Blues is the epitome of American music. It’s musical democracy in action, putting its power in the hands of the people. The art of the blues isn’t in the songs, it’s all in the skill of the musicians; they don’t “interpret” blues songs, they embody them—or they fail.
See the power of blues wizardry for yourself when the Sacramento Heritage Festival presents the Blues Guitar Showdown this Sunday afternoon at the Sacramento Horseman’s Club. Three blues guitarists are on the bill, including two Bay Area musicians—contemporary blues guitarists Chris Cain from San Jose and Joe Louis Walker from San Francisco are sure to coax spellbinding sounds from their fret boards. And never fear, traditionalists—Magic Slim and the Teardrops will be on hand to represent the raw originality and impassioned performance of the Chicago blues. Straight from the Windy City—via his Mississippi boyhood—Magic Slim has over 50 years of blues playing under his belt and is considered the last great purveyor of traditional, electrified Chicago blues. Well over 6 feet tall, Slim’s voice booms, but there’s no lack of nuance, especially for the slow-burning numbers.
In addition to the great live music, the Blues Guitar Showdown will feature a selection of “down-home” food—including some delicious barbecue, of course—and a full bar. The concert is being held in conjunction with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and proceeds will help fund music-education programs in the Sacramento public-school system. Save two dollars off the door price and pick up some advance tickets, available for $18 at The Beat, on 17th and J streets.