Another Tampa Bay Blues Festival, another visit from the great Buddy Guy.
The 81-year-old blues icon will return to headline the 2018 Tampa Bay Blues Festival, April 6-8 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Guy will headline Saturday's festivities; fellow guitar greats Robert Cray (Friday) and Delbert McClinton (Sunday) will join him atop the lineup. Other notable names at the 2018 Blues Fest: Beth Hart, John Nemeth, Ronnie Earl and Janiva Magness. Here's the full lineup by day:
April 6: Robert Cray (8:30 p.m.), Beth Hart (6:30), John Nemeth (4:30), Chris Beard (2:30), Jonn Del Toro Richardson (12:30)
April 7: Buddy Guy (8:30 p.m.), Ronnie Earl (6:30), Janiva Magness (4:30), Eric Gales (2:30), Quinn Sullivan (12:30)
April 8: Delbert McClinton (8:30), Sugaray Rayford (6:30), Mississippi Heat (4:30), Davy Knowles (2:30), Tad Robinson (1)
As always, the Blues Fest will have a kickoff party at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Palladium. Nemeth will be the headliner. Tickets are $25; click here to get them.
There will also be free afterparties each night. On Friday, Beard will perform at the Ale and the Witch, and Richardson and Mississippi Heat will play Ringside Cafe. On Sunday, it'll be Janiva Magness at the Ale and the Witch and Robinson and Gales at Ringside Cafe.
But the star of the weekend will definitely be Guy, returning for his umpteenth Tampa Bay Blues Festival. Not only is he the world's greatest living bluesman, he's one of the foremost keepers of its legacy. (Sullivan, who opens the show on April 7, is one of his protegees.)
"Every little bit helps," Guy told the Times last year. "Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker — I could keep on naming them until next week to let the young generation of people know where it all came from. And that would make me sing a little longer and a little louder."
-- Jay Cridlin