SWAMP BLUES STAGE (River Center Exhibition Hall)

Wil Jackson
11:30 - 12:05 p.m.

Troy Turner
12:50 – 1:25 p.m. 

Kenny Acosta and the Housereckers
2:10 – 2:55 p.m. 

James “Chicken Scratch” Johnson 
3:50 – 4:50 p.m. 

Larry Garner 
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 

Lazy Lester
8:25 – 9:25 p.m. 

FOUNDATION STAGE (River Center Exhibition Hall)

Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band
12:10 – 12:45 p.m.

Son Little
1:30 – 2:05 p.m.

Heritage Blues Orchestra
3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

Heartless Bastards
4:55 –5:55 p.m.

Arrested Development
7:05 – 8:20 p.m.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
9:30 – 10:45 p.m.

THE BACK PORCH (Near River Center Galleria area)

Tipitina’s Interns under the direction of Chris Thomas King
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Baton Rouge Music Studios
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

The Chambers
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Louisiana Blues Revisited with Clay Parker, Ryan Harris, & Denton Hatcher
4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

Henry Gray
5:45 – 7:00 p.m.

SOUL OF BR STAGE (River Center Ballroom)

Quiana Lynell & the Lush Life
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Cliff & Company
1:45 – 2:15 p.m.

The Lighthouse Singers
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. 

Harvey Knox & the Soul Spectrum Band
3:30 – 4:45 p.m. 

Henry Turner Jr. & Flavor
5:15 – 6:30 p.m.


Son Little interviewed by musician and Baton Rouge Blues Foundation's Brian Breen
11:00 to 11:30 a.m. 

Henry Turner Jr. interviewed by WHYR's Clay Achee
11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Kenny Acosta interviewed by LSU Press author and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication instructor Alex V. Cook
12:30 to 1:00 p.m.

Heritage Blues Orchestra interviewed by LSU musicologist Brett Boutwell
1:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Chubby Carrier interviewed by WJBO's Karen Henderson
2:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Arrested Development interviewed by WRKF's Amy Jeffries
2:45 to 3:15 p.m.

Larry Garner interviewed by WBRH's Rob Payer
3:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Lazy Lester interviewed by Dialogue on Race Louisiana's Maxine Crump
4:15 to 4:45 p.m.

(River Center Exhibition Hall Lobby and East Plaza on St. Louis Street)

The Wilder Janes
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.

Johnny Midnite
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

St. Frantic
1:45 – 2:15 p.m.

The Rakers
3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Louis Lipinski
4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

4:45 – 5:15 p.m.


Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires

By now, Charles Bradley's remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented—how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs—most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone's Gabe Roth. The year following the release of his debut, No Time For Dreaming, was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, MOJO, GQ, Paste and more. Victim of Love, Bradley's second record, is a continuation of that story, moving past the 'heartache and pain' and closer to the promise of hope.

Arrested Development

It's been twenty years since Arrested Development slammed the gangsta-dominated world of hip-hop with defiant lyrics of hope. Apparently the world was ready for a change as they became the first ever hip-hop artist to receive the Best New Artist Grammy as well as a Best Rap Single for their anthemic prayer-like hit song, "Tennessee." For the last thirteen years, Arrested Development has performed concerts in every part of the world. They continue to release new music and find new success in different corners of the globe. Their shows are a celebration of life. In 2013, founding member and frontman Speech, teamed up with multi-platinum award winning producer and hit maker Kevin "Khao" Cates, (best known for his work with TI, Jay-Z, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Lil Kim). Together, they have been working on riveting new music, loaded with powerful lyrics and pulsating grooves, that are sure to stir it up, in the hearts and souls of hip-hop fans everywhere. Experiencing an Arrested Development concert is an uplifting and spiritual event wrapped into one big party.

