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11th Annual Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival a success


For 10 years the Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival got bigger. Bigger stages, bigger venues, bigger bands, bigger names - double that when the fest expanded to two nights in 2005 – more cameras and bigger crews, bigger video trucks…and much, much bigger bills.


This year, it was time to breathe.


At the 11th Annual Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival there were no cameras, no trucks, fewer cables, and you could count the crew on the fingers of one hand. We weren’t in a concert hall with 1701 seats and a proscenium augmented by a 30’ wide orchestra pit between the audience and the musicians. We were at Callahan’s Music Hall, where you can’t be much more than 50 feet from the stage or you’ll be in the middle of South Boulevard in Auburn Hills.


The artists were old friends already documented and brought back by popular demand; Kelley Hunt played for us at the Redford Theatre in 2003 and can be seen in our public television show and DVD, 2003 Motor City Boogie Woogie and Blues Festival. Jason D. Williams performed at the Redford in 2004 and appears in Boogie & the Blues Diva.


At this year’s two sold-out shows, audiences were treated to performances that were up-close and personal, in an atmosphere that can only be described as a good old-fashioned house party. You could see the sparks flying from Jason’s fingers, and the power of Kelley’s voice literally knocked you back in your seat.  


We cannot sing high enough praise for Callahan’s Music Hall. Since opening the doors two years ago, Callahan’s has become the blues club in SE Michigan. The folks there are in it for the music. Their priorities are to assure that the audience can see and hear and that the artists are comfortable. Their attention to both the house sound and the monitor mix on stage brings out the best in performers, and is a major reason why they too sing high praise for Callahan’s and return to the room again and again.


Sadly, our friend and master photographer, John Collier, was unable to attend this year. He was sorely missed. While we can’t match his artistry, we do have photographs. Enjoy the slideshow!  view slideshow


Thanks to all for making the 11th Annual Motor City Blues & Boogie Festival an unmitigated success!


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