By Sheena Barnett
OXFORD – The Oxford Blues Festival allows fans to be as serious about the blues as they want.
Fans can sit in the shade and enjoy three days of blues music, or they can delve a little deeper into the music with three panels about the music and its artists.
“It’s a great community event,” said the festival’s organizer, Darryl Parker. “You can come out and hear some awesome music that you’ve probably never heard before. You’ll be entertained.”
The festival kicks off tonight with the Jeff Jensen Band.
There will be barbecue and catfish plates sold all three days of the festival, but tonight the VIP section will feature a menu with food mentioned in blues songs.
The blues panels kick off the festival at noon Friday, and all three of the panels are free.
The blues visual artist panel is at noon, followed by the blues scholars panel at 1:15 p.m. and the blues musicians panel at 2:30 p.m.
Anyone with a blues festival ticket also gets free admission to artist H.C. Porter’s “Blues @ Home” exhibit at the University Museum, where the festival is hosted.
Taking the festival stage that night are Tas Cru, Redd Velvet, Eric Hughes Band and Libby Rae Watson.
Saturday’s performers include Silas Reed N’ Da Books, Cadillac Funk, The Blues Doctors, Big Joe Shelton and Mr. Sipp.
“Cadillac Funk is a great musician,” Parker said. “He sounds great.”
Mr. Sipp, known as the “Mississippi Blues Child,” just took home the grand prize at the International Blues Challenge.
“He puts on a great show,” Parker said. “He’s an entertainer.”
The festival is rain or shine. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, and sunscreen, bug spray and sunglasses are suggested.
“It’s the only blues festival in the shade,” Parker said. “We call ourselves the biggest tiniest blues festival in the South. We just want to have a good time.”
CHECK IT OUT
• What: 5th annual Oxford Blues Festival
• When: today-Saturday
• Where: the grounds of the Walton-Young House at University Museums, Oxford
• Cost: $10/day pass, $25/weekend pass, $75/VIP pass. Tickets are $5 more day of show. Free for 12 and under. The panels are free.
• Info: oxfordbluesfest.com
OXFORD BLUES FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
6 p.m. – Jeff Jensen meet and greet
7:15 p.m. – The Jeff Jensen Band
Noon – Blues Visual Artist panel
1:15 p.m. – Blues scholars panel
2:30 p.m. – Blues artists panel
4:15 p.m. – Libby Rae Watson
5:30 p.m. – Eric Hughes Band
7:15 p.m. – Redd Velvet
9 p.m. – Tas Cru
Noon – The Blues Boys f/ Effie Burt
1 p.m. – The Zediker Boys
2 p.m. – Silas Reed N’ Da Books
3:15 p.m. – Zach Tilotson and Cameron Kimbrough Duo
4:30 p.m. – The Blues Doctors
5:45 p.m. – Cadillac Funk
7 p.m. – Big Joe Shelton
8:15 p.m. – Mr. Sipp