Nothing says modern American blues quite like Mesa? Its the dodgiest cultural pairing this side of Utah and jazz, but that hasnt stopped the Phoenix Blues Society from establishing a fine live-music tradition in this city of menudo joints and Mormon churches. In this, the 19th year of the Blues Blast, the Society welcomes a diverse canvas of brass bands, torch singers and Blues-fusion acts to the Mesa Amphitheater for a sun-soaked afternoon of boogyin. The headliner is Big James Montgomery and the Chicago Playboys, four-time winner of Living Blues magazines annual critics poll for Most Outstanding Horns (and their instruments aint bad either, yuk yuk). The second-billed act needs no introduction to Valley habitués of the Rhythm Room: Candye Kane, the plus-sized Blues mama and sex-positive feminist who has been known to bang out piano riffs with her eye-popping decolletage. Rounding out the line-up are the Insomniacs, a Portland-based band specializing in West Coast jump Blues, and a trio of local acts: The Sugar Thieves, the rockabilly/Blues quartet Jump Back Brothers and the jazz combo Arthur Migliazza and Tom Walbank. And it all wraps up by sunset, Mesa-style.
Sat., Feb. 27, 11 a.m., 2010