This evening, still riding the high from last night, we say goodbye to the 27th Harvest Jazz and Blues festival. Two powerhouses of music, Steve Earle, and Colin James played to jam-packed venues in well above historical temperatures for our neck of the woods.
Steve Earle Shares his Message
Steve Earle hit the stage, and the crowd went wild before he uttered his first word. His face is as familiar as his style; patrons went in knowing what to expect and boy, did he deliver. The band shifted between instruments with the skill of buskers, started with all the usual band fare, and then tossed around a mandolin, violin, upright bass, harmonica, and maracas to shake things up – pun intended.
His music brings together elements of rock, country, gospel, and blues. His gruff voice and his tender impassioned lyrics, combine to take you to a simpler time, but a more complex message; a cautionary, yet somehow optimistic tale. Everyone wants to be a Rockstar, but it’s hard work. Steve Earle paid homage to the sacrifices of the greats in the title single of his new album, So, you Wanna be an Outlaw, and shared an energetic return to his roots with Harvest Jazz and Blues patrons; his special guests.
Colin James Just Came Back to Harvest
Opening for Colin James, Harvest Jazz and Blues goers experienced the National Reserve hailing from New York, NY. Singer and guitarist, Sean Walsh delivered a rich baritone vocal performance similar in cadence to Neil Diamond. With a full album in the works, the band exhibits the artistry of a hardworking, well-traveled group ready to take their vision to the next level.
Six-time Juno Award-winning, Saskatchewan born Colin James took the stage last night at the Moose Light Blues Tent. Fresh off his Blue Highways tour this Spring, Colin James has spent the summer making appearances at various festivals and fairs. It’s been two long years since his last sold-out show here at the Harvest Jazz and Blues festival, and audiences welcomed him back with open arms.
In the words of Howlin’ Wolf, “I just play blues for fun.” Colin James is one of those artists, born to sing the Blues. His performance Saturday night delivered a dichotomy; all the pain, struggle, and despair of the blues explored through a whimsical medium; the music has even the staunchest puritan hopping. With minimal effort, he won their confidence, and show-goers journeyed along with him for “the fun.”
Up-Close-And-Personal at Harvest Jazz and Blues
A scan through the crowds reveals patrons from tiny ear muffed babies, to one vivacious near-centurion owing her piece of the front row in the Cox and Palmer tent Friday night. There’s a little something there for everyone and no deviation from East coast charm. For the price of admission, even the largest venues at Harvest allow an up-close-and-personal experience with World Class entertainment of past, present and the rising star acts on the way.