I've attended a lot of live music events and the one I attended over the weekend in Paxico Kansas was quite unique.
Here is this little town, near Topeka, with roughly 300 people living there. On the third Saturday of September there's this amazing blues festival. One stage, five performers, and the festival runs from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. This year the headliner was Hamilton Loomis, who I saw perform in Salina, a few years back. The other groups I hadn't heard of before this festival, but I believe they are all up and comers.
First up were The Santiago Brothers. What a sound. I got to the festival near the end of their set. This group was excellent and I hate it that I missed most of their time on stage. They ended their set with an uplifting gospel song that apparently I forgot to write down the name. Oops! Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/people/Santiago-Brothers/100009340197410
Next up was Kalo. She was there with her full band. She played a great set and bantered back and forth with the audience. Clearly she was a fan favorite. She's just this little bit of a thing with this super powerful voice. When Kalo was bantering back and forth with the audience, I got a Michael Jackson vibe. I don't know why. If you read this Kalo, I mean that as a compliment. She was terrific.
Check out her website: http://www.kaloband.com/
Then came Hector Anchondo. It was getting quite hot out by the time his set came up but you wouldn't know it. Hector and his band played their hearts out. He did a blues rift version of Black Magic Woman that blew me away. I will never be able to listen to that song the same ever again. I walked away from his set, later in the evening still humming Anchondo's version of that song.Wow!
Check out his website: http://hectoranchondo.com/
Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal were up next. This group was good. I'm not sure if the heat was getting to me at this point or I was just tired but this wasn't as much to my liking as some of the earlier groups. I was in the minority. The dance floor was crowded with dancers in front of the stage all jumpin' and jivin' to the beat. Pretty amazing because it was hot and the sun was beating down in front of the stage. A crowd favorite to say the least. Check out the website: http://www.joshhoyer.com/
And then came the headliner, Hamilton Loomis. Always a class act. He's super accessible and loves the fans. He was having some issues with the sound throughout his set. Loomis wants it right and wants to make sure the fans get a quality show. It's hard when you've got the equipment outside all day and every band has different requirements. In the end, it's all about the music. Check out the website: http://www.hamiltonloomis.com/
Not only was their music, but there was food. Several food trucks provided catering if you hadn't brought your own food and beverages. There was a wide variety of hotdogs, brats, chicken legs, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, pretzels, and of course, bar-b-que. Oh almost forgot, the pulled pork tacos which were to die for, so yummy.
On the sign advertising the blues festival there was an ad for the meatloaf festival which is the last Saturday in June. Who knew there was a meatloaf festival. May have to check that out next year.
For those who wanted a little shopping with their music and food, there were antique stores and street vendors. The woman from Wichita that was selling the hand dyed hats was doing a brisk business. These hats were colorful and unique.
It was a great festival. If sure to check out the festival next year. It's worth the trip. Here's a link to the website: http://www.paxicobluesfest.com/
*****There are hundreds of photos from the blues festival and I'll get those up as soon as I can. They'll be on my Flikr page and I'll let you know when they are available to view. It will be sometime this week.