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Cruise, blues and dancing shoes: Cd'A Blues Festival returns

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | February 3, 2023 1:06 AM

Here's some good news to lose your winter blues and jazz things up for a weekend: Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival tickets are now on sale.

More than a dozen bands and artists are lined up to perform during the three-day music fest March 31 through April 2, presented by The Coeur d'Alene Resort and Too Far North Productions.

"We're really looking forward to it," Coeur d’Alene Resort marketing director Amy VanSickle said Thursday. "Last year, we had our rooftop blues in the Terrace Lounge. It’s super beautiful out there."

The Terrace Lounge is one of several sites where guests will cut a rug in their dancing shoes throughout the weekend while enjoying premier local and regional acts, as well as a few of the who's who of blues.

One headliner will be the Blood Brothers, featuring Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia. Zito won the 2022 Blues Music Award for Blues Rock Album while Castiglia is a recipient of the Blues Music Award for Blues Rock Artist. The duo will play on the Five Band Festival stage.

"They’re releasing a brand new album," VanSickle said. "They’ll be playing new music no one has heard before. I think we’re their first stop as they tour the Pacific Northwest."

Musicians will perform in The Coeur d'Alene Resort Lobby, Whispers Lounge and The Resort Convention Center throughout the weekend. Attendees will boogie onboard the Blues Cruise with Justyn Priest and Natasha’s Force of Nature on Friday night, followed by Friday Night Live with the Sara Brown Band. Festival-goers will live it up Saturday afternoon during the Rooftop Blues Party featuring Voodoo Church and Whack-A-Mole with special guests Elon C. Jones and Forest Govedare, then dance into the night during the Five Band Festival. The Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival will conclude Sunday morning with a Gospel Blues Brunch at Dockside, featuring Voices 4 Praise.

VanSickle said people come from as far away as Seattle, the Tri-Cities and Missoula to enjoy this highly acclaimed blues celebration, which is in its 12th year.

"It's the right acts — they’re from all over," she said. "It’s combining our local regional performers along with huge-name national performers that have been in the blues industry for 50-plus years."

One such legendary performer who will grace the stage is the iconic Maria Muldaur, known worldwide for her 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” which received Grammy nominations and earned a place the hearts of fans everywhere. Muldaur is an interpreter of American Roots Music, as well.

Soul blues legend Johnny Rawls is also among the notable performers. His diverse career spans more than 50 decades — he’s an internationally recognized recording artist, music producer and songwriter who extensively tours North America and abroad. The Blues Music Awards and its predecessor, the W.C. Handy Awards, frequently recognize Rawls' work. To date, 10 of his albums have been nominated for Soul Blues Album of the Year, with “I’m Still Around” winning in 2019 and “Ace of Spades” winning in 2010.

Don't snooze on registering for the Blues Cruise. VanSickle said only 300 tickets will be sold, and it's expected to sell out.

"We have some great room packages available," she said. "You can stay the night, take the elevator home and really party the night away."

Ticket prices vary. Visit cdabluesfestival.com for details.

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Courtesy photo

Celebrated soul blues legend Johnny Rawls will perform during the Five Band Festival in The Coeur d'Alene Resort Convention Center when the Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival returns March 31 through April 2. Tickets are now on sale.

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Courtesy photo

Maria Muldaur, singer of the beloved 1974 mega-hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” is one of the headliners who will perform at the Coeur d'Alene Blues Festival when it returns to The Coeur d'Alene Resort for a three-day celebration of all things blues March 31 through April 2.