Bisbee Blues Festival: Great Fun and a Great Value

By Dave Cooper

TThe 8th Annual Bisbee Blues Festival is fast-approaching. This coming Saturday, September 15, five high caliber bands are scheduled to hit the stage at historic Warren Ballpark to provide an afternoon filled with live music. Bisbee Blues FestivalGates open at noon with music beginning at 1:00pm and going until past sunset. Cold brew and many other fun activities will make this a memorable day. Twenty bucks gets you inside.

This year’s Bisbee Blues Festival hosts a wide range of blues styles from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago. Also Texas, Memphis, Gospel-tinged, and 12-bar Blues are on display. Saturday’s musical lineup begins at 1pm with Leon J playing what is described as Delta-infused acoustic Blues & Rock. Leon J is a member of the National Heritage Blues Hall of Fame. From Southern Arizona, Sean Trackman & the Copper City Rail fire things up next at 1:45pm to play many classic rock and blues favorites. You’ll also hear some originals.

From Tucson, the Bad News Blues Band hit the stage at 3:00pm. Playing what the band calls house-burning live performances, the Bad News Blues Band has garnered local and regional awards including first place in the 1997 and 2002 Arizona Blues Shootout. Eddie Turner & the Trouble Twins load up next for a 4:30pm appearance. Born in Chicago, Turner’s website describes his style as “an amalgam of Afro-Cuban rhythms” and “influenced by blues, jazz, R&B, and psychedelic rock.”

Closing out this year’s Bisbee Blues Festival at 6:30pm is Diunna Greenleaf bringing her gospel, jazz, and heartfelt soul-inspired sound from Houston, Texas. Greenleaf was nominated for a couple awards in 2012 by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tenn., including the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues (Female), also Traditional Blues Album, Trying to Hold On.

Tickets are available online, can be purchased at the gate and at all Cochise County Safeway Stores and Zia Records in Tucson and Phoenix. Find artist bios, information on hotel packages, festival history, and more at the official Bisbee Blues Festival website.

For those traveling any great distance, you may want to consider making a weekend out of your visit. Bisbee, Arizona, is at the doorstep of classic old-west Americana. It embodies the essence of late 1800s mining prospectors searching for the mother lode in copper, gold, silver and other desirable treasures. The greatest gem eventually unearthed in this picturesque southeastern Arizona territory was a community of timeless architecture, a thriving artist’s sector, scenic mountain vistas, even the haunted Copper Queen Hotel. There are plenty of entertaining activities to enjoy for townsfolk and tourists alike in Bisbee.