BBQ and blues, like rice or red beans, go hand-in-hand.
New Orleans is frequently associated with blues and BBQ, but it does not have red beans nor rice.
It Crescent City Blues & BBQ FestivalIt made a huge difference in changing the perception.
With the 15th edition of the free festival set to fill downtown’s Lafayette Square Park this weekend, blues music — both homegrown talent and visiting headliners — and an array of smoked and grilled meats will take center stage.
Friday’s festival will start with an appetizer. There are only two acts that perform on Friday from 5:30 to 8:30. The main events take place Saturday and Sunday. Two stages will host alternating bands from 11:00 a.m. until after dark.
It includes Charlie Musselwhite who is a blues harmonica legend, Ruthie Foster’s award-winning blues singer, and Robert Finley who was born in Louisiana.
Walter, an artist based in New Orleans, and a Louisiana-based artist make up the bill. “Wolfman”Washington, Little Freddie King Kenny Neal Jon Cleary Johnny Sansone Mia Borders Mem Shannon & the Membership Eric Johanson
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. The nonprofit is also the owner of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jazz Fest proceeds are used to support the Blues & BBQ Festival as well as other events that the foundation hosts throughout the year.
After two years of disruptions caused by pandemics, The Blues & BBQ Fest 2022 is back in person. Online, the 2020 festival was announced. “Blues Festing in Place,”WWOZ 90.7 FM is a community radio station that the Jazz & Heritage Foundation owns and operates. It broadcasts this message.
WWOZ will broadcast this festival livestreamed at 5:00 p.m. for those who can’t attend in person. www.wwoz.org. The livestream will also be available on the Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Facebook page.
All general admission tickets are free. General admission is free. The VIP Experience Pass gives you access to both stages and a lounge in the Blake Hotel that offers a great view of the festival. You also get complimentary drinks. VIP passes are $250 plus service charges, available via www.eventbrite.com.
There will be music, 22 vendors selling handcrafted jewelry, furniture and art, as well. They are designed to reflect New Orleans’ growing culinary scene. Vegetarian, vegan, as well as gluten-free, options will be available.
Three headliners with rock-solid credentials are the highlight of this festival.
Robert Finley was a Bernice resident who has performed many times over the years, while working other jobs. Music Maker Relief Foundation was the first to promote Finley. This foundation aids musicians who are in financial need. In 2015, Finley released his debut album. “Age Don’t Mean A Thing.” Dan Auerbach, of the Black Keys, subsequently produced two Finley albums released via Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound; the most recent is last year’s “Sharecropper’s Son.”
Finley and Jon Cleary, a New Orleans pianist, are the festival’s only Friday performers.
The 78-year-old Musselwhite, Saturday’s headliner, was born in Mississippi and grew up in Memphis before moving to Chicago. He steeped himself in the city’s blues scene and made a name for himself during the 1960s blues revival. He has showcased his torrid blues harmonica playing on dozens of his own albums, as well as on recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits and INXS (that’s his harmonica on the opening of the INXS hit “Suicide Blonde”).
Saturday’s schedule is something of a Musselwhite family affair. Charlie closes out the St. Charles Avenue Stage’s set at 7 p.m. At noon, Layla Musselwhite, his daughter and blues singer and guitarist whose Cosmic Gentlemen band has been based in New Orleans opens the stage.
Ruthie Foster is a Texas native who will conclude the 2022 Blues & BBQ Festival. A Sunday set will begin at 7 p.m. Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin clearly influenced Foster’s powerful yet nuanced approach to vocals and her medley of musical styles, which encompasses not just blues but gospel, folk and soul. On her most recent album, 2020’s “Live at the Paramount,”A large group of musicians shares her stage.
You can hear Foster, and many other artists for nothing this weekend.
CRESCENT CITY BLUES 2022 & BBQ SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, Oct. 14
5:30 – 6:45 p.m.:Jon Cleary and Absolute Monster Gentlemen
7 – 8:30 p.m.: Robert Finley
SATURDAY, Oct. 15
St. Charles Avenue Stage
12 – 1 p.m.:Layla Musselwhite
2 – 3:15 p.m.:Mr. Sipp
4:30 – 5:45 p.m.: Kenny Neal
7 – 8:30 p.m.: Charlie Musselwhite
Camp Street Stage
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Wolfe Johns Blues Band
1 – 2 p.m.:Mem Shannon & the Membership
3:15 – 4:30 p.m.: Mia Borders
5:45 – 7 p.m.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington
SUNDAY, Oct. 16
St Charles Avenue Stage
12 – 1 p.m.: Eric Johanson
2 – 3:15 p.m.: Joy Clark
4:30 – 5:45 p.m.:Johnny Sansone
7 – 8:30 p.m.: Ruthie Foster
Camp Street Stage
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.:Kevin and The Blues Groovers
1 – 2:00 p.m.:DK Harrell
3:15 – 4:30 p.m.:Trudy Lynn
5:45 – 7 p.m.: Little Freddie King