Long Beach Blues Bash 2010 by: Casey Reagan

Posted on 9/18/2010 by MusicUCanSee

Long Beach Blues Bash 2010
By: Casey Reagan
For: American Blues News

The party started as an outdoor street festival complete with all the trimmings. Live blues, cold brews and hot bbq. Add that to perfect weather and a great crowd and what you get is big fun. Keeping with the festival vibe there were drawings and raffles...they gave away a brand new SUV and tons of t-shirts and cd's making just about everyone a winner. The folks from K-jazz (KKJZ FM 88.1) make any event they host one to remember and, even though it was a leaner festival this year EVERYONE who attended had a blast.
The blues were well represented and all of the sponsors should take pride in putting together this line-up.

A big crowd of people came out for the street fair portion of the 'first annual' Long Beach Blues Bash. Admission to the outdoor festivities was free and an estimated one thousand blues fans showed up to party. The outdoor entertainment included performances by:
'Nancy and the Nightcrawlers', 'Give Me Back My Wig', 'Bill Magee', 'Artwork Jamal' (a personal fav) and,

'The Deacon Jones Blues Band'.

Kjazz scaled their annual Long Beach Blues Festival down this year claiming an unsuitable economic climate exists for their 'traditional' annual festival. The traditional LB Blues Festival would have been 31 years old this year. Past Long Beach Blues Festivals have seen some incredible blues players including: B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Bo Diddley, Charles Brown, John Mayall, Leon Russell, Irma Thomas, Big Joe Turner, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, and the Allman Brothers Band and this year the tradition of 'straight blues' continues albeit a much leaner line-up.
Some call it unfortunate. I say: 'One door closes and another opens up'. If this is what we get for being dedicated blues fans we'll take it!
I mean it, if we are forced to 'settle' for an event like this in lieu of a 'real' festival we should just enjoy it and be happy.
Well, I AM happy! ...Are you kidding?
With Long Beach Blues Fest veterans Keb Mo and Texas bluesman Guitar Shorty and LBBB newcomer, New Orleans piano wizard Jon Cleary along with Arthur Adams on one stage... in one night! a full day of free blues!?
Sign me up!
Anyone who predicted disappointment (and some did) should have probably kept their criticism to themselves and just gone to the show.

We packed about 900 people into the Carpenter Center (near capasity) and were treated to a blues show like I've never seen before.
Although I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing every one of these players in the past, I was blown away by the performances from each one who graced the stage and this concert was somehow better than most I've seen.
Maybe it was the room.
Carpenter Center on the campus of Cal State Long Beach is such an awesome room, the acoustics are absolutely fantastic with a huge stage and luxurious seats the room has a personality of its own and makes everyone sound just a little bit better.
Maybe it was the outstanding line up of talent on hand that made this a night to remember.
Or, maybe it was the fact that I had the extreme privlege of sitting right next to Keb Mo's (Kevin Moore) mom for the entire show! No kidding. My added 'seating flexibility' as a photographer allowed me to wiggle my way down front and, purely by chance I grabbed a lonely single seat next to my new friend: 'Mrs. Mo'... AKA... Lauvella Moore.

We chatted it up between sets from Arthur Adams,

Guitar Shorty,

and, Jon Cleary.

As she shared a few stories from days gone by, Lauvella told me about a show she attended not long ago at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center where her son was performing and brought her on stage to sing a song.
"I didn't know all the words to Kevins songs... so we sang Amazing Grace"
she confided in me so I followed up by asking her how it went and she told me:
"My friends from church were there, they said there wasn't a dry eye in the house when we finished".
Obvious by the way she glowed when she told the story it was a very special moment to her and one which she'll cherish for years to come.
I feel extremely honored that she was comfortable enough to share it with me.

After Kmo finished the first song of his set she leaned and whispered to me:
"He wrote that song about a street we lived on when he was 7 years old".

Naturally I hung on her every word and savored every second of our time together. This lady is a celebrity in my eyes and apparently in the eyes of many others judging from the parade of folks who stopped by (including the talent) to share best wishes and give their love to this kind hearted woman. She will always hold a place in my thoughts and memory.

The concert went off without a hitch, every act on time and in tune ...and blue, baby. There was no mistaking that this was a true blues concert and the crowd sure appreciated that fact. One criticism I will voice is this: "it was too short!" Due to campus curfew the show ended promptly at 11:00 PM and the place was deserted by midnight. I could have gone till at least 2 AM and I wasn't alone,but rules are rules I guess and we get what we can, when we can.
Honestly, I've seen a million concerts, been backstage, in the front row, heck I've been on stage and this one I'll remember more fondly than the rest just because of the company I was keepin'. Take care Mrs. Mo' ...and Thanks for the ride!
Long Beach Blues Bash 2010
By: Casey Reagan
For: American Blues News
all rights reserved 2010

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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