Blues Festival adds Harper, Buddy Guy

The Santa Cruz Blues Festival becomes a legal adult this spring — yep, 18 years old — and the line-up announcement is upon us. The Blues Fest this year, as always happening in Aptos Village Park on Memorial Day weekend, May 29 and 30, welcomes the brilliant singer/songwriter Ben Harper and his band the Relentless 7 as the Saturday headliner. The blues demigod Buddy Guy headlines Sunday.

The Saturday line-up also features the great Taj Mahal, who, the story goes, discovered a young Ben Harper when Taj happened to stop by Harper’s grandparents’ music store in Southern California. Also scheduled for Saturday is the fine and underrated singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur, Bay Area (by way of New Orleans) recording artist Eric Lindell and Ivan Neville’s funk band Dumpstaphunk.

On Sunday, Buddy Guy headlines an afternoon that features extraordinary blues guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Santa Cruz fave Coco Montoya, the great Was (Not Was) and the classic-rock giants the Animals, featuring that band’s famous front man Eric Burdon.

It’s all great stuff, against the gorgeous backdrop of the park in Aptos. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at the Blues Festival’s site, and at the Blues Hotline, 479-9814.

If you’d like a little appetizer to gear up for this year’s Festival, check this out.


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