Start getting excited.
The lineup for the 2019 Bradenton Blues Festival is here, and the bill is packed with some major blues stars.
The main event will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, on the Bradenton Riverwalk and feature national and international blues acts.
This year’s headliner is Grammy-nominated blues guitarist and singer Kenny Neal.
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The festival is also a great chance to find up-and-coming talent. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, one of the headliners at the 2018 festival, was recently snapped up by Alligator Records, a Chicago-based record label.
This year’s fresh talent includes Annika Chambers, a U.S. Army veteran turned blues singer whose debut album topped blues charts in 2014.
The festival benefits Realize Bradenton’s free community youth, art and music programs.
“Attendees are giving back to the community by simply purchasing a ticket to attend the Bradenton Blues Festival,” Johnette Isham, the executive director of Realize Bradenton, said in a press release.
“Festival attendees are thrilled to know that our ‘Blues in the Schools’ program has educated nearly 4,000 students about the history of blues music in the United States.”
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at bradentonbluesfestival.org or at Keeton’s Office & Art Supply, 817 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
“The Bradenton Blues Festival continues as a destination event, and based on sales trends, we’re projecting to be sold out in early November this year — earlier than ever,” said Holly Eisemann with Realize Bradenton, the local nonprofit that produces the event.
Also part of the annual celebration: the Blues Appetizer concert on Friday, Dec. 6, and the Blues Brunch on Sunday, Dec. 8., at Mattison’s City Grille. It all happens on the Bradenton Riverwalk.
Here’s the full lineup for the 2019 Bradenton Blues Festival weekend:
Friday, Dec. 6: Blues Appetizer concert
The Blues Appetizer concert is a warm-up party for the main event, and it’s free to attend.
Rusty Wright Band: This local gem has toured internationally and opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Duffy Bishop Band: Bishop’s powerful vocals have earned her a spot in the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame, and she won the Cascade Blue’s Association’s Female Vocalist Award so many times that they renamed it the Duffy Bishop Femal Vocalist Award.
Details: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Bradenton Riverwalk Event Pavilion, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Free.
Saturday, Dec. 7: Bradenton Blues Festival
As always, the lineup is loaded with major talent:
Kenny Neal: Neal brings the blues to new places with skill on multiple instruments and soul in his voice. The Louisiana native’s 2016 album “Bloodline” was nominated for a Grammy award for best contemporary blues album and won two Blues Music Awards.
Toronzo Cannon: Cannon is a Chicago blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter whose music is partially inspired by his years as a city bus driver on Chicago’s West Side.
Biscuit Miller and the Mix: Biscuit Miller leads his band The Mix with funky baselines and vocals.
The Duke Robillard Band: Duke Robillard is a heavily decorated blues musician with a classic sound and serious guitar chops.
Annika Chambers: Annika Chambers discovered her passion for music during two tours with the U.S. Army. Chambers returned to Houston in 2011 and founded a band, and by 2014 her debut album was topping blues charts.
John Primer: John Primer, a Mississippi-born musician who later moved to Chicago, deftly weaves Southern and Chicago blues into his own sound.
Zac Harmon: Zac Harmon is a bluesman from Mississippi with songs that combine the best of old-time and modern blues.
Angela Easley: The independent Nashville artist, whose sound is described as sultry and spicy, will play between sets.
Details: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Bradenton Riverwalk Event Pavillion, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. $45-$115. Online ticket purchases include a one-year subscription of Blues Music Magazine.
Sunday, Dec. 8: Blues Brunch
Wind down the weekend with a tasty brunch and live music at Mattison’s City Grille on the Bradenton Riverwalk.
Featured local act The Divebombers is a three-piece outfit that plays rockabilly and classic country in style.
Details: 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Mattison’s City Grille, 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton. $55.
For more info about the Bradenton Blues Festival, visit bradentonbluesfestival.org.