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Lowertown, Saint Paul, MN

Lowertown Landing is dedicated to supporting the continued growth and rejuvenation of the Lowertown historic district of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Lowertown Blues Festival


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Lowertown Blues Festival

  • Mears Park Saint Paul, MN 55101 (map)

Lowertown Blues Festival Returns to Mears Park with Free Concerts on Saturday, July 25, 2015

St. Paul, Minn., Mar. 5, 2015 – The second annual FREE Lowertown Blues Festival brings an exciting lineup of blues musicians to Saint Paul’s beautiful Mears Park for a day of free concerts on Saturday, July 25. After a successful inaugural festival last year, 2015 promises more food, more vendors, and more music, including Elvin Bishop, Walter Trout, Jimmi and the Band of Souls, and Lisa Wenger.

“I am proud to see the growth of this festival in just one year,” said Mayor Chris Coleman, “I look forward to welcoming blues fans to Mears Park and inviting them to enjoy all that Lowertown has to offer.”

The Lowertown Blues Festival is a cooperative effort by the Minnesota Blues Society and the Lowertown Blues Festival Committee with support from the City of Saint Paul. The mission of this festival is to bring awareness of St. Paul’s Lowertown redevelopment, showcasing the vitality and beauty of Lowertown’s Mears Parks through music and the arts.

Summit Brewing Main Stage
12:30PM - McNally Smith Blues Ensemble
1:45 PM - Winner of the Famous Dave’s Battle of the Blues
3:00 PM - Lisa Wenger & Her Mean Mean Men
4:30 PM - Jimmi and the Band of Souls
6:30 PM - Walter Trout – I’m Back! 2015 Tour
8:30 PM - Elvin Bishop

Juke Joint Stage
2:45 PM - Jimi “Primetime” Smith
4:15 PM - Jimi “Primetime” Smith
6:00 PM - Big George Jackson
8:00 PM - Big George Jackson

Elvin Bishop
In April of this year, Elvin Bishop will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Known for his rollicking blues and R&B and his stinging fretwork performed with an undeniable spirit of fun, Elvin first hit the charts in the 1970’s with solo tracks like “Travelin’ Shoes,” “Sure Feels Good” and what would become his biggest hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” with a powerful vocal by Mickey Thomas (later of Jefferson Starship). During the 1980’s, Elvin spent most of his time on the road, and later in the decade, he teamed up with Alligator Records for a number of albums that grew out of his blues roots. Elvin has continued to tour and create new music, with his most recent record, Can't Even Do Wrong Right, released in 2014. Throughout the years, Elvin’s music has appeared in film and television, including the 1997 “She Puts Me in the Mood” (from Big Fun) in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. In 2005, he performed on the internationally televised Grammy Awards broadcast alongside Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers’ guitarist Dickey Betts, and he recently appeared in the documentary Born in

Walter Trout
After spending all of 2014 recovering from a life-saving liver transplant, and after undergoing extensive rehabilitation to get back into “fighting” shape, beloved blues-rock guitarist Walter Trout is returning to the stage this summer to continue his career of 50+ years. Trout’s “I’m Back” tour kicks off on June 15 in London, followed by dozens of performances across Europe and North America, including the Lowertown Blues Festival. Trout shares:

"The last year has been one where the blues truly came calling, and I came face to face with death more than once. My wife moved me to Nebraska to improve my chances of getting a life-saving liver transplant, and after a long wait, I got my new liver on May 26, 2014. Since then I have been filled with immense gratitude. Gratitude for the fans who supported me via fundraisers, cards, messages, thoughts and prayers, for the donor and his or her family, for medical science, for my family, and for life itself. Everything matters more to me now. Now, eight months after my transplant, I feel like a new man. I have strength and energy. In some ways I feel like I am in my 20’s again! The past couple of years of playing I was getting dizzy spells, severe cramps in my hand and forearm and played many shows in severe pain. It turns out that was a result of my deteriorating liver. That is gone now! I am able to play better than I have in years. I feel reborn. I cannot wait to get back out on the road again and do what I love to do for my fans. The future looks great!”

Jimmi and the Band of Souls
Energetic, soulful and genuine. The band pulls from the vast array of blues, roots and R&B in its original songs and covers. They play boogie-woogie. They play slow and lonely. They play toe tappin’, deep groovin’ and hard drivin’. You’ll hear Muddy, Minnie and Sonny Boy. You’ll hear Eric, Mayall and Etta.  It’s about diversity: Guitars. Slide. Harmonica. Mandolin. Bass. Drums. Two-part harmonies. It’s a full sound that changes in tone and timbre with every song. Jimmi and the Band of Souls represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  The Devil You Know was voted best self-produced blues album in 2011 by the Minnesota Blues Society.

Lisa Wenger and Her Mean Mean Men
A fixture of the Twin Cities blues scene for over a decade now, the honest and soulful Lisa Wenger has brought her funked up and stripped down, wall-shakin’ blend of blues-based American roots music to audiences across the nation. She has shared the stage with celebrities like Jim Belushi, Robert Cray, Leon Russell and Pinetop Perkins, and has recorded back-up vocals for many artists, including singer and songwriter Bruce McCabe (Jonny Lang). After two highly acclaimed releases, includingCan’t Stop the Girl in 2008 and Publicly Raw in 2010, Lisa followed up with a new release in the summer of 2014 entitledSimple as That, which features a who’s who of local and national talent performing as one phenomenal back-up band, sometimes referred to as “Her Mean Mean Men.”

Jimi “Primetime” Smith
Twin Cities’ blues guitarist Jimi "Prime Time" Smith was born into a musical family in Chicago and moved to the Twin Cities in his early 20’s. Jimi’s “Primetime" resume includes playing with the blues' biggest names like Sam Lay, Jimmy Reed, Big Walter Horton, The Groove Merchants and many more.

Big George Jackson
Vocalist/harmonica player Big George Jackson was born November 16, 1949, and in the Twin Cities he is known as the authentic big man of the blues. He sings with a distinctive bass-rich voice that only a six-foot, six-inch gentle giant would be blessed with. Add his fat harmonica playing, dead-on phrasing, commanding stage-presence and instant audience rapport and it’s easy to understand why the audience howls when he delivers his music

Additional information at

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