Poster by Erica Peto

Big Sky Blues Festival Supports Schools
Big Sky Blues Festival is a huge supporter to the Music Departments of local schools. Brenda Owens, a board memeber of Big Sky Blues Festival, visited the school and brought three sets of bongo drums, as well as a check for $450. Every time someone buys a ticket to Big Sky Blues, a portion is donated to local schools to foster the love of the BLUES to the youth.

At Big Sky Blues Festival, Legend L.A. Smith  teaches percussion workshops to kids.

This work shop for Kids is Saturday, 9 to 10:30
Taught by percussionist LA Smith.
Slide guitar with Bryan Warhall

Other workshops for kids are also scheduled:
Sunday Workshop for Bass with Charles Mack

Blues, deep down rhythm, sultry voices, and smoking hot musicians. That's what it is all about. The 10th Annual Big Sky Blues Festival held August 2nd - 4th will not disappoint festival goers in Noxon, Montana at Pilgrim Park --Three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of solid top-notch music.
Buy tickets early on line here and save
Kicking off the festival on Friday night will be a hamburger/hot dog barbeque, ands , Robin Barrett with Tiphony Dames and Coyote Kings and
ill play and the, famous jam- "'til the cows come home."  Saturday and Sunday will be packed full of bands with kids  (adults welcome) music workshops sprinkled in.

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2019 Performers

Amanda Fish

Amanda Fish began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for 2 years before she formed her band in early 2014, a Roots Rock and Soul project featuring  Amanda's signature 'from-the-gut' vocals locked into a sturdy groove.
In 2015, she released her first LP, "Down In The Dirt", on VizzTone Label Group, for which she was awarded the 2016 "Sean Costello Rising Star" Blues Blast Music Award. Amanda and her band set Beale Street on fire in the 2017 International Blues Challenge Semi Finals.
In 2018, Amanda released her second studio album, "Free", on VizzTone Label Group, debuting at #6 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart and nabbing a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Emerging Artist Album.

Samantha Fish's live recording of "B*tch on the Run" is soundtrack to the outstanding Big Blues Bender!
Franco Paletta and The Stingers

Franco Paletta and the Stingers will remind die-hard fans that the blues has different flavors. While one artist plays Piedmont-style and another Delta-style, the Stingers' particular flavors are Swing and Chicago-style blues in their hot debut release, "Can't Kick Love." As a sorbet is delightfully cool on the palate, "Can't Kick Love" will refresh listeners with its suaveness, originality, and commitment to catchy songs! Each selection has been written by Paletta and arranged by the band—a welcome change from nothing but covers. Accompanying Franco's vocals and harp are bassist Timmer Blakely, electric and acoustic guitarist David Ward, and drummer Jon Beyer. Together with keyboard guests Steve Kerin and John Soller, they make a formidable "swarm."

The Stingers have their home base "hive" in Portland, Oregon, "buzzing" around to local venues and even planning future trips to Washington. In 2007, lead singer Paletta won the "Journey to Memphis" competition and had the honor of representing the Cascade Blues Association at the International Blues Challenge.
Stepbrothers Band

Stepbrothers Band has members with professional careers spanning decades, The Stepbrothers represent a real, direct link to to the soul, funk, and blues music of the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and into the new millennium. They have toured the U.S. And indeed the world performing with the likes of B.B. King, Freddie Hubbard, the Brecker Brothers, Martha and the Vandellas, and Peter Rivera from Rare Earth, all on authentic vintage era instruments, from the horns to the guitars and amps, atop the drums and Hammond organs. Equally adept at jazz, funk, soul, blues, R&B, smooth, rock and country, there is literally no audience they can't entertain. From big stages and festivals to intimate club settings, they've played it all
The Stacy Jones Band
The Stacy Jones Band perform "Whiskey Wine & Water"'

The Stacy Jones Band perform "Whiskey Wine & Water"'

Robin Barrett with Tiphony Dames and Coyote Kings with special guest, Diego Romero

You play some exciting guitar in a Blues Rock style.”
 Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records.

“You guys are great! I’m amazed and proud that there’s a band of this caliber, from right here in Walla Walla!”
Patty Keyes, Walla Walla Blues Society President.

“The 2006 Grape Stomping Festival was a smashing success, due in no small part to The Coyote Kings. These guys put on a great show!”
Greg Basel – Owner and manager of Basel Cellars.

