Madison Ribberfest Blues Bash
to headline 2005 blues event
headlines on Friday night
MADISON, Ind. (Aug. 12, 2005) With several
big name musicians on the schedule, event organizers have promised that
this years Madison Ribberfest will be the bluesiest
yet. The fourth annual event will feature the Tommy Castro Band, Mark
Selby, Omar and the Howlers, James Harman, and Junior Watson.
The Tommy Castro Band will take the stage at 8 p.m. (EST-slow
time) Friday. Castro, a native of San Jose, Calif., discovered the blues
through B.B. Kings Cook County Jail album as a kid.
Inspired by the music, he picked up the guitar and never looked back.
Castros music reveals influences like Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters,
Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and James Brown.
Castro, 50, played in several bands in the San Francisco area, including
Warner Brothers recording act the Dynatones before starting his own
band in 1991. Castro produced his debut album, No Foolin,
in 1993 and followed up two years later with the breakthrough Exception
to the Rule on Blind Pig Records.
The Tommy Castro Band was selected as the house band for NBCs
Comedy Showcase in the late 1990s. Castros 1999 album,
Right as Rain, featured guests Dr. John and Delbert McClinton.
In 2001, Castro and crew toured and performed with heroes John Hiatt,
Guy and King. The late John Lee Hooker performed on Castros critically
acclaimed 33rd St. Records release,
Mike "Junior" Watson
Guilty of Love, that same year. Area blues enthusiasts
may be familiar with the guitar slingers live performances, since
he has appeared several times at Stevie Rays in Louisville.
Songwriter and Vanguard recording artist Mark Selby follows
at 10 p.m. Friday with his brand of fat guitar blues. Selby, an Oklahoma
native, moved to Nashville in the 1990s to pursue songwriting. His versatile
style paired him with artists from diverse genres. Selby struck gold
when he wrote the No. 1 hit, Theres Your Trouble,
for the Dixie Chicks, as well as songs for Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood
and Keb Mo.
Dont be fooled, however. Selby promises to bring soulful blues
to the riverfront. He has toured with King, Robert Cray and Jeff Beck,
and written several tunes for blues whiz kid Kenny Wayne Shepherd, including
the 1998 smash, Blue on Black. Selbys own albums,
More Storms Comin and Dirt, have garnered
praise from fans of rock and blues alike.
As a live musician, Selby incorporates slide guitar into his repertoire
to electrify audiences. He has performed live with a wide range of musicians,
from the untouchable King to rock legends like Jeff Beck and Lynyrd
Skynyrd, to popular rocker John Mayer, to countrys eccentric Junior
Brown. Selbys experience with such artists imbues his blues with
an uncommonly broad range of perspective.
Saturdays musical lineup begins at noon with Louisvilles
LA Groove. The Gordon Bonham Blues Band of Indianapolis will perform
at 1:30 p.m., followed by Chicago bluesmen Studebaker John and the Hawks
at 3 p.m., and Guy Davis and the High Flyin Rockets at 5 p.m.
Fans will recognize Davis rootsy acoustic blues
from his performances on Late Night with Conan OBrien,
radios World Café and numerous festivals around
the globe. Those who dont may recognize him from another performance
as Dr. Josh Hall on the soap opera One Life to Live
in the mid 1980s. The son of the late famed actor, Ossie Davis, Guy
Davis draws influence from southern bluesmen like Blind Willie McTell
and Mississippi John Hurt as well as storytellers like Zora Neale Hurston.
Omar and the Howlers take the stage at 7 p.m. Omar Dykes was born in
McComb, Miss., where he learned to play guitar by hanging around the
black clubs. Dykes graduated from high school, formed the Howlers and
began performing in the southeast. In 1976, the band moved to Austin,
Texas, where they perfected their style of electric Texas blues.
Omar and the Howlers, who claim Stevie Ray Vaughan as one of their greatest
influences, have recorded more than 10 albums in their prolific career.
