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Five band, two stage non-stop Blues Festival in the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Convention Center. A full bar and delicious food will be available. With a stage on each end, there is no down time. Two stages of Blues make for a seamless transition from one band to the next.

Two Lake Coeur d’Alene cruise boats with acts on board will take you across the lake to a special party, Blues Cruise to The Blues! on Friday evening, Two Saturday Afternoon Blues Cruises, FREE music in the lobby, in Whispers Lounge, in The Tap House and the Friday Night Live! Party, The Roof Top Party and a Gospel Sunday Brunch at the Dockside or our Sunday Brunch Blues Cruise! There is also a VIP Package that includes a Meet & Greet with the Stars in The Jaeger Suite with food, beer and wine and special seating! Early blues cruise boarding and seating at the Hagadone Event Center Friday evening.

Ana Popovic
Ana Popovic became a member of the Experience Hendrix Tour in 2019, touring the world paying homage to the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix. Besides Ana, this show brings together a diverse, all-star aggregation of extraordinary guitarists including Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Billy Cox and many more.

Before that, the award-winning, hard-touring, guitar slinger and singer Ana Popovic toured promoting her 2018 album ‘Like It On Top’, that focuses on empowered, successful, inspiring female role models. Like It On Top opened #2 as the iTunes most downloaded US blues albums. The album peaked at #2 of the Billboard Top Selling blues albums chart. Recorded in Nashville, TN and produced by four-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’, the blues influenced album features guest appearances from Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robben Ford and Keb’ Mo’.

Ana Popovic fell in love with American blues as a kid, starting back home in Belgrade, Serbia (ex- Yugoslavia), then moved to the Netherlands to study at the conservatory of jazz and world-music. She lived in Amsterdam for over ten years, and then in a single-minded pursuit of her art and career, she relocated to Memphis, TN to record and work with Southern musicians. Finally, two years ago, she moved her family to Los Angeles, California where she now lives.

Called “one helluva a guitar-player” by Bruce Springsteen and nominated for six Blues Music Awards, Ana has appeared on the covers of Vintage Guitar and Guitar Player magazine. Her albums ‘Can You Stand The Heat’ and ‘Unconditional’ were USA Today Picks-Of-The-Week and featured on NPR Weekend Edition, who praised her “Fiery technique on the Stratocaster”. Nearly all of Ana’s albums reached the top of the Billboard Blues Charts. She and her six-piece band have toured tirelessly, sharing stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa and many others.

Sugary Rayford
2019’s Blues Music Award winner for Best Soul Blues Male Artist, Sugaray also released his new studio album in 2019 on March 1st, “Somebody Save Me,” Now nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY as Best Contemporary Blues Album along with Gary Clark Jr., Larkin & Poe and Robert Randolph & The Family Band. On the opening track. Texas-born soul blues singer, Sugaray Rayford, forcefully sings, “I’m a freak of nature / I ain’t no honey bee / I’m an unknown creature / The like you’ve never seen.” At 6’5” and 300 pounds, this cigar chompin’ ex-Marine with a voice like a force of nature holds court in any room he enters. Possessing a magnetic personality, and an old school vocal style that echoes Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass, Rayford is also a stellar dancer with moves reminiscent of the Legendary James Brown.

Rayford began his musical career at the tender age of seven, singing and playing drums in church, and his gospel influences definitely shine through in his music. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. “She suffered and we suffered,” Rayford says. “Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives improved. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.” The soulful rasp and emotive vocal style hint at his first-hand experience with hardship, and a childhood marked by poverty and loss. As front-man of The Mannish Boys, Rayford and the band won the Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 2013 and Rayford himself has been nominated for over a dozen BMA’s, besides his win this year, including Vocalist of the Year and multiple nominations for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

The just Grammy nominated new album, Somebody Save Me, is an ambitious album full of inspired arrangements with several unexpected twists and turns. Some are gorgeous soul ballads, some Motown leaning, a Stax inspired, as well as blends of blues, soul and jazz with a hint of reggae. But at the center if it all is Sugaray Rayford’s commanding voice, tying it all together.

With a 6-piece crack band and personal charm, Rayford’s live shows are quickly becoming known for their high-energy and celebratory nature, with Rayford whipping the crowds into a frenzy, like a Gospel Preacher. In the studio and in person, Sugaray Rayford is developing a reputation as a force to be reckoned with and an artist to watch in the coming years.

