Five band, two stage non-stop Blues Festival in the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Convention Center Saturday, March 30th from 4:00 - 11:00 PM. A full bar and loads of delicious food will be available. With a stage on each end, there is no down time. Two stages of continuous Blues entertainment make for a seamless transition from one band to the next.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
To commemorate our tenth year of The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival, we have taken it up a few notches for our headliner and other acts.
For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation.
“We started as a straight blues band”, vocalist and harmonica player Wilson says. “We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and we’re much higher energy than we were before.”
In addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Johnny Moeller on guitar, Steve Gomes on bass, Kevin Anker on keyboards, and Wes Watkins on drums. During the burgeoning music scene of Austin, Texas, Kim Wilson met Jimmie Vaughan, and they founded the T-Birds in 1974. With a reputation as a compelling live act, they subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records.
In 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. In subsequent releases, the band started to incorporate more Cajun, rock ‘n roll and soul influences. The album “T-Bird Rhythm” marked a creative turning point for the group as it collaborated with noted producer Nick Lowe. In 1986, The Fabulous Thunderbirds reached a commercial peak with the album, “Tuff Enuff”. The single of the same title as well as the singles “Wrap It Up” and “Look At That”, all went top 40.
For the remainder of the ’80s, the band continued to record and tour, and released the album, “Powerful Stuff”. Jimmie Vaughn left in 1989 but Wilson kept the group going, incorporating keyboards. The band never stopped touring extensively, in both the U.S. and Europe.The thread throughout the T-Birds career has been the respect the group commanded for its peerless musicianship and devotion to the sounds of blues, R & B and rock ‘n roll. “We can play both blues festival and rock venues,” Wilson comments. “We’re a diversified band now and everybody’s on the same page.”
Harlis Sweetwater Band
Since this band hails from Southern California, they can’t win any Inland Empire Blues Society awards. BUT they did win "Best Rock Band" in Orange County Weekly's Best Of 2018 Readers Choice Poll. Harlis and his band performed at the Wallace Blues Festival a few years back and let’s just say that “Folks went crazy.” They made a lot of fans up here and we have always wanted to see them come back. CdA Blues Festival could not be happier to have made that happen.
This is a national touring band that headlines festivals and venues across the U.S.. All three of the bands albums made Itunes Top 200 Best Selling Albums with songs charting in the Top 200 Blues in U.S., Ireland, Sweden and New Zealand. The band combines Rock, Soul, Punk and Blues to form it’s explosive and dynamic sound.
Harlis Sweetwater, as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and frontman, has shared the stage with everyone from Jimmie Vaughan, Everlast, Chris Shifflet (Foo Fighters), ZZ Top, Los Lobos and Brian Setzer to R&B/Blues legends Etta James, James Cotton, and Wilson Pickett to name a few. He has been called "the best singer in any genre" by music critic Robert Kinsler of the OC Register, While SugarBuzz Magazine had this to say: "From the heart, Harlis Sweetwater,you know instantly the real deal is upon you. This man knows the blues.Harlis formed the band in 2012 to get back to the Blues/Soul music he loves. He enlisted fellow musicians Jimmy Sena on Drums and Jason Holser playing Bass; both with extensive recording and performing experience, to lay down a solid foundation of groove for His wild, bluesy & intense guitar playing and broad, gravely soulful voice. The groups chemistry makes for high energy performances that both entertain and mesmerize, and often times the party on stage rivals the one in the audience making the Harlis Sweetwater Band one of the more fun and enjoyable bands to see live.
“While the band may hail from southern California, they sound like Texas and Tennessee got a divorce and lost a great band to California in the custody battle” -Blue Review Magazine.
Ben Rice Band
Portland area’s Ben Rice's music is deeply rooted in traditional blues, yet at the same time fiercely original. His guitar playing earns labels like "fearless," "inventive" and "powerful," and he routinely brings audiences to their feet with his stunning and emotionally honest vocal delivery. Ben is as much at home fronting his electric band as he is captivating a crowd solo with nothing but his voice and his acoustic resonator guitar.
Ben has been winning awards for his vocals and guitar playing for the last seven years. In 2014 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee he left the audience speechless with a raw emotional delivery of his version of “Key To The Highway.” On his second consecutive trip to the International Blues Challenge, he made the finals in the solo/duo category, where he was awarded the St. Blues Guitarist award for best guitarist.
As a Portland area native, the Cascade Blues Association has awarded Ben many Muddy Awards, most recently just nominated 6 times for 2018 and winning both the Best Contemporary Blues Act Award and the prestigious “Curtis Salgado” Male Vocalist Award. Ben will also perform acoustic solo on the Sunday Brunch Cruise on the lake!
