Blues on The Landing (Aug. 30-31)

August 25, 2008

The Big Muddy Blues Festival is one of our favorite music events of the summer.  The setting and the sound complement each other perfectly — Laclede’s Landing is gritty enough that the blues don’t feel as if they’ve been cleaned and pressed for company.  You’re going to stumble on a few cobblestones (skip the stroller, it’s more hassle than it’s worth) and see some freight trains rumbling behind the main stage.  Although there are young families aplenty, the audience is not overly kid-friendly.   Our response to this one year was to put hard-core fake tattoos on M.’s legs and pretend that they were real …

But I digress.  It’s a great festival precisely because of its attitude.  There are three stages, with the performers each getting an hour of playing time, followed by a 45-minute break that seems designed to get people moving from one stage to the others.  Plenty of groups of picnickers stake claims, though, and while coolers, bottles and cans aren’t allowed, there is no prohibition on bringing your own food.  We generally do, and buy beer from the vendors.

My pick for best lineup is the Second and Morgan stage on Saturday.  I’m a fan of four of the five performers that afternoon and evening:  Marquise Knox, the Bottoms Up Blues Gang, the Rough Grooves Band and Kim Massie.  I’m a little bummed because we won’t be coming that day!  But Sunday we’ll hear some new-to-us acts, and that’s always exciting too.

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