Heritage

Originating in 1981, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival is one of the oldest blues festivals in America, first held on the campus of Southern University. The festival honors the legend of home-grown blues artists like Slim Harpo, Rudy Richard, Silas Hogan, Whisperin' Smith, Guitar Kelly, Schoolboy Cleve, Chewin' Gum Johnson and Raful Neal. Expanding outside our backyard, the festival has brought in nationally and internationally recognized names like Bobby Blue Bland, Marcia Ball, Phil Guy, Larry Garner and Charlie Musselwhite—including recent Grammy-nominee Ruthie Foster, who won the hearts of festival goers in 2009. Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to further their Baton Rouge blues experience beyond the festival at hangouts like Phil Brady's (with the longest-running 21-year Thursday night blues jam around) and the inimitable Teddy's Juke Joint in Zachary, Louisiana.

2015 performers Arrested Development

2015 performers Arrested Development

2014 headliner Dr. John & The Nite Trippers

2014 headliner Dr. John & The Nite Trippers

2013 headliner Bobby Rush

2013 headliner Bobby Rush

2012 headliner Johnny Winter

2012 headliner Johnny Winter

2011 performers Tabby Thomas and Henry Gray

2011 performers Tabby Thomas and Henry Gray

Click the photos above to see some of the recent Baton Rouge Blues Festival lineups.

Previous lineups 2010 - 1981


April 24, 2010

MAIN STAGE

Tyree Neal
Janiva Magness
Sonny Landreth
Ruthie Foster
Tony Joe White
Chris Thomas King

FOOD COURT STAGE

Susan Owens
Elvin Killerbee

MUSIC IN THE SCHOOLS STAGE

Central High Blues Band and the Dunham School Jazz Ensemble


April 25, 2009

Kenny Acosta
Lil Ray Neal
Percy Sledge
Bonnie Bramlett
Bobby Blue Bland
Charlie Musselwhite


April 26, 2008

The Baton Rouge High School Bulldog Blues Band
Phil Guy & The Chicago Machine
Larry Garner
Marcia Ball
Luther Kent & Trickbag Big Band
Tab Benoit
Lazy Lester with Rudy Richard & James Johnson
Kenny Neal


The festival took a hiatus from 1994 to 2008.


Oct. 8 and 9, 1994

Saturday Oct. 8

LA LOTTERY "GET LUCKY" STAGE

J. Monque'D
Barbara George
Bobby Parker
Elvin Killerbee
Phil Guy

RIVER ROAD STAGE

M.Z. Jones
Troy Turner
Jackie Neal
Kenny Acosta
Ed Johnson and Blue Notes

BUDWEISER 'LEGENDS' STAGE

Big Boe Melvin
Rudy Richard
Big Luther Kent
Rockin' Tabby Thomas

BLOCKBUSTER HEADLINER STAGE

Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon
Earl King and George Porter Jr.

Sunday, Oct. 9

LA LOTTERY "GET LUCKY" STAGE

Spiritual Harmonettes
Fireside Gospel Singers
Run Jane Run
Unknown Blues Band
Eyewitness Blues Band
Blues Jam

RIVER ROAD STAGE

Chicago Al
Henry Turner Jr.
Erica Guerin
Big Luchus Brown
Alvin Batiste

BUDWEISER 'LEGENDS' STAGE

Larry Garner
Herman Jackson w/ Friends
Henry Gray
Raful Neal

THE ADVOCATE HEADLINER STAGE

Doyle Bramhall
Johnny Adams


August 28 & 29, 1993

Saturday, Aug. 28

LEGENDS STAGE

W.W. Woolfolk
King Lloyd Palmer
Henry Gray
Raful Neal

GALVEZ STAGE

Ed Johnson and the Blue Notes
Kenny Acosta
Chicago Al
Cleveland and the Rockolas
King Seville

"GET LUCKY" CAFE

M.Z. Jones
Elvin Killerbee
Rudy Richard
Luchus Brown
Blues Jam

HEADLINER STAGE

Marva Wright
Otis Clay

Sunday, Aug. 29

LEGENDS STAGE

Battlerack Scatter
Oscar Davis
Larry Garner
Lil Jimmy Reed
Tabby Thomas

GALVEZ STAGE

LA Blues Patrol
Chris Leblanc
Miss Molly and the Whips
Run Jane Run
Chris Thomas

"GET LUCKY" CAFE

Blue Sister
Boe Melvin
Harvey Knox and Soul Spectrum
Blues Jam
Eyewitness Blues

HEADLINER STAGE

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Delbert McClinton


September 19 & 20, 1992

Saturday, Sept. 19

LEGENDS STAGE

King Lloyd Palmer
W.W. Woolfolk Band
Battlerack Scatter
Raful Neal & Lil' Jimmie Reed

