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6th Annual KNON Blues Festival

January 29 & 30, 2005 - Poor David's Pub

By Don O.

This was the first year we have held the KNON Blues Fest at the new Poor David's Pub on Lamar and it turned out to be a great venue.  I don't think we had a single complaint about lack of parking, which had become a real issue at our previous venue.

The show kicked off about 4:15 on Saturday with Scott introducing Aaron Burton.  Aaron did a fine set of acoustic blues including a couple of his nice originals.  He even showed off his KNON t-shirt.  Aaron actually designed one of our blues shirts several years ago (the one with the record) and it won't be long before we'll be playing his first CD on KNON (we hope).

Aaron was followed by his wife, Robin Bank$, and her band, including Chris Ruest, Greg Hardy, and Drew Allain.  Robin has been on several of our blues fests before and is always a crowd favorite.  This year was no exception. 

2005 Blues Festival Poster


Denton stalwart Pops Carter was up next and we really appreciate the fact that he and his band drove all the way down from Denton to help us out.  Pops had 'em up and dancing!  Andrea Dawson was on next and did one of the best sets I have heard her do.  She is definitely coming along as an entertainer, and once she gets some original material, she'll be ready to release her first CD.  I heard she was feeling a little under the weather that day, but you sure couldn't tell it by her performance.  Thanks Andrea!

Big Charles Young was up next, backed by an all star band that included Harold Walker, James Butler, and Hal Harris.  Cuzzin Lenny even got in the act.  Literally!  Big Charles had the room rocking.  (However, Mustang Sally does go on his permanent record.)  Fort Worth favorite Paul Byrd was next on the bill, backed by Mike Stockton and Reno Ochoa.  He did a number of his fine original tunes.  Even The Cuz was impressed!  We also appreciate Paul and the boys coming all this way east from the Town of Cow.

Freddie King's daughter, Wanda King, put on a solid set but only after having to wrestle The Cuz for the microphone.  Backed by Holland K. Smith, Johnny Woods, and Bobby Baranowski, Wanda did several of her fine original songs and more than a few of her self-released CDs were sold to the crowd.  Holland closed out the night for us backed by his own band, with Jim Milan on bass, Danny "Cornbread" Ross on keys, and Iron Man Bobby Baranowski on the drums.  We couldn't have ended things on a better note.

Day two started out with rain and it pretty much rained all day.  Sadly, that kept some folks away from another fine show.  Unlike some blues venues, Poor David's remained warm and dry inside!!

We kicked things off about 3:30 with a new band, The 8 Ball Blues Band.  They're pretty new on the scene but KNON loves to give new talent a chance and they did not disappoint.  You'll be hearing more from this band in the future.  AJ and Blue Roux followed.  They're another new band, but composed of some previous players in the Barton Street Blues Band, so they've been around for awhile.  They also put on a nice rockin' set and you're likely to hear more from them in the future, too.

Stompin Bill Johnston was next on the bill and featured Chris Ruest and Joel Foy on guitars, Drew Allain on bass and Bobby Baranowski back on drums.  I introduced them, jokingly, as the MVP blues band.  That's because Drew Allain is a previous KNON blues fest MVP, Bobby Baranowski was this year's MVP (playing 5 sets) and Chris Ruest was the runner-up MVP this year (playing 4 sets).  While you usually just hear the names of the "front man" (or woman) in the band, you just have to give props to those rhythm sections and guitarists who are up there time and again, backing anyone who needs a band.  We couldn't do it without y'all!  Anyway, Stompin Bill played some mighty harp and we can't wait for him to get e new CD out.  He's sort of one of the undiscovered wonders here in town who definitely deserves more attention.

After Stompin Bill, Chris Ruest finally got to let his own light shine and he made many new fans who are now looking forward to his first CD, due out in March.  Pete Barbeck and 7th Son were up next, and, as always, tore the house down.  Pete and the boys have helped us out many times in the past and they're always a crowd favorite.  Denny Freeman was the next act on the bill and showed everyone why we're so glad to have him back in town.  Denny was just off the boat from a Blues Cruise backing Taj Mahal.  There were no barnacles on his guitar.  Michael J. Dohoney played drums and provided stellar vocals and Jim Milan was back, for the second night in a row, for bass duties.  James Butler, Harold Walker, and Hal Harris were back again to support the next acts and they brought along Linny Nance on keyboards.  James did a few songs before Short Stack called Cookie McGee onstage to wow the crowd.

Cookie was just back from a tour in Scandinavia and she quickly showed the crowd why she's so popular overseas.  Gregg Smith took the stage to introduce Lucky Peterson, who had come straight from the airport after playing a big show out of town.  Jet lag didn't seem to bother Lucky a bit as he proceeded to tear the place apart.  There are few in the world who can do it like Lucky Peterson does it, but he was really on the top of his game this night.  If you weren't there to see it, you flat messed up.  Gregg Smith was back onstage at the end of the night, backed by Lucky and the band, to close out a stellar day of music.

Overall, the event went pretty well for KNON but we were down a bit money-wise due to the rain keeping folks at home on Sunday.  Not a soul could complain about the venue or the show, though.  The staff and sound at Poor David's was great, Louisiana Red served up some mean gumbo and barbecue, Larry Morgan Music provided a nice backline which all the musicians enjoyed, and a fine time was had by all.  Definitely one for the books.

If you were there, you know.  If you weren't, well, we'll do it again next year!


KNON's Texas Blues Radio  Last Update: Wednesday December 28, 2011