Windy City Blues Society launches Blues Festival in Lyons

Windy City Blues Society launches Blues Festival in Lyons

Windy City Blues Society launches Blues Festival in Lyons

Headliners include Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Lurrie Bell, and The Mike Wheeler Band. Tomiko Dixon (granddaughter of blues legend Willie Dixon), and Buddy Guy’s daughter Carlise Guy and the NuBlu Band along with Deak Harp & Quicksand from Clarksdale Mississippi round out the big Saturday Showcase.

The largest booker of blues musicians at the Chicago Blues Fest has broken with the City of Chicago and is now booking entertainment for the Village of Lyons Blues Festival which will be held Sept. 22 and 23, 2018.

Dave Madlener, the president and founder of the Windy City Blues Society, said the two-day Lyons Blues Fest will be “the biggest independent production in years” promising a spectacular lineup of blues performers, musicians and singers.

The Lyons BluesFest will take place on two stages at Cermak Park in Lyons along Ogden Avenue just west of the Des Plaines River (about 7600 West Ogden Avenue in the forest preserve park area.)

Headliners include Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Lurrie Bell, and The Mike Wheeler Band. Tomiko Dixon (granddaughter of blues legend Willie Dixon), and Buddy Guy’s daughter Carlise Guy and the NuBlu Band along with Deak Harp & Quicksand from Clarksdale Mississippi round out the big Saturday Showcase.

Windy City BluesFest from facebook

Windy City BluesFest from facebook

The Sunday headliner, Ben Miller Band is currently touring in Europe and just completed tours with Buddy Guy and ZZ Top. Matthew Curry, Demegtria Taylor, Ivy Ford and the rest make this a stellar Sunday line-up.

The Windy City Blues Society organized one of the most popular stages at the Chicago Blues Fest between 2010 and 2017. This year, Chicago eliminated the WCBS Street Stage

“We paid all our own expenses (at the Chicago Blues Fest). We paid for the stage. We paid for all the sound equipment, sound engineers, and we paid all of the performers. The only thing the City gave us was tents, electricity, a few parking passes and the opportunity,” Madlener said adding he was “grateful for that opportunity” though it became “extremely frustrating.”

Madlener said his performers accounted for more than 22 percent of all of the live performances at the Chicago Blues Fest, adding that the Chicago Blues Fest organizers seemed “almost resentful” of that fact.

“The City was stingy with parking passes, barely providing one pass per musical act. They either left our stage line-up off their web-site or waited till the last minute to publish it. They often failed to mention us in advertisements and even stifled our fundraising abilities. The Chicago Blues Fests often times made us feel unwelcome, unwanted and unappreciated,” Madlener said

The Village of Lyons, by contrast, is like Disney Land, Madlener said.

“We are so welcomed in the Village of Lyons and we are looking forward to working with them. This will be a top tier blues festival in Chicagoland,” Madlener said.

Lyons President Christopher Getty said securing the Windy City Blues Society to organize the new Chicagoland Windy City Blues Festival was a major coup for the entire Southwest suburbs.

“We’re excited to host this festival and are pleased with the quality of the performers that the Windy City Blues Society brings with them,” Getty said.

“The talent that they are bringing is amazing. This is going to be a spectacular music festival event.”

Madlener said the Windy City Blues Society started booking performances at the Chicago Blues Fest in 2010. This is the first year that they have gone independent, outside of Chicago. He said he hopes the Chicagoland Windy City Blues Festival in Lyons will become a tradition to “bookend” the blues season in the Chicagoland area.

“We have all forms of the blues performing, including traditional Chicago Blues, Rock Blues, Country Blues, Delta Blues, Stomp Blues, and Bluegrass Blues. We are featuring a sample of the true and real Chicago Blues Roots Families including the Willie Dixon family, the Eddie Taylor family, the Carrie Bell family and Buddy Guy family,” Madlener added.

“We stress the word ‘sample’ because there are so many great blues families in ole’ Chi-Town.”

Tickets are only $10 per person and there is abundant parking at only $10 per vehicle. Their website is www.windycityblues.org. Their Facebook Page is www.facebook.com/WindyCityBluesSociety.

Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, Sept 22, 2018
Main Stage
11:00 – 11:40 Mississippi Gabe Carter
11:50 -12:30 Donna Herula
12:45 – 1:25 Black Oil Brothers
1:40 – 2:20 Jamiah Rogers Band
2:25 – 3:20 Joe Filisko & Eric Noden
3:35 – 4:15 Eddie Taylor Jr. Band
4:30 – 5:15 The Original Delta Fireballs featuring Geneva Red
5:30 – 6:15 Deak Harp & Quicksand
6:30 – 7:15 The NuBlu Band featuring Carlise Guy
7:35 – 9:05 Willie Dixons Original Chicago Blues All-Star Band backing
The Chicago Blues Divas
Tomiko Dixon’s birthday
9:20 – 11:15 The Mike Wheeler Band
Nellie “Tiger” Travis
Lurrie Bell
Backwoods Stage
12:30 – 1:00 Bo Ricketts
1:10 – 1:50 Billy King Band
2:05 – 250 Queen Beautiful
3:05 – 3:50 Darren Jay and the Delta Souls
4:05 – 5:00 Fruteland Jackson
5:15 – 6:00 Nick Bell
6:15 – 7:00 Tyrannosaurus Chicken
7:15 – 9:30 Tawl Paul and the Dead or Alives

Sunday, Sept 23, 2018
Main Stage
12:00 – 12:45 Colin John and Long Tall Deb
1:00 – 1:45 Kilbourn Alley Blues Band
2:00 – 2:45 Ivy Ford
3:00 – 3:45 Demetria Taylor Band
4:00 – 5:10 Matthew Curry
5:30 – 7:00 Ben Miller Band

Backwoods Stage
12:30 – 7:00 Chicago Blues Challenge

(Entrance to the popular “Chicago Blues Challenge” is still open.)

END

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

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