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Crawdads for Dads + Cajun music & blues too

Elvin Bishop top’s the bill

Why shouldn’t there be a big ol’ mess of Cajun and blues music all the way out and up here in Northern California … so far away from the Crazy Crescent City that lies in the mouth of the Mississippi River?

The answer is totally affirmative. We have our own delta right here in the “backyard,” so to speak. We even have quite a good-sized river that runs through it. It’s also where our “breeze” comes from. And it’s where the 35th annual Isleton Cajun & Blues Festival happens.

This weekend would be a good time for you take in this big mess of great music down Isleton way, near all the tall broadcast towers. The delta is another beautiful and different part of the rather fickle but unique topography of the Golden State.

Just steer to Isleton and look for Main Street. You can miss it. Then you won’t miss any of the great music and performers who will be on hand to give Father a day and weekend he won’t forget.

At the top of bill, how ’bout Elvin Bishop … that blues man extraordinaire? And no one could have a Cajun and blues bash without some Louisiana players doing their thing. The Lost Bayou Ramblers are scrambling in, along with the Magnolia Sisters with Ann Savoy aboard. Ann’s a Grammy winner just like Elvin. Is this tall cotton or what?

The Bay Area’s Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic have tricks that will amaze your yen for this wonderful music, as will the Creole Belles with Andrew Carriere. Back over in the blues venue, get ready for a guy who can make his saxophone do everything but speak French: Terry Hanck, backed by his supreme band. They know what the blues and soul are all about. Terry won the 2012 Blues Music Award.

Down from the north breezing into Isleton, look for Portland, Oregon’s Karen Lovely as she belts great blues for Dad and the whole family. Howell Devine, a county blues trio, up from Oakland, will be performing Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. That almost seems like enough – but there’s more.

Sacramento comes to Isleton too. Look for the Kyle Rowland Band, Catfish and the Crawdaddies, and the Sacramento Blues Revue. Then up from a bit south, Modesto’s Blues Box Bayou Band; and from up the river in Rio Vista, Derek Abel and his blues band have been invited to the party. And we can’t leave out Davis. Gabe Lewin also gets into the Isleton act.

One more neat touch for Isleton will be a kind of musical sound also not unfamiliar in New Orleans: Jim Ott’s 30-piece brass band blows both days.

Word’s out … this is the heaviest lineup of musicians so far for the Isleton Chamber of Commerce event. Current chamber president Lynette Brister and former chamber president Jean Yokotobi have had lots to do with this Dads’ Day doin’s.  Sacramento’s Swell Productions – Mindy Giles at the wheel – has rounded up talent that is truly c’est magnifique.


Since it’s Dads’ Day, there’ll be beaucoup crawdads for the munching, all masterfully prepared by Kyle Silva who knows way more than just a few things about such creatures and how to fix them so they taste great, especially for connoisseurs of Cajun and blues music. The gobs of folks attending are invited to compete to see who can eat the most of some of those crawdaddies Kyle cooks up.

There’ll be free parking on the north side of Main Street for those not coming to Isleton on a paddle wheeler or in their rowboat. They should wear their best costume for the fun if they arrive Saturday afternoon. A contest for the best getup is scheduled then.

Copyright © 2013 by Gary Chew. All right reserved.







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