8th annual Sparta
Blues Fest opened up with the traditional
Home Grown Blues Review, always featuring some
of Southern Illinois' finest blues musicians.
The heat of the day was matched by only by the
intensity of the sounds coming off the stage,
as festgoers arriving early heard covers of
'Walkin By Myself', 'Wrap It Up', a Fabulous
Following The Home Grown band to the stage was
the Rich McDonough band, just in from playing
the night before at the Nothing
But The Blues Fest up in Bloomington, Il.
Rich is a St. Louis institution, as much a representation
of St. Louis Blues music as you'll find! Les
Moore adds his silky vocals to the act, creating
a great synergy between these two talents, evident
in their cover of 'Little Red Rooster'. Les
also brings a N'awlins' flavor to the set, with
classics such as 'Iko Iko' and 'Yellow Moon'.
Sharon Foehner mixed in her vocal touch on "Walk
the Dog', a Rufus Thomas standard, as she added
her smooth bass line, and don't forget Joe Pastor
keeping a tight backbeat on the drums.
Very unfortunately, due to a death in the family
of Duke Tumatoe's bass player, they had to cancel
their set. Filling in for them were the 'The
Merchandise Tent All-Stars', performing such
standards as 'Sweet Home Chicago. Not bad for
an emergency musical mission!
Following the 'The Merchandise Tent All-Stars'
to the stage was Lew Jetton and 61 South. Lew
Jetton, also a meteorologist for WSPD in Paducah,
Jetton and 61 South has performed their critically
acclaimed "Southern Fried Chicago"
style of Blues in clubs and festivals across
the Midwest and MidSouth since 1993.
More talent followed
in the form of the Chicago Rhythm & Blues
Review - the Sparta Fest's 1st year headliner,
and Roy Rogers, a world reknowned slide guitarist!
We missed these performers, as we were off to
the Pageant to cover the 20th anniversary of
Butch Wax and the Hollywoods, and their Johnnie
Johnson tribute - watch for our review of that
in the next few days. Don't miss next year at
the Sparta Blues fest, we'll see you there!