by John Tarpley
Head for the hills, blues fans: For four days, the mountains and valleys of Eureka Springs are going to be echoing with electric, Delta, Chicago, Texas, 12-bar and just about every other type of blues you can imagine when the annual Eureka Springs Blues Weekend returns to a slew of venues and bars in the historic downtown. The lineup includes Elvin Bishop, the Chicago blues icon and founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Coco Montoya, the celebrated southpaw who spent years backing John Mayall as one of the legendary Bluesbreakers, and Tinsley Ellis, the high-energy and higher-volume electric guitarist, headline the festivities. Rounding out the line-up: Marquise Knox, a 20-year-old making waves in blues circles; Little Joe McLerran, who was recently tapped by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department to be an American musical ambassador to the Middle East; and Rosie Ledet, an award-winning zydeco musician, among dozens of others. Weekend passes are sold out, but tickets to most individual shows are still available at the festival's website.