The 4th Annual Blues Spring Festival sponsored by New Hope Foundation took place at Centennial Park in West End on Memorial Day under record setting mid-90 temperatures that got almost as hot as the afternoon jam session.

Nick Nixon in 2PM Heat!

By 2Pm things were in full swing with veteran Nashville Blues singer, James “Nick” Nixon kicking into high gear performing, “No End To The Blues,” co-written by Scotty Moore in the middle of a scorching soulful set that even brought a little church to the afternoon proceedings.

Plenty of room on the skillet in the front row!

The Festival was not all inclusive to Blues, which also included Country singer Verlan Brock as well as  T.J. Hooker-Taylor doing a tribute to his father, R&B Vocal Legend, Johnny Taylor.

Blues from down under!

Musicians from both the Nashville Blues Society as well as The Tennessee Rhythm and Blues Society did their own jamming as well as supporting the solid line-up.

Mojo Workin’ 95 degrees in the shade!

Many of the local artists can be caught at Carol Ann’s weekly Sunday night blues jams as well as Tuesday night Rhythm and Blues.

Bobby Blue Bland and Elvis, Dec. 7th, 1956

The main-headliner, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Bobby “Blue”Bland, did not disappoint. For most of the show, due to the heat, most all the seats at the front of the stage were free for the taking to watch your favorite artist. Nashville was not ready for late August heat in May. It took a strong will and plenty of water to last a few hours out by the shell at Centennial Park.

Howard Hewett

Next up; The 12th Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival on June 16th starting at 12 noon at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall Amphitheatre featuring headliner, Howard Hewett of Shalamar fame.

1963 dated photo, Jimmy (Jimi Hendrix) 3rd person – Billy Cox on Bass in Nashville.

For those outside Music City, Jefferson Street was Nashville’s Beale Street where even Jimi Hendrix played with Army buddy, Billy Cox after leaving Ft. Campbell Kentucky in 1962 in The King Kasuals. Jimi once even challenged local guitar hero, Johnny Jones, to a guitar dual back in those days.

Stretching out in the shade with some Carol Ann’s BBQ

- Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN      thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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