Real Blues Festival Of Orange County

Written by on August 23, 2012 in August 23, 2012, Gigs / Tours / Events, Interviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on Real Blues Festival Of Orange County

Real Blues Festival Of Orange County 3 Offers Something For Everyone

Real Blues Festival Of Orange County

Real Blues Festival Of Orange County, Southern California’s only grass-roots festival for the Blues now in its third year, takes place Sunday, August 26 at Malone’s in Santa Ana.  Presented by the Orange County Blues Society, this year’s lineup features a pair of Rip Cat Records artists, colorful Whiteboy James And The Blues Express plus Delta Blues guitarist, K.K. Martin; up-tempo jump ‘n’ swing from Jumpin Jack Benny Blues Band; hot blues-rock of Tricia Freeman Band; searing guitar courtesy of Jay Gordon and Blues Venom; KOCI-FM’s’s Dave Toole and his band, bornBlue; and Real Blues Festival founder, harpist/vocalist, Papa J and Friends. 12 noon-10 p.m. Tickets $20. advance, $25. day of show. $5. discount with any active Blues Society membership. Proceeds to benefit Better Vision For Children Organization. 604 E. Dyer Rd. Santa Ana. Info: (714) 979-6000. Purchase advance tickets at or

All Access Magazine (AAM) interviewed Real Blues Festival/Orange County Blues Society founder Papa J (PJ) recently, here’s how it went.     AAM: When did you decide to create the Real Blues Festival of Orange County?

 PJ: Three years ago I was looking at the lineup for the Doheney Blues Festival and I saw acts like the Black Crows (and) Crosby, Stills and Nash. Great artists in their own right but not blues acts by any means. So I decided to have a Real Blues Festival.

AAM: How do you decide which bands to book each year? That must be extremely difficult?

Real Blues Festival Of Orange County

PJ: I look around at what’s going on and who is playing out. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling. I also try to mix styles so it does not get boring.

AAM: Why is it called the “REAL” Blues Festival?

PJ: It’s nuthin’ but the “Blues” – no rock, no bull, just the Blues

AAM: You recently also formed the Orange County Blues Society (OCBS), how did that come to be?

  PJ: I live in Orange County Ca., and we have the L.A. Blues Society and they do a great job, but all the shows are in the San Fernando Valley, a world away. There is also the Southern California Blues Society but it’s the same thing. I felt that there was enough local blues artists to support a local society.

AAM: How has the Orange County music community embraced both the Real Blues Festival and the OCBS (Orange County Blues Society)?

 PJ: This is the third year for the Real Blues Festival of Orange County. It’s being called the only grass roots event of it’s kind in Orange County. I believe that people are taking notice. As far as the OCBS is concern I am really surprised at how many people have saID it’s about time for the OCBS.

AAM: What is your long-term vision and/or goals for both the Real Blues Festival and the Orange County Blues Society?

Real Blues Festival Of Orange County

 PJ: I would like the RBF & the OCBS to grow to be an asset to the Blues artists that need support to maintain the level of talent needed to keep people coming to see the Blues. I would like the bigger venues to help us reach that goal.      A brief synopsis of the bands performing at Real Blues Festival of Orange County 3:  White Boy James & The Blues Express: Having just completed their second album, Whiteboy James and the Blues Express is a detonative force to be reckoned with. Since re-forming in 2006 after a five-year absence, the band has re-established themselves as the legendary band  they once were during the Southern California Blues explosion of the 80’s and 90’s. Whiteboy James has a mesmerizing, driving and sonic stage presence. Signed to OC indie label Rip Cat Records in 2010, WBJ&TBE consists of Whiteboy James (vocals/harmonica); Scott Abeyta (guitar); Blake Watson (bass); and Max Bangwell (drums).  Tricia Freeman Band:    One of the hardest-working ladies on the SoCal music scene gigs on average five-six times a week with the Tricia Freeman Band. Freeman has toured Europe from Finland to Germany several times, with different line ups, performing songs from her own CDs and a blend of cover tunes that she makes completely her own with her bold original sound, that can only come from living the songs she sings.  Besides Walter Trout, Tricia has also shared the stage with the likes of Spencer Davis, The Little River Band, Olivia Newton John, Missing Persons, Eric Burdon and The Animals. Her latest album is Everyone Can See.

K.K. Martin: Fourth-generation talented Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist born in West Monroe, Louisiana. Exposed in the womb to the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams, Martin began touring with his parent’s band at age ten, was transplanted to California in 1969, and cut his teeth on the local L.A. rock scene at sixteen, landing a brief stint with the Albert Collins Backup Band. K.K. Martin is a musician’s musician who “delivers polished material via its basic components – a man, a guitar, and a microphone.” His latest CD is Naked Blues Volume II (Rip Cat Records).

Jay Gordon & Blues Venom: Electric blues guitarist Jay Gordon recorded a series of albums for Blue Ace that has inspired comparisons to such legendary guitarists as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Beginning with BLUES INFESTED (1994), Gordon won much praise from the blues community. Each successive album became increasingly successful — BROADCASTING THE BLUES LIVE (1996), ELECTRIC REDEMPTION (1998), and so on — and the guitarist soon found himself being compared to some of the most legendary guitarists to ever play electric blues. In 2000, Gordon collaborated with Phillip Walker on the JAYWALKIN album for Blue Ace, yet another accomplishment for the celebrated guitarist. His latest record is Blues Venom, No Cure (Shuttle music).

Jumpin Jack Benny Blues Band: Entertainer extraordinaire Jumpin Jack Benny is one of the most entertaining acts on today’s music scene. Audiences have been thrilled by their frenetic performances since 2003. Front man Benny Cortez brings high energy Blues to the stage reminiscent of the great 1950’s rock & roll performers with smoking hot guitar work from Tony “Fingers” Naranjo. They have toured and/or recorded with  B.B. Chung King, Little Milton, John Mayall, WAR, Bo Diddley, and James Cotton, among others.

Papa J And Friends: When it comes to the Blues in Orange County, California, there’s no bigger or more passionate proponent than Papa J (Jeffrey Hudson). For the better part of two decades, the affable harpist/vocalist has entertained in venues ranging from House of Blues to the Doheny Blues Festival with a spirited brand of Chicago-style Jump/Blues that  earned him “Entertainer of the Year” from the 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards. Papa J is founder of both the Real Blues Festival Of Orange County and Orange County Blues Society.  Last Fall Papa J and Friends released The Big Show (Houndog Records).