Blues Fest weekend means great music in Lower Harbor

The beautiful American art form The Blues is taking center stage this weekend in Marquette. The 15th edition of the wonderful Marquette Area Blues Festival kicks off with a free evening of great music Friday night at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. Then the music continues with ticketed events Saturday and Sunday.

It’s a chance for local residents to hear a great musical genre brought to life by some of this country’s most outstanding musicians.

Blues Fest started back in 2004, the first one taking place at Marquette Mountain. The festival moved to Mattson Lower Harbor Park in 2005. Those two years and the festivals since have provided people the opportunity to hear and learn about the blues.

Walt Lindala, the festival director, is stoked about this year’s lineup.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers from New Orleans on Saturday night,” Lindala said in a Monday story in The Mining Journal’s Scene section. “They are the first zydeco band we’ve ever brought to the fest, and they will blow it out. Also Sue Foley is great. I saw her a few months back playing with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Jimmie Vaughan at a club in Austin, TX and she rocked the roof off of the place. She’s a great talent.”

Outstanding.

Lindala said the festival is special to the musicians as well as the audience.

“I have to admit that what I cherish the most have been the instances of young blues bands from around the area getting to interact with the seasoned pro players that come to play the festival. The pros always really seem to like to pass on tips and stories, and I feel that helps keep the music going.”

The Blues Fest provides great music, but goes beyond that.

“It’s so much more than music,” Lindala said. “There’s great food and drink, a variety of vendors selling some arts and crafts and music memorabilia, workshops for those who want to learn more about the blues, and a big dance floor to get your groove on. It’s a great group of people who come together to celebrate their love of the blues.”

We thank all those who put in so much time and energy to bringing the Marquette Area Blues Festival to life. We are grateful. And we’re praying for good weather for one and all.

For more information, visit the society’s website at www.marquetteareabluessociety.com.