Springing the Blues Festival in Jacksonville

Posted on 4/26/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

(Memphis, Tennessee) After a great couple of days in Tampa playing the Tampa Blues Festival, the Reba Russell Band drove up the peninsula to Jacksonville to play the George's Music Springing the Blues Festival on Saturday.

Rolling up Florida to Jacksonville

The weather was perfect and the crowd was enormous, music fans as far as the eye could see.

Here's a link to George's Music:

Here's a link to the festival:

Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms and festival Producer Mitch Harbeson

Mitch has produced this show for years and I remembered meeting him when we played the festival back in 1999. He is a classy guy and a good friend of the blues. The band would like to thank Mitch for making us fee welcome and for his many efforts to make the show go smoothly. This event is an undertaking of such huge proportions and it all ran on time with no hiccups.

Check out this lineup for Florida's largest free blues festival...on the beach!

Friday April 9

5:00John Miller Blues
6:00Willie Randolph
7:30Toots Lorraine and the Traffic
9:00Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
5:00Mile Train
6:00John Miller Blues
7:30Willie Randolph
9:00Toots Lorraine and the Traffic

Saturday, April 10

11:45Tori Sparks
12:45The John Sosebee Band
1:45Mile Train
2:45Alphonso Sanders & Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry
4:00Reba Russell
5:15Conrad Oberg
6:15John Nemeth
7:30Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm
8:45Michael Burks
1:00Tori Sparks
2:00John Sosebee
3:00Mile Train
4:00George’s Music Featured Artist
5:30Alphonso Sanders & Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry
7:00Conrad Oberg
8:30The Reba Russell Band

Sunday, April 11

12:00Willie Mae
1:00Woody and the Peckers
2:00Skinny Legs and All
3:00Jo Ann Shaw Taylor
4:00Shane Dwight
5:00Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials
6:15Magic Slim & the Teardrops
12:00Skinny Legs and All
1:30Willie Mae
3:00Willie Green's Blues Project
4:15Jo Ann Shaw Taylor
5:30Shane Dwight

Drummer Doug McMinn heads for the drums before our set on Saturday afternoon.

Josh Roberts straps on the Stratocaster and fires up his Fender Twin

Wayne Russell suggests that I find my way to the Hammond organ

Reba Russell sings the blues

Reba Russell sings to the capacity crowd(photo by Lee Hempel)

A terrific crowd of fans, no problems, no fights, just music lovers

We played a long set of our original material including a couple of sneak previews of songs from the upcoming new Reba Russell band CD, called "8" as it is the eighth CD that we have recorded to date. It is indubitably our finest effort and the band is very excited that it will be released in a few days. It features all new songs and lots of great studio performances from our sessions at the Zebra Ranch. Reba has been working tirelessly on the mixes, artwork, liner notes and song sequences for this new blues album. She is to be applauded and thanks also go out to engineer/co-producer Dawn Hopkins for a job well done.

Jolene Roberts, her brother, Jeff Fedora and his sweet lady, Amyah Parrish
These are great friends, and Mom and uncle to my favorite guitarist, Josh Roberts

After the show we ate at the Campeche Bay Cantina, where I enjoyed some superb ceviche, tasty seafood cooked in lime juice without heat. This place is located adjacent to the festival and has great food. Here's a link:

Josh Roberts and the author before supper...

These guys look like they might scare small children.

As the sun goes down in Florida we prepare for another set on the festival's West Stage

Palm trees and neon in the Florida sundown

A few laughs are had after our excellent repast. Time for the second show!

The Reba Russel Band takes the West Stage for our last show of the trip.

It takes tons of gear and many talented people to make a show like this happen.

Doug prepares to beat the drums into submission.

Wayne and Josh get ready to play for the big crowd.

This festival is very family friendly. In front of the stage there were children riding these huge bungee swings(pictured above) that flew 15 or 20 feet into the air. I wanted to ride one but they did not have enough super double giant bungee cabling to keep me from leaving earth's atmosphere after the first bounce.

The Reba Russell Band (photo by Margo Frazier)

The next morning we arose to load the car as the hotel's lovely flowers blast into bloom.

More lovely greenery across from our hotel

I tapped out the last words of last week's American Blues News story about the Tampa Bay blues Festival as Wayne and Reba Russell arrived back at the hotel after a visit with Reba's delightful Aunt Bernice who cooked lasagna and chocolate pie for the ever hungry Wayne. Within a few moments we were rolling back down the long highway headed for Alabama, Mississippi, and our home state of Tennessee.

The sun sets in Alabama.

Night falls as we hurdle toward Birmingham.

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© Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, 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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