by Robert Bell
15TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS BLUES FESTIVAL
5 p.m. Hill Wheatley Plaza. $5.
Blues lovers have it pretty good here in the Natural State. With the long-running King Biscuit Blues Festival, we've got one of the most high-profile blues festivals anywhere, but there is no shortage of quality smaller festivals. That's not to say that the Hot Springs Blues Festival is in any way slight.
The two-day event is packed with performers both national and international, including Saturday night headliner Lee Oskar, who was a co-founder of the omnivorous, long-running funk-blues-R&B-soul-rock-reggae outfit War. In addition to being a renowned harmonica player, Oskar started Lee Oskar Harmonicas back in the early '80s.
Other performers include Salt & Pepper, Schroeter and Breitfelder, Trampled Under Foot, The Lionel Young Band, E.G. Knight, The Joe Pitts Band and more. The whole shebang is bookended with performances by Stella Vees at the Ohio Club — one of the best bars in Hot Springs or, really anywhere. Vees plays Thursday night at 8 p.m. and plays the after party Saturday, which runs from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.