"Every time I've had the pleasure of catching the Coyote Kings it's been a rockin' good time! You can't miss with these guys because they bring a solid show with rock, blues and even humor all rolled into one. Very entertaining!"
Ray Hanson, Walla Walla Blues Society President, 2004 – 2007

“The Coyote Kings are great fun, always a crowd pleaser!” The Crossroads Bar

Former bassist for Lucky Peterson and Grammy Award winner James Cotton, CROS has shared the stage with a number of accomplished artists in a variety of genres;  alternative rock group Inflatable Soule, rap group Cypress Hill, blues,R&B and jazz artists Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Marcus Miller, Otis Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Otis Rush,Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Bernard Allison, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Johnson, Kenny Neal and numerous Jazz ensembles.
By fusing an amazing blend of music and experience over his career CROS brings an incredible and unique presence to every performance. You will experience a multitude of feelings and emotions all while sitting back and enjoying the ride through a mixture of soul, funk, blues, rock, R&B and folk that will leave you satisfied but clamoring for more all at the same time!
Mark Dufresne Band
Mark DuFresne Band @ Hwy 99 Blues Club
"That's Wrong Little Mama"

Mark DuFresne is one of the most sought after Blues talents in the Northwest.  The Washington Blues Society has awarded him for best vocalist, songwriter and harmonica more than any other artist. 
He has recorded three CD’s of all original music.  “Out of That Bed”,  “Have Another Round” and “There’s A Song In There”, which featured the lineup of the former Hollywood Fats Band. 
In 2002 Mark joined the coveted band “Roomful of Blues” as lead vocalist.  While in that role the band received a Grammy nomination for “That’s Right”.  They also won the W.C. Handy award for Best Band - 2004.  The New England Blues monthly awarded him Best Blues Vocalist.  He returned home to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 after a very successful and fun four and a half years. 
Recently he has had the pleasure to tour in Europe with  Italy’s finest...  Maurizio Pugno, guitar, Alberto Marsico, organ and bass, and Gio Rossi..  excellent musicians..  excellent pasta.....
His work on the chromatic harmonica is considered as some of the most innovative in Blues music.  His ability to circular breathe has left audiences amazed.

Randy McAllister
Concert Vids Part 1

"McAllister is a skilled craftsman in the art of songwriting. He combines first-rate melodies with valued lyrics... superbly soulful singer wtih and ample range who sings each song with a legitimate conviction" - Vivascene Magazine

"Texas Blues and Roots at its best" - Blues Matters

"Artists such as Randy McAllister prove time and time again to be a boon for the music world. On to the next albums of this great artist" - Rudolfs Music

"First rate drummer, harmonica player and potently soulful singer. His well crafted songs reveal a depth of creativity not only in the storytelling, social commentary and word play, but also in the sophisticated arrangements and blurring of stylistic boundaries. With an expressive vocal register falling somewhere between the soulful effervenscence of Al Green and the blunt hammer of Johnny Taylor, a shrewd witt and admirable turn of a phrase, McAllister cements himself as a blues bard archetype"  -
Living Blues Magazine

"...genius at work...awesome vocals and the tastiest harp work heard in a long time" -
Blues Review Magazine

"One of the most uniquely talented songwriters and performers the blues currently has to offer" - Blues Bytes

Bryan Warhall
Blues Hall of fame -KCHW Studios!
"Tell Me Momma"

Bryan Warhall was born in Portland, Oregon, 3/28/1947 and given the name Warren Bryan Ashbaugh. Bryan's father played plectrum and tenor banjo, so banjo and mandolin were Bryan's first instruments at age 7.
In 1958 at age 11, Bryan took guitar lessons and was inspired by Hank Williams, Sr. and Johnny Cash. He played guitar, banjo and mandolin at family house parties and private gatherings and by the time he reached his senior year of high school was forever inspired by Ray Charles, Sam Cook, Muddy Waters. Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and many of the early artists that put a new spin on revived, archived blues.
He played his first paid gig in 1962 with a band of classmates at Centennial HS called Arthur & The Knights. In 1966 he joined the band called The Phantoms, a group of Dutch Indonesians who escaped communist Indonesia and fled to Holland, then the USA. They were sponsored by Haynes equipment & Hagstrom guitars. The Phantoms toured throughout the northwest. Their story was featured in Song Hits Magazine in 1968.
In 1969 Bryan met Louisiana Cajun slide guitarist Beau Kelly (Sterling Eugene Kelly) who introduced him to the styles of Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf and Lead Belly, experimenting with open tunings and dobro. They formed a duo and went on to play live radio, local TV and many of the clubs and coffee houses in Portland including Crystal Ballroom and Arbuckle Flat.
In 1971 Bryan bought a Martin D18 guitar and still plays it today. After being inspired by Portland blues harmonica player Paul Delay he also added harmonica to his skills. Fed up with the city life, in 1974 he moved from Portland to a remote area near the Spokane Indian reservation in Washington state known as Rail Canyon. There he hand-built a cabin and lived without running water or electricity for over a decade. He also rode the rails on BNSF RR, during this period.
After an altercation with a neighbor involving gun play, on both sides, a judge stood him at the crossroads, with a choice of school or prison. The choice was easy and he began studying music theory, composing, arranging and jazz improvisation at Spokane Falls CC where he met jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Frank Foster and many more as he helped backstage to earn work-study hours.
He performed in the 1984 Berkley Jazz Festival, San Francisco with an SFCC combo. In 2002 he took the performing name of Bryan Warhall and he formed a duo with Oxford, MS harmonica player DC (David Charles Black) called Black & Warhall. They played many clubs and blues festivals offering up classic roots style blues reminiscent of Sonny Terry and Brownie Maghee. Bryan's style is reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt, with a little Johnny Winter influence wrapped up in his own bag.
After DC moved back to Mississippi Bryan moved on to form Bryan Warhall & Triple Trouble with fellow BHF inductee Anthony Downing Holmes. Bryan wrote and recorded the theme song for the INDI movie, "RUM RUNNERS", which won a REMI award at the "2016 World Fest Houston". He became part of a feature story on "RUM RUNNERS", appearing in Talent Monthly Magazine. Warhall continues to write, perform, and record.

