You can't Beat the Sunshine Blues Festival

Live music rocks Mizner Park


BOCA RATON, Fla. – It was perfect weather for a day of great live music with the return of the Sunshine Blues Festival to Mizner Park on Sunday, January 17th.  The traveling festival is headlined by the founders, Tedeschi Trucks Band but there is always a diverse lineup of great bands to entertain you all day. 

With a bright sunny day and a nice January breeze, the music kicked off with sets from Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio and Joanne Shaw Taylor.  One of my favorite parts of this festival is that the acts are staggered between stages; so when one is ending, you just grab a beer as you walk over to the second stage.  Actually, the second stage is the best part of the whole thing.  Fans can get right up next to the performers without all the formal seating they put up at the main stage.  It would be great if they just ditched the chairs altogether, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

The Jerry Douglas Band was rocking the field with blazing instrumentals as Jorma Kaukonen set up on the main stage.  The former Jefferson Airplane guitarist and Hot Tuna frontman is 75 but doesn't look it.  It was just him and his acoustic guitar rocking the crowd for an hour with blues classics like "Hesitation Blues" and the Rev. Gary Davis' ghostly spiritual "Death Don't Have No Mercy".  Then, The Revivalists took over on the second stage and really got the crowd going!  This is one high energy band with a lot of great players.  After their set ended, it was back over to the big field (main stage) for the set from Hard Working Americans, a jam band super group with bassist Dave Schools from Widespread Panic, guitarist Neal Casal from Chris Robinson Brotherhood, singer Todd Snider, Chad Staehly from Great American Taxi on keys and Derek Trucks' younger brother Duane on drums. Derek would later be taking over the main stage with his own group, TTB.

After Hard Working Americans, it was another footrace over to the second stage to get prime spots for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe.  I had been hearing about this band but had yet to see them live and THEY ROCK!  A lot of jammy, jazzy, freaky high energy horns.. Karl Denson concerts are wild.  Highly recommended if you haven't seen them yet.  Karl Denson wrapped and then the Indigo Girls took over the main stage. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue followed on the second stage, where the music really gets the crowd going.  Another really high intensity set.  Finally, to wrap up the night, it was back over to the main stage for the closing set by the headliners, Tedeschi Trucks Band.  This great festival just keeps on getting better every year.  Here's to many more!

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