Saturdays headliner, James Harman, with very special guest Mike
Junior Watson, will perform at 9 p.m. Harman, whom many
consider to be one of the greatest living harmonica players, was born
into a musical family in Anniston, Ala.
As a child, he learned to play several instruments, including
piano, guitar and harmonica. In 1962, he moved to Panama City, Fla.,
where he frequented black nightclubs to hear acts like Little Milton
Campbell, Jimmy Reed and Redding. Harman began performing with local
musicians and put together his own bands, performing under many different
names. In 1964, a label manager took the 18-year-old bluesman to Atlanta
to record a 45 rpm record, and he spent the next several years touring
the eastern United States.
In 1970, Harman moved to southern California, where he still resides.
In his career spanning more than four decades, Harman has released 29
recordings, received 14 W.C. Handy Blues Award nominations and played
alongside greats like Freddie King, Waters, T-Bone Walker and Albert
Collins. While Harman doesnt go on tour with a band anymore, he
often performs weekend festivals alone, with Watson or with guitarist
Kid Ramos, who performed at last years Madison Ribberfest.
Watson, meanwhile, boasts an equally impressive resume. In more than
30 years as a blues guitarist, he has performed and recorded with an
all-star roster of musicians, including Big Mama Thorton, Charlie Musselwhite,
Shakey Jake and Jimmy Rogers.
Watson was a founding member of The Mighty Flyers. Watson joined Canned
Heat in the 1980s and continued to tour with the band through much of
Every year we get a little bit better and a little bit bigger,
said Rocky Harrell, who serves on the Madison Ribberfest's Blues Bash
subcommittee, which selects the bands.
We showed the brochure for this years festival to Tommy
Castro, and he went nuts. He couldnt believe the acts we had listed.
Castro wanted to know how in the world we got James Harman to fly out
here all the way from California. He wanted to cancel a gig hed
booked for Saturday in northern Indiana so he could stay and watch Harman
and Junior Watson.
Harrell added the festival has become so well known in the blues community
that artists from all over the country are sending their publicity kits
and CDs for consideration.
Weve got different styles of blues musicians coming horns,
acoustic, swing-style, keyboards," Harrell said. "We feel
every year that we take one step farther. The biggest reason the festival
is so good is because of the sponsors. If fans went to see these acts
without the sponsors, theyd be paying $25 each night.
For more information or to order tickets, call the Madison
Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-559-2956 or visit: www.madisonribberfest.com.
Pick Up our
Madison Ribberfest Guide
Friday-Saturday, Aug. 19-20, 2005
on the Madison, Ind., riverfront
Friday Bands - (EST-slow time)
6 p.m.: Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings
8 p.m.: The Tommy Castro Band
10 p.m.: Mark Selby
Bands - (EST-slow time)
$20 for 2-day wristband if purchased by
Noon: L.A. Groove
1:30 p.m.: Gordon Bonham Blues Band
3 p.m.: Studebaker John & The Hawks
5 p.m.: Guy Davis & The High Flynin Rockets
7 p.m.: Omar & The Howlers
9 p.m.: James Harman & Junior Watson
Aug. 19. Single day tickets: $10 Friday; $15 Saturday. Children
12-under free. To order call (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956
or visit: www.madisonribberfest.com
Ribberfest Food Court: Enjoy delicious beef, chicken and pork
from Midway vendors.
Pigmania: Community sponsored concrete pig decorating contest
to benefit local scholarship awards to agricultural-related majors.
Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday;
11 a.m. Saturday
Through Aug. 1, $20 for Two-Day Pass (Includes $10 in food/beverage
Aug. 2-20, $20 for Two-Day Pass (No food/beverage tickets)
Friday, Aug. 19 only: $10
Aug. 20 only: $15
Children 12-under free.
Indiana State Barbeque Cookoff Entry Fee: $200 per cooking team
Backyard Barbeque Blast
(Amateur Contest) = $20 per team
Balloon Rides = $125 per person (Reserve early by calling the
No video or audio recording allowed; no coolers, food or beverage allowed;
no pets, skateboards, bikes or rollerblades allowed.
Back to 2005 Ribberfest