Garvin Gate Blues Festival

By Scott Mullins

In only its third year, the Garvin Gate Blues Festival is on course to become one of the premier blues festivals in the country. While remaining some distance from the level of the Chicago and San Francisco festivals, it is now on a par with the likes of the King Biscuit Festival in Helena, Arkansas, the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival and is quickly closing in on the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport, Iowa.

The Garvin Gate Festival will start on Friday, October 12, beginning at 7:00 p.m., and continue Saturday, October 13, at 3:00 p.m. After two years of mostly local and regional talent, more than more than half of this year's line-up are nationally and internationally known recording artists.

Friday night's line-up features the legendary Fenton Robinson. Dubbed the "mellow blues genius" by his legion of Japanese fans, Robinson has been nominated for a W. C. Handy award this year, in the best contemporary blues album (foreign) category for his "Special Road" LP on the Dutch Black Magic label. Don't miss this exciting, introspective, and inventive guitarist / vocalist.

After Robinson's set, the fun move inside the Rudyard Kipling Restaurant for a feature concert with Phil Guy and the Chicago Machine. Guy is a flashy, funky Chicago-style guitarist not unlike his legendary brother Buddy. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes for this one.

Saturday afternoon kicks off with Paradisc Recording artist Paul Black & the Flip Kings. In my opinion, the Flip Kings are one of the best "under-recognized" bands in the country. Guitar fans should not miss Black's Stevie Ray Vaughan / Albert King / Buddy Guy playing style.

Lefty Dizz returns to Louisville after his exciting performance at the Cherokee Blues Club a few weeks ago. Again he will be backed by Lamont Gillispie & the Homewreckers. Dizz is a one of a kind showman who should have the audience in the palm of his hand in no time.

Also featured over the course of the weekend will be the creme de la creme of Louisville's blues talent, including da Mudcats, Curtis and the Kicks, Foree Wells and the Walnut Street Blues Band, Lamont Gillispie and the Homewreckers, and Mark Stein and the Steamrollers.

The Garvin Gate Blues Festival is sponsored by the Garvin Gate Neighborhood Association and the KYANA Blues Society.