St. Paul, Minn., June 27, 2018 – Now in its fifth year, two nights of funk and blues will return to Mears Park for the Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest this summer July 20 and 21. Hours are 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm Friday and Noon – 10:00 pm on Saturday. Friday’s Funk Day will feature the sounds of Free and Easy, High & Mighty, and Ohio Players and Saturday’s Blues Day brings Famous Dave's winner of the Battle of the Blues Bands, the Mae Simpson Band, followed by the Scottie Miller Band, Crow, Toronzo Cannon, Chubby Carrier, and Marcia Ball.
Thanks to Famous Dave's and their world-class entertainment, groups featured on Friday will bring the full range of funk grooves – from 70s hits to favorites from contemporary artists. Free and Easy may play tunes from funk legends Tower of Power and Earth, Wind, and Fire or today's artists like Cee Lo Green and Justin Timberlake. High & Mighty, known for their strong horn section and vocalists, will get you moving with the best dance music of the last forty years. Capping the night will be Ohio Players, known for top ten hits such as "Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster."
Saturday's line-up starts at noon with The Mae Simpson Band, winner of the Famous Dave's Battle of the Blues Bands, followed by the Scottie Miller Band, described as "Sounds like Dr. John meets The Band at Bruce Springsteen's house." Then comes Minnesota-born group, CROW, on the their 50th anniversary tour. Toronzo Cannon, known as one of the most up and coming blues men as a blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and even CTA bus driver in his blues city of Chicago, will take the stage next.
From a lineage of zydeco artists, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band is up next, bringing ten albums worth of tunes celebrating the blues and zydeco history. Wrapping up the night is pianist and singer Marcia Ball, known for her New Orleans barrelhouse piano. Critics have described a concert of hers by saying "Marcia Ball's rollicking roadhouse rave-ups and soulful Gulf Coast R&B, her barrelhouse playing and her feel-good party tunes are iconic." -- USA Today.
This is a free event, but preferred seating is available in front of the stage for $60 per day or $100 for a weekend pass and can be purchased online at lowertownbluesfestival.com. Music lovers will be able to enjoy free light rail and bus rides on both days of the Festival courtesy of Metro Transit. The link will be posted on the website in late June.
Main Stage, Friday, July 20th
4:30 Free and Easy
6:00 High & Mighty
8:00 Ohio Players
Main Stage, Saturday, July 21st
Noon Winner of Famous Dave’s Battle of the Blues Bands - Mae Simpson Band
1:30 Scottie Miller Band
3:00 The Crow Band
4:45 Toronzo Cannon
6:30 Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
8:30 Marcia Ball
Juke Joint Stage, Saturday, July 21st
2:30 Big George Jackson Blues Band
4:15 Big George Jackson Blues Band
6:00 The Everett Smithson Band
8:00 The Everett Smithson Band