Smooth, sexy and soulful are all words used to describe the blues, a musical genre that can trace its roots back to the Mississippi Delta more than a hundred years ago. But for Andy Doty, Temecula Blues Festival founder and owner of the Old Town Blues Club, the blues is so much more than just a musical genre.
“All American music is rooted in blues,” Doty said. “I don’t care if it’s hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, soul or jazz, it’s all rooted in blues. It’s huge. I think there is opportunity to educate and introduce blues to a new demographic. There is nothing like it for 75 miles in either direction.”
Doty, in conjunction with the Old Town Blues Club, is hosting Temecula’s inaugural Blues Festival, April 21, and attendees can expect to hear some of the best blues the region has to offer.
National recording artist Tad Robinson, well-known for his velvety voice and cool stylings, headlines the eight-band bill which also includes San Diego-based guitar ace, Stoney B. Blues Band; highly-regarded South Bay vocalist, Shari Puorto Band; blues harmonica at its best from The Honey Lickers; Chris Fast Band; Bill Magee Blues Band; Cash N Freedman and JD Priest Band.
“We would love people to come out and support this event,” Doty said. “We are doing this for the community, and the Temecula Blues Festival promises to be an amazing event with some incredible talent.”
For those unable to wait for the festival to get their blues fix, a visit to the Old Town Blues Club is just the ticket. Formerly known as The Lucky Stone, the Old Town Blues Club offers seven live shows every week, featuring all genres of music. The Old Town Blues Club, 28636 Old Town Front St., is open Wednesday through Sunday.
“We don’t do exclusively blues, we do rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, all kinds of music,” Doty said
Strictly a live music venue that sells only beer and wine, The Old Town Blues Club focuses on music, doing two live shows on Fridays and Saturdays and one live show on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
“We have a blues emphasis on Friday and Sunday afternoons,” Doty said. “It fits that demographic; they love to come out and listen to music on a Friday or Sunday afternoon and get some blues in. You come to my place specifically to be entertained with live music.”
A love of live entertainment, owning a blues club and seeing the joy it brings to his patrons is what inspired Doty, who is from the Chicago area, to create the Temecula Blues Festival.
“I grew up around blues clubs,” he said. “I have experienced blues; it’s a great experience when you see great blues live for the first time, it can be moving. If you love blues in your 20s, then you love blues all your life.”
In addition to some great music, there will be food vendors including Rene’s Cowgirl Cantina; Rosati’s Authentic Chicago Pizza; Laurent’s Cafe; Devilicious Cafe; Rock N’ Jenny’s Italian Subs; Bad To The Bone BBQ; The Bridge at 3rd Fish N Chips and The Bank.
“There will also be a blues village,” Doty said. “In the plaza there will be blues and music-oriented merchandise, whether it be clothing, artwork or jewelry. It’s an overall blues experience.”
According to Doty, who is passionate in all he does, blues has a solid following.
“There is a lot of talent out there in the blues genre, then there is in all the other genres, and not just talent, but quality talent,” he said.
The Temecula Blues Festival will be held Saturday, April 21, noon until 10 p.m., at the Temecula Civic Center Plaza, 41000 Main St. For more information or to purchase tickets to the family-friendly event, visit www.temeculabluesfestival.com. Tickets for the festival are $38, and seating is limited, so get tickets early.
“This festival will be the first of annual blues festivals to follow, so go ahead and make the decision to be a part of this inaugural event and make a weekend out of your trip to lovely Temecula,” Doty said. “You’ll enjoy yourself immensely.”
For more information on Old Town Blues Club, visit www.oldtownbluesclub.com.