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July 3, 2018 > Nothing but the Blues

Nothing but the Blues

Submitted By West Coast Blues Society

Russell City, an unincorporated area of Hayward, was a little town of African-Americans who migrated here from the deep south and was one of the proving grounds for many blues musicians. This community of modest houses and small farms along the bay is now gone, but during its heyday Russell City was down-home, known for its clubs with dirt floors, bootleg electricity, and a steady stream of musicians playing a unique style of Delta blues.

During the early part of their careers, artists such as Big Joe Turner and Big Mama Thornton played Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana style blues in Russell City. West Coast blues music eventually influenced the traditional sound when horns replaced the harmonica and West Coast blues was born.

Blues and its jazz counterpart are the only true American music form. Its beginnings are rooted in the work songs of the West African slaves in the South. During their back-breaking work in the fields of Southern plantations slaves developed a call and response way of singing to give rhythm to the drudgery of their servitude. The field hollers served as the foundation of all blues music and eventually much of the popular American music that we know today.

There is no exact date blues was founded, however, W. C. Handy documented its unusual sound in 1903, and later wrote ?Memphis Blues" in 1909. Throughout the early 20th century, blues evolved and became more popular. As blacks migrated from rural to urban centers, blues followed. It was ever changing, influenced and developed into other types of musical forms such as country, rock and roll, soul, and rockabilly. Blues is often overlooked as the foundation for much of today?s music. The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and Lady Gaga's music is all rooted in blues.

Russell City is a landmark on the map of American's contributions to world culture, giving Hayward a unique musical legacy reflecting the African-American experience. We are pleased to bring those sounds back through the ?Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival,? which celebrates the rich history, musical and cultural art form found in Russell City and Hayward during the post war years from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Held Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8, this year?s 19th festival theme is ?Nothing but the Blues? and will include over 20 different bands including Saturday headliners Michael Wheeler Band and Slam Allen, and Sunday?s headliners Mr. Sipp and Eddie Vaan Shaw. ?Mr. Sipp is one of the hottest acts in the nation,? said West Coast Blues Society Executive Director Ronnie Stewart. After trying for years, ?we were fortunate enough get him. He?s here in little ole Hayward!?

Stewart also noted a special performance by Veronika Jackson from Georgia who plays Piedmont Blues, a style of blues that people don?t often hear. ?This is one of the first times we?ve had an artist performing this style of blues,? said Stewart. ?That?s very special.?

Food and arts and craft vendors will also be onsite, as well as the festival?s first silent auction with a variety of music memorabilia. All event proceeds will benefit future Hayward-Russell City Blues Festivals and our Blues in the Schools Program.

Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival
Saturday & Sunday, Jul 7 & 8
11 a.m. ? 7 p.m.
Hayward City Hall Plaza
777 B St, Hayward
(510) 472-8800
Tickets: $25 ? $50

Saturday, Jul 7:
10:30 a.m. ? 11:00 a.m.: Oakland Sam
11:00 a.m. ? 11:30 a.m.: Stars of Glory
11:45 a.m. ? 1:15 p.m.: Blues Harmonica Explosion
11:45 a.m. ? 11:55 a.m.: Silver Fox
11:55 a.m. ? 12:05 p.m.: Vinnie Flores
12:05 p.m. ? 12:15 p.m.: Kyle Rowland
12:15 p.m. ? 12:25 p.m.: Dave Matthews
12:25 p.m. ? 12:35 p.m.: Junior Boogie
12:35 p.m. ? 12:45 p.m.: Ro Harpo
12:45 p.m. ? 1:00 p.m.: EXPLOSION
1:15 p.m. ? 1:45 p.m.: David Dot Hale & Blind Lemon Peel Allstars
1:45 p.m. ? 2:00 p.m.: Gino Blues Don Baronelli
2:00 p.m. ? 2:15 p.m.: Dena Michals
2:30 p.m. ? 3:00 p.m. Veronika Jackson
3:15 p.m. ? 3:45 p.m.: Ric Patton & Carla Robinson
4:00 p.m. ? 4:30 p.m.: Howl n Madd Perry & Shay Perry
4:45 p.m. ? 5:15 p.m. Ira Walker
5:30 p.m. ? 6:00 p.m.: Slam Allen
6:15 p.m. ? 7:00 p.m.: Michael Wheeler Band

Sunday, July 8:
10:30 a.m. ? 11:00 a.m.: Guitar Mac
11:00 a.m. ? 11:20 a.m.: Chosen Wonders
11:30 a.m. ? 12:15 p.m.: Russell City Memorial Blues Band
11:30 a.m. ? 11:40 a.m.: Bobby Webb
11:40 a.m. ? 11:50 a.m.: Lee Ashford
11:50 a.m. ? 12:00 p.m.: Country Pete
12:00 p.m. ? 12:15 p.m.: Filmore Slim
12:30 p.m. ? 1:30 p.m.: Oakland Blues Diva
12:30 p.m. ? 12:40 p.m.: Earnestine Barze
12:40 p.m. ? 12:50 p.m.: BabyBee
12:50 p.m. ? 1:00 p.m.: DeJean Burkes
1:00 p.m. ? 1:10 p.m.: Margie Turner
1:10 p.m. ? 1:20 p.m.: Xymphoni
1:20 p.m. ? 1:30 p.m. Diva Ladee Chico
1:30 p.m. ? 2:15 p.m.: Caravan Allstars
1:30 p.m. ? 1:40 p.m.: Karl Bracy
1:40 p.m. ? 1:50 p.m.: Chuck Wallace
1:50 p.m. ? 2:00 p.m.: Terrible Tom
2:00 p.m. ? 2:15 p.m.: Willie G
2:30 p.m. ? 3:00 p.m.: JC Smith Band
3:15 p.m. ? 3:45 p.m.: Mr. Guitar
4:00 p.m. ? 4:30 p.m.: Stan Butler
4:45 p.m. ? 5:15 p.m.: Stoney B Blues Band
5:30 p.m. ? 6:00 p.m. Eddie Vaan Shaw
6:15 p.m. ? 7:00 p.m.: Mr. Sipp

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