Rae Gordon Band
Rae began her singing career in the piano bars and comedy clubs of Los Angeles, where she honed her ability to relate to any audience – from a small wine bar with a few people sipping libations, to a big festival attended by thousands. Rae’s approachability and onstage charisma are as well-known as her multi-octave range. She has won the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist five times, landing her in their Hall Of Fame. Her first recording, Blue Lemonade, hit #10 on the Billlboard Blues Chart; her second offering, Dirty Flowers, has enjoyed extensive airplay in the U.S. and beyond.

In 2017 the Rae Gordon Band released its third recording, the award-winning Better Than I Was. And in 2019, Wrong Kind Of Love, the Rae Gordon Band’s follow-up to 2017’s award-winning Better Than I Was, offers up ten original blues-soul songs. The CD covers a wide gamut of styles, from lowdown barroom blues to dance-worthy funk, from heart-tugging soul ballad to slide-drenched rage rocker, from minor-key blues angst to uplifting soul anthem. The recording features the regular members of the 7-piece Rae Gordon Band and they will bring all this NEW music and an incredible good time to our Festival. Don’t miss this show!

Lloyd Jones Struggle
The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival is most proud to welcome back a true North West legend. The Muddy Award given from Portland’s Cascade Blues Association for Best R&B Act is called The Lloyd Jones. Portland, Oregon roots artist Lloyd Jones has recorded six critically acclaimed albums, toured internationally, and racked up dozens of major awards and accolades. He’s a relentless road dog, hitting festival stages, Delbert’s annual Sandy Beaches Cruises (he’s been a regular on six winter cruises), and clubs all across the land to enthusiastic crowds who can’t get enough of his swampy blues, his back porch picking, his serious-as-anthrax funk, soul, roadhouse two-beats, and old-school rhythm and blues (back before the R & B tag was somehow appropriated for other musical purposes, apparently when we weren’t looking). Yet he may be the most invisible, best-kept roots/blues/Americana secret on the contemporary scene.

Jones is a master of the soulful understatement, the raw growl, and the groove. From his roots in muddy Oregon soil, he’s forged a 30-plus-year career as an impassioned singer and fierce guitar slinger, a clever and soulful songwriter, a bandleader, record producer, and an almost strident torchbearer for all that’s true and good about America’s music. Jones is his own true artist who works diligently at pushing American roots music forward. He brings the Struggle band for perhaps the last time for TWO performances at our Festival AND will perform acoustic for the Sunday Brunch Cruise.

Whack A Mole
This band started with two of the coolest people you’ll ever meet coming up with the silliest band name they could think of and then adding their favorite dudes to play with and their favorite songs to play and sing. Rock, Motown, Funk, Disco, and whatever the people want! Perfect for ending a day of great blues, this band is here to party, here to please. Here to play what the people wanna dance to!

This is a group made up of players with decades of experience and education who love what they do and do it well. This group of super talented friends finds a way to blow the minds of the partying public. You never know which mole will pop up at a show, but you will always be beaten over the head with a good time. Stay in the Main room after Ana Popovic for this fun one. And you should try to meet Ryan Dunn and Amanda Tsubota during this event, they’re great. Also performing as Bubble and Squeak in the lobby on Friday.

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 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, and doing songs they both love as a multi-genre acoustic act perfect for welcoming everyone to the Festival!

Doghouse Boyz
Perennial favorites, this year they will be on one of the two boats for the Cruise to The Blues! 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. Their music will be a great accompaniment to a cruise across the lake and back for all fans of acoustic blues.

Kenny James Miller Band
Getting the party started on the Mish An Nock boat for the Cruise to The Blues party, The Kenny James Miller Band is an all-original Northwest US Regional Rock/Blues band located in Montana. A trio of professional, accomplished musicians capable of opening or sharing a stage with any top band.

KJMB received the Inland Empire Blues Society 2011, "Best New Blues Band" Award, and were also winners of the Spokane, WA Regional Semi-Final Competition for the 2011 Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. They have shared the stage with Robin Trower and many other National Bands. Their song "Can't You Hear Me" was chosen to be aired on Blues Deluxe Radio, a nationally syndicated radio show. The Kenny James Miller Band performed in a Montana PBS program, "11th & Grant with Eric Funk" in 2015 and the performance can be found at their web site. This is one fun rockin’ blues trio!

