Byron Crossroads Blues Festival set for Aug. 27

Bryan Lee (pictured) and the Blue Power Band will headline the second annual Byron Crossroads Blues Festival Saturday, Aug. 27. (Photo provided)

Staff Report

Bryan Lee and the Blue Power Band will headline the Second Annual Byron Crossroads Blues Festival Saturday, Aug. 27.

Festival gates open at 1 p.m., Aug. 27, and the event will be held at the crossroads of Union and Second streets in downtown Byron, Ill.

The trio of Glenn Davis, Matt Goodwin and Westside Andy Linderman will open the day at 1:30 p.m. Their style varies from the laid-back to the burning-hot side of the blues — true blues veterans.

Reverend Raven and his Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys take the stage at 3:30 p.m. Rik Raven’s band out of Milwaukee burns up every place they play, from Milwaukee to Florida, and all over the U.S.

The 5:30 p.m. act is the hottest young band in the blues world — Kilborn Alley Blues Band. Andrew Duncanson leads his band, and they play a wickedly hot version of electric Chicago blues.

Headliners Bryan Lee and the Blue Power Band take the stage at 7:30 p.m. From New Orleans, Bryan Lee and the band are a big national act and feature Bryan Lee and Brent Johnson on guitar. Their sound is blues tinged with rock, Cajun/swamp music and country.

Closing the day at 9:30 p.m. are the Jimmy’s, led by Jimmy Voegeli on keyboard, B3 organ and vocals. Get your dance shoes out because their horn section will have you on your feet!

A harmonica workshop will be featured at 3 p.m. The workshop is free for all who attend, and the first 25 students who are 10 years old or younger will get free harmonicas. Adults and older students can purchase one for $5.

The workshop will be conducted by harp master craftsman and player Joe Filisko. The session will last about 45 minutes, and will be held in one of the participating restarants.

Access to the festival will be via two gates; one will be on Union Street near Sterling Federal Bank and the Post Office, and the other near the alley on Second Street next to the Just Sew Shop and O’Hare’s Hairport.

Advanced tickets are $5; admission will be $10 at the gates. Advance tickets are available in Byron at participating downtown Byron bars and restaurants (Cave, Fifth Alarm. Leombruni’s, Spanky’s, Tailgaters, Union and Sunrise II), Snyder’s Pharmacy and Market, Byron Bank and Byron City Hall. Tickets may be purchased in Rockford at Guzzardo’s Music on Charles Street and the Adriatic Café and Bar on Jefferson Street. In Oregon, tickets are available at Snyder Pharmacy. In the Beloit, Wis., area, residents can get tickets at Paradise Guitars. Tickets may also be purchased through Crossroads Blues Society members and online at

2011 festival T-shirts went on sale at Byron bars Aug. 23 and will be available at the festival. They will be available in men’s T-shirts and ladies’ and men’s tanks. Prices are $15 each or two for $25 ($1 more each for XXL and larger).

Food for this year’s event includes homemade Italian sausage sandwiches, gumbo, pizza, chicken George, barbecued ribs, brisket of beef sandwiches, pork chop sandwiches, walking tacos, corn on the cob, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, Polish sausages, brats, gyros and Italian beef sandwiches, plus all participating bars and restaurants are open for indoor service.

For more details, visit the Crossroads website or call Steve Jones, festival chairman, at (779) 537-4006.

From the Aug. 24-30, 2011, issue

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