Blues and Beyond

Nothing says “modern American blues” quite like… Mesa? It’s the dodgiest cultural pairing this side of “Utah” and “jazz,” but that hasn’t 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 magazine’s annual critics poll for Most Outstanding Horns (and their instruments ain’t 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


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