KCK Street Blues Festival 

“Hey There” by Myra Taylor, from My Night To Dream (APO Records):

To feel the heart of Kansas City, you have to go to the blues — the root of all jazz, soul, rock and hip-hop. And there's no better way there than the eighth (almost annual) Kansas City, Kansas, Street Blues Festival. Friday night's show — from 6 to 10 p.m., features KCK's great veteran bluesman Millage Gilbert, legendary Chicago singer Tommy Soul, master guitarist Dan Bliss, Blue River Ordonnance, and Cadillac Flambe. Saturday not only features the queen of this year's festival, Myra Taylor, whose 50-year career as a blues singer dates back to the golden era of Kansas City music, but also her heir apparent, Linda Shell, with the Blues Thang. And more: swamp-blues great Lazy Lester, St. Louis' strong young bluesman Marquise Knox, area favorites Lonesome Hank and the Heartaches, Blue 88, Trampled Under Foot and Shinetop Jr. The festival's new location should strike close to the hearts of longtime fans of Kansas City blues who used to make unforgettable late-night excursions to Blues Before Sunrise, the nearby club of barbecue queen Grace Harris. The perfect finish to the weekend comes Sunday night at Knuckleheads with a 70th birthday party for Millage Gilbert, who, after 40 years on the scene without letting up, remains a Kansas City soul man if there ever was one. 

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