For the first time since 2013, B.L. Benson, Mike Milligan, and Blindboy and the CNI Dawgs are regrouping in Kokomo [Indiana] to put on the Winter Blues Festival, marking a return to the City of Firsts for the three bands. The concert takes place Friday, Dec. 9, at Phi Delta Kappa House, 2401 Saratoga Ave., Kokomo, Indiana.
According to organizer Mike Milligan, the musicians wanted to perform for their hometown this time around.
“We were doing these blues festivals in Kokomo, but then we started performing in Indianapolis. It seemed like all my focus was on the Indianapolis area, and I’d like to redirect my momentum,” said Milligan.
Milligan, who has lived “within slingshot distance” of B.L. Benson and Blindboy and the CNI Dawgs for more than 20 years, said it’s always a pleasure to perform with his friends for his own city.
“When I play in Kokomo there’s always somebody that says they’ve heard of us, but they’ve never had a chance to see us. I’m from Kokomo. I live here. I’ve been performing in Kokomo for probably 35 years, and when somebody hasn’t had a chance to see us in 35 years and they’re just now catching on, it makes me feel like it’s still a fresh audience around here that doesn’t know who I am and is still really excited about us. And then we’ve got the other fans that have known us since day one that are still really excited about us,” he said.
Blindboy and the CNI Dawgs will kick off the festival from 8-8:45 pm, followed by Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel from 9-9:45 pm and B.L. Benson from 10-11 pm. General admission is $10 the day of the show. Tickets can be ordered in advance online at mmss.bandcamp.com. The event is for ages 12 and older. Doors open at 7 p.m.