GALVEZ STAGE

Betty Lewis
Harvey & the Soul Spectrum
Ed Johnson & The Blue Notes
See Jane Run
J. Monque'D Blues

RED CAT CAFE

Cleveland & the Rockolas
Chicago Al
Carl Sonny Leyland
Oscar "Harpo" Davis
Blues Jam

HEADLINER STAGE

Kenny Neal
Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets

Sunday, Sept. 20

LEGENDS STAGE

Southern University YouthGang
Larry Garner
Henry Gray
Tabby Thomas & Jimmy Dotson

GALVEZ STAGE

Boe Melvin & Night Hawks
Luchus Brown
Michael Wolfe
Big River Band (Angola Band)
Troy Turner

RED CAT CAFE

LA Blues Patrol
Rudy Richard
Circuit Breakers
Eyewitness Blues
Kenny Acosta
Blues Jam

HEADLINER STAGE

Marcia Ball


August 31 & September 1, 1991

Saturday, Aug. 31

MILLER LASC STAGE

Rudi Richard
T-Bone Singleton
Harmonica Red
Lil' Jimmie Reed

COORS GALVEZ STAGE

Chicago Al Griffin
Henry Gray
Larry Garner and the Boogaloo Blues Kings
J. Monque'D Blues Band

MR. GATTI'S BLUE DOG CAFE

Eyewitness Blues
Oscar Davis
See Jane Run
Circuit Breakers

HEADLINER STAGE

Katie Webster
Albert Collins

Sunday, Sept. 1

MILLER LASC STAGE

Youth Blues Band
Harvey and the Soul Spectrum Band
Boe Melvin
Ed Johnson and the Blue Notes

COORS GALVEZ STAGE

Zion Travelers
Betty Lewis and the Executives
Troy Turner and Third Gear
Tabby Thomas

MR. GATTI'S BLUE DOG CAFE

King Lloyd Palmer
Kenny Acosta and the House Reckers
Clarence Edwards
Cleveland and the Rockolas

HEADLINER STAGE

Elvin Bishop
Dr. John


River City Blues Festival, 1990

Saturday, Sept. 1

OLD STATE CAPITOL STAGE

Harvey and the Soul Spectrum Band
The Rockolas
The Circuit Breakers
Larry Garner and the Boogaloo Blues Band
Troy Turner and Third Gear
Tabby Thomas
Jam Session: A Tribute to Slim Harpo

GALVEZ PLAZA STAGE

Ozone
Blue Sister
T-Bone Singleton
Frank Sells and the
Short Fuse
Li'l Jimmy Reed

OLD GOVERNOR'S MANSION STAGE

MZ Jones
La. Blues Patrol
Jap and the Jet Set
King Lloyd Band
Chicago Al and the Backburners
Joyful Commanders

Sunday, Sept. 2

OLD STATE CAPITOL STAGE

Betty Lewis and the Executives
Sugar and the Boys
Roy Stewart/Sweet Kathleen and the Blues Krewe
Harmonica Red
J. Monque'd Blues Band
Raful Neal
Hall of Fame winner announced

GALVEZ PLAZA STAGE

Zion Travelers
The Blues Boys
Henry Gray and the Cats
Oscar "Harp" Davis Band
Clarence Edwards and the Blues Players
Silas Hogan
Phil Guy

OLD GOVERNOR'S MANSION STAGE

The Internationals
Eyewitness Blues
Battlerack Scatter and His H.C. Band
Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers
The Blue Notes
Bo Melvin and the Night Hawks/Big Luchus Brown


River City Blues Festival, 1989

Henry Gray
Tabby Thomas
Chris Thomas
Kenny Neal
Lazy Lester
Major Handy
Raful Neal
Circuit Breakers
Eyewitness Blues
Michael Wolfe and Wolfe Gang
Harmonica Red
The La. Blues Patrol
Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers
Chicago Al
Larry Garner and the Boogaloo Blues Band
Troy Turner and Third Gear
Silas Hogan and Guitar Kelly


