St. John Blues Festival begins Wednesday

Fest The annual St. John Blues Festival kicks off Wednesday night, with five days and nights of topflight performers offering blues, soul and maybe even some reggae.

This is the ninth year Steve Simon has organized the event.  He is a longtime island resident with a huge talent and love for music.  It's Simon who also, for years, hosted Sunday afternoon jam sessions at the Beach Bar.

This year's edition of the Blues Festival, sponsored by Johnnie Walker, is bigger than ever with not just one, but TWO, big concerts at the Coral Bay ball field, Friday and Saturday nights.  (Ticket information is here.)

Friday night's lineup includes Grady Champion, Candye Kane, and Albert Cummings.  Saturday's presents Moreland & Arbuckle, Reba Russell, Curtis Salgado (pictured) and The Big Band.

"All of the acts are off the charts.  These are the best voices in the blues," he added.  Simon especially looks forward to Salgado's set. "Wait until you see the horn section and the lady backup singers, too.  They are just killer!," Simon said. "I always book my heroes (for these concerts," Simon told the St. John Sun Times. 

But before the big shows on the weekend, four of the island's restaurants – in Coral Bay and Cruz Bay – will be hosting many blues musicians.  Here's the lineup for those no cost events:
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Wednesday, Opening Party  

Sun Dog Cafe, 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Starring: Mitch Woods & The Rocket 88's

The Beach Bar, 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Starring: Live Blues music all evening

Island Blues, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Starring: James Cobb

Shipwreck Landing, 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Starring: Dave Gerard & Groove Thang
 
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Island Blues, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Starring: Mojones Red Hot Rockn' Blues

The Beach Bar, 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Dave Gerard & Groove Thang

Friday

Shipwreck Landing, 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Starring: Jimmi "Prime Time" Smith

Island Blues, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Starring: Mitch Woods

Sunday

The Beach Bar, 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Starring: Surprise Celebrity Blues Artists

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