Okay Bluehounds, it’s time for the 2017 Riverfront Blues Festival in Downtown Fort Smith! Grab the lawn chair and get ready for 2 full days of music on the riverfront! Gate entry $15 each night or $25 weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. More info at www.riverfrontbluesfest.org
Willie Stradlin Duo
Fronted by Heath Molton and Jesse Fenwick, this duo carries on the tradition of the full Willie Stradlin band by combining red dirt country, southern rock and blues. After many years on the road together and playing thousands of shows, Heath and Jesse have honed their skills and their onstage interaction to bring a very professional approach to their music while still having fun. With a new album full of original blues songs and dozens more to be released, this duo is sure to entertain even the most hardened blues fan.
FRIDAY NIGHT JUNE 23RD 6PM-7PM
JP Soars and The Red Hots
Guitar virtuoso, and Crawford County native, JP Soars and his band have been a fan favorite at each of their two prior appearances at the Riverfront Blues Festival. Beginning with the critically acclaimed debut album Back of my Mind in 2008, JP took his trio to Memphis and won the annual International Blues Challenge and have never looked back. With current bandmates Steve Lucinda, Pat Ward and Chris Peet this award winning blues band plays clubs and festivals all over the world and has a faithful group of followers including many friends and family from this area.
FRIDAY NIGHT JUNE 23RD 7:15PM – 8:45PM
The Cate Brothers
With one of the deepest and richest histories of any band in the south, Arkansas is proud to call itself the home of The Cate Brothers. Twin brothers Earl and Ernie Cate, along with a group of the most talented musicians ever to take the stage together, are still entertaining audiences nearly 50 years after their initial album releases. Inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2016, Earl and Ernie are truly Arkansas music royalty and are an act not to be missed at this years festival.
FRIDAY NIGHT JUNE 23RD 9PMN-11PM
Good Luck Slim
This rockin four piece band has found a home in the local blues community by keeping their music true to their passions and putting on crowd pleasing shows around the River Valley. Members include John Mailer on drums, Adam Coats on guitar, Scott Smith on bass and Aaron Durham on lead guitar and vocals. As a true blues aficionado, Aaron Durham channels the guitar greats of Chicago and beyond to create his powerful guitar sound. Good Luck Slim has paid their dues and is now ready to bring their show to the big stage at the Riverfront Blues Festival.
SATURDAY JUNE 24TH 5:30PM-6:30PM
There’s a good reason that Oreo Blue adopted the slogan OB20 a few years ago. It’s not only the name of their 2012 release, it’s a testament to over 20 years of playing and recording the blues from right here in North West Arkansas. Regardless of the lineup, perennial front man and guitar player extraordinaire Gary Hutchison always puts his unbridled passion into his singing, playing and songwriting. With current bandmates Stephen Boudreaux, Rick Endle, Tim Martin and the addition of another outstanding blues guitarist Mark Albertson, this show should be the perfect storm of the blues.
SATURDAY JUNE 24TH 6:45PM-8:15PM
Born in New Orleans and now living in Baton Rouge, Kenny Neal is a second-generation Louisiana blues man from a family of talented musicians. Growing up playing with his father, blues harpist Raful Neal, and joining Buddy Guy’s band at age 17, Kenny set a fast pace early in life. Neal’s sizzling guitar work, sturdy harp and gravelly, aged-beyond-his-years vocals have served him well through the years. His 2017 band includes brothers Darnell on bass and Fred on keys along with drummer Bryan Morris and Alphonso Guillory on horns. With multiple Blues Music Award nominations and a Grammy nomination in the past year, Neal is more poised than ever to deliver the blues like no one else can.
SATURDAY JUNE 24TH 8:30PM-10:30PM
Jesse Dean and Left of Center
Old soul Rock n Roll with a heavy blues influence, this powerhouse 3 piece band out of Northwest Arkansas features Jesse Dean on guitar and vocals, Vince Turner on bass and Kevin Bonner on drums. Great energy, and always lots of fun, the band’s originals including, “Pond Water Spigot”, “Unforgettable Experience” and many more from Jesse and Vince have become crowd favorites wherever they play. With the 2017 release of his album Arkansas Amplifier, Dean has positioned himself for a long and bright future in the music business.
SATURDAY JUNE 24TH 10:45PM-12AM