Keb' Mo', Elvin Bishop, Johnny Otis Set For S.F. Blues Fest

Lineup announced for September weekend with Tower of Power, Joe Louis Walker, Rosie Flores, others.

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Blues Festival, the nation's longest-running event of its kind, has announced its 2000 lineup, which includes Keb' Mo', Elvin Bishop and Johnny Otis.

The three-day gathering kicks off Sept. 22 with a free concert in downtown San Francisco, at Justin Herman Plaza. The music then moves to the Great Meadow at Fort Mason, in the city's Marina District, for shows from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 and 24.

This year's festival features the usual eclectic lineup of artists representing a wide range of the blues spectrum. Headlining the set on the concluding day of the festival is R&B and early rock 'n' roll legend Otis. Saturday's headliner is a more recent addition to the constellation of blues stars, San Francisco's own Joe Louis Walker.

Acoustic blues artist Keb' Mo', "Rockabilly Filly" Rosie Flores and zydeco accordion player Boozoo Chavis are also on the bill for the festival's first day.

Oakland soul ensemble Tower of Power — known since the late '60s for their horn section and such hits as "What Is Hip?" (RealAudio excerpt) and "You're Still a Young Man" (RealAudio excerpt) — will precede Otis to the stage in Sunday's lineup. Also featured that day are Chicago blues legend Koko Taylor, who'll doubtless be highlighting her new album Royal Blue (Alligator, June 6) with her Blues Machine.

Butterfield Blues Band alum Bishop, who had a surprise hit in the '70s with "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" (featuring future Starship singer Mickey Thomas on vocals) also is featured on Sunday's lineup. Another artist on the Sunday bill is Chicago vet Little Smokey Smothers, with whom guitarist Bishop recently recorded a live album due this summer on Alligator.

Tom Mazzolini — who hosts "Blues by the Bay," a weekly blues program on Pacifica radio station KPFA — has produced the event since its inception as a freebie in Golden Gate Park in the '70s. The festival is now in its 28th year.

Advance tickets will cost $25 per day, or $40 for both days. For more information on the festival, and links to a host of blues-related Web sites, check out

S.F. Blues Festival lineup:

Sept. 23

Joe Louis Walker and the New Blues Allstars

Keb' Mo'

Shemekia Copeland

Boozoo Chavis and the Magic Sounds

Rosie Flores

Johnny Bassett and the Detroit Revue


Fillmore Slim and the Blue Mirrors

Sept. 24

Johnny Otis Show

Tower of Power

Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers

Elvin Bishop with Little Smokey Smothers

Roy Gaines

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Roy Tyler and New Directions