Monday, February 14, 2011
Janiva Magness at Boston's
This appeared in Boca Raton Tribune last week, but I thought I would post it here for local FB friends. Janiva Magness is pretty special.
Speaking of Buddy Guy (who headlined the Garlic Festival in Delray Beach Saturday), he was the headliner at the very first Riverwalk Blues Festival in 1987. Back then the festival was held in the parking lot of the now-defunct Musicians Exchange.
Now the 22nd annual Riverwalk Blues Festival is set in the lovely Riverwalk area of Fort Lauderdale on the New River at Andrews Avenue Friday through Sunday. Music begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with Big Poppa E and the E Band followed by Blues Dragon at 8:30 p.m. and the John Nemeth band at 10 p.m.
Big City Blues Band leads the action at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Headliners are Janiva Magness at 6:30 p.m. and Robert Randolph and the Family Band at 8:30 p.m.
Gates open at 11 a.m. Sunday Headliners are Superchikan and the Fighting Cocks at 6:30 p.m. and Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers at 8:30 p.m.
There is a lot more than this going on. Go to the web site at www.riverwalkbluesfestival.homestead to check it out.
Singer Janiva Magness is also playing Boston’s in Delray Beach at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 as part of Frank Ward’s Blue Tuesday.
Lovely Janiva is a real blues survivor of the suicide of both her parents when she was just 16; an early pregnancy and the trauma of giving her infant up for adoption and homelessness before she found her focus in the blues. She is now one of the shining stars at Alligator Records, the world’s largest blues label, having won the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Blues Music Award in 2009. Her latest CD is “The Devil is an Angel Too.”
“I am very grateful,” said Magness in a telephone interview. “I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I get to do what I love to do and it is transcendent. I feel we need live music more now than ever before.”
As with all Blue Tuesdays at Boston’s, admission is free.
I went down to Fort Lauderdale to see Janiva Saturday. I was not disappointed. Her band is drum-tight and red-hot, and Janiva is pretty hot herself. In fact she’s just about the hottest 54-year-old mama I’ve seen, and when it comes to blues, she’s the real deal. She has lived the life.