The Sara Brown Band
Drawing from their 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. This year we have asked her to again be the first music to greet our arriving guests by performing solo acoustic in the Resort Lobby on Friday afternoon. Sara will then take her place on one of our Big Stages this year, starting the Main Festival off at 4:00PM. Find out why everyone loves Sara.
The Stepbrothers, featuring Jennifer Kemple
This was one of the bands that was there at the beginning, although (with some changes) known as Mumbo Jumbo and then Big Mumbo and all we know for sure is that anyone paying attention knows they are just the best. These men are at the top of their game, playing Old School Funk, Blues, Jazz, and sweet Soul music. The joy they bring to the table comes from the heart.
Pat Barclay: Lead Guitar, Danny McCollim: Keyboards, Eddie Ramirez: Bass Guitar, Charles Swanson: Sax, Danial Cox: Drums. Along with the amazing Jennifer Kemple: Vocals These are the go to musicians for everyone who needs back up or recording or help with their musical projects. This is the amalgam of the best of the best, whether in musical education, experience and stars they have recorded or appeared with. All have been honored with multiple IEBS awards as well.
They have appeared on the CdA Blues Festival stage many times and we would be remiss in not having them back for our 10th Anniversary. It was decided that there could be no more fitting a closer for this festival than The Stepbrothers.
On the Boat - Blues Cruise Bands
Robin Barrett & Coyote Kings with Tiphony Dames
This band is Smokin’ Hot, just as their Facebook page says it is. The fabulous Miss Tiphony Dames was this year’s winner of the IEBS Empire Awards for Best Female Blues Performer AND Best Female Blues Vocalist. We also like it extra fun on the Friday Blues Cruises. Dancing and drinking and carrying on are encouraged. This ain’t the snuggle up soul cruise. We like bands that get the party started and then keep their feet on the gas. Dancing with Typhony is as good as it gets.
Since 2006, these amazing Blues-rockers, The Coyote Kings, have been performing and recording, winning awards, collecting rave reviews, and playing to enthusiastic audiences and devoted fans. They have made numerous albums and we hope that this Cruise is going to be one of their newest CD release parties! “That little ‘ol band from Walla Walla” has established themselves as a musical force in the Northwest and World-wide. This is a band worthy of our Tenth Year Anniversary. A do not miss!
Diego & The Detonators
From Milton-Freewater, OR, minutes from the wine town of Walla Walla, WA, comes a new and electrifying blues band, starring 21 year old Diego Romero. With having only been in the live music scene for a year, Diego has already played numerous clubs and festivals across the Northwest. With vocals and guitar work to the likings of Buddy Guy and BB King, he's bound to keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the night.
The band also features a saxophone/trumpet player by the name of The "Great" Nate Miller. At only 17 years old, Nate just recently joined and has been impressing every ear that gets the chance to listen. Backing up these two in the rythym section, We have Marquel Fowler on bass and Kyle Schleede on drums. These seasoned players have been playing together for 10 plus years, and have the pocket locked in like no one else.
Diego & The Detonators played for the I.E.B.S. Awards Ceremonies this year, and they had everyone dancing from the first song. The CdA Blues Festival loves showing off young talent, and this is it, Rocking “dance to” music, perfect for the Friday night Blues Cruise.
Friday Night Live! | The Resort Convention Center
Nu Jack City
To celebrate our 10th Anniversary of the Blues Festival, we invited back a few of the acts that got it all started. First and foremost was Nu Jack City. They used to keep the party going in the old Shore Lounge when the Festival ended the first few years. The place was packed and Max Daniels and Mone with that big band kept everyone moving and grooving! Not a strictly Blues Band, but R&B, Funk and old soul combined with a mix of original sound. This is an exciting collection of top musicians in the Spokane area, “Nu Jack City” is recognized as one of the favorite dance & party bands throughout the Inland Northwest.
For some time now they have been mostly holding court at the House of Soul in downtown Spokane. We are thrilled to get this crowd pleasing back with us for one night! This band never fails to amaze you! When you see a “Nu Jack City” Performance, prepare to be moved as the band shuffles through various musical styles, genres, and eras. Whether it’s old or new, Motown, Soul, Classic Rock, Blues, Top 40 or sweet R&B, “Nu Jack City” delivers a highly entertaining and energetic show that always gets the crowd dancing and wanting more! Invite everyone you know to this Partee! Max puts the fun in funk!
The Roof Top Blues Party
MasterClass Big Band's Rhythm & Blues Review
This was the surprise hit of last year, so much so that we had to bring them back. Mark Stephens leads this amazing 20+ member group. The MasterClass Big Band (formerly The MasterClass Jazz Orchestra) is a multi-generational sensation bringing outstanding high-school musicians and vocalists together with top-notch veteran performers. Always uplifting, always exciting, always professional, the MasterClass showcases these young artists with a wide variety of superbly played dance numbers and stirring concert arrangements.
