crossroads collect annual dues from members who share our conviction to
keep the blues alive.
They have held blues festivals in Byron for the past three
years in conjunction with the Downtown Byron Bar Association and continue that
partnership (the 4th Annual Byron Crossroads Blues Festival will be held in
downtown Byron, IL, on Saturday, August 24, 2013. This new Field of Blues Festival will become
the major funding source for BITS. The
funds that are raised and collected each year are used to host several Spring
and Fall BITS programs in area schools. By the time the festival rolls around they
will have completed 116 programs for about 35,000 students in the eleven years
of conducting BITS. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the group is a dedicated
collection of blues lovers led by Steve Jones (President and Festival Chair),
Karl Dahlin (Vice President), Al McNary (Treasurer), Bonnie Fox (Secretary) and
Board Members Rich Gordon, Rick Davis, Dennis Barker, Bob Haendler and Terry
Crossroads hopes that the Inaugural Field of Blues Festival
is something the greater Rockford area enjoys and becomes a staple for the
music scene for many years to come.
Crossroads would like to thank all their sponsors, volunteers and
members who have helped to make this happen!