Heartless Bastards

Brimming with confidence and creativity, Heartless Bastards is pushing their distinctive sound forward with their most eclectic, energetic collection thus far. Their latest album Arrow is marked by singer/guitarist/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom's remarkable voice, at turns primal and pleading, heartfelt and heroic. Songs like "Parted Ways" and the searing "Low Low Low" expertly capture the Bastards' multi-dimensional rock in all its strength and spirit. Following upon the difficult introspection of 2009's acclaimed third album, The Mountain, Arrow stands as a powerhouse new beginning for Heartless Bastards, showcasing the depth and breath of the band's indelible sound, lighting upon spaghetti western film scores, Seventies soul, psychedelia, funk, blues, glam, and mudhole-stomping hard rock.

Heritage Blues Orchestra

The grit of low-down country and urban blues with the bold brass of New Orleans; the hand-clapping fervor of gospel punctuated with fiery postmodern, jazz-infused horn arrangements; the haunting cries of work songs and pulsating drums that reach back to the real roots of it all. You'll journey across the Middle Passage, be driven down Highway 49 from Clarksdale to New Orleans, go from chain gangs and juke joints to orchestra pits, church pews and even back porches. Heritage Blues Orchestra's music is an inspiring testament to the enduring power, possibilities and boundless beauty of African-American music.

Lazy Lester

Back when blues was king and South Louisiana was the breeding ground for a blast of some of the most memorable American music ever recorded, at the heart of it was Lazy Lester. It was in the mid-1950s, on a bus, that fate turned Lester’s way, and the roots to what would become classic music began to grow. As Lester tells it, he was living in Rayne, Louisiana at the time and was on the bus riding home. Lightnin’ Slim, who was already an established recording artist, was also on the bus and was headed to Crowley to cut a record at Jay Miller’s Studio, where so much of the material for the Nashville-based Excello Records was being recorded. Since Crowley was just seven miles further than Rayne and because Lester had a serious itch to be around big-time music making, Lester decided to stay on the bus and accompany Slim to the studio. When they got there, the scheduled harp player, Wild Bill Phillips, didn’t show for the session. Lester told Slim that he had actually played with Slim’s band and thought he could handle the harp parts for the session. Remarkably, Slim and Miller gave Lester that chance, and he did not disappoint. A classic pairing was born, and Lester became a mainstay on Slim’s Excello recordings and his gigs. Through the popularity of his recordings and as the Excello story has become the stuff of legend, Lazy Lester has enjoyed tremendous popularity worldwide. In 1998, he was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, he played at Radio City Music Hall in New York as part of Martin Scorsese’s Year of the Blues super concert that resulted in his Lightning In A Bottle documentary. As a true living legend, his talents are as much in demand as ever.

James "Chicken Scratch" Johnson

James "Chicken Scratch" Johnson is a true swamp blues legend most widely known as Slim Harpo's guitarist. He was a self-taught for most of his youth, until another musician gave him informal training in his late teens. After sitting in with Harpo one night, his talent was impressive enough to be asked to join the band. While not formally credited, it was his standout "chicken scratch" lick in Harpo's iconic song, "Baby Scratch My Back." Touring took its toll on Johnson, who inevitably quit the band and took at job at LSU. He continued to play in his spare time, sustaining respect from the blues community in Baton Rouge and beyond. Johnson released his first solo album in 2014. (Photo by Thomas Besson Jr.

Larry Garner

Larry Garner started moonlighting for the first few years he played out at Tabby's Blues Box. He met such Baton Rouge bluesmen as Silas Hogan, Whispering Smith, Arthur Kelly and Raful Neal. He occasionally played in New Orleans at Rhythms on Bourbon Street, or with Bryan Lee at the late, lamented Old Absinthe Bar. But eventually he couldn't keep burning the candle at both ends. He recalls hanging out at Tabby's one night with Kenny Neal, who'd just finished touring. When Neal pleaded with him to stick around for another drink instead of getting ready for work in the morning, Garner tried to explain. "He said, 'You got to quit that job.' I said, 'I know, but I still got to go to work in the morning.' I left, but Kenny saying that stuck in my head. I had to quit." Garner continued playing music during his military service, and playing in army bands—while stationed in Korea—steeled him for the life of a full-time musician. Leaving his full-time job for a career in music was initially tough for him, but now he has a devoted following throughout the country and across the Atlantic Ocean.