This big band (20) of talented young people is mentored and joined by some of the Spokane area’s best “not young” musicians. An audience favorite, they have played Pig Out In The Park and Valleyfest, among many other community events. For our Blues Festival, they have put together a show JUST FOR US, of R&B that includes the music of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Motown and more, delightfully performed by this area’s most distinctive big band ensemble. Weather permitting. this will be on the view patio above Dockside Restaurant. Otherwise moved into resort convention area.
At The Taphouse Unchained
Bobby & Randy
This is Bobby Patterson and Randy Knowles. The same Bobby who won FIVE I.E.B.S. awards for this most recent year. His band will be rocking a couple Cruises on Saturday, but on this Friday afternoon, our Best Blues Male Vocalist, Best Blues Guitarist and Best Blues Performer, along with his also multi-award winning Bass Player will unhinge The Tap House Unchained. An incredible talented duo of blues music! Catch some of this before the Blues Cruise goes out at 7:30PM.
In Whispers Lounge
Perennial favorites, this year they are performing the Pre-Cruise party Friday from 4PM to 7PM. 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 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. This is a free concert for all fans of acoustic blues.
The recent 2018 winner of Best Acoustic Blues Act from the I.E.B.S., Robb Boatsman and his rampaging band have played the blues boat cruise a few times. Here we have him playing solo and acoustic.
A Festival regular, from Wallace Blues Festival to Pig Out In The Park to Paul Bunyan Days, Robb was also Winner of Best Blues Male Vocalist in 2011, and is forever nominated for Best Acoustic Blues Act, Best Male Performer, Best Blues Guitarist & Best Male Vocalist. He’s had a lot of nominations and this year was a winner. If the rowdy rocking cruises are not your thing this Saturday afternoon, enjoy a cocktail, food, the view and the company of your fellow blues fans with Robb playing sweet acoustic.
Saturday Afternoon Blues Cruises
Bobby Patterson Band
So it got a little embarrassing at the Inland Empire Blues Awards this past November of 2018 when ONE man and his band began getting ALL the awards for this year. Bobby Patterson won the Best Blues Male Vocalist, Best Blues Guitarist, Best Blues Performer, also the Best Blues Album!! And...drum roll please...IEBS Best Blues Band. So it seemed only fitting that he perform at the I.E.B.S. Hall of Fame “Best Blues Festival.” We have set him afloat this year for TWO rocking Cruises on the Mish-An-Nock. Ninety minutes of Bobby & his band out on the lake with a full bar and dance floor! There’s a Saturday afternoon to remember.
If you don’t know him, Bluesman and singer/songwriter Bobby “Fat Tone” Patterson delivers original songs and classic blues accompanied by masterful slide guitar and electrifying leads. Patterson’s nickname derives from the name of the band he fronted for 13 years, The Fat Tones. He plays electric, acoustic and slide guitar and likes to scat. “Scattin’,” he explained, “is singing the same notes that I’m playing on my guitar.” His hot licks have garnered him numerous past Inland Empire Blues Society (IEBS) Best Blues Guitarist awards as well as many awards among his band mates.
Randy Knowles was named Best Blues Bassist by IEBS in 2015 and 2016. He is a veteran musician who was playing professionally by the age of fourteen. This will be rowdy, exceptional original and classic blues music, and a whole lot of fun.
Sunday Gospel Brunch at Dockside Restaurant
The Voices 4 Praise Gospel Singers
Back by popular demand Gospel group “Voices 4 Praise”at this years Blue’s Festival Gospel Brunch. Enjoy this dynamic quartet listening to intricate four part harmonies.
These award winning vocalists, Valerie Jeanne, Martin Herford, Donna Vaughn, and Heather Bowers are 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. All of this quartet share professional experience in choirs, gospel groups as well as in recording and touring. An amazing group of performers we are proud to present.
Sunday Blues Cruise Brunch
Ben Rice & Hartis Sweetwater Band
A big WOW for this one. Our Brunch Cruise boat will go out on the lake at 11AM - 1PM on Sunday, March 31st. Great Brunch Buffet, a cruise with views on the lake while listening to two of our headline acts taking turns playing acoustic music. This is very limited seating and a must see event at the same time. Book early.
Harlis Sweetwater and Ben Rice both have critics rave about their vocals. And they both love playing acoustic instruments outside of their bands. So on Saturday night you can see them with their bands and then here again out on the lake Sunday morning you can see them play acoustic along with brunch and cocktails. Sweet.