Pardon my absence from the blogosphere.  It's been a too hectic summer.  Although it's been awhile, I would be remiss in not reporting on the 16th Annual Old School & Blues Festival.  The festival is held every Memorial Day Weekend here in Huntsville, Alabama.  I've faithfully attended for the last 14 years, even after a few years ago they combined the so-called Old School Festival with the older Downhome Blues Festival.  This year the promoter, JD Entertainment, booked most of the bluesier acts on Saturday night and the more modern old school bands on Sunday night.  I attended the Saturday night show, headlined with Freddie Jackson and Willie Clayton, along with Next, Wilson Meadows, Microwave Dave & the Nukes, Dee Bradley, Tabitha King, and Tam Tam.

Now, I have to rant a bit.  Half these acts, including the headliner Freddie Jackson, showed up without a band and instead sang along to a canned soundtrack.  Now, I understand the difficulty and expense in hauling a band around from venue to venue, but when they're charging 40 bucks a pop to get in, I expect more than glorified karaoka.  If the promoter claims that he can book more acts this way, I say book fewer acts, but require each to bring its own band.

So kudos to those who did.  Willie Clayton was his usual professional perfectionist.  Wilson Meadows probably performed the best set of the night.  Microwave Dave was good, as usual, but was cut short by a rude MC, who was a obnoxious distraction throughout the evening.  Dump the dude.  And Dee Bradley turned in a very good sounding set to propel him into first place as my favorite local band.

And while Freddie Jackson was charming enough and in good voice, waiting for the sound man to cue up the next soundtrack was just too phony for me.

Here are some photographic memories from the festival:

   





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Freddie Jackson, where's your band?
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Wilson Meadows singing "Still My Love."
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My friend Sarah at the Festival.
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Next, with roadies in the background, but no band.
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Fans at the Festival.
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Microwave Dave & the Nukes: "I'm a Roadrunner, Baby"
 


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