One day just isn’t enough for this blues bash. While the second annual Bradenton Blues Festival takes place Saturday along the Manatee River, many related events are happening during the appropriately dubbed "Bradenton Blues Weekend." To help bring everyone to the action, a free trolley will transport attendees to downtown performance spots 5-10 p.m. Friday and to the festival, 9 a.m.-midnight Saturday. Pedi-cabs will also be available Saturday 9 a.m- midnight. Check out our Pedi-cab/trolley map (scroll down) and info on all the events.
In addition to the downtown district events listed below, piano man Victor Wainwright, of the blues super group Southern Hospitality, performs at Aces Live in West Bradenton. Reliable sources say special guests are expected to sit in with the singer, songwriter and pianist who won this year’s prestigious BMA “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year” award.
9 p.m. Friday; Aces Live 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton; $8 (advance), $12 (at the door); 795-3886; aceslivemusic.com.
Blues on Main
Three blues duos will perform on pedestrian-friendly Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton with food and craft vendors.
5-10 p.m. Friday; Old Main Street, Bradenton.
Déjà Blues in The Blues Lounge with Johnny Rawls
Catch Bradenton Blues Festival co-headliner Rawls on Friday at this intimate outdoor venue behind O’Bricks Irish Pub & Martini Bar.
6 p.m.-Midnight; The Brickyard, 427 12th St. W., Bradenton; $125 includes premium open bar, food and entertainment with $75 of ticket proceeds benefiting the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee; 747-6797; wrcmanatee.org.
The Blues Appetizer Concert with Selwyn Birchwood and Steve Arvey
This free concert showcases Tampa-based regional star Selwyn Birchwood and local favorite Steve Arvey at Bradenton Riverwalk on the same big stage being used Saturday for the festival headliners. Bring a blanket. Beverage and food will be available.
6-9 p.m. Friday; Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion, 452 3rd Ave., Bradenton
Bradenton Blues Festival
10 a.m. Gates open
11-11:40 a.m. - Albert Castiglia: Guitarist, singer and songwriter discovered by legendary harmonica player Junior Wells.
11:55 a.m.-12:55 p.m. - Johnny Rawls: Mississippi soul-blues man who has been entertaining with his potent vocals and guitar work for the past 30 years.
1:10- 2:10 p.m. - John Nemeth: Rising blue star is an accomplished vocalist and harmonica player.
2:25-3:25 p.m. - Anthony Gomes: A killer guitarist who plays with a rock edge, Gomes is also an exciting singer and solid songwriter.
3:40-4:40 p.m. - Trampled Underfoot: Siblings from Kansas City have quickly established themselves as one of the top blues bands on the scene.
4:55-6:05 p.m. - Eddie Shaw & the Wolfgang: Saxophonist Shaw has been at the top of the venerable Chicago blues scene since the mid-1950s. In recognition of the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, which is also Saturday, Shaw will welcome celebrated local blues singer and Army veteran Jesse Yawn to sing his emotive rendition of “Every Day I Have the Blues.”
6:20-7:35 p.m. - Shemekia Copeland: The Chicago-based singer’s long list of accolades also includes performing at the White House, a pair of Grammy Award nominations and, just a few months ago, induction into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. Check out my interview with Ms. Copeland.
Between Acts - Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling and the Jewel Tones: Nationally-acclaimed Bradenton singer-guitarist Doug Deming and his band will keep it lively between acts with their ebullient brand of jump blues.
Bradenton Blues Festival: 10 a.m. Saturday; Bradenton Riverwalk, 425 Third Ave. W., Bradenton; $30 in advance, $40 at the gate, $25 per person for groups of 10 or more, $20 for students, $10 for children ages 5-12, children age 4 and younger will be admitted free; 681-0708; bradentonbluesfestival.org
Blues on Main with Sarasota Slim
Enjoy a performance by singer, guitarist and Southwest Florida blues mainstay Sarasota Slim (pictured); plus food, beverages and handmade crafts offered by local vendors.
5-11 p.m. Saturday; Old Main Street, Bradenton
Tarpon Pointe Blues with Chris Duarte
Witness Texas guitar hero Duarte in a cozy, waterfront setting for an after-festival jam that should attract plenty of special guests.
7 p.m.-midnight Saturday; Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar, 801 Riverside Drive E., Bradenton; free; 746-8700; tarponpointegrill.com.
Gospel Blues Brunch
Grab brunch from a downtown restaurant or a bite from a food truck and end the weekend while enjoying a free gospel blues concert by the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe.
Noon- 1 p.m. Sunday; Old Main Street, Bradenton