Tacoma Events Commission and South Sound Blues Association members felt that after enduring the seemingly endless overcast days of winter, a lot of usually chipper people were suffering from a bad case of the gray sky blues. So they created the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival as a fun way to welcome spring and the brighter days ahead. The fifth annual event will be held on Saturday, April 14, in downtown Tacoma. The best way to start shaking off those gray sky blues is find a good spot along Pacific Avenue between 10th and 21st Streets before 10:30 a.m. and enjoy the annual Grand Floral Daffodil Parade. The floats can be previewed between South 7th and 10th on Pacific Avenue before the parade starts.
After the parade (around noon), head for the Gray Sky Blues Music and enjoy festival venues for lunch, a favorite beverage, some great music and car show. The event’s live music venues include The Harmon Brewery and Eatery, the Swiss Pub and Cutter's Point Coffee. The Harmon Brewery will also be hosting the Third Annual Custom and Rod Car Show. More than 10 Northwest acts will entertain throughout the day in downtown Tacoma venues. The headliner this year is The Karen Lovely Band from Oregon. Lovely has shot onto the blues scene from the Pacific Northwest like Stack O'Lee's 44 capturing 2nd Place Band Prize at the 2010 International Blues Challenge followed by 2011 BMA Nominations for Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist and Best Contemporary Blues Album and Best Song for her sophomore release "Still
The Rain." She will perform at The Swiss Pub at 6 p.m. There will be a $10 cover charge starting at 3:30 p.m., and Blues Society members pay only $8. All other venues during the day are free.
After the festival the music continues at Stonegate Restaurant and Bar in South Tacoma. Live music and a jam session will be provided upstairs in the loft by The Chester Dennis Jones Band (ages 21+). Jumpin’ Josh Violette and Felicia Agrelius will be hosting an all-ages jam downstairs. The after-festival party begins at 8:30 PM.
GRAY SKY BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
The Swiss Pub (1904 S. Jefferson)
1 - 2 p.m. Palmer Junction
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. The Rafael Tranquilino Band
$10 cover charge starts at 3:30 p.m.
$8 for blues society/association members)
4 - 5:30 p.m. Chester Dennis Jones Band
6 - 7:30 p.m. The Karen Lovely Band
The Harmon Brewery (1938 Pacific Ave.)
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Third Annual Rod and Custom Car Show
Noon - 1 p.m. The Billy Shew Band
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. ZEB Presented by Puget Sound Music for Youth Assn.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. The CD Woodbury Band
4 – 5:30 p.m. James King and the Southsiders
Cutter's Point Coffee (1936 Pacific Ave.)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Jumpin’ Josh and Felicia
2 - 3 p.m. Alyx and Chris Phippen
Stonegate presents the "After-Festival Party" (5419 South Tacoma Way)
8:30 – Midnight Chester Dennis Jones Band and Adult Jam (upstairs)
8:30 - 11 p.m. "All Ages Jam" hosted by Jumpin’ Josh Violette and Felicia Agrelius (downstairs)