A Guide to the Big Pines Blues Fest
The Big Pines Blues Festival will present both local and national blues acts during concerts Friday and Saturday at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Complex, 100 Grand Blvd, Longview.
The festival is billed as an outlet to continue “the heritage of the blues which stretches across all of the Piney Woods region of the South”
Admission on Friday is free. Music will begin at 6 p.m. with the New Faces of Blues Showcase. On Saturday, gates open at 10 a.m. for the free Junior Showcase featuring young guitar players competing in two age divisons. The grounds will be cleared prior to doors opening for ticket holders at 1 p.m. with the bands taking the stage beginning at 2 p.m.
The headliner Saturday will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Elvin Bishop.
Patrons should bring their own lawn chairs. Concessions selling food and drinks will be available.
Tickets for Friday cost $20. A VIP ticket that comes with preferred parking access and other perks, costs $60. Tickets in advance can be bought on the event’s website, bigpinesbluesfest.com.
Elvin Bishop first gained national attention in the 1960s as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Over a long career, he has recorded more than a dozen albums and has performed with many acts including Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker and The Allman Brothers.
He is best known for his 1976 hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love.”
Two years ago, Bishop was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
-- The Peterson Brothers
-- Ally Venable Band
-- Riverside Blues Band with Carter Wilkinson
-- Red House Revival
Junior Showcase competition
-- Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones Blues Band
-- AJ Cascio & The Two Tone Blues Band
-- Johnny and The Night Crawlers
-- Pleasant Hill Quilting Group
-- Darrell Nulisch
-- Elvin Bishop Band
Festival concludes with the Big Pines Jam hosted by Jimmy Wallace and the Stratoblasters.
The festival is sanctioned by the Estate of Aaron T-Bone Walker, the East Texas native who went on to become a performing legend, and is hosted by his daughter, Bernita Walker.
Money from the festival supports Blues in Schools’ educational events, donations of guitars and workshops to youths interested in music.
The festival began in Linden in 2006 as the T-Bone Walker Blues Festival and in 2014 moved to Longview to accommodate larger crowds.
The name was changed to the Big Pines Blues Festival this year and more emphasis is being placed on highlighting up-and-coming blues talent.