United Way is bringing an eclectic mix of rhythm and blues to Abilene this weekend. The third annual Key City Rhythm and Blues Festival will begin Friday night and last through Sunday afternoon at Nelson Park Festival Gardens.
Three new faces to play this year are Jimmy D. Lane from Chicago and Malina Moye, who is based in Los Angeles.
Lane grew up in the blues filled home of his father, Jimmy Rogers. At the age of eight, Lane received an acoustic Gibson guitar from John Wayne himself. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1980s that he got serious about learning to play. He hasn’t stopped since then. Lane has worked with the likes of Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Van Morrison. Eric Clapton has even called him an “incredible guitarist.” With a sound comparable to Stevie Ray Vaughn, or even Jimi Hendrix, his sets are sure to be incredible.
Attendees may be surprised to see Moye playing her Fender guitar upside-down and backwards. This is because she is a unique lefty guitarist. Moye has pushed against industry boundaries as a young black woman by performing on tours and festivals around the world. She has opened for Robin Thicke and Boyz II Men. Her single “Alone” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard R&B charts.
Others artists who will be performing are Ill Lobo, Kirk House, Albert Cummings, KT and the Blues Scientists, Dave Hobbs, Damon Fowler and Samantha Fish.
Gates open 5 p.m. Friday. The lineup is:
5:15 Ill Lobo
5:30 Kirk House
6:30 Jimmy D. Lane
7:45 Albert Cummings
9 Malina Moye
Gates open 4 p.m. Saturday. The lineup is:
4:15 Ill Lobo
4:30 KT and the Blues Scientists
5:30 Dave Hobbs
6:30 Damon Fowler
7:45 Jimmy D. Lane
9 Samantha Fish
Sunday will be a special gospel brunch. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. and there will be a performance by Kirk House & the New Light Baptist Church Choir at 11.
This year, a craft fair has been added to the festival and there will be an array of artisan vendors. There will also be food trucks such as 1881, Stillwater BBQ and The Sweet Side.
One day passes to the festival are $25. There is a $40 bundle for Friday and Saturday, as well as a $60 weekend pass that includes Sunday brunch. Weekend VIP admission is $250. Tickets can be purchased online at keycityblues.com/tickets or at the gate.
Proceeds from the event will benefit United Way of Abilene. United Way “improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of West Central Texas,” according to their Facebook page. They offer resources to improve community members’ education, income and health.
The event is a different way to get outside and listen to some live music. Even if even if finals already have you singing the blues, you’re not going to want to miss out on this weekend.