In recent years, Bogalusa has become home to one of the best and most welcoming music festivals in the Deep South.
For three consecutive years, The Southland Music Line has been traveling to Bogalusa for the annual event. A long list of talent has graced the two stages in picturesque Cassidy Park in a town with a long history associated with great music.
Bogalusa is the birthplace of Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair and one time home to blues singer and piano player James Crutchfield and Jazz great Ed “Snoozer” Quinn. The nearby famed Studio in the Country is also located just to the north of town. Albums by artists such as as Kansas, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffett, Wet Willie, The Neville Brothers, Blues Traveler, Doc Watson, Louisiana’s Le Roux, Marilyn Manson, Zebra, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and others have been recorded at the landmark studio.
We have talked about the Bogalusa festival in array of outlets including articles, podcasts, radio programs, the TV show “Music Scene” and of course, word of mouth. We have been treated kindly by the the community of Bogalusa and the festival organizers.
In past years, we have enjoyed performances by Royal Southern Brotherhood, Keb’ Mo’, Ruthie Foster, Johnny Sansone, Devon Allman Band, Mike Zito & The Wheel, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, JJ Grey & Mofro, and others.
The March Flood of 2016
In March of 2016, devilish weather caused the Louisiana waters to rise beyond the banks of the bayous, swamps and rivers surrounding the communities around Bogalusa, LA causing considerable damage.
The flood caused havoc to the park where the festival calls home. Thus, the question that became evidently clear: will the show go on as expected?
Once the March flood waters subsided, the damage was calculated. Thankfully, work and time healed the grounds. The dream of having such an amazing festival would remain alive. The hard work of organizers like Louisiana State Rep. Malinda White (founder and chairwoman for the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival), devoted volunteers and others from the community moved forward with plans.
Samantha Fish on the Blues Stage at the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Fri. Sept. 23, 2016)
The festival that we call “our favorite festival in the region” saw its revival proudly on display on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. The continuation of this festival gave additional reason to why this city can rightfully be called “The Magic City”.
Cassidy Park’s tranquil beauty provided the right setting and ingredients for two days of spectacular music. The community spirit was alive and well as thousands arrived to enjoy something special.
This year’s music was just as outstanding as previous festivals. Friday night’s killer performances by Voo Davis, Samantha Fish and Tab Benoit were a great way to kick off the festival. Despite extreme heat, Saturday provided fans with a second generous helping of music.
Tab Benoit on the Blues Stages at the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Fri. Sept. 23, 2016) Notice young fan sleeping after a long day.
As evening Saturday approached, legendary Studio in the Country was honored as the great Bill “Blue” Evans and Eugene Foster were added to the Bogalusa Heritage Trail.
Paul Thorn, a favorite from past festivals, entertained the audience as they gathered in front of the stage with a show of enthusiasm for the musician.
We were totally impressed with the award-winning blues musician and Kansas City born Danielle Nicole. We left the festival with her performance among our list of highlights.
The night closed out with the amazing Marc Broussard leaving fans fully satisfied after two amazing days of music.
This year’s schedule:
Friday Evening, Sept. 23, 2016
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Ed Wills and Blues 4 Sale
Harper and Midwest Kind
Leslie Blackshear Smith Band
Cedric Burnside Project
Heritage Trail Induction Ceremony
Zakk Garner Jazz Trio
Joel Galloway & Bobby Breland
Washington Parish Community Arts
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
As with previous years, the festival proved itself in a number of ways. We have spoken in detail about it in past articles. It is real joy attending a festival like the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival. Rarely do you see such organization and a total community spirit.
Danielle Nicole on the Blues Stage at the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Sat. Sept. 24, 2016)
Marc Broussard on the Blues Stage at the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Sat. Sept. 24, 2016)
Cedric Burnside on the Blues Stage at the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Sat. Sept. 24, 2016)
CLICK HERE FOR NINE PAGES OF PHOTOS FROM THE BOGALUSA BLUES & HERITAGE FESTIVAL. THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO PAGE ONE OF NINE.
Click Here for Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival Official Website
Click Here for Tab Benoit’s Official Website
Click Here for Paul Thorn’s Official Website
Click Here for Samantha Fish’s Official Website
Click Here for Danielle Nicole’s Offical Website
Click Here for Cedric Burnside Project’s Official Website
Click Here for Marc Broussard’s Official Website
Click Here for Leslie Blackshear Smith Band’s Official Website
Click Here for Harper and Midwest Kind’s Official Website
Click Here for Ed Wills & Blues 4 Sale’s Official Website
Click Here Waylon Thibodeaux’s Official Website
Click Here for David Craig’s Official Website
Click Here Zakk Garner Jazz Trio’s Official Website
Click Here for Joel Galloway’s Offical Website
Click Here for Bobby Breland’s Offical Website
Click Here for Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band’s Official Website
© The Southland Music Line. 2016. All rights reserved