Friday, April 12, 2024
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Silver Valley to play stage to Wallace Blues Fest

by CAROLYN BOSTICK
Staff Writer | April 2, 2024 1:00 AM

The Historic Wallace Blues Festival has some major changes in place for this year’s event.

Instead of Blues Fest hosting a weekend’s worth of music, bands are set to play beyond just the city of Wallace during a five-day event.

Blues Fest is kicking things off with two days' worth of shows at Silver Mountain Resort that concertgoers will access by gondola. The performances will then move to Wallace for the Friday and Saturday events before adding Silverton Mountain Manor as the spot for the Sunday Rhythm and Blues finale.

Dr. J, “The Prime Minister of the Blues," of the Chicago radio show Brothers of the Blues Radio Show is this year’s event host.

Cook was also excited to secure regional favorites John Primer, Joanna Connor and Indigenous for the lineup. The 17-year-old blues performer “Young Rell” Davenport was also a welcome new addition.

Cook hopes blues aficionados in Boise, Spokane and Walla Walla, Wash., will heed the call to turn out for a great time across the county.

“I think it’s going to be a positive for the whole Valley,” Cook said.

One of the things fellow organizer Carlton Ahern is hoping the new setup will add is the enticement needed to make the shows extend beyond the bar scene and become more of a family event.

“There’s a larger enterprise to be enjoyed,” Ahern said.

Organizers said 2023 was a tough year with generator issues and last-minute trolley repairs, so rolling with a new plan when a construction project in Wallace took a venue location off the table was nothing new for the group.

“Since December, it’s been a new hurdle, a new bomb, a new change, but we manage to glue it back together every time. We’ve got to share and it ultimately benefits everybody,” Cook said.

This year, Blues Fest also invites youth performers to share their mettle and passion for music.

“We can’t pull any punches this year. It’ll be some of the best blues Wallace has ever had,” Cook said.

If you go

July 10 and 11 Kellogg tickets sold separately (includes gondola ride)
Wednesday, July 10: Walla Walla Idaho Rockin’ Blues Rally — Silver Mountain Resort
Thursday, July 11: Robin's Egg Blues Youth Show — Silver Mountain Resort

July 12: Northwest Blues Showcase — Wallace
July 13: Bluesfest — Wallace
July 14: Rhythm and Blues Silverton Sunday — Silverton Mountain Manor

Tickets to July 10 and 11 events are $22.95: silvermt.com

Three-day pass, July 12-14, $75: www.wallaceblues.com