Blues here for weekend

<p>The Ana Popovic Band will top off the Bronze, Blues and Brews festival with the final set of the day.</p> <p> </p>

JOSEPH – The 16th annual Bronze, Blues and Brews festival will feature an international flair with hot headliner Ana Popovic, a blues talent born in Yugoslavia.

Gates to the five-band festival at Joseph City Park will open at noon, Saturday, Aug. 11, with music due to start at 12:30 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. The Ana Popovic Band will top off the event with the final set of the day.

Everyone is invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs and an appetite for great blues music. A selection of 20 of the region’s best brews, local wines, food vendors and an outdoor environment studded with bronze sculptures are all part of the Bronze, Blues and Brews fest.

Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band gets the musical ball rolling from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The rest of a stellar lineup includes The Strange Tones (featuring the Volcano Vixens), 2:30 to 4 p.m.; Franco Paletta and the Stingers, 4:30 to 6 p.m.; and The Randy Oxford Band, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

New to the event this year is Jam Night from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 12, at the Joseph Community Center, sponsored by the Stubborn Mule Steakhouse and Saloon. Jam Night will give music-lovers a chance to preview some of the acts in an intimate setting. The jam is included in the festival ticket, or for non-ticket holders there is a $3 cover charge.

Advance festival tickets are available for $25 each at the door Jam Night; through the festival website, and at various ticket outlets, including The Bookloft, Enterprise; W.C. Marketplace and Sports Corral, Joseph; and La Grande Stereo and Music, La Grande. Tickets at the gate are $30 each.

Free admission for children 10 and under – as well as sprinklers to run and cool off in, a small playground and a chance to dance with Mom and Dad on a grassy dance floor – make the festival popular with families.

A shuttle bus will run between the city park and Enterprise and Wallowa Lake all day, with the last buses to depart after the concert is over.

Things recommended to bring for a day at the Bronze, Blues and Brews festival include sunscreen, a sweatshirt and a small flashlight for after-dark conditions and identification (required for everyone purchasing beer or wine). Do not bring pets, coolers or your own alcohol.

Following are profiles and reviews provided by festival organizers about each of the bands scheduled to perform:

Ana Popovic Band – Ana Popovic is one of the most promising young blues talents of today. She was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1976. Her live program is an electric mixture of traditional blues with elements of R&B and soul, taking blues rock into the 21st century. The most impressive aspect of Ana’s music is her diversity of techniques and styles.

She has been nominated three times for the 2012 Music Blues Award as contemporary blues female artist, contemporary blues album and DVD of the Year.

The Randy Oxford Band – This band has been tapped three times by Northwest blues associations to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In 2011 The Randy Oxford Band earned a spot at the finals, where it placed among the top eight bands of the hundreds that competed from around the world.

Trombonist Randy Oxford has been honored more than 25 times since returning to his home state of Washington more than 20 years ago, following a European tour of duty with the U.S. Army band.

Franco Paletta & The Stingers – Since breaking into the Portland blues scene in the mid-1980s, Franco Paletta has become one of its mainstays. His dynamic harp style and unique vocals have made him one of Portland’s favorite blues personalities.

Franco Paletta & The Stingers represented the Cascade Blues Association’s “Journey to Memphis” competition and was privileged to represent the CBA at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., in 2007.

Hailing from an undisclosed secure location in the Pacific Northwest, The Strange Tones are known for their wildly entertaining live shows and their original Crime-A-Billy sound.

Their distinct style fuses blues, rock, surf, and R&B with film noir sonic hues, and combines these ingredients with well-crafted song writing and dynamic stage performances. These Hall of Fame inductees have received five awards for “Best Contemporary Blues Act” (Cascade Blues Association), as well as multiple awards for “Best Electric Guitar” and “Best Northwest Recording.” The band will be joined by their sonic crime-fighting team members, the very talented Volcano Vixens.

Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band – Mann is the 2009 recipient of the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Waters Award for Vocalist of the Year, and was elevated in 2010 to the CBA Hall of Fame with her third win in a row for Bass Player of the Year. Lisa and Her Really Good Band made the semi-finals at the 2011 Memphis challenge. She writes the majority of her recorded material. In the summer of 2009, Lisa’s signature song “Little Sister” was chosen runner-up in the open category in Mike Pinder’s Song Wars competition.

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