Big Muddy Blues Festival brings soul to St. Louis

The festival will feature Booker T and will take place over Sept. 4 and 5.

By Dani Kinnison | Sept. 3, 2010

Tags: Festivals Music

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For one weekend, Sept. 4 and 5, the cobblestone roads of Laclede's Landing in downtown St. Louis will transform from city streets to stages for the Big Muddy Blues Festival, the city's only blues festival.

With 30 acts, from nationally known, award-winning artists such as Booker T. to regional and local favorites such as Kim Massie, this year's lineup has sounds for everyone. But selecting this year's performances proved to be difficult.

"The bands and artists really love to be a part of (the festival), so everybody's trying to get on the lineup," Executive Producer Emily Kochan said. "There are some of the staple favorites that do make their reappearance on the lineup every couple of years because they're a big draw and people really love them, but we like to give everybody an opportunity and a chance to be a part of the event."

The free festival has three outdoor stages hosting performances from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in St. Louis' oldest district. Included in this year's lineup is Nick Curran and the Lowlifes. Influenced by everyone from Howlin' Wolf and Little Richard to The Ramones and Misfits, the band is known for having a sound and style all its own.

"We definitely put on a real high-energy (show)," front man Nick Curran said. "I like to get the crowd going and just hope that they enjoy the high-energy show that we put on. I know we're going to have a good time, we always do."

The Big Muddy Blues Festival draws an estimated 60,000 attendees each year from all parts of the country, as well as some MU and University of Illinois fans from the Arch Rivalry game at the nearby Edward Jones Dome on the same weekend.

"People have come here from New Orleans, Louisiana, from Michigan," Kochan said. "They really come from all over. They plan their summer vacations, their last minute getaways to come to the blues festival. It's kind of a tradition for a lot of people."

The festival will also feature street vendors from some of St. Louis' favorite restaurants, in addition to traditional festival foods. Celebrating its 15th year, the Big Muddy Blues Festival has music, food and a crowd for everyone.

"It's a great, very chill crowd," Kochan said. "And it's a great area to celebrate the blues because this is the oldest district in St. Louis, and our location being just on the north end of the Arch and with our backdrop being Big Muddy itself, the Mississippi River and the trains that roll by, it really gives a great bluesy feeling. Everything ties into the whole vibe."

Having previously performed at the Big Muddy Blues Festival with bluesy rock outfit the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Curran is excited to be performing again this year with the Lowlifes.

"We always have a great time in St. Louis, so we always love coming there," Curran said. "It's a great city."

Stage locations, parking information, artist information and a full lineup can be found at the event's website.

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