Meet THE BANDS
The show-stopping lineup for the Annual Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho | March 31st, 2023 - April 2nd, 2023
Voices 4 Praise
Back by popular demand “Voices 4 Praise” will be at this years Blue’s Festival Gospel Brunch Sunday morning at Dockside! Valerie Jeanne leads an exceptional quartet joining together to bring to your dining experience powerful vocals & your favorite spiritual songs. Valerie Jeanne is a powerhouse vocalist from the Pacific Northwest and has opened for major names such as Freddie Fender, Sherrie Austin, Big House, and Doug Supernaw. This quartet share professional experience in choirs, gospel groups as well as in recording and touring. Enjoy this dynamic quartet listening to intricate four part harmonies.
Voodoo Church | Whack-A-Mole with Special Guests Elon C. Jones and Forest Govedare
The blues fans of the Inland Northwest lost a real leader of their community this last year. Gary Yeoman was a force for the blues and made a lot of things happen over the years. One of those things was leading and fronting the jam band Voodoo Church that found a place to play every Sunday. In tribute, Ryan Dunn of Whack-A-Mole and former members come together here to perform Gary originals and the old school blues they were known for. This will be followed by the rock and blues of Whack-A-Mole, featuring Season 6 American Idol Finalist Amanda Dunn on vocals. They’ve invited some special guests, Forest Govedare, a rocking young talented guitarist, and everyone’s favorite irrepressible, soul showman Elon C. Jones for an all-star show.
Bubble and Squeak
Ryan Dunn and Amanda Tsubota are Bubble and Squeak and they are not telling which is who. Ryan is much sought after guitar player, a regular with the VooDoo Church, founder of Whack-A-Mole and often seen in only the best of blues and other bands around the Inland Northwest. Amanda was also in many of those bands, playing together, for the last 10 years in rock, country, and funk bands. Ryan and Amanda formed Bubble and Squeak in 2018, becoming a couple, then a married couple, and doing songs they both love as a multi-genre acoustic act perfect for starting off the festival!
Natasha’s Force of Nature
Another newcomer to The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival and a relative newcomer to the N.W. Blues scene, although her band is as seasoned as old hickory, is Natasha's Force of Nature. Besides vocalist Natasha Force, the band consists of Bassman Randy Knowles, Guitar Guru David Keeley, and Percussionist Jeff Curtiss! A trio of professional, accomplished musicians capable of opening or sharing a stage with any top band. Add Natasha’s sassy and accomplished vocals, well let’s just say, the party is started! You can go from one boat to the other, full bars on both, to hear both bands, and it’s near impossible NOT to dance, even if it’s the chair sit boogie.
Justyn Priest is an up and coming songwriter and guitar slinger from Sandpoint, ID, currently residing in Spokane, WA. Justyn has demonstrated his talents by elevating several bands throughout the Inland Northwest over the course of his 20 year career as a musician, including guitarist for the very popular rock band, Royale. Here Justyn Priest has gone his own way and generated a powerhouse of a band and killer, high-energy material spanning several decades of American music, showcasing Priest's amazing guitar work and bluesy vocal style!
Perennial favorites, Doghouse Boyz, are the winners of the 2017, 2016 & 2015 I.E.B.S. Best Acoustic Blues Act. The Doghouse Boyz duo consists of the 2018 Best Blues Slide Guitar winner Neil Elwell, now in the I.E.B.S. Hall of Fame, on acoustic guitar, dobro and vocals. His compadre, Ramiro Vijarro, adds fretless bass and vocals. Consummate musicians, they play original blues as well as dynamic renditions of old favorites and obscure tunes from ‘back in the day.’ This duo is an Inland Northwest staple at festivals and watering holes and have opened many concerts for such notable acts as Roy Rogers and the late Norton Buffalo, among others.
The 2019 WINNER of Best New Blues Artist from the Inland Empire Blues Society, 25 year old Diego Romero was born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, Diego has always found himself fascinated with the art of music, and soon found himself fully engaged within the blues community. The emotion, the feel and the rawness of the genre was more than enough to draw him in to the blues and funk genre. With having only been in the live music scene for a few years now, Diego has already played numerous clubs and festivals across the Northwest. With vocals and guitar work to the likings of Buddy Guy, Prince, and Freddy King, Diego is talented, inspired and we are delighted to have him.
