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Blues to feature Grammy winner

Koko Taylor, the "Queen of the Blues," will be the featured performer at the three-day music festival.

By JORGE SANCHEZ

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000


CRYSTAL RIVER -- Blues queen Koko Taylor will showcase her Grammy-winning singing style at the second Blues, the three-day music festival beginning Sept. 29 at Rock Crusher Canyon.

Taylor will be a featured performer among at least 14 acts at the festival. Other major blues stars include Son Seals, Bobby "Blue' Bland, Pinetop Perkins and Shemekia Copeland. Local blues band Keith Caton and the Accelerators and Tampa Bay blues artists TC Carr & The Catch are also scheduled to perform.

Taylor, a powerful and emotional blues singer, won this year's W.C. Handy Award for best traditional female blues artist. Her many honors include 14 prior W.C. Handy Awards, more than any other female blues artist, a Grammy Award in 1984 and six Grammy nominations. She is known widely as the "Queen of the Blues."

Taylor is scheduled to close out the festival on Oct. 1.

Pinetop Perkins also won a Handy Award in May for best blues instrumentalist by a piano player for his latest CD Live! at 85. Perkins has won the award yearly throughout the 90s, and his blues style of piano playing is considered the definitive style of the music. He was the piano player for blues legend Muddy Waters for many years.

This year's festival begins with a Zydeco kick-off dance party Sept. 29 at Rock Crusher's Garden Pavilion, a 20,000-square-foot dance hall and restaurant overlooking the amphitheater. Paul Vesco and the New Orleans Jazz and Blues Show along with Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band are scheduled to perform. Admission is $5.

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the festival moves into the amphitheater, where performances will take place on the large outdoor stage.

Last year's Blues in the Canyon Festival drew about 4,500 people, and it featured Buddy Guy as the headliner.

Advance three-day general admission tickets are $32; one-day general admission tickets are $20. One-day VIP tickets are $80 and three-day VIP tickets are $140. These prices are in effect until Sept. 14, after which prices will increase. Tickets are available at the Rock Crusher Canyon box office, 275 S Rock Crusher Road, or at www.rockcrushercanyon.com. Call 795-1313.

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