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Preview Of The Tampa Blues Festival

Nightlife & Music Tampa Bay Blues Fest
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Tampa Bay Blues Festival
Vinoy Waterfront Park
501 5th Ave. Northeast
St. Petersburg, Florida 33705
(727) 502-5000

Dates: Friday April 13th to Sunday April 15th, 2012
Hours: Friday and Saturday: Gates open at noon, Sunday: Gates open at 12:30p.m.; Music will continue until 10 p.m. each evening.
Prices: $30 single day tickets; $75 all three days, VIP tickets also available

Since 1995, The Tampa Bay Blues Fest has provided deep-rooted, world-class blues entertainment for aficionados up and down the Gulf Coast region. The Festival is held every year at gorgeous Vinoy Waterfront Park in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida and is produced by the Tampa Bay Blues Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Proceeds from the event benefit the foundation's charity partner, Pinellas Association for Retarded Children, so not only do festival-goers get to witness some of the country's greatest blues performers in action, they also get to benefit a great cause. Savor delicious cuisine throughout the festival grounds, including seafood, barbecue, Cuban delicacies and other culinary delights. Beverage vendors including beer, wine and soda will also be set up along the confines of the park for thirsty blues lovers. Here are some must-see performances to catch at the 2012 Tampa Bay Blues Festival.

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Los Lonely Boys
Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

This dynamic, three-man band has a Grammy and a gold single to its name, and has even performed with the likes of such legends as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana. With a unique musical style the band has labeled "Rockpango," Los Lonely Boys has to be heard to be truly understood and appreciated, so don't miss the chance to catch them on the first night of the festival this year.

James Cotton
Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

James Cotton, a legend in his own time, has performed and recorded with the greatest blues artists of all-time. Cotton began playing blues harp in Howling Wolf's band in the early 50's, then with Muddy Waters around 1955. He formed The James Cotton Blues Band in 1967 but it wasn't until 1196 that Cotton was won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues album. Cotton has opened for and played with The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, Freddie King, and B.B. King just to name just a few. James Cotton is a true living legend of the blues.

Tower of Power
Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

Since 1968, Tower of Power has been delivering a tantalizing approach to music, and the band's unique style has been dubbed "urban soul." Tower's Rhythm section lays down a groove like no other band, and some of their most popular hits include, "What Is Hip?," "You're Still A Young Man" and "So Very Hard To Go."

Jimmie Vaughn
Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

Texas blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan was personally influenced by the great Freddie King. Eventually, Vaughn developed his own signature style of playing guitar and formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds with singer and harpist Kim Wilson. The band became commercially successful and a mainstay on Top 40 radio in the 80s, featuring the classics, "Tuff  Enuff," "Wrap it Up," "How Do You Spell Love" and "Powerful Stuff." Jimmie left the T-Birds in 1989 to play as a duo with his legendary brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jimmie Vaughan continues to collaborate and tour with legendary artists, including Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan, and he will be gracing St. Petersburg with his soulful presence on Saturday, April 14.

After Show Parties
Palladium Theater
253 Fifth Avenue North
St. Petersburg, Florida
(727) 502-5000 Charles Ross

Hours: Shows each day 10:30p.m. to 11:30p.m., 11:45p.m. to 12:45a.m., 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Dates: Friday, April 13th and Saturday, April 14th, 2012
Price: Tickets $20 for each night
See the full line up 

After hour shows will be featured at the historic Palladium Theater, which is within walking distance of Vinoy Park. The After Show concert series will feature some of the best blues bands from the festival, all performing in an intimate setting. Don't miss the chance to catch live, personal shows with great performers like the Alexis P. Suter Band, Johhny Rawls, Delta Groove Harp, Albert Castiglia, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges and Trampled Under Foot.

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Ray Shasho is a freelance writer living in Bradenton, Florida. Shasho was labeled 'Rock Raymond' in high school after demonstrating his obsession for rock music. Hes attended hundreds of rock concerts and has rubbed elbows with rocks legends. His work can be found at

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