The 10th annual Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival gets underway March 28-31. The soul swingin’ weekend, named “Best Blues Event” by the Inland Empire Blues Society for the last four consecutive years, includes blues cruises and Saturday’s Main Event with five bands on two stages, including the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Music kicks off 8 p.m.-midnight Thursday with a new event – the Hot Tub Blues Party. Singer-songwriter Bobby Fat Tone Patterson, honored by the Inland Empire Blues Society as Best Blues Guitarist and recently inducted into the IEBS Hall of Fame, entertains at the resort’s super-heated lakefront infinity pool (21 and over event, available to overnight stay package guests).
Sara Brown serenades guests in the resort lobby from 3:30-6 p.m. Friday; The Doghouse Boyz perform in Whispers Lounge from 4-6:30 p.m., followed by Pat Coast; and Bobby and Randy are at Taphouse Unchained from 4-7 p.m. followed by Meghan Sullivan (all free).
Blues on the Water
The Blues Cruise sets sail at 7:30 p.m. Friday and features music by The Coyote Kings with Tiphony Dames and Diego and The Detonators, performing simultaneously on two connected cruise boats ($25); Nu Jack City entertains for the Friday Night Live! Party at 9 p.m. at the Convention Center ($15).
Music starts at noon Saturday with Robb Boatsman at Whisper’s Lounge and a Rooftop Blues Party, 12:30-3:30 p.m., featuring the MasterClass Big Band’s Rhythm and Blues Revue ($5). Check out the Blues on the Water Cruises with Bobby Patterson, departing at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. ($11.50 for 90-minute cruise).
The Main Event
Saturday’s main event, from 4-11 p.m. in the Convention Center offers nonstop music on two stages by the Sara Brown Band, Ben Rice Band, Harlis Sweetwater Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson, and The Stepbrothers with Jennifer Kemple ($42.50; advance purchase only).
Headliner The Fabulous Thunderbirds are a quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, has authored such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up.” Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation.
Gospel singers perform for brunch, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday, or finish off with a Blues Cruise Brunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with acoustic music by Ben Rice and Harlis Sweetwater.
For info and tickets, head to cdaresort.com.