The Monterey Herald

April 1, 2015


Beth Peerless, Where It’s At: Blues offerings building up again


Local blues lovers are finding solace in theaters and small venues around town, like the rockin’ Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s concert at the Golden State Theatre a couple of weeks ago and this Friday’s sold-out Buddy Guy concert at the Sunset Center. Our area has a devoted blues music fan base, thanks in great part to the Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s offerings over the 27 years it lasted at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center.

Not that the love of America’s primary roots music wasn’t generally a given for the baby-boom generation raised on the likes of Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac’s early form and Savoy Brown, to name just a few of the blues/rock originals that based their music on the great Delta blues masters. I know so many people who are fervent fans, and who will drive to Santa Cruz or San Francisco to catch some of the acts that don’t make it to our little neck of the woods.

The good news: The Blues, Brews and Barbecue festival will return for a second year, Aug. 8-9. It would be nice to see a serious launch plan for this event, as our area’s fans would need a good lineup far enough ahead to make plans. Until then, I wish those of you who have tickets for good ol’ Buddy Guy have a good ol’ time with one of the last surviving original Chicago blues masters.


I have covered San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival on a regular basis, where music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy converge at Golden Gate Park. The lineup for the Aug. 7-9 event — oh darn, that’s the same weekend as Blues, Brews and Barbecue! — was released last week.

Tickets went on sale to the public March 26, and three-day packages are already sold out — no surprise, since the event usually sells out by now every year. Has for the last four. Eager Beaver tickets, sold before the lineup announcement, had the fastest sell-out in the festival’s history (45 minutes). Single-day ticket sales start at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 2.

For the lineup: Elton John, Mumford and Sons, The Black Keys, Sam Smith and Kendrick Lamar are at the top of the bill, along with Wilco, Tame Impala, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Billy Idol, Slightly Stoopid, The Devil Makes Three, Lake Street Dive, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and a whole lot of other great established and up-and-coming bands.

As you may know, the festival is also famous for its huge array of great food offerings from Bay Area restaurants and food trucks, regional wineries, craft beers and more. Info and tickets are available


We have Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days to look forward to April 11-12, with Moonalice headlining both days.

Also on the horizon are three really top-notch shows: Merle Haggard on April 29 at Monterey’s Golden State Theatre (, and Joan Armatrading (May 7) and Boz Scaggs (May 22) at Carmel’s Sunset Center (


I haven’t had the chance lately to report on activities presented by Folk Yeah! in our area, but have noticed that presenter Britt Govea still books shows in Big Sur — just not at the Henry Miller Library. Loma Vista Gardens, where the Spirit Garden used to have shows next door to the Big Sur Bakery, is now his preferred place for music down the coast.

Maybe not preferred, but what he has available to him. From what I understand, Henry Miller Library still has its hands tied when it comes to events, so the choices are usually limited to the Fernwood campgrounds or restaurant.

Coming up at Loma Vista Gardens, April 30 and May 1, is the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, a popular hippie roots rock outfit led by former Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. This concert is for all ages, and tickets are still available through at $80.

Beth Peerless can be reached at

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