October 2, 2013
By Michael Yanko
Rock Legends Photographers
This festival changed our entire concept of the blues! The main reason that we wanted to shoot this 3-day festival was because our friends the Royal Southern Brotherhood were playing and we already knew that they totally rocked. The only other band we had heard of before was Dickey Betts and we had seen him 2 years earlier on the Rock Legends Cruise so we knew that he rocked too!
The day before we left for the festival we listened to some of the artists on YouTube, but by the time we left the festival we loved all of the artists and their music!
Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Ross for taking outstanding care of us and our crew, making it possible for us to capture thousands of great photos at this event! The lineup included many blues award winners:
- Dicky Betts and Great Southern
- The Royal Southern Brotherhood
- Lucky Peterson
- Janiva Magness
- Dave Fields
- Tab Benoit
- Trombone Shorty
- Walter “Wolfman” Washington
- Johnny Lang
- Curtis Salgado
- Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys
- Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers
- Marquise Knox
- Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater
- Sugar Ray & The Bluetones
- Curtis Salgado
- Jonny Lang
Every band was excellent, the sound and lighting was state-of-the-art. The security was friendly, helpful, and yet very efficient.
The venue itself was easy to access, well laid out, and there was wonderful food available on both sides of the field. Tab Benoit with special guests Mike Zito and Devon Allman put on the best guitar jam I’ve seen since the 1st time I saw “Freebird” back in the early 70s!
Although rain threatened all weekend, it didn’t actually happen until part way through the last set on the final day. We had a long drive so we were just getting to the van when the quarter-sized raindrops came pouring down.
The 2014 Tampa Bay Blues Fest will be their 20th anniversary, don’t miss it!
After our first experience with this festival we wouldn’t miss it for the world!