The final night was
opened with Canned Heat,
one of the bands featured in the original Woodstock Festival in 1968.
This current line up features original drummer Fito de la Parra, bassist
Larry Taylor, guitarist Harvey Mendel and Dale Spalding on vocals and
harmonica. The set consisted of all their hits and classic album tracks
including On The Road Again, Time Was, Red Hot Mama, Midnight Sun
(featuring Harvey Mendel solo) World In A Tangle, Future Blues, Sugar
Bee, Going Up The Country, Amphetamine Annie and Letís Work Together.
The encore featured an over long Refried Boogie with the audience losing
interest with the solos from each of the band. This indulgence was OK in
the late sixties and early seventies but was lost on todayís audience.
It was great to see Canned Heat again which brought back a lot of
memories of bygone years.
Closing the festival was headliner guitarist and
singer Robert Cray.
Robert with his backing band of Jim Pugh on keyboards, Richard Cousins
on bass and drummer Tony Braunagel delivered a set of slow and funky
blues in true Robert Cray fashion with Robert swapping between a silver
and sunburst Fender Stratocaster virtually every number. The songs in
the set spanned Robertís career and included Our Last Time, Anytime,
Love Comes and Goes, Bad Influence, Sitting On Top Of The World, Strong
Persuader, Iíve Done Nothing Wrong This Time, Donít You Even Care, Does
She Even Think Of Me featuring an excellent organ solo from Jim Pugh and
Smoking Gun. The 75 minute set concluded with the encores of Youíre The
Reason I Canít Fail and Thatís What Keeps Me Rocking. This was great
performance by Robert and the band, however the set was marred by a lot
of audience noise which was commented upon by Robert on a few occasions.
Overall this was an enjoyable
festival with a varied range of artists to suit most tastes. Long may
the Maryport Blues Festival continue.
[Editor's note: Many thanks
to Courtland Bresner for the review. Alan White,