Son Little

There are many channels to Son Little's broadcast, varied stops on the dial, from blues to soul to funk to folk, and juke joint jazz and chamber pop and back again. His voice—raw, weary yet alert, grave and gravelly, Marvin and Otis and Stevie all at once—soars and creeps, cracks and moans. His songs haunt, thrill, yearn and stomp like all the best work of his heroes. Little has collaborated with highly respected artists like The Roots and the producer/DJ RJD2, mentoring under the former and creating a duo with the latter called Icebird, which allowed him to flex his considerable vocal chops and song arrangement skills. This fall sees the release of the first recorded output from Son Little for Anti- Records, an EP called Things I Forgot. Six songs: three babies (released first as videos), two twins, and an RJD2 remix. It's all there, all those misremembered things: Triumph and trophies, hardship and heartache, soft sentences, loud chapters, facts and birthdays, faces and places and scrapes and scales, nights and weeks and years all lost, gone into the ether, slipped away, out-sizing our normal human bandwidth.

Kenny Acosta and the House Reckers

This year makes 40 years in the music industry for Baton Rouge Blues icon Kenny Acosta. In Kenny's illustrious career, he has played with greats like Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kim Wilson, Taj Mahal, Roy Buchanan, The Neville Brothers and many more. Kenny and the band will take you on a musical ride. The recipe for his musical performance consists of a hint of bluesy jazz, mixed with the New Orleans street beat and Caribbean rhythms, sautéed in a funky mixture of soulful growl.

Louisiana Blues Revisited with Clay Parker, Ryan Harris and Denton Hatcher

Clay Parker is a folk singer/songwriter from South Louisiana. His songs, often characterized by finger-picked guitar and a slow southern drawl, range from ballads to blues and communicate a simplistic style. Clay Has released two albums, "The Wind & The Warble" (2010) and "Any Old Time" (2012).

Ryan Harris & Co. started as an experiment to see what would happen if horns were mixed with Harris’ already distinct writing style. “I don’t think we knew what we were trying to do with that first rehearsal, but everybody knew how to do their part. We played to our strengths and things sort of came together naturally” says Harris of their first couple of rehearsals. After getting up in front of an audience for the first time, an identity for the band was forged. The ambitious project combines elements from folk, rock, soul, and jazz to tell the story of each song. 

Traveling in between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Americana musician Denton Hatcher is one of the south’s budding singer-songwriters. Hatcher's music is familiar but diverse, much like the musicians who hail from his hometown of Vicksburg, MS., including Tommy Bishop, Willie Dixon, and George McConnell. If a man’s musical taste reads something like a journal, then Hatcher’s influences have helped cultivate an eclectic yet deeply personal sound. From Otis Redding to Hank Williams to Warren Smith (Hatcher’s cousin who played on Sun Records), Hatcher draws inspiration from many styles, but his music stands together like a strong foundation, one that quickly reaches the audience, opens their eyes a little wider, and gets their toes tapping. His music is simple but clever, wounded yet strong, which he holds together with the honest joy of a powerful guitar riff and strong rhythm.

Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band

Chubby Carrier is undeniably "The World's Premier Zydeco Showman." Born in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded ten CDs over the past 22 years of Chubby's professional career. Chubby and the band travel 150-175 days a year, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest, Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. Chubby has also done guest appearances on recordings for Tab Benoit, 6Was9, and Jimmy Thackery. Ann Wilson of the group Heart encourages Chubby to "continue the great sound that you have. This sound will take you places."

Henry Turner Jr. & Flavor

In the 1990's Henry Turner Jr. set out on a musical quest. He wanted to create a completely new kind of music and pay homage to the diversity of his home state of Louisiana. He decided to find musicians, from different backgrounds, who had a deep love and respect for their art and cultures, who all played different musical styles and incorporate rich irie tones to create what has become known as the Louisiana reggae, soul, funk and blues band–Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor. The concept for the band was a fusion of contemporary and ethnic rhythms combined with the hypnotic elements of reggae, funk beats and the smooth soulful sounds of R&B, all mixed in with some blues riffs and jazz chording. His goal was to create a genre that would appeal to a broad cross section of music fans. And so, for the past two decades Henry Turner Jr. & the Flavor have performed their innovative style of music in clubs and at festivals across the country and around the world, releasing numerous CDs and singles.

