|Sweet Claudette will perform Friday at AJ's Music Cafe as part of the Ferndale Blues Festival.|
With the depth of the blues music talent pool in the Detroit area, I’ve never understood why some venues in the Ferndale Blues Festival book rock groups, jazz artists or “blues for a day” bands. It’s been happening ever since the festival started.
The featured entertainer at this year’s Rockin’ Blues BBQ Rib Burn Out on Feb. 5, for example, is country group the Hunter Brooks Band. Other artists scheduled to perform during the “blues” festival include folk rockers The Luddites, jazz artists Sean Blackman and Wayne Gerard, and funk rockers Duende. All fine acts, but not blues performers.
That being said, there are plenty of authentic Detroit blues performers scheduled to appear at the festival, which runs Saturday through Feb. 6 with more than 60 concerts at two dozen venues throughout Ferndale.
A few personal favorites include the Barbara Payton Blues Band (Feb. 2 at Rosie O’Grady’s), Luther Badman Keith (Jan. 28 at Howe’s Bayou and Jan. 29 and Feb. 4 at Buffalo Wild Wings), Howard Glazer (solo on Jan. 29 at Howe’s Bayou and with the EL 34s on Feb. 3 at Buffalo Wild Wings and Feb. 4 at Como's), Brett Lucas (Jan. 30 at Club Bart), Sweet Claudette (Jan. 28 at AJ’s Music Café), the Pete “Big Dog” Fetters Band (Feb. 5 at the Ferndale Elks Club), Carl Henry (Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 at Sneakers), John Latini (Feb. 4 at Howe’s Bayou), and recent Detroit Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bobby Murray (Feb. 5 at Woodward Avenue Brewers). To see a complete schedule, click www.ferndalebluesfestival.org.
There will be “blue pig” piggybanks at venues around town, where patrons can make donations. All proceeds benefit Ferndale Youth Assistance and the Michigan AIDS Coalition.
To see a video of Oakland County Commissioner Craig Covey speaking about the festival, click here.
To send info to JB Blues, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.