Folks can dance their blues away and help the St. Mary's Food Bank by attending the 12 Hour Blues for Food Benefit Festival October 19 at the El Dorado Bar and Grill in Scottsdale.
The festival runs from noon to midnight. There's no cover charge, but those attending are asked to bring five food items to donate.
Buzz Fowler, coordinator of the event and owner of First String Group, said the festival was so successful at getting donations last year that many of last year's bands are returning to get the food and fun going.
This performance is as much about the food donations as it is about the music. There are several drop off points around the city for food donations and three artists have donated their works to be auctioned off during the festival.
Blaise Lantana, program host and music director at KJZZ, will serve as the emcee and will sing with several of the bands. George Thomas Vaught will also serve as an emcee. Vaught is the leader of the Flamekeepers and the last guitarist for blues great Chico Chism. The festival will also serve as a membership appreciation party for the Phoenix Blues Society to help this statewide group with their membership drive and fundraising to promote the blues. A Stratocaster will be raffled off with the winner getting announced at the 2014 Blues Blast in the spring.
Fowler not only coordinated the event, but two of his bands will perform. Toolshed, Fowler's new corporate band, will open the show at noon and close the show from 9 p.m.-midnight. Toolshed performs at special events and benefits.
"We can be any kind of a band that a client wants us to be," Fowler says. "Of course, on this night we'll be a blues band."
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Rhythm Street, Fowler's old band, will perform at 6 p.m. Rhythm Street plays blues, funk, swing, jazz and rhythm and blues. Fowler plays harmonica in both bands and gives harmonica lessons on the side.
JC and the Juke Rockers will perform from four to five; this is JC's first time performing at this festival. "Buzz said he liked our band and would like us to perform," he says. "I'm an Arizona native and I want to see this town do good. This is for a great cause. If we can use our music to help this cause that's great. There are tough times out there right now, so we want to help who we can."
The rest of the lineup includes:
- Big Daddy D and the Dynamites: 1 p.m.
- Nina Curry: 2 p.m.
- Sir Harrison: 3 p.m.
- Terraplay Station: 5 p.m.
- Blues Hounds: 6:45 p.m.
- Hoodoo Casters: 8 p.m.
"There's so much love in the blues world," Fowler says. "After last year's show, a lot of these bands volunteered to come back."