Make plans now – book your room, buy your tickets – for the Eureka Springs Blues Weekend on June 2-5. Elvin Bishop and Coco Montoya are headliners for this big event.
Blues Weekend features local, regional, national and international blues acts, and is held in The Auditorium, Basin Spring Park, Basin Park Hotel, and other venues around Eureka Springs.
The annual event kicks off on Thursday, June 2 with free music in Basin Spring Park, located in the historic downtown. Little Joe McLerran entertains that evening in the Barefoot Ballroom of the Basin Park Hotel. McLerran won the solo competition at the 2009 International Blues Challenge.
Friday, June 3 features free music in the park in the afternoon. Headliner Coco Montoya plays that night in The Auditorium. A drummer for legendary bluesman Albert Collins, recruited by British blues icon John Mayall as guitarist in the legendary Bluesbreakers, Montoya is now a solo artist playing more than 150 tour dates a year, packing clubs, theaters and festivals around the world.
Lionel Young will open for Montoya. Young won the solo competition at the 2008 and 2011 International Blues Challenge. He has played in concerts with Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Paige & Robert Plant, Doc Severenson, Linda Ronstadt, Living Color, Billy Taylor, Woodie Herman, Stanley Turrentine, and Homesick James.
Playing the Barefoot Ballroom on Friday night is zydeco sweetheart Rosie Ledet. She is among the few zydeco artists who can still sing and write some of their own material in Creole French.
More free music is again offered in Basin Spring Park on Saturday, June 4. At noon will be a “Blues for Kids Harmonica Blowout.” The first 50 kids to join the fun get Hohner harmonicas and some basics on playing the blues harp from George Hunt.
Elvin Bishop headlines at The Auditorium Saturday night. He has a long and varied career starting with the Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s. He has recorded with legends such as Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker, and The Allman Brothers. Bishop achieved pop success with his own 1976 smash hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love.”
Also taking The Auditorium stage on Saturday is Marquise Knox. Opening the show is Scott Leeper and Brick Fields Band. Rachel and Larry Brick are well known around Eureka Springs for entertaining at the weekly gospel brunch at The New Delhi, which will help wind down this year’s Blues Weekend. Saturday’s Barefoot Ballroom show showcases Tinsley Ellis.
Other artists set to take the stage include: Adam Posnak, The Ariels, The Bluehemians, Brandon Santini Band, The Bramhall Brothers, Buddy Shute, Dasanni, David Castro Band, Delta Grouv Therapy, Doghouse Daddies, Earl & Them, G-Funk, Honeyshine, Jones van Jones, Kris Lager Band, Mary Bridget Davies Group, Red Ambition, Shawn “Lil’ Slim” Holt, Patrick Sweany, Sad Daddy, Seth Freeman Band, Trash Angels, and many more.
Additional venues for the blues are: Chasers, Chelsea’s, The Lumberyard, New Delhi, Pied Piper, Rockin’ Pig, Rowdy Beaver and The Squid & Whale.
Blues Weekend is a fundraiser for The Blues Foundation’s HART Fund, which helps artists in need of medical or funeral assistance, and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, located just south of Eureka Springs, which gives lifetime refuge to abused, neglected or abandoned wildlife.
Sponsors include The 1905 Basin Park Hotel, Alpine Liquors, Al’s Happy Hens, Buzzcast Network, Community First Bank, DeVito’s, Dr. Bobs Blues Show, Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission, Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, KASU, KCUR, KKFI, KSPQ, KUAF, KUAR, Little Bread Co., Nightflying, Pig Trail Harley-Davidson, & The Current. We are also supported by the Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas and the Blues Society of the Ozarks.
Weekend passes that include preferred seating for all the shows in The Auditorium and Barefoot Ballroom are now on sale for $75. VIP passes that include up-front seating and a goody bag full of blues stuff (t-shirt, CDs, posters, stickers and more) are on sale for $150. Individual show tickets start as low as $10. All tickets have a $5 processing fee. For more information, visit EurekaSpringsBlues.com.
Blues Weekend is produced by an all-volunteer force. If you would like to join the fun, go to the website and click the volunteer link. There are some perks for pitching in.