B-town Blues Fest brings in big-name performers


Brandon Barraza

Joe Louis Walker plays at the CSUB amphitheater at B-Town Blues Fest.

Chrystal Fortt, Features Editor

“I’m gonna get so funky, you gonna smell!” John Nemeth yelled to the audience before wildly playing his harmonica.

The seventh annual B-Town Blues Fest was dedicated to the blues but that couldn’t keep down the good vibe of about 2,000 people who watched the award-winning artists at the CSUB amphitheater.

Joe Louis Walker nonchalantly played complex music on his guitar while he sang the humorous lyrics, “Baby, where did you get that sweet sugar from, Lord knows that’s the best sugar around.”

John Nemeth was a separate music artist who has been in Bakersfield twice.

He had a wide range of the blues mood; he had a few really bluesy songs but bomost of his songs were upbeat. He sang, danced and played the harmonica in a pinstriped suit and a stingy brim style hat.

The rest of Nemeth’s band members played just as wild and passionately as he did in the performance.

Gina Sicilia was another artist there. She was nominated for Best New Artist Debut at the Blues Music Awards in 2008.

Sicilia sang sassy blues with her powerful voice that had a tinge of scratchiness.

These power artists weren’t the only ones to perform at the Blues Fest.

Michael Dykes played the guitar and sang with the Kern River Blues Society, a local grassroots organization, where members play Blues music together twice a month.

“I’ve been coming ever since they started [Blues Fest]. I love blues, that’s why I’m here,” he said.

Dykes was invited to play at B-Town Blues Fest this year.

“This is the first year I get to play with my friends, the Kern River Blues Society, we’re playing acoustic in between sets.”

Even though Dykes was asked to play at B-Town Blues Fest, he would have come to the event anyway.

“My family will be out here later and it’s a nice evening out for us. The kids can run and play, kids are free,” he explained. “Have a beer or two, sit outside, the weather is so sweet and nice, I love it. I look forward to this event every year.”

Sue Privett explained why she was volunteering at Blues Fest.

“A bone marrow recipient is alive today because of this [Blues Fest]. All the drinks and the food go to the bone marrow registry and Houchin Blood Bank. Otherwise it would’ve cost you $95 to walk in that door,” she said.

Privett went on to talk about the headline artists. “These aren’t around the corner sit-in-the-bar players.”

Beth Cruz came all the way from San Diego to see the B-Town Blues Fest.

“It’s great. I love it. It’s a nice and beautiful evening, the sound is really good,” she said.