Asbury Park Blues and Brews Festival

Guys, I have levels of sunburn that may, possibly, make me look like like I have some sort of disease for the rest of the summer. When I woke up, things were looking bleak. Then, it started raining. It looked like my Blues Festival plans might be thwarted by on and off thunderstorms all day, but mom and I decided to take a chance anyway. I packed 2 umbrellas and a pair of hoodies in my pack, and we were off.

Of course, since the weather was so dismal in the morning and early afternoon, all gray clouds and the threat of the sky opening up, it didn’t dawn on either of us to bring sunblock, and so I am badly sunburned today, as the sun came out from behind the clouds and it became an actually kind of beautiful day – windy, not too hot, a nice breeze, mix of sun and clouds.  So, I guess I have the ‘sunburned, but pretty much only on my right side’ blues today?

I always feel a bit sad going to blues events, since it’s very rare to see many young people in the audience. The blues are awesome, kids! There is something wrong when a 34 yr old is the baby in the audience, especially at a festival with free admission.

You hear things said about the blues dying. I feel like that’s a joke about the average age of the audience, but really, you hear people say similar things about rock and metal. These genres are not “dying”, they are being brutally suffocated by top 40 radio.  I’m pretty sure if the “average listener” was exposed to these genres, they would enjoy them just as much as those of us who have been fans all along. It’s lack of visibility that kills genres, not the average age of an audience that just happened to be alive when they were trendy.  After all, people still know the blues “hits”. Young people still know songs by BB King, by all of the greats, really. These tunes do have an appeal, they are standing the test of time. What isn’t standing the test of time is a system of radio play that tells us songs are popular, because that is what they are playing for us, so that is what we are listening to. The whole “popular radio” system is such a loaded deck that it saddens me.  But, that’s why live, outdoor concerts like Blues Festivals are so important, and so valuable, because of the visibility and exposure, where someone might just be walking by, and go ‘oh, what is this? Let me check it out.’ We need more events like this (and if you go to free concerts, please, PLEASE buy SOMETHING, support these people who are working so hard in whatever little way you can.), where people get exposed to things they haven’t necessarily noticed before.

Anyway, The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues festival hits Long Branch again on August 29th, which will be a while different set of bands, if you are in the area and so inclined.

Photos of the Event are on the facebook page: here

I took a bunch, so it’s just easier not to post them all directly to the blog, but you should be able to view them all on my page.

Now, I’m not well-versed in any of the bands I saw, so, rather than giving you an in depth look, which I’m not really qualified for since I pretty much heard them all for the first time yesterday, so, I’ll just give you a preview of the bands I heard, and you can research them further from there. I wasn’t able to find good quality audio on all of these, I tried. In any case, here you go:

1. Mr. Lucky

2. Joe Zook & Blues Deluxe

This one starts with a song clip, but about a minute in, the song “Jersey Blues” starts.

3. Stone Blue

4. Bob DelRosso Band

5. Dave Fields

song starts around 45 seconds in.

6. Joe Louis Walker

I feel like I have missed something important by not knowing who Joe Louis Walker was until yesterday. I think it makes me a bad blues fan, possibly. But, they were pretty darn great, so it’s okay. I’ll catch up. 🙂

Until Next Time, I’ve been burned by the blues, but that’s okay.

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