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9th Annual Bonita Blues Festival

Lurrie Bell's Chicago Blues Band will headline the Bonita Blues Fest on Saturday, March 7.

Lurrie Bell’s Chicago Blues Band will headline the Bonita Blues Fest on Saturday, March 7.

The 9th Annual Bonita Blues Festival will jive into Riverside Park on March 6 & 7.  Both days will feature award winning blues music from around the country and a wide variety of food and other vendors.  

The two day event will feature national and regional blues bands including multiple award winning, Chicago blues icon, Lurrie Bell and his Chicago Blues Band, award winning vocal and guitar master Chris Cain, roots ‘n’ blues “supergroup” Southern Hospitality featuring Damon Fowler, Victor Wainwright and JP Soars, Miami Allstar Blues Guitarist Albert Castiglia, the Jeremiah Johnson Band from St. Louis, Israeli Blues challenge winner Ori Naftaly, the Rusty Wright Band from Michigan, the Old No.5’s from Kansas City, the Ben Rice Band from Oregon, the Peterson Brothers from Austin, TX and the 2015 Southwest Florida Blues Society IBC Challenge winner RJ Howson Band.

Headlining the Bonita Blues Festival on March 7 is Lurrie Bell and his Chicago Blues Band.  Lurrie is the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell.  He picked up his father’s guitar at age of five and taught himself to play— clearly gifted.

Bell grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. Everyone from Eddie Taylor and Big Walter Horton to Eddie C. Campbell and Jimmy Dawkins shaped and schooled Bell in the blues, but none as much as his father’s long-time employer Muddy Waters.

At seven years old, Bell left Chicago to live in Mississippi and Alabama with his grandparents, immersing himself in the passionate expressiveness of the gospel tradition.  Upon moving back to Chicago as a teenager, he continued to play in church, as well as forming his first blues band while attending high school. 

By seventeen, Bell was playing on stage with Willie Dixon and later became a founding member of The Sons of Blues with Freddie Dixon (son of Willie) and Billy Branch.  The band recorded three standout tracks for Alligator Records’ Grammy nominated Living Chicago Blues series.

Battling and defeating a series of personal demons kept him out of the studio and off the road for a long spell in the late 1980’s, but Bell persevered and re-surfaced in the mid-1990’s with a succession of four highly acclaimed records for Chicago’s Delmark label.   

Since the onset of the new millennium, Bell’s profile has been steadily rising.  In 2002, the release Cutting Heads and Second Nature was nominated for a WC Handy Award Acoustic Record of the Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.  His career continued pairing him with greats such as Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Buddy Guy, Magic Slim, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.  And in 2012 came the arrival of his second CD The Devil Ain’t Got No Music, a collection of acoustic blues and gospel songs that was later honored with the Prix du Blues award.

Proceeds of the Bonita Blues Festival will benefit the Bonita Springs Assistance Office, Music for Minors Foundation, Inc., providing musical instruments to local youth and The Music Therapy Program at the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Tickets to the festival are just $40 in advance for a weekend pass.  Ticket prices at the gate are $25 for Friday, $30 for Saturday and $50 for the weekend. 

- The Bonita Blues Festival will be a two-day event held at 1 pm on March 6 and at 11 am on March 7 at Riverside Park in downtown Bonita Springs, FL.  To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit www.bonitablues.com.

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Mud Bash 6

Mud Bash 6 celebrates the Redneck Yacht Club's six years of mutton' fun!

Mud Bash 6 celebrates the Redneck Yacht Club’s six years of mutton’ fun!

The Redneck Yacht Club, the most exciting off-road mud park, is having a birthday party!  

Mud Bash 6, celebrating six years of muddin’ fun, is scheduled for February 6 – 8.  The weekend-long event will feature ATV racing, Airboat racing, Truck Pulls, and the showpiece of the weekend, the Kapoya Energy Drink “Feel the Kick” Mud Truck Races at high noon on Saturday.  The birthday bash will also include trail riding, mudding at the three huge mud holes, an obstacle course to tackle with your vehicle, and over 880 acres of open fun for everyone.

There will be musical entertainment all weekend long, including DJ Zuke and the legendary Southern Rock artists, The Jimmie Van Zant Band, rocking the stage.

 “Six years of bringing muddy outdoor fun to Southwest Florida is definitely a reason to celebrate,” said Redneck Yacht Club Sales and Marketing Director Dave Kelly.  “Nobody throws a party like the Redneck Yacht Club, and with our February weather being some of the best in the country, we know that we’ll attract folks from all over the US.  Throw in some first-class entertainment for the weekend, and we’re sure that this will be the biggest and baddest birthday party in the South!”

The Redneck Yacht Club offers weekend-long tickets for events like Mud Bash 6.  “We are proud that these three-day weekends add so much to the local economy,” says park General Manager Rob White.  “We value the collaborative relationships we have with Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Charlotte Harbor VCB and the Tourist Development Council. Redneck Yacht Club contributes significant impact to the economic vitality of this region, both directly and indirectly, and their support is vital to our continued shared success.”

- To learn more or purchase tickets to Mud Bash 6, call (239) 209-3773 or visit www.redneckyachtclubmudpark.com.