Jimmy D. Lane

Jimmy D. Lane inducted into Chicago Blues Hall of Fame April 28th 2013

Jimmy D. Lane - Guitar and Vocal
Gerry Berg - Bass
John McCreath - Drums

In 2008, Jimmy's song "Tears Without A Shoulder" is featured in an episode of "In Plain Sight" (The Trojan Horst).
     In July 2012, Jimmy D. Lane made a national Canadian television appearance on Global BC Morning News. He has been           included on his father's, Jimmy Roger's Mississippi Blues Trail Historical Landmark in Ruleville, Mississippi. Jimmy D.
     Lane performed two songs on the "Experience Hendrix" DVD...released in 2008. He performed with Mike McCreedy
     (of Pearl Jam), Double Trouble and Hubert Sumlin, on the  project.

         Today, Jimmy D. Lane continues touring and performing nationally and internationally...receiving astounding reception
     the world over. Lane's music is on the rocking side, but is tempered with just the right amount of blues tradition. As Lane         states "you can have too much water and too much fire, but with the right amount of both, you can boil an egg." Jimi                Hendrix may have moved him to buy a guitar, but Hendrix is just one influence. Lane is a passionate blues singer, songwriter and guitarist with a deep respect for "all  those older cats who were there". 

Kevin Van Dort

Kevin Van Dort Band from Western Montana performs good time mountain soul music. Kevin Van Dort, based in Whitefish, leads this group and is joined by his band mates from Missoula. Come dance and sway to gritty blues and funky soul with Kevin.

Kevin Van Dort's "High Mountain Soul Music" combines dirty Delta style slide on a barn wood box guitar with rocking blues and a vocal styling reminiscent of the 50’s and 60’s Blues Men. Van Dort has played with Keb Mo, Cash McCall, and Robert Randolph. He has also shared a stage with Lukas Nelson, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Rogers, Guy Clark, Matt Schofield, and Tony Furtado. KVD is currently on an Indy Tour that has taken him through Austin, New Orleans, DC, Niagara Falls, and Chicago. The combination of a smooth groove rhythm section and a gritty barn wood tenor guitar produces a vintage sound that will shake your soul.

His voice is raw and pure and has the tonal quality of Ray Charles.
Montana Standard
Special Guests and Surprise Guests
L A Smith - Percussionist

LA Smith is a Conga, Bongo and Hand Percussionist with experience in blues, pop, rock and salsa music from New York City. He is considered a legend by musicians in Costa Rica.

LA's love for music inspired him to launch a program to teach percussion workshops to kids all over the world. And, LA continues his annual fundrairing concerts for charities in his home town.

This work shop for Kids is Saturday, 9 to 10:30
Taught by percussion with LA Smith. Also Kevin Van Dort is teaching  harmonica
Slide guitar with Bryan Warhall

Workshop for Bass with Charles Mack;  Guitar, Jimmy Lane;

David Raitt

David Raitt comes from a genetic line of musical heritage. His father John and sister Bonnie Raitt are both international mega-stars. David has 16 albums to his name and has recorded and performed with multitudes of international artists including his sister Bonnie Raitt and Jimmy Thackery.

