The 'Blues' is America's own creation and tradition, and is at the heart of our cultural identity and the root of American music. Born from the streets and hearts of Americans, The Blues is recognized and respected globallyreaching every corner of the earth while serving as the core of inspiration for every successful top-performing artist. The Blues epitomizes our cultural identity, and yet the opportunity to learn from its creators is slipping away. Many original Blues pioneers are struggling to make a living through their art as they try to pass on this tradition to future generations, and the Congressional Blues Festival was created to raise funds and to spread the word for this cause.
Here are a few details about some of this year's performers.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, still barely in his 30s, is a Louisiana born axeman and songsmith who has been selling millions of albums, throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens. He met Stevie Ray Vaughn at 7, shared the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at 13. As an adult, he continues to create genre-defining blues-infused rock n' roll.
Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Michael Burks stands tall as a major contemporary blues figure. With a nickname earned by his hours-long, intensely physical performances, fearsome guitar attack, tough, smoky vocals and the thousands of miles logged behind the wheel of his touring van, Burks is a modern blues hero. Nobody in today's blues world successfully bridges searing electric guitar blues with unbridled rock and roll energy like Burks. The Chicago Sun-Times recently said Burks is poised on the brink of major stardom."
Sol Roots is a fierce guitarist, bassist, and soulful singer who has toured around the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol and his band Funk Root create a unique blend of energetic rock, raw blues, reggae, and funk, all delivered with deep soul. Sol is also honored to have harmonica legend Phil Wiggins performing with him for this festival.
Mudcat is an internationally known gospel and bluesman. Mudcat continues the traditions of the early blues pioneers while adding his own Mudcat edge, resulting in one of Atlanta's greatest treasures.
Christylez Bacon is a GRAMMY Nominated artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.
In keeping with tradition, all CBF tickets include all you can eat and drink all night, and rocking performances by our artists. This year's menu features flavorful southern-influenced fare with vegetarian options accompanied by unlimited beer and wine.
This event continues to support American roots music and will again support this year's CBF charitable partner, The Blues Foundation.
The National Building Museum is America's premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating the rich living history of performing arts. National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street Northwest Washington D.C.
Congressional Blues Festival
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Sol & Funk Root