Selected by Dan
Galactic - Rick Oliver © Capricorn
its seventh year, the Park Tower Blues Festival returns with a broad lineup that sprawls
over a century of the blues with a selection of talents old and new.
The festival gets underway on Wednesday, December 6 with a "Countdown Special"
offering a lineup of Japanese artists including Sheena & Rockets and DMBQ.
The "Countdown Special" continues on Thursday with performances from Paul
Jones and Galactic. Formerly lead singer for the British Invasion group Manfred Mann,
Jones has recently returned to the blues after pursuing a theater career.
Courtesy of Jus' Blues Management Co.
Based in New Orleans,
Galactic are a jazz-funk sextet who have appeared in Tokyo as part of the jam-band Organic
Groove parties. With a sound inspired by heroes like The Meters, Galactic's latest release
is Late For The Future.
Things get going in earnest on Friday, with the festival headliners taking the stage
through the weekend.
Leading off is New Orleans local legend, pianist Henry Butler, making a rare trip
outside his home state of Louisiana. Coming out of the New Orleans tradition that easily
blends blues and jazz, Butler can be found just about any time of the year performing at
one of the Crescent City's numerous nightclubs.
Also appearing from
Louisiana will be blues harmonica legend Lazy Lester, at the head of his harmonica
trio Harp Attack. Contrary to his colorful nickname, Lester's style of swamp blues
is decidedly energetic, especially on his many 1950s recordings as sideman for guitarist
Lightnin' Slim and as frontman for Excello Records.
If Lazy Lester represents blues history, then Lucky Peterson is its future. The
Buffalo, New York native imbibed the blues at his father's Governor's Inn blues nightclub
in the late '60s, and at the age of six he scored a national R&B hit with the Willie
Favored by concert-goers for its relaxed feeling and the freedom to come and go from the
concert hall as you like, the Park Tower Blues Festival is an increasingly strong rival to
the long-running Japan Blues Carnival.
In a last-minute addition, Tokyo blues collective Howling Loochie Brothers have
been booked to open the Saturday show, starting at 2:30pm sharp.
Blues Festival takes place at Park Tower Hall on December 6-10. See listings for details.