The Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival proved it will enter the music fest scene with a powerful, full-blown legitimacy when it announced that it has signed Tab Benoit as the headliner for its inaugural event in Cassidy Park on Sept. 29.
Benoit is a Louisiana Hall of Fame musician, Grammy nominee and winner of multiple major awards for singing, songwriting and performing. He is currently a nominee for Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Male Artist and Best Contemporary Blues Album for the Blues Music Foundation’s Blues Music Awards which will be decided on May 10 in Memphis. The BMAs are widely recognized as the highest honor given to blues artists.
Benoit is a critically acclaimed big name in the music industry whose reach has only spread since, as the founder of the coastal preservation organization “Voice of the Wetlands,” he was featured in the IMAX film, Hurricane on the Bayou; his music was featured in the popular television show Treme; and two other shows, Sons of Guns and Ragin’ Cajuns, selected his songs as their theme music.
The Houma native reportedly now resides in California, but will return to his home state for the BBHF. Malinda White, who is heading up that event, said she is delighted.
“We are excited to bring a Cajun influenced blues musician to the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival,” she said. “It seems like a perfect fit to showcase one of our own Louisiana blues sons as we celebrate our deep southern roots through music.”
Benoit will be the main stage headliner, topping off the day behind other noted blues performers.
White said the lineup has now been decided, and will be announced as soon as the contracts are in hand. The list includes groups from throughout the country who were selected for their talent and who represent a wide range of styles within the blues music genre.
“We feel our lineup will fulfill our mission to ‘promote and preserve the blues and the gumbo of music that is our heritage.’” White said.
The BBHF will also include a “Young Guns” contest on a secondary stage during the main stage changeovers, a Heritage Trail, lots of educational information, serious arts and food vendors and much more.
White and her committee invite everyone to mark their calendars for Sept. 29.
“Come experience the flavor of the South along the banks of the Bogue Lusa Creek, birthplace of our Magic City,” she said. “Join us as we celebrate our heritage through the sounds of music in the spirit of Louisiana.”
For additional information, to get involved or to make a donation, contact White at 732-4801 or online at mbwhite67@bellsouth. net or check the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival out on Facebook.