The Key City Rhythm & Blues Festival

2018 Lineup

Marcia Ball

Marcia BallThe Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller’s groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking blues have won her an enormous, loyal and still-growing fan base. She’s received a total ten Blues Music Awards (and a whopping 44 nominations), seven Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame.

Always a songwriter of great renown, Ball delved deeper into songwriting than she ever had in her career with her Grammy-nominated 2010 Alligator release, Roadside Attractions, creating one of her best and most personal albums. On 2014’s The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, Ball continued that trajectory, drawing her listeners deep into her music with instantly memorable melodies and imaginative imagery. Her songs paint vibrant musical pictures richly detailed with larger-than-life characters, regional flavors and colorful scenes both real and imagined. Featuring her stellar, road-tested touring band, with help from friends Delbert McClinton and Terrance Simien and production by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, James Cotton, Susan Tedeschi), The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man is happy, moving, joyful, stirring, thought-provoking, danceable and fun.

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Ruthie Foster

Ruthie FosterIn the tightknit musical community of Austin, Texas, it’s tough to get away with posturing. You either bring it, or you don’t. If you do, word gets around. And one day, you find yourself duetting with Bonnie Raitt, or standing onstage with the Allman Brothers at New York’s Beacon Theater and trading verses with Susan Tedeschi. You might even wind up getting nominated for a Best Blues Album Grammy — three times in a row. And those nominations would be in addition to your seven Blues Music Awards, three Austin Music Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France, and a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year. There’s only one Austinite with that résumé: Ruthie Foster.

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Tommy Castro

Tommy CastroOver the course of his career, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro – a six-time Blues Music Award-winner – has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of ecstatic fans. Castro, along with his band, The Painkillers -- bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown -- plays music that is guaranteed to fill the floor and raise the roof. With seemingly telepathic musicianship, the Painkillers bring an unmatched passion to Castro’s blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs. Delivering the songs from his brand new Alligator release, Stompin’ Ground, Castro both looks back with autobiographical originals and cover songs that inspired him, melding contemporary lyrics with blistering blues-rock. No Depression says, “Castro plays gritty, string bending blues like a runaway soul train…a glorious blend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits.”

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Jimmy D. Lane

Jimmy LaneJimmy D. Lane is an incredible guitarist!”...Eric Clapton At the age of 50, Jimmy D. Lane has already led quite a full life. The musicians he knows makes for an impressive resume. He has worked with Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Jim Keltner, Keith Richards, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Jonny Lang, Gary Moore, Double Trouble, Taj Mahal, Stephen Stilles, Jeff Healy, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Lowell Fulson, and Snooky Pryor,Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny ‘Big Moose’ Walker, Johnnie Johnson,Kim Wilson, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Harry Hypolite, George ‘Wild Child’Butler, David ‘HoneyBoy’ Edwards, Weepin’ Willie Robinson, Little Hatch, Nancy Bryan, Willie Kent, Henry Gray, Lazy Lester and Eomot RaSun. He has also worked with venerable blues greats such as Sam Lay, Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Dave Meyers and his father, the legendary Jimmy Rogers.

JLane's music is on the rocking side, but is tempered with just the right amount of blues tradition. As Lane states "you can have too much water and too much fire, but with the right amount of both, you can boil an egg." Jimi Hendrix may have moved him to buy a guitar, but Hendrix is just one influence. Lane is a passionate blues singer, songwriter and guitarist with a deep respect for "all those old cats who were there"

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Damon Fowler

Damon Fowler After spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler is back with his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, Sounds of Home. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab's rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date. The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener, and the stories told in his songwriting here - sometimes in collaboration with longtime writing partner Ed Wright and Benoit - exhibit a combination of depth, grace and humor very few of his contemporaries can match.

Damon Fowler's star is on the rise. As Wade Tatangelo put it in a feature piece in March, 2013, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "Damon Fowler’s big, dimple grin cuts through the darkness as he stands outside the historic cottage he calls home in Bradenton Beach. It’s the same endearing smile he’s flashed on stages across the country and, in recent years, abroad, for nearly two decades. But these days, his smile shines just a bit brighter.

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Buy Tickets

Benefiting

United Way of Abilene

Featuring

Marcia Ball

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers

Ruthie Foster

Damon Fowler

Jimmy D. Lane

Festival Gardens

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