Caldwell Park in Redding
Eddy (The Chief) Clearwater with the Duke Robillard Band, Kenny Neal, Curtis Salgado and the Stillettos, Sonny Rhodes and the Road Warriors, Soul Syndicate, SBS Jam Band, Thursday night blues at Marketfest and Friday night kick-off performers to be announced
Live Review of Blues by the River 1999
By Glenna Caserta, Siskiyou Blues Society
The 8th Annual Blues By The River presented by the Shasta Blues Society featuring Eddy Clearwater, Duke Robillard, Kenny Neal, Curtis Salgado, Sonny Rhodes, Soul Syndicate and the Shasta Blues Society Jam Band on Saturday, September 18, 1999 was one of the best blues festivals I have been to in years. With such talent being presented in such a beautiful setting with friendly volunteers guiding everyone through the incredibly reasonable concession stands, how could the Shasta Blues Society miss.
The music was awe-inspiring. The Shasta Blues Society Jam Band featuring Lonnie Sanders warmed everyone right up. Next up was Soul Syndicate, a musical congress of musicians with a full horn section that poured on more heat. Next was Sonny Rhodes, a true blues veteran who took us back to the roots of it all and then brought us home on his lap steel guitar. Kenny Neal with his family backing him is the future of the blues and I’m a true believer. Curtis Salgado was such a treat, I was amazed by his versatility and sheer talent. Duke Robillard played some great swing on his hollow body guitar that brought back my love of big bands. Then, The Chief, Eddy Clearwater, took the stage and showed us what the blues is all about.
I enjoyed the music with every fiber of my body, but I must commend the Shasta Blues Society for its excellent presentation of that music. A great blues festival is rarely just the music. The music is a huge portion, but if the blues lover is blazing hot or freezing cold and in the rain, the music can lose something. This blues festival had it all, including the most important feature of all, being very blues-lover friendly.
The Shasta Blues Society was able to create a small, intimate musical experience within a venue they put together themselves at Lake Redding Park. They brought a “big festival” feel to an entrance fee reminiscent of years ago ($11.00 in advance and $14.00 at the door). I want to heartily thank the Shasta Blues Society for a great blues festival.
Letter from a fan
Dear Shasta Blues Society:
I just attended my first Shasta Blues Festival. The venue was great with plenty of room and plenty of shade. The food was good. I love my t-shirt. The designer did a great job and should have been mentioned in the program. Those people must be professionals.
I missed the beginning of the show and started with Sonny Rhodes. They were a great group especially Sonny and his slide guitar. Curtis Salgado was a very professional act. He had a good group behind him and was a great act for the show. Their music was not my favorite because of their funk style but they were well received. Kenny Neal and his group I thought were the highlight of the show especially at the end when they brought Sonny Rhodes in and they also did a great encore. I was already familiar with Duke Robillard, I have one of his CDs. He and “The Chief” were excellent and obviously deserved top billing. The people who selected the music did an excellent job. I might not have even gone if not for Duke Robillard being on the bill but as it turned out I thought the most memorable music was from Kenny Neal and Sonny Rhodes. I am throwing in my comments because I am sure everyone has their favorites and I think these groups offered a good variety of blues.
Next year I plan to put an ad in the program again and to attend again. I should have joined SBS on Saturday but for some reason didn’t do it. Please send me an application.
Very truly yours,
Richard G. Grogan ,Attorney at Law