Keeping the Blues Alive – KCK Street Blues Festival
Instead of visiting our regular blues destination (BB’s Lawnside BBQ) we headed West to the 12thKCK Street Blues Festival. The event is organized by the volunteer members of the KCK Blues Society at Lavender’s Circle L Ranch in North KCK.
The event was attended by more than 500 people and featured infectious blues groups. We learned that in earlier years the event was held in downtown KCK with 5000-10,000 attendees. Because of a dispute over the practice of allowing attendees to BYOB, the event was forced to move to a more rural location. (We think local businesses were angry because they were not selling their own brews.) Unfortunately the rustic location of the Circle L Ranch limits attendance because of its remoteness and lack of parking. For a history of how government bureaucracy nearly killed this event see this article in the Pitch. (Just click on the word “Pitch.”)
The Blues Festival included three musical groups on the hilltop Acoustic Stage and four on the valley Electric Stage. All the musicians are KC area residents. We were entertained by an engaging Danny Cox, a legendary blues singer, who performed traditional blues and his original music. Danny and his band even improvised a message about a parking issue that needed to be addressed. We were so impressed with Danny Cox that we will check him out at another venue around town. What a voice and personality!
Next was The Norman Liggins’ group with their version of funky blues, including guest singer Jason Vivone on the awesome slide guitar. People were swinging and dancing in the field!
On the Electric Stage in the valley, we enjoyed the Jaisson Taylor Group. Jaisson, on drums and vocals, is a fantastic musician. He understands that the audience wants to be entertained. Music is good but a little humor can make the event sizzle! He interspersed his music with a well-crafted message about national politics and engaged the audience in a mischievous manner with a Muddy Waters tune, “I’ve got my mojo working.” He was hilarious! His base player really rocked!
After four hours in the sun, unfortunately, we had to depart before the 2018 “King of the Street Blues Festival” D.C. Bellamy took the stage. Given his outfit for the day, we likely missed a very entertaining show.
The Blues is thriving in Kansas City. We keep meeting new musicians who can be heard at various venues around town.
Join us the next time we check them out!
As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge!