Winthrop R&B Festival This Weekend!

Fri-Sun, Jul 17-19, 2015

Fresh off receiving the coveted “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” for U.S. Festivals from the Memphis-based Blues Foundation, the 28th Annual Winthrop R&B Festival has exciting news about next summer’s lineup, July 17-19, 2015 in Winthrop, Washington.

headerThe Festival is delighted to welcome back Elvin Bishop, who headlined the inaugural festival 28 years ago. Although Elvin has been performing his rollicking brand of electrified front-porch blues for over 50 years (his first professional gig was as guitarist for Junior Wells’ band in 1962), he is as vital and creative an artist today as he was when he first hit the national scene in 1965 with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, for which later this year he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We have also confirmed Grammy Award-winning Los Lonely Boys! Hailing from San Angelo, Texas, Los Lonely Boys are a sibling trio whose music draws equally from rock, blues, Tex-Mex, conjunto, and tejano. Such a combination is shaped by the band’s three brothers: guitarist Henry Garza, bassist JoJo Garza, and drummer Ringo Garza, Jr. Their debut album, 2003’s Los Lonely Boys, recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales studio in Austin with Nelson sitting in, won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance the following year. The Boys released their eagerly awaited sophomore album, Sacred, in 2006, and Forgiven followed in 2008. The Boys’ most recent, Revelation, received rave reviews and helped re-establish them as an important contemporary voice on the international blues scene.

We are thrilled to announce that Grammy-nominated ‘chitlin circuit’ bluesman Bobby Rush returns to Winthrop. Rush’s latest two albums, this year’s Grammy-nominated, funk-infused Decisions and last year’s Grammy-nominated and Blues Music Award-winning album Down in Louisiana, is the work of a funky fire-breathing legend, both exhibiting one of his many unique layers. The latter’s 11 songs revel in the grit, grind and soul that’s been the blues innovator’s trademark since the 1960s, when he stood shoulder to shoulder on the stages of Chicago with Muddy waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and other blues giants.

Making their Winthrop debut, the California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties. Drawing on such diverse musical influences as Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their live shows. They will perform both Friday night under the Big Top and Saturday on the main stage.

Kenny Neal, also making a Winthrop debut, brings his Louisiana roots to the Methow. Born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, Kenny began playing music at a young age. Learning the basics from his father—legendary Louisiana singer and Blues harmonica master, Raful Neal—Kenny is a modern Swamp-Blues Master and multi-instrumentalist who draws musically from the sizzling sounds of the Louisiana bayous.

Perennial favorite, Tim “Too Slim” Langford, had a health scare earlier this year but was recently declared cancer free! Tim and his Taildraggers will be back to play the Festival both Friday night for the big Cove Food Bank fundraiser in the Big Top, and then close the main stage Sunday with Los Lonely Boys.

Opening the main stage on Saturday and Sunday will be award-winning acoustic blues guitarist Mary Flower. A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008 and 2012 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and a 2011 Portland Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms – from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk and hot jazz. “A world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” – Downbeat Magazine

Additional acts joining the festival:

• Chicago blues guitarist and harmonica ace Studebaker John and his band

• Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, who’s soulful, bluesy vocals and the band’s hard driving zydeco beat blend to create a unique style of zydeco and blues that keeps audiences dancing.

• Seattle’s fiery young alt-blues rockers, Ayron Jones & the Way

• the virtuosic young guitar slinger Samantha Fish

• Northwest’s beloved blues chanteuse, Duffy Bishop, who returns from her new home in Florida.

And special appearances by Seattle bassist/vocalist Polly O’Keary, Seattle blues belter Lady “A” and Clarksdale, Mississippi–based harmonica ace Stan Street.



An honor in its own right, The Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival recently received the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive Award.” The award, presented in January in Memphis, is given to 15 people or organizations worldwide that have made significant contributions to blues music and actively work to promote and document the genre.



Festival Admission: $90 in advance, $100 at gate. Camping available for $45.

Friday Night show featuring Ayron Jones & the Way, The California Honeydrops, and Too Slim & the Taildraggers benefits the Cove Food Bank in Twisp, admission $10 or free with festival pass.

For hi-resolution promotional photos, to set up artist interviews, additional information, etc., contact Festival Artistic Director, Erika Olsen: 206-818-5934,

DATE: Friday-Sunday, July 17-19 COST: $90 in advance, $100 at gate. Tickets available online at TicketTomato or 800.820.9884. CONTACT: Erika Olsen, Artistic Director, 206.818.5934 or