Soul Proprietor
The owners of Soul from the way back when to the Uptown now shuffles through various musical styles, genres, and eras. Whether it’s old or new, they bring the best of Funk, Soul, Blues, Motown, R&B and Classic Rock. Soul Proprietor delivers a very high-energy show! This nine-piece R&B/Soul bands goal is to funkifize! Specializing in the music of legendary R&B horn bands such as Tower of Power, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, and the Average White Band, as well as blues and classics by Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman, Wilson Pickett, Anita Baker, Peter Gabriel, Seal, Sam and Dave, Huey Lewis, and many more.

But regardless of the musical source, groove is the main course. Infectious funk beats are laden with punchy horn lines and exquisite, soulful vocals. Dancing is not required, but highly likely with this long time favorite amongst Northwest concert-goers.

Charlie Butts & The Filter Tips
We have had this bunch of seasoned veterans play our Festival as often as not, since this is just as good and exciting and fun as it gets. Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips have been playing high-energy funky dancin' blues and R&B around the Inland Northwest since 1994.

The Inland Empire Blues Society honored this band with the Best Blues Band award in 2012; Charlie has been nominated most of the 25 years of the Empire Awards, recognized as best horn player seven times and three times for best harp player. That's a lot of blowin', but he's got a lot more air in there. Charlie will tell you the best part is the musicians he brings with him: "I'm just groovin' to these guys - like standing on the shoulders of giants".

Like Joe Brasch, the 2015 IEBS Best Blues Guitarist award winner, who can squeeze your soul with a few hand-picked notes, or shred you to your knees with a raging blast. Or Mark Norton, a keyboard master who can modulate your mind while he's shaking your shoes. Or Eddie Ramirez, funky bass guitarist extraordinaire and drummer Luther Hughes (2015 IEBS Musicians' Choice Award winner) who have that funky groove locked up so tight nobody can take it from you - ever. It's what they call the Filter Tip Magic - there's nothing else like it.

Bobby & Randy
This is Bobby Patterson AND Randy Knowles. Electrifying, make your jaw drop guitar playing, is what we have here. Bobby, winner of the 2019 Best Male Blues Performer, also won FIVE I.E.B.S. awards in 2018. To begin our Festival this Friday afternoon, this I.E.B.S. often credited 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 incredibly talented duo and masters of blues music!

Rusty and Ginger
Amazing vocalist, Festival favorite and well known ginger, Sara Brown, and her husband Jesse, will perform together this year for the first time as Rusty and Ginger, while overlooking the lake in Whispers Lounge. A regular on every stage, from Wallace Blues Festival to this one, Sara is another I.E.B.S. Hall of Famer, and again just winning in 2019 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. Come fall in love with Sara if you haven’t already.

Diego Romero
We are setting Diego and his band afloat this year for TWO rocking Cruises on the Mish-An-Nock. Ninety minutes on the lake with a full bar and dance floor! There’s a Saturday afternoon to remember. The 2019 WINNER of Best New Blues Artist from the Inland Empire Blues Society, hailing from Milton-Freewater, Oregon, minutes from the wine town of Walla Walla, Washington, comes a new and electrifying blues band, starring 22 year old Diego Romero.

With having only been in the live music scene for a couple of years, 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 CdA Blues Festival loves showing off young talent, and Romero is the real deal. This is “dance to” music to make the boat start rockin’ ! and a whole lot of fun.

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. Four award winning vocalists, led by Valerie Jeanne, join 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.

Acoustic music from Lloyd Jones
The Festival is proud to present Lloyd Jones performing acoustic. Here is a review of his acoustic album, Highway Bound. “Portland blues and roots troubadour Lloyd Jones has no doubt reached a pinnacle in his 30 year career with his latest release, Highway Bound, a collection of mostly solo traditional folk blues worthy of inclusion in the Smithsonian Folkways collection. This 16 song set features Jones’ mastery of finger picking on acoustic and electric guitar accompanying his seasoned gravely tenor on a recording that should serve as his legacy for all time.

Covering the classics from W.C Handy, Blind Willy Motel, to, Leadbetter, Sonny Boy Williamson and of course Robert Johnson , Jones gives us a lesson in the origin of the blues and how the tradition must be carried on. Charlie Musselwhite and Curtis Salgado join their old friend with terrific harmonica counter point on “Ice Cream Man,” and “lazy Bones,” adding more authenticity and charm to an already pristine recording. Jones claims that on Highway Bound he is “playing some of his favorite folk blues, simply and honestly,” of that there is little doubt he has hit the mark and made his heroes proud. An instant classic.” -Rick J Bowen


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