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Blues fans brave weather to enjoy music fest

By Steve Metsch

Mother Nature may not be a fan of the blues.

But plenty of people were when the Windy City Blues Fest made its Bridgeview debut in soggy SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday.

The festival had been moved from Lyons, where it was held over a three-day September weekend in 2018.

Music was played all day for those fans who had braved the weather, that unfortunately resulted in rain falling now and then.

“The rain dampened the enthusiasm and it may have held the crowd down,” Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek said. “But for those who came, a great time was had by all.”

“They saw some good headliners and guys who are up for Grammy Awards. It was a big event for SeatGeek Stadium,” Landek added.

A covering had been placed over the soccer field, so fans didn’t have to cope with slick grass in the rain. Food and beverage vendors were available.

Admission was free to the festival, which started at noon and finished at 10:45 p.m.

Those who attended all day saw an impressive lineup: Ax & The Hatchetmen; Kevin Purcell & The Nightburners; the Bob Corritore Chi-Town Blues Reunion, featuring Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn, Kenny Smith, Tail Dragger, Will Buck and Oscar Wilson; The Robert Kimbrough Sr. Blues Connection; Tennessee Redemption with Brandon Santini & Jeff Jensen; and Annika Chambers.

Santini recently won the Blues Blast Music Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album of the Year.

Chambers won the Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation for Female Soul Blues Singer of the Year.

The Chicago Blues Challenge was also held.

Grammy nominee Robert Randolph and the Family Band was the final act. The band delivered a spirited performance to a crowd diminished by the weather.

Many fans were clapping their hands or dancing to the music as band members took turns trading instruments throughout the show, displaying their wide range of musical talent.

Dave Madlener is president of the Windy City Blues Society, which for a second straight year had put together talent for the festival.

Two phone calls left for Madlener on Monday were not returned.

Asked about 2020, Landek said: “We may do it again next year, maybe go a little earlier.”

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