SIMI VALLEY, CA – The 26th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival will fill Memorial Day weekend with an outstanding lineup of Cajun, Zydeco, Creole, Blues and Roots music with simultaneous performances on two stages both Saturday and Sunday, May 23rd and 24th. While the Cajun/Zydeco stage is featuring an all Louisiana lineup on Sunday, the Blues stage is presenting an outstanding lineup of old time rock ‘n blues and up and coming new performers. Tickets are $25 at the gate. Discount single day tickets of $20 weekend passes for $35 are available only online: www.simicajun.org
Candye Kane, according to B.B. King, “has that big, brassy voice that has authority and sass; the kind of thing men like because it’s seductive and women like because it’s powerful.” Candye cut her musical teeth in the early ‘80s onstage with Hollywood musicians and friends like Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, The Blasters, X, Fear and Los Lobos to name just a few. Her fans are a mixture of true outsiders: bikers, blues fans, punk rockers, drag queens, big girls, burlesque dancers, rockabilly and swing dancers, gray-haired hippies, and everyday folk of all ages. Her live shows are the stuff of legend — she belts, growls, shouts, croons and moans from a lifetime of suffering and overcoming obstacles.
Guitar Shorty, a.k.a. David Kearney, was born in Houston in 1939, raised in Kissimee, Fla., and now makes his home in Los Angeles. Over the years he’s played behind T-Bone Walker, Willie Dixon, Guitar Slim, Big Joe Turner, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and fellow Simi Valley Festival performer Swamp Dogg. His recent albums on Evidence and Alligator albums attest to the high energy level of this survivor of blues’ classic era. Texas Music Magazine writer John Morthland summed things up perfectly: “Axebuster extraordinaire Guitar Shorty is an old-school guitar showman. He plays with technique and flash, without ever sacrificing the passion. He’s a blues-rock hero.” www.guitarshorty.com
Big Brother & the Holding Company first performed in the Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, in 1965. After their appearance at The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, lead singer Janis Joplin quickly became a phenomenon, and Big Brother made a real contribution to Janis’ rise to international fame. Big Brother’s classic 1968 album Cheap Thrills charted at #1 for eight weeks. After Joplin left the band in 1968, Big Brother continued to perform with a new female vocalist before disbanding in 1972. Having reformed with the original four members in 1987, they have performed worldwide and throughout the United States. In 2007 Big Brother joined the Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Tour with Jefferson Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service, David & Linda LaFlamme (It’s a Beautiful Day) and the Grateful Dead’s Tom Constante. Big Brother carries on today with original members Peter Albin and Dave Getz, with Tom Finch and Tommy Odetto playing outstanding guitar. Darby Gould (Jefferson Starship) fronts the band, singing all of the classic material made famous by Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company. www.bbhc.com
In addition to 8 hours of music, simultaneously on two stages, for two days, the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival features a huge array of food choices from traditional barbecue, funnel cakes and kettle corn to Cajun-Creole food such as jambalaya, crawfish and alligator. There are over 100 craft and merchandise booths to browse through. Supporting the festive atmosphere will be a traditional New Orleans style mardi gras parade which winds its way through the venue each afternoon.
Once again the blues stage is booked by Martin Fleischmann and his company, Rum & Humble. For more than 20 years Rum & Humble has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s most celebrated musical talent (Radiohead, Manu Chao, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few) to Los Angeles audiences, in venues ranging from the Echoplex to the Orpheum Theatre to the Hollywood Bowl. The company has co-produced the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series since 2011. In addition, Rum & Humble has collaborated closely and creatively with artists such as Jackson Browne and Paul Oakenfold as well as with a varied roster of corporate and non-profit clients ranging from KJAZZ Radio to the Conga Room nightclub to the National Geographic Society.
Tickets for the 26th Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival are $ 25 per day at the gate for adults ages 13 and above (kids 12 and younger are free). Discount single day tickets are available on line for $ 20 and a two day pass for $ 35 is available only on line. www.simicajun.org