Four days of blues along Portland’s waterfront – that’s a whole lotta music bringing down the rafters on the site’s four stages over 4th of July weekend.
O.K., so some of us were only lucky enough to attend the Blues Fest on Saturday, but the impressive lineup – including North Mississippi Allstars, Scott Pemberton, the Roseland Hunters, Mitch Kashmar, Nikki Hill, and iconic American singer-songwriter John Hiatt – made for a full day of smiles, sun, blues and brew.
Which band to check out first? Which stage to park yourself at and take it all in? So much music to hear, so little time.
Danny Glick & the Hell Yeahs raised a good ruckus, while the Roseland Hunters and the fun and soulful Nikki Hill were both huge crowd-pleasers. Meantime, Lil’ Wayne & Same Ol’ 2-Step and Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band both wooed and delighted crowds at the “Front Porch” stage.
My pick for “band of the day”? That would be Louisiana’s The Pine Leaf Boys, a 5-member Cajun band who played song after song of high-energy Zydeco with a “joie de vivre” that made it nigh impossible to stay seated.
Lead singer Wilson Savoy moved seamlessly between awesome performances on both squeezebox and New Orleans-style piano. In the upper 80’s, it was hot out, but not as hot out as “back home,” Savoy assured the crowd, and maybe that’s why amidst Oregon’s “hot” summer temps The Pine Leaf Boys were able to put out so much great, joyous energy.
Savoy has been playing boogie-woogie style piano since the age of ten, and his love for both piano and squeezebox was certainly evident – and contagious – at their performance Saturday. Dancers frolicked and the band’s energy was just plain irresistible.
The Pine Leaf Boys are: Wilson Savoy (accordion, fiddle, piano, vocals), Courtney Granger (fiddle, accordion, vocals) Drew Simon (drums and vocals) Jon Bertrand (guitars) and Thomas David (bass).
Pine Leaf Boys: All I Need is You
See them live
Upcoming tour dates? They’ll be performing later this month in New York, have several dates scheduled in Denmark for August, are back in Louisiana in the fall, and perform in New Mexico in October. A quick Wikipedia check reveals that The Pine Leaf Boys have released 4 CD’s, tour internationally, and have been nominated for Grammy awards at least five times. Impressive.
In related news: Portland’s annual Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest blues festival on the West Coast, and the second-largest in the nation. Didn’t know that!
To sum up: a great and talented band you’re sure to love. “Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!”
More about the Pine Leaf Boys? Sure thing.
You can find out more about the Pine Leaf Boys on their website, at: http://www.pineleafboys.com/
Or, go directly to iTunes to sample their music, at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/pine-leaf-boys/id129987569
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