Wielding his signature harmonica, delta-blues artist James Cotton has become a legend in blues circles, having started in the Muddy Waters Blues Band and since performed with B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and other renowned artists. Watch the mouth-harp-playing phenomenon soulfully jam to classic blues tunes, such as “Don’t Start Me Talking” and “Sweet Sixteen,” as well as material from his newest record, Giant. Local blues-rockers Deja Blues will open, playing tunes that pay tribute to every style of American blues, from Mississippi Delta to Chicago shuffle to robot blues-rock, which focuses on the loneliness of 0s and 1s.
The Roots & Boots Tour corrals three country stars—Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie, and Sammy Kershaw—to perform acoustic versions of more than 40 Top 10 hits. After opening sets by local country duo Whisky Row and LA-area five-piece The Doo-Wah Riders, the headliners will light up the stage faster than a Shakespeare troupe wearing firefly chainmail. With hard-hitting songs such as “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” and a hobby as a competitive bodybuilder, Tippin has earned the nickname “Hillbilly Hercules.” Sammy Kershaw turns to his Louisiana upbringing to pepper singles such as "Cadillac Style” with Cajun-style vocals and to treat audience tongues to dabs of complimentary hot sauce. Grammy winner Joe Diffie will showcase his own repertoire of chart-toppers, including 1994’s “Pickup Man.”
The dazzling, art-deco exterior of The State Theatre sends moviegoers back in time to Hollywood’s heyday. The elegant 1934 theater eschews the big-budget productions and 3D infomercials of today’s movie industry and instead screens classic films and indie features. On opening nights, The State Theatre often hosts Skype Q&A sessions with the directors and other filmmakers.