Hoodoo Udu was formed by Guitarist Ben Rose, Vocalist Patrice Thompson-Rose, Bassist Brion Foster & Drummer Flor Sanchez in 2007. They were all former members of a popular local Reggae/Funk/Rock band called Planet ZEN, a band formed when Ben, Patrice & Brion were attending the music program at Spokane Falls Community College. In 2013 Flor decided to leave the band and Ben Marshall joined shortly thereafter- and has performed many big shows with Hoodoo Udu. The band has built up a large resume from numerous appearances at blues festivals, bars, parties, car shows, bike rallys, etc. Patrice has won the IEBS Empire Award for BEST FEMALE BLUES VOCALIST and Ben Rose has won the Empire award for BEST SLIDE GUITARIST as well. The band members are all busy musicians (each member appears in other local bands in the Spokane area) and when these 4 get together on any stage they create powerful music.
SideStep with Max Daniels
These are no strangers to The Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival, but never together like this. Max Daniels is the front man and leader of the very popular Motown Funk band, Nu Jack City, and SideStep is a trio formed from the R&B roots of Mumbo Jumbo and Step Brothers. Danny McCollim on keys, Jon Goforth on saxophone and Pat Barclay on guitar. All these names are known in the Spokane area for their excellent musicianship and ability to bring the party! This is a special group coming together, not to be missed. And if you came for the dancing, it starts here big time, and it never stops!
A true legend, an iconic interpreter of Roots Music, Maria Muldaur is best known world-wide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received several Grammy nominations, and enshrined her forever in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere; but despite her considerable pop music success, her 55-plus year career could best be described as a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American Roots Music. In the 46 years since “Midnight at the Oasis,” Maria has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 41 solo albums covering all kinds of American Roots Music, including Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Big Band (not to mention several award-winning children’s albums). She has now settled comfortably into her favorite idiom, the Blues. Often joining forces with some of the top names in the business, Maria has recorded and produced on-average an album per year, several of which have been nominated for Grammys and other awards.
Johnny Rawls is a soul blues legend. In fact, the term “soul blues” was invented to describe his music. We are proud to finally get him out here to the Inland Northwest. With a career spanning more than 50 years, he’s done it all. He’s an internationally recognized recording artist, music producer, and songwriter who tours extensively throughout North America and overseas. The Blues Music Awards (and its predecessor, the W.C. Handy Awards) frequently recognize Johnny’s work. To date, ten of Johnny’s albums have been nominated for Soul Blues Album of the Year, with “I’m Still Around” winning in 2019 and “Ace of Spades” winning in 2010. Johnny has been nominated for Soul Blues Male Artist eleven times and received one nomination for Song of the Year. Roots Music Report declared Johnny’s 2017 release, “Waiting for the Train,” one of the top 50 blues albums of the year. Johnny also has multiple nominations/awards from Blues Blast and Living Blues Magazines.
Blood Brothers featuring Mike Zito & Albert Castiglia
This is HUGE! Mike Zito won the 2022 Blues Music Award for “Blues Rock Album;” and Albert Castiglia won the BMA for “Blues Rock Artist. They will be playing together here as Blood Brothers on our 5-Band Festival stage! This will be an amazing first chance to see Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia touring in support of the new Blood Brothers album. The new CD coming early 2023. Blood Brothers was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana. They will bring together their two powerhouse bands, featuring Matt Johnson: drums; Ephraim Lowell: drums; Doug Byrkit: bass; and Lewis Stephens:piano/organ. Both Mike and Albert will be onstage performing together for the entire show, so fans can enjoy the amazing chemistry and creativity that these two musicians share with each other – and the audience.
Sara Brown Band
Drawing from influences of blues, rock, soul, and funk, festival favorite, Sara Brown Band, will capture your heart and take it out dancing! A regular on the big stage, from Wallace Blues Festival to this one, she is another I.E.B.S. winner, Hall of Famer, having won in the recent past for Best Female Blues Performer. Also acclaimed by Hollywood, Sara Brown won a trophy from Universal Studios in 2002, being named Singer of The Year. She has been an opener for Ana Popovic as well as Beth Hart. Known for her fabulous shoes, fabulous voice and fabulous stage presence, Sara brings a fun filled sassiness to her shows and a smile to all who see her.