2006 Sparta Blues Fest was one of the best ever, with
a stellar lineup and one of the best weather windows
this event has been blessed with, just take a look!
• HomeGrown Blues Review • Piping Hot
Buttery Biscuits of the Blues
• Scott Miller Band • Johnnie Johnson
Band with Scott Miller & Renee Smith
• Michael Burks Band • Roomful of Blues
STLBlues arrived in time for the Piping Hot Biscuits,
as Dave Mulford showcased his guitar pyrotechnics
on a wide range of Blues talent, covering Tab Benoit,
Elmore James, Freddie King, and many others. Their
crowd walk brought the energy level to a fever pitch,
getting the crowd up on their feet in an impromptu
second line dance.
Scott Miller took to the stage, and as this event
was dedicated in memory of Johnnie Johnson, his style
of boogie and barrelhouse paid exceptional tribute
to Johnnie, Professor Longhair, and many other piano
Following Johnnie to the stage was the superband that
composes the Johnnie Johnson band. Gus Thornton on
bass, Dean Minderman on keys/vocals, Tom Maloney on
guitar, and Richard Hunt on drums made for one of
the tightest bands to grace any stage, anywhere. Add
to that mix the vocal talents of Ms. Renee Smith,
and you have all the ingredients for an incredible
music experience. Renee is one of St. Louis' Blues/Soul
divas, and this show was no exception, as she belted
out Aretha and Etta in spectacular fashion.
Sparta's adopted son, Michael Burks, was up next.
It's easy to see why this guitar master is loved wherever
he goes, as he demonstrated once again the talent
that has won him so many music awards, and the constant
comparision to Albert King. If you're a fan of the
Hammond B3, this band is still playing the B3 they
purchased new in the 60's, and it has the sound only
a mellowed B3 can deliver!
Closing out the evening was the 8 pc. power sound
of Roomful of Blues. Since the 60's, this band has
been bringing a roomful of blues coast to coast! A
big brass sound, the 3 and a half octave range of
Mark DuFrene, and scorching guitar of Chris Vachon
make this a band unparalled! A energetic end to the
fest, bringing everyone stageside to soak up their
jump blues energy!
Congratulations to the staff at the Sparta Fest for
once again making this a jewel in the southern Ill.
Bllues crown! Mark your calendars, and don't miss
the 2007 Sparta Blues Fest!