Sixth Annual Waukesha BluesFest This Weekend


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The entertainment line-up for Waukesha BluesFest, August 10 & 11 at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield, Wisconsin, features 14 national, regional and local blues acts, an art show and an exceptional dining experience from local restaurants.

“The Waukesha Rotary Club is thrilled with the music line-ups we have put together for the sixth annual Waukesha BluesFest,” said Bob Mittnacht, who manages the entertainment for Waukesha BluesFest. “We have a number of exciting nationally acclaimed musicians performing this year, topped off by our headliners, Coco Montoya and JJ Grey.”

Friday night jump starts the two day “American Music and Art Festival” with headliner Coco Montoya. Mentored by legendary bluesman Albert Collins, Coco Montoya went on to become the guitarist for John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers for ten years before making the move to lead his own band. A self taught guitar slinger who plays with an emotional intensity few string benders possess, he plays left-handed and up side down in the style of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. Upon releasing his debut solo album, Coco received the award for “Best New Blues Artist” at the Blues Music Awards in 1996. Coco Montoya has toured the world many times over playing every major blues festival on the map.

JJ Grey & Mofro take the stage to headline Saturday night. Born into a family with generations-old roots in rural Florida, JJ Grey heard music at barbeques and in local juke joints, all the while developing a deep love and respect for the land and its culture. He debuted in 2001 with Blackwater, and followed up in 2004 with Lochloosa, steadily building an intensely loyal following. After over a decade of hard touring and five studio albums, JJ Grey & Mofro still spend eight months of the year on the road, bringing their music to an ever-growing, worldwide fan base.

The entertainment line-up for Friday and Saturday night does not stop with these highly acclaimed musicians. On Friday additional performances include James Armstrong. Born in Los Angeles, California, James Armstrong formed his first band in the seventh grade and by the age of 17 he was touring the country. In his twenties James was the youngest guitarist to play in Smokey Wilson's legendary band and soon after, was discovered and signed by High Tone Records. Friday’s line-up also includes performances by Perry Weber & the DeVilles, Queenie & The Blue Cats, Maple Road, Jonny T-Bird & The MPs, and Matt Tyner.

The Saturday line-up also features Bill “Watermelon Slim” Homans. Slim was raised in North Carolina listening to the housekeeper sing John Lee Hooker songs. Over the years, he worked a myriad of blue collar jobs including farming watermelons in Oklahoma, hence his stage name. In less than a decade he rose from nobody to genre topper, winning Blues Music Awards for “Band of the Year” and “Album of the Year.” Additional acts on Saturday’s bill are The Spark Plugz, The Mighty Imperials, The Organgrinders, Los Guys, and Steve Cohen.

Waukesha BluesFest, “An American Music and Art Festival,” is in its sixth year and is held at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield, 1/2 mile north of I-94 on STH 83. Gates will open at 12:30 pm both days, and live music acts will perform from 1 pm to 10:30 pm.

The Restaurants: There won’t be a shortage of variety for hungry blues fans with the exceptional selection of food from Weissgerber’s Seven Seas and Gasthaus restaurants and Café Esperanza. A full selection of beverages will be available including a wide variety of Lakefront Brewery craft beers, Miller Lite, red and white wines, sodas and water.

Along with great music, food and beverages, Waukesha BluesFest also includes an Art Show featuring seven talented local and regional artists representing a broad variety of affordable art. The Artists: Michelle Kobriger-jewelry, Lynn Gaffey-fused glass, Karen Norris-ceramist, raku pottery, Shay Johnson-leather, June Kilgren-sculpture, Kevin Myers-mixed media and Don Priewe-sculpture.

Major sponsors include the Waukesha law firm of Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes, LLP, Clear Channel Outdoor and Waukesha State Bank.

Admission prices will remain the same once again this year. In advance, a single-day pass will cost $15 and a two-day pass will cost $25 through August 9. At the gate, admission will be $20 for a single-day pass and $35 for a two-day pass. Children 8 and under are free with a paying adult. Parking and taxes are included with the admission price. Proceeds from the event will be distributed by the Waukesha Rotary Club Charitable Fund to local charities and civic projects.

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