The essence of blues is rooted in sadness, so, while the concept of a "Sunshine" Blues Festival is a novel one, it is only appropriate that the day was spent beneath the cover of clouds and random torrents of rain.See also- Photos from Sunshine Blues Festival 2013- Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks Band Says Working with His Wife Is "Oddly Healthy"
Despite the crying skies, plenty of South Floridian blues fans donned their slickers and came out to Boca Raton's Mizner Park Amphitheater
to enjoy a day packed to the gills with some of the genre's heaviest hitters.
The festival featured two stages of music that alternated the burden of the blues from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. -- a proper marathon for veterans of the festival scene. Those that made it out early were treated to burning performances without the crowds that can sometimes make a festival a bit unpleasant.
The highlight sets of the festival started early with the slide guitar pride of Louisiana, Sonny Landreth. Landreth led his trio through a set of searing blues that showcased his mind-bogglingly technical bottleneck playing. His playing was no-doubt impressive to the layman, being equally fluid as it was soulful, but to the guitarists in attendance, Landreth's ability to fret fragments of chords behind his slide with his incredible speed and accuracy was simply inspirational. Most importantly, the display of guitar wizardry was far more than a showy set of parlor tricks and musical athletics. The zydeco flavor that hedges his songs made for a satisfying listen for just about anyone with a taste for blues bred in the bayou. A few stood close to the stage and danced in the rain to songs like "Blue Tarp Blues," completely entrenched in the sounds.
Walter Trout was the next performer to hit the main stage. Trout was formerly a bonafide, "boogie-chillun" member of the late John Lee Hooker's band. However, contrary to the stylistic tendencies of his former boss, Trout's set displayed a man ablaze with a case of pentatonic guitar fury, in addition to a healthy of dose of humor.
Trout shook his legs jokingly between releasing bouts of Texas-flavored blues shred from a laser-sharp sounding Fender Strat, dedicated "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" to Lance Armstrong, and even pulled out a hilariously mumble-some Hooker impression. The rain let-up a bit as Trout had a two-way monologue on his guitar between "his girl" (the upper register notes) and himself, that ended with a mouthed "fuck off" that mocked the sound of the guitar.
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