Henry Gray

Blues legend Henry Gray began his career playing piano in an Alsen, Louisiana church at the age of eight and has yet to slow down. After serving in World War II, Gray moved to Chicago where he played and recorded with notable players and blues innovators for 22 years before joining Howlin' Wolf's band in 1956. Since returning to Baton Rouge in 1968, Gray has worked with an extensive list of blues notables such as Muddy Waters and BB King, has performed all over the world and has been honored with several award nominations including a Grammy nod for his work on "A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf." This will be Gray's 16th appearance at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. (Photo with Kenny Neal by Zac Campbell)

Wil Jackson

Harvey Knox and the Soul Spectrum Band

Harvey Knox, originally from Tallulah, La., is known for performing with almost every blues musician to come out of Baton Rouge including the legendary Slim Harpo. Knox left his hometown to study music at Southern University in 1957, being the first of his family to attend college. After college, he played guitar full-time at up to seven gigs a week to make ends meet. His impact on the blues was recently recognized at the annual Slim Harpo Music Awards in 2013, honoring Knox as a blues pioneer.

The Lighthouse Singers

The Lighthouse Singers originated in 1981 under the name The Lighthouse Juniors, a group of boys ages 12 and under. They began writing and arranging their own music, and recorded two albums before changing the name to what it is today, more accurately reflecting their spiritual and musical growth. While they have aged, they continue to remain true to their roots as a traditional gospel group, releasing two additional albums in the early 2000s. Today, The Lighthouse Singers is comprised of Levie Wright, Jr., Jerry Dunbar, Dwayne Williams, Kelvin Green, Demetris Dunbar, Marcus Jack, Jesse Jack, Ricky Jarvis and Cecil Green.  

Baton Rouge Music Studios

Since 2006, Baton Rouge Music Studios' faculty of music educators and professional performers has instructed Baton Rouge area youth in music education. In groups or one-on-one, students learn fundamentals from ear training, theory and instrument technique to professional skills like networking and communication. Students at BRMS apply their lessons on stage, in public at venues like the Hard Rock Café in New Orleans and the Atrium at the Belle of Baton Rouge.

Quiana Lynell & the Lush Life

Quiana Lynell, certified southern girl, infuses her classical training and gospel upbringing with her love for jazz. Embracing her four-octave range, she is able to perform a limitless repertoire. Her style, Jazz, Classical, Soul and Funk, or as she has coined "Jazzicalsofunk," has been described as nothing you have ever heard. Performing with the likes of Delfeayo Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Herlin Riley, Mike Esneault, and Roderick Paulin becoming known as the "velvet voice." Sharing the stage with The Lush Life, a band comprised of some of the country's most stand out performers in Jazz, Brass, and Funk they consistently bring an impressive show. You are guaranteed to leave with a smile and new perspective on one of life's trials as you experience the Lush Life with Quiana Lynell.

The Chambers

The Chambers initially came together when high school students Jordan Farho, drummer, and Alex Abel, guitarist, met in The Blues Project band at Baton Rouge Music Studios. The duo has been performing their surf and psychedelic rock in and around Baton Rouge since 2012, and recently released a record produced by Lagniappe Records. 19 and 17 respectively, this is their first record and the first for Lagniappe Records' new label.


Tipitina’s Interns under the direction of Chris Thomas King

Blues Fest attendees may recognize Chris Thomas King from his appearance in O Brother Where Art Thou as delta blues legend Tommy Johnson, but his musical experience extends far beyond traditional southern blues. The son of local blues icon Tabby Thomas, King picked up music at an early age, traveling for gigs as a rhythm guitarist by sixth grade and regularly sitting in with swamp blues legends like Silas Hogan, Guitar Kelly, and Clarence Edwards. He began crafting his own style early on in his career, which eventually bloomed to include newer musical elements like hip-hop and electronica. He’s since produced a diverse array of albums, starred in several films, and powered through packed European and American tours alongside acts like Alison Krauss and Union Station, Emmy Lou Harris, and Ralph Stanley.

Da Bruhs Brass Band