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Tampa Bay blues festival music schedule highlights

Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, closes the Tampa Bay Blues Fest with a performance at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Here are more music highlights for the three-day event.


4:30 p.m. Coco Montoya After supporting blues greats Albert Collins and John Mayall, Montoya struck out on his own in the mid '90s with his serviceable singing and flashy, left-handed guitar playing.

6:30 p.m. Curtis Salgado A gifted soul-blues singer/harpist, Salgado's latest album, Clean Getaway, finds him successfully covering chestnuts by the likes of Smokey Robinson (Who's Lovin' You?), Al Green (Let's Get Married) and Eric Clapton (Bottle of Red Wine).

8:30 p.m. The Fabulous Thunderbirds The roadhouse-rockin' Texas blues outfit responsible for 1980s smashes Tuff Enuff and Wrap it Up remains a popular concert draw with original frontman Kim Wilson still at the helm.


11:30 a.m. Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps The Texas R&B belter takes her cue straight from fellow Lone Star stater Janis Joplin.

1:30 p.m. Eric Lindell This New Orleans-based singer/songwriter breaks from the blues template with a bit of flavorful, Big Easy-informed rock 'n' soul.

3:30 p.m. Ruthie Foster Another performer who often works outside the blues box, this esteemed vocalist's ability to imbue lyrics with lived-in emotion has garnered her comparisons to Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald.

5:30 p.m. The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue Featuring the Tommy Castro Band, Ronnie Bake Brooks, Magic Dick and Deanna Bogart. Guitar slingers Castro and Brooks are joined by Magic Dick, the marvelous harp player whose work greatly enhances all those boss J. Geils Band records, especially 1976's Blow Your Face Out.

8:30 p.m. Delbert McClinton The Texas roots music hero had a radio hit in 1980 with Givin' It Up for Your Love and won a Grammy for his excellent 2005 album Cost of Living.


1 p.m. Seth Walker Don't sleep on this one: Austin, Texas-based Walker is an outstanding singer/songwriter/guitarist who incorporates blues, soul and Americana into his music — all of which can be found on his highly recommended new disc Leap of Faith.

2:30 p.m. Tinsley Ellis You want Stevie Ray Vaughan-style guitar fireworks? Ellis can bring 'em. Big time.

4:30 p.m. Darrell Nulisch Soul singer and harpist with a predilection for the blues, this Texan has been specializing in shuffles and slow burners since the early '90s.

6:30 p.m. Bernard Allison The son of blues great Luther Allison, Bernard does Pops proud with stinging, old-school guitar licks and gutsy singing.

>> If you go

Tampa Bay Blues Fest

The three-day event is at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Single general admission passes are $33.50; three-day general passes are $78.50. There are "backstage passes" that cost $153 (single day) and $353.50 (three days). (727) 502-5000 or

Tampa Bay Blues Fest

'After Hours' Party

After the show, keep the party going and enjoy musicians from the festival. Performers include Robin Rogers, Coco Montoya and Kim Wilson (Fri.); and Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps and the Tommy Castro Band (Sat.). Three full bars and late-night food available. Benefits the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children. 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Nova 535 Art Lounge, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. $20 per night. (727) 821-6682 or

Tampa Bay blues festival music schedule highlights 03/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 4:30am]
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