The Best of the Blues
Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:00 AM
Blues and barbeque will soon fill the riverfront for the 13th annual Madison Ribberfest. The weekend event features amateur and professional barbeque competitions, and two-days of top-notch musicians.
at 6 p.m.
This year's entertainment kicks off with a blues singer from Detroit, who spent her early years in Phoenix and New York City climbing onto any available piano bench to play a few cords.
Deanna Bogart was removed from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music when she was six for playing piano by ear instead of learning to read music. Her career hasn't slowed down since.
Bogart performed at Ribberfest in 2008. Ribberfest co-chair Dave Butler said Bogart "is a musician's musician."
Her latest album, "Just a Wish Away" was released in June. It is her 10th studio album.
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
at 8 p.m.
Rod Piazza's infatuation with blues began at a time when many of the masters were still in their prime. In the mid 1960s, when the first blues revival was picking up steam, he was in the thick of it. By the 1970s, he had released five albums and was part of the West Coast blues scene. He and his wife, Honey Alexander, formed The Mighty Flyers more than three decades ago.
Since then, Piazza and his band have won or been nominated for several awards, played thousands of shows and released more than a dozen albums.
Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers played at Ribberfest in 2003.
Taj Mahal Trio
at 10 p.m.
Friday night's headliner is one of the blues' most influential figures. Taj Mahal is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. As his name suggests, the blues musician has infused sounds from around the world into his music, often incorporating the sounds of west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Hawaiian islands.
The self-taught musician began his career nearly 50 years ago. In that time he has released 25 studio albums, eight live albums, and been a featured artist in dozens of songs. He will perform with Kester Smith on drums and Bill Rich on bass.
The American Music Association plans to honor Taj Mahal with a lifetime achievemnt award in September.
Power Plant Blues Band
at 11:30 a.m.
Saturday starts off with the Power Plant Blues band. The blues trio is reuniting after more than 20 years. The band is made up of Mike Dalgleish on drums and vocals, Patter Mclaughlin on lead guitar and vocals, and Tweety Harmon on bass guitar.
The group first started playing rock and blues music together in the 1970s. They performed together for five years before splitting up. Three years ago they got back together to play a benefit and they still break out their instruments for special events.
This is the group's inaugural Ribberfest, although Dalgleish played Ribberfest with Stompbox in 2009.
at 1:30 p.m.
The Louisville- based band has been playing together since 1988, hitting up nearly every venue in the Louisville area. They've opened for blues headliners such as Albert King and Marsha Ball. Their latest album is "Love Hasn't Killed Me Yet."
at 3:30 p.m.
Master guitarist Kelly Richey has been touring as a professional musician since she was a teenager. The Lexington-based musician has a soulful voice and a powerful stage presence that makes for a unique blues experience.
Richey and her band have released 13 albums since 1994. Her latest album, "Sweet Spirit," was released in 2013.
at 5:30 p.m.
Paul Thorn was introduced to Madison in 2012 at the River Roots Festival. Thorn, a cover artist, is also a former professional boxer.
Thorn has toured as an opening act for Huey Lewis & the News, Sting, John Prine, Marianne Faithfull, Mark Knopfler, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Toby Keith and Jeff Beck and Jerry Jeff Walker. His latest album "What the Hell is Going On" was the 12th most played album of 2012 on the AMA Chart.
It was also Thorn's second record to debut on the Billboard Top 100 during its first week of release.
West Coast Blues All Stars
featuring Junior Watson
and Fred Kaplan
at 7:30 p.m.
The West Coast Blues All Stars are making their Madison debut at this year's Ribberfest, but Junior Watson has played the annual festival twice and Fred Kaplan has performed once.
Watson has been influenced by Tina Grimes, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Guitar Slim and many others throughout his 30-year career.
Kaplan has been playing the piano since he was 3, and performed his first recital at age 7. His biggest influences are Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, BB King.
Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings
at 9:30 p.m.
Famed slide guitar player Roy Rogers and his band, the Delta Rhythm Kings, are closing out the 2014 Ribberfest on Saturday. Rogers first played Ribberfest eight years ago.
Rogers learned to play guitar when he was 12 years old and growing up in the San Francisco Bay area. Since his first recording in 1976, he has become one of the best-known players of the slide guitar.
Rogers has eight Grammy nominations as a producer and a performer.
He performs with Steve Ehrmann on bass guitar and Billy Lee Lewis on drums/percussion.