Rhythm & Blues Weekend 2019

COVER STORY

Rhythm & Blues Weekend
2019 in
Eureka Springs

Event features two free days of music in Basin Spring Park

If you've got the blues, Eureka Springs is the perfect place to be Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2. The Rhythm and Blues Weekend features two free days of music in Basin Spring Park, with performances from local and regional favorites.

Tony Redman kicks off the weekend with a performance at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by Jeremiah Johnson at 5:30 p.m. Redman has spent the last 25 years playing blues joints and honky-tonks all over Texas. He has shared the stage with some of the best in the business, including Gary Clark Jr., James Cotton, Delbert McClinton, Double Trouble and more. Johnson, too, is well-versed in all things blues. His music blends elements of St. Louis blues, southern rock and country. In 2016, his album Blues Heart Attack reached number five on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart.

Tony Redman


Rachel Fields


Rachel Fields


Jeremiah Johnson


Brick Fields opens the show at 2 p.m. Saturday, with Rich McDonough playing at 5:30 p.m. Brick Fields is a popular local act, featuring powerhouse vocalist Rachel Fields. Fields cut her musical teeth first in the Arkansas river valley, then in a jam band circuit touring the country in the late 90s. McDonough hails from St. Louis and has been playing the guitar to mesmerized crowds for years.

Tracy Johnson, events coordinator for the city of Eureka Springs, said she's most looking forward to watching Brick Fields perform. Johnson said Fields is the only female singer featured at the Basin Park Concert Series.

"She's incredible. She makes the hair on my arms stand up. I get goosebumps listening to her perform," Johnson said. "I have a feeling she's going to blow some people out of the water."

Fields is in good company. Every act performing in the park, Johnson said, has a unique voice in the blues world.

"All the musicians in the park are well-known in the blues world," Johnson said. "It's going to be a great weekend."

"She's incredible.
She makes the hair on my arms stand up.
I get goosebumps listening to her perform."

- Tracy Johnson talks

about Rachel Fields

Rich McDonough


The music won't just be contained to Basin Spring Park. Johnson said acts will be performing through town, with the last act scheduled to perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2. The performances on Friday include Patrick Sweany and Dirt Red & The Soul Shakers at Chelsea's, Kurt Hunter at Brews and Kurt Allen at The Cathouse Lounge. Saturday's performances include Patrick Sweany and Earl & Them at Chelsea's, Jesse Dean and Nathan Brice and The Loaded Dice at The Cathouse Lounge, and Jimmy Wayne Garrett at Brews. Patrick Sweany ends the weekend with a performance at 2 p.m. Sunday at Chelsea's.

"Don't leave on Saturday, because the music continues on Sunday," Johnson said. "[Sweany] has a really mellow vibe and lots of people will be there."

Johnson said she's looking forward to seeing everyone perform throughout the weekend.

"The thing I'm most excited to do is walk from one spot to another downtown at any time of the day and hear incredible blues music," Johnson said.

What's so wonderful about blues music, she said, is the way it brings people together.

"We've all had experiences of being happy, and we've all had experiences of being sad," Johnson said. "When we reach out to our friends and the people we love, it's when we need some love or compassion because we're feeling sad."

She continued, "Blues music relays that emotion in many different ways. It most certainly makes us feel better when we know other people can identify with us, and that's one of the things blues music does –– it has a heaviness we can all relate to. And listening to it releases that from us and lightens us up a little bit."

The Rhythm and Blues Weekend is the perfect time to bring your family to Eureka Springs, Johnson said.

"You can really take advantage of everything Eureka Springs has to offer. It's perfectly feasible for a family to come here and parents to sit in the park and enjoy live music while their kids walk through downtown and window shop," Johnson said. "I'm really excited that this is how we get to welcome people to town for the summer season."

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