David Raitt and Jimmy Thackery recorded the critically acclaimed album ,"That's It," in 2000. This album featured horn work by Mic Gillette, of Tower of Power fame, as well as vocal additions by Bonnie Raitt.

“Do not miss “David Raitt” taking the stage with some of this years entertainers”
Richard Sabol

Big Sky Blues is fortunate in having a great drummer and percussionist in the person of Richard ("Rick") Sabol. Rick has had an amazing career which spans the better part of the last 30 years playing a broad style of music. His work with top artists read like the "Who's Who of Rock-n-Roll" and includes: Jean Luc-Ponty, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, James Gang, DeepPurple, Loverboy, Supertramp, Greg Allman Band, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jan Hammer, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Rush , Tina Turner, 707, Scorpions, Rainbow, Ted Nugent and R.E.O. Speedwagon. Also a respected teacher Rick has been involved in drum clinics with artists like Phil Ehart (Kansas), Alan White (Yes) and Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart). He has appeared in casinos, resorts, and clubs across the country opening for acts like: The Outlaws, Marshall Tucker Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Molly Hatchet and Johnny Winter. His concert gigs include openings or double-bills with Pat Travers, Canned Heat, Randy Hansons Gypsies, Boy Toy, Savatage, Heavens Edge, Harpo, Teeze, Britny Fox and Cinderella. His styles and engagements include rock, jazz, blues, country, swing, Latin, gospel, Christian and classical. He is featured on a number of albums including: "Full Circle" (Lindsay Jaye and the Boys), "Smokin' Joe" (Mean Life), "Washed" (Washed Out) and "Last Allivance" (Live at the Krantz). The venues he has performed at and his individual appearances are too numerous to list.

Steve Kelley (aka Big Daddy)

Diego Romero

Tickets at the gate are $85.00 includes full weekend & Friday night music and Hamburgers/hotdogs.
Buy Tickets NOW on line and save money, only $77 --  a savings of $8.00

Friday night only ticket (includes two bands and hamburgers & hotdogs)= $45 + side dish
Kids under 10 = FREE
Dog friendly festival with poop bags
Camping ALL WEEKEND including (Friday & Monday) is $35.00
More information on camping and lodging go here

Home ~~ Performers ~ Schedule~ Directions/map ~~ Lodging/Camping ~~ Volunteer ~  ~ Gallery ~~ Vendors~~ Sponsors

There is plenty of on-site camping and RV space as well as nearby lodging. Visitors to this beautiful area can participate in all sorts of outdoor activities including swimming, boating, hiking and more. Campers will be nestled on the Clark Fork River at the Vista Power recreation in the mountains of western Montana.

The Festival's Location
Directions to Festival
This beautiful setting is a prime spot to hold an outdoor music festival. Noxon, Montana is about 50 miles east of Sand Point, Idaho. The festival will have food vendors (vendors, apply here) - (Vendors' Map) and the Big Sky Brewery is providing refreshments. This festival has become a favorite annual destination for families and veteran festival seekers alike. It is a great place to bring the family with a laid back, casual atmosphere.

Saturday & Sunday Workshops for Kids and Teens - NEWish!

More about these workshops later.
This year there will be free workshops on Saturday and Sunday morning from 9-11 am for kids and teens interested in learning to play the blues. Workshop is put on by some of the fine musicians playing at the festival, as well as, returning LA Smith, loved by all workshop participants.

All-Star Jam

An All-Star Jam closes the festival on Sunday evening. The jam is open to anyone and has always been a great crowd pleaser. Come and join the fun! Stay the whole weekend in the mountains of Montana along the Clark Fork River. You won’t be disappointed. Don't  forget the jam on opening night after barbeque and music.

Pre-party on Friday night, August 2nd
The pre-party, kick off, on Friday night, August 2rd, is going to be at the Festival site on the BIG stage!

Drive into Noxon, MT. and you will see the camping and festival site on the river as you are driving over the bridge into Noxon. Can't miss it.  This is a picture taken at sunset by Susan Bohannan Jones looking out from the camping area at the Festival! For this tenth annual festival it will be "first come, first serve" for parking, etc.. There is more than enough room for all.

more scenery from Noxon, MT

Great resource for visitors and locals in Montana
more scenery from Noxon, MT
Lodging near by
Lots of Great  CAMPING ON SITE  at Festival

This festival has the best sound system and stage of all festivals. Thanks Eddie Hernandez for making this happen!

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SPONSORS -- Thank you!  (Want to be a sponsor? Click here.)

Jean Morrison

Sanders County Arts Enrichment


Eddie Hernandez, groovemerchantnw!

Want to talk to a person, call Lorne at 406-370-1288 - BigSkyBlue.Com