River City Blues Festival, 1988

Saturday, April 9

NORTH BOULEVARD STAGE

All-Star Blues Jam
Johnny Adams and the Chuck Mitchell Band
J. Monque'd Blues Band
The Rockolas
The Circuit Breakers
Bo Melvin and the Night Hawks
Luchus Brown

GALVEZ PLAZA STAGE

Lighthouse Gospel Singers
Bullfrog
Clarence Edwards
Betty Lewis
Arthur "Guitar" Kelley

LAFAYETTE STREET STAGE

Jap and the Jet Set
Benny Bell and the Soul Production
The M.E.T. Express
Boogaloo Blues Band
Wolfe Gang
City Limits
Kenny Neal

Sunday, April 10

NORTH BOULEVARD STAGE

Chicago Al Griffin
Mike Armshaw and the Broadjumpers
Eyewitness Blues
Harmonica Red
Major Handy
Sonny Landreth and Bayou Rhythm
Raful Neal and the Neal Brothers

GALVEZ PLAZA STAGE

The Zion Travelers
Li'l Jimmy Reed
Troy Turner and Third Gear
Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers
Silas Hogan

LAFAYETTE STREET STAGE

William Woolfolk and the Blues Boys
Hezekiah and the Houserockers
The Blue Notes
Henry Gray and the Cats
Patrick and the T.C.B. Band
King Lloyd Band
Chris Thomas


River City Blues Festival, 1987

RIVER ROAD STAGE

Harmonica Red and His Blues
Benny Bell and the Soul Production
Fernest Arceneaux and the Thunders
Kenny Neal Blues Band
The Circuit Breakers
Major Handy

GALVEZ PLAZA STAGE

The Zion Travelers
Arthur "Guitar" Kelley
Third Gear
Bullfrog
Silas Hogan

LAFAYETTE STREET STAGE

City Limits
MET Express
J. Monque'd Blues Band
Chris Thomas
T.C.B.
King Lloyd
Rockin' Tabby Thomas and the Mighty House Rockers


River City Blues Festival, 1986

Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers with Big Luther Kent
The Backburners
Benny Bell and the Soul Production Blues Band
The Blue Notes
The Circuit Breakers
Eyewitness Blues
Henry Gray
George "Slim" Heard and the Flying Rosettis
Silas Hogan
Hezekiah and the Houserockers
Jap and the Jet Set
Arthur "Guitar" Kelly
Raful Neal & the High School Band


River City Blues Festival, 1985

Othineil Bridges
Clifford Blake
Tabby Thomas and Big Boe Melvin
Irene Milburn and the Blue Notes
Silas Hogan and Arthur "Guitar" Kelly
Henry Gray
Raful Neal with Roy Stewart
Rev. Charley Jackson
Zion Travelers
"Boogie" Bill Webb
Fereneste and the Thunders
Lawrence Ardoin Band
Luchus Brown, Jr.
William Woolfolk
Clarence Edwards
Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers
The Circuit Breakers
Percy Sledge
High School Workshop Bands with Mike Armshaw and Kenny Acosta


River City Blues Festival, 1984

OLD STATE CAPITOL

William Woolfolk and the Blues Boys
Harry Johnson and the Soulful Six
Jap and the Jet Set
Tabby Thomas and the Mighty Houserockers with Henry Gray
The Circuit Breakers
Silas Hogan, Whisperin' Smith, Guitar Kelly
Benny Bell & the Soul Production Band
Kenny Acosta & the Housereckers
Big Boe Melvin & the Nighthawks
Raful Neal & the Neal Brothers
High School Band Performances


River City Blues Festival, 1983

OLD STATE CAPITOL

Silas Hogan
Arthur Lee "Guitar" Kelly
Moses "Whisperin'" Smith
Tabby Thomas
Henry Gray
Raful Neal
Robert Milburn
Boe Melvin


River City Blues Festival, 1982

SCOTT'S BLUFF, SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

The Kenny Acosta Band
Scott Dunbar
Hezekiah and the House Rockers
Henry Gray and the Cats
John Delafose and the Eunice Playboys
Tabby Thomas and his Blues Revue with Moses "Whisperin'" Smith


River City Blues Festival, 1981

SCOTT'S BLUFF, SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Tabby Thomas and his Blues Revue with Moses "Whispering" Smith
Raful Neal and the Neal Brothers
Silas Hogan and Arthur Lee "Guitar" Kelly
Ernie K-Doe
Scott Dunbar
Bryan Lee