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Music rules the river

Bluesy Winter wonderland on the north shore

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NOT A MILD WINTER:
  • NOT A MILD WINTER:
The legendary Texas-born blues guitarist Johnny Winter, rated by Rolling Stone magazine as among the greatest guitar players of all time, will headline the Arkansas River Blues Festival at North Little Rock’s North Shore Riverwalk on Saturday, Oct. 2. Blues great Bobby Blue Bland is the headliner for the festival on Sunday, Oct. 3. Both days feature a full lineup of popular blues artists by the riverside, and general admission tickets are $15 per day or $25 for a two-day ticket. The 54-year-old Winter, three years older than brother Edgar (of the ’70s instrumental rock hit “Frankenstein”), returned to the recording studio after a six-year break, turning out “Blues Man” on Virgin Records in June. He’s renowned as a purveyor of the classic country blues resonator steel guitar that was original associated with such blues icons as Son House and Bukka White. Winter is scheduled to hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, preceded by an all-star regional/national lineup of names beginning with Micci Perry at 1:15 p.m. Young north Texas guitar whiz Wes Jeans performs at 2:45 p.m., classic-style bluesman John Craig is on at 4:15 p.m., Mike Shipp is up at 5:45 p.m. and New Orleans blues star Walter “Wolfman” Washington is on at 7:30 for a 90-minute set. Bobby “Blue” Bland caps the Sunday festivities starting at 9 p.m. The opening act at 2:45 p.m. was yet to be announced at press time, but the 4 Real Band is set for 4 p.m., Shannon Boshears plays at 5:30 p.m. and Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets featuring Sam Myers is the lead-in act to Bland, starting at 7 p.m. Gates open at noon Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets are available at Been Around Records, Arkansas Record-CD Exchange (NLR), Jacksonville Guitar Center and The Record Rack in Pine Bluff. They’ll be for sale at the gate, and food and drink will also be available. Metal on the south shore National touring heavy metal acts and popular local artists will be featured together in Razorfest 2004 at the Riverfest Amphitheatre on Saturday, Oct. 2. Power metal group Slaughter headlines the Toyota Summer Concert Series show along with L.A. Guns, the Fort Smith-based rock act Starkz — which sold out a series of shows recently at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom — and Firehouse. Gates open at 4 p.m., and tickets are $20, available through Ticketmaster (975-7575) or at the gate. Razorfest is sponsored by 93.3 FM the Razor.

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