Blues are a quintessentially American form of music, much like country and western and any noise made by a bald eagle. Celebrate homegrown originality with this GrouponLive deal to the Monterey Bay Blues Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on Friday, June 22, to Sunday, June 24. Choose from the following ticketing options:
- For $27, you get one arena ticket to see a show featuring Evelyn "Champagne" King on Friday from 7 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. (up to a $60 value, including all fees).
- For $32, you get one arena ticket to see a show featuring Kenny Neal on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (up to a $70 value, including all fees).
- For $32, you get one arena ticket to see a show featuring JJ Grey & Mofro on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (up to a $70 value, including all fees).
- For $37, you get one arena ticket to see a show featuring Russell Thompkins Jr. & the New Stylistics on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. (up to an $80 value, including all fees).
- For $90, you get a three-day arena pass to the festival, granting admittance to all of these shows (up to a $180 value).
Seating for all of the above main-stage performances is in mid-arena sections 5, 6, 7, and 8, and all tickets grant admittance to the concurrent performances on the Payton Garden Stage and Presidents Stage. A complete schedule for all three stages is available here.
A soulful staple of Bay culture since 1986, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival has been host to such blues and R & B superstars as B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and Buddy Guy. For three days, that tradition marches on across three stages, transforming the oak-studded fairground into a microcosm of the blues' past and future, from rust-mouthed bayou tunes to experimental demonstrations of the laser harmonica. Evelyn “Champagne” King headlines the main stage on opening night, supported by fellow disco diva Rose Royce, singer of “Car Wash” and “Love Don't Live Here Anymore.” Champagne made a splash in the mid-'70s as a teenager with a lustily mature voice, singing such favorites as “Shame” and “I Don't Know If It's Right.”
Saturday sees a return to traditional Southern-style blues in two main-stage performances, headlined respectively by Kenny Neal and JJ Grey. A second-generation New Orleans blues man, Neal earned the festival's Artist of the Year award in 2009 with his gravelly drawl and his fast-fingered guitar work. JJ Grey & Mofro finish off the evening, banging out bass-heavy roots rock.
Sunday's main-stage show provides a glimpse at the velvet-voiced songscape of Philly soul, featuring living legends The Jones Girls, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and Russell Thompkins Jr. & the New Stylistics. At various times and on various stages, attendees can also catch the festival's Blues in the Schools honors band.