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Round two with the blues

Hillside Gardens host second annual blues fest


The Erica Brown Band headlines Hillside Gardens blues - fest on Sunday.
  • The Erica Brown Band headlines Hillside Gardens blues fest on Sunday.

Are you a blues enthusiast? Did you make the pilgrimage to Trinindaddio last month? Is there a little room left in your soul for more? You won't have to drive far this weekend; the party's in our back yard this time.

The second annual Pikes Peak Blues Summit joins Hillside Gardens this Sunday in presenting nine aching hours of blues music to hungry ears and thirsty eyes.

The Erica Brown Band will headline the summit, joining us from Denver's underground blues scene. Brown is rumored to still be trying to wipe the smile from her face after receiving a standing ovation at the Pikes Peak Center last February when she opened for B.B. King. Her repute in the land is growing, and she's developing a significant fan base here in southern Colorado from which to springboard into national fame.

Ahead of Brown's band, the original Bijou Street Blues Band will reunite on their old stomping grounds. Members are flying in from around the country just days prior to the blues fest for a few practice sessions before their set. These cats have played together long enough to tighten up quickly and still put on a memorable show -- they aim to welcome themselves home in style.

Another special offering will be Easy Bill and the Big Beats, heading down from the Mile High City, where they tend to a loyal flock of swing dancers and roots rockers. Their sound has been roughly categorized as a mix of classic jump blues and R & B spiced with contemporary hints.

The Triple Threat Blues Review, featuring Smokin' Joe, Magic Dave and Joanne Taylor, take the stage prior to the Bijou reunion. These names are far but new to locals; they play all over town and have become synonymous with solid local blues.

Other players and participants include The Voodoo Hawks, Blue Suburban, The Jukes, and Mike Nelson and the Motel Kings. In between these main performances, expect some acoustic duos and smaller 'tweener acts to entertain during set changes -- silence on the main stage will be a rarity.

All of this year's Blues Summit acts hail from Colorado.

"I wanted to keep it local because we already have so much talent here," said Walter Chase, organizer of the event and member of the Bijou Street Blues Band. "Last year there was an incredible turnout and great support for the music; this year should be no different. We're expecting a tremendous day with good blues in a beautiful place."

-- Matthew Schniper

capsule Second Annual Pikes Peak Blues Summit

Hillside Gardens, 1006 S. Institute St.

Sunday, Sept. 19, noon-9 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.)

$15, No outside food or drink.

For more information, call 520-9463 ext. 4 or visit

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