Clouds don’t give crowds the Blues

Published 11:16 pm Saturday, April 18, 2009

NATCHEZ — Clouds were in the sky, but the crowds couldn’t stay away from the 14th annual Natchez Bluffs Blues Festival once the guitar licks started sliding through the air.

“A lot of people were nervous about the rain, but we got a window right until 6 p.m. when we’re done here (at the outside event),” festival events producer Eric Glatzer said. “We’ve got a great crowd.”

Overcast skies didn’t seem to bother 16-month-old Christian Bradford, who — standing at the main stage — couldn’t decide if he wanted to dance or just listen to the music.

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“He likes it — he’s just got to get used to the area before he’ll really go,” Christian’s grandmother Mary Griffin said.

While Christian hasn’t had the opportunity to attend many festivals, the blues festival is an every year event for Griffin, she said.

“I just love it,” Griffin said.

Dallas resident Randy Hogan said he read about the festival on the Internet a few years ago, and this year marks his second trip to the goings-on.

“We came and had a great time,” he said. “We prefer these smaller festivals to the ones in the large cities, where you have to fight to get in and everything is so expensive.”

The festival kicked off Friday night with a crawfish boil on Broadway street, moved from its traditional location on Main Street.

“It was nothing but a good time,” Glatzer said. “There were a lot of people from the hotel who saw that something was going on in the street and decided to come out.”

The festival organizers had hoped to make the festival a full two-day event for several years, and this year — with the City of Vidalia’s sponsorship — they were able to do so, Glatzer said.

That means the festival will continue today with a free gospel singing at the Vidalia Riverfront amphitheater with back-to-back performances from J. Myles, Apostle’s Creed and The Undertakers starting at 3 p.m.

“Gospel music on the Mississippi River — talk about a righteous happening,” Glatzer said.

The festival will also include blues brunches at the following locations:

4From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eola Hotel, the Blues Buffet

4From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Biscuits and Blues, Grillades and Grits with Video Blues

4From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pearl Street Pasta, Cajun Shrimp and Grits with Li’l Jimmy Reed.

4From 5 to 8 p.m. at Under-the-Hill Saloon, Hot Tamales with Bare Foot Tendencies.

4From 6 p.m. until at Club 601, Catfish and Spaghetti with W.J. Squall.