This weekend, I was at the PuistoBlues blues festival in Järvenpää, Finland. Not only as a visitor, either. A couple days before the main concert I was building the tents - one for the VIP persons, a couple for serving beer, the backstage etc. On the day after the main concert, I was then tearing those same tents down.
I'm not too big a fan of blues, though I've become more interested in it in the last couple of months, as I've been learning to play harmonica. For me, this has more to it than only blues. It's a big festival in my former hometown and the artists there are world-class. The best thing still is the atmosphere on days before and after the main concert, as most people there creating the festival are volunteers. They (or actually, we) are not building the festival for money but because of the ambitions towards blues or the festival.
Well, the bands there were good. Once again, I didn't like the biggest stars Johnny Winter and Keb Mo so much as those playing before them. Or maybe at that point I was already too tired to pay attention. Well, anyhow. A Finnish band J. Karjalainen Lännen-Jukka was really good, though some people nearby me were pondering, if it was blues at all. It wasn't anything anything too polished, but more like simple country style music. J. Karjalainen himself was playing banjo along with a violinist, guitarist and a mandolin player.
Jody Williams & Billy Boy Arnold played more regular blues. Before their show, what caught my attention was, that Billy Boy Arnold is a harmonica player. This was a big point for me, I wanted to hear and see how he played. And were they ever good! I liked especially their pianist, in red shirt and hammering away on a grand piano.
There was also a local group, the Super Blues Band, who had also played at the first PuistoBlues thirty years ago. Quite a feat, I have to say.