Hot August Blues Festival Announces Lineup
By West Kentucky Star Staff
AURORA, KY - The lineup of artists for the 29th Annual Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival is set for August 23rd through 25th at Kenlake State Park in Aurora, Kentucky. The annual event has always been held the weekend before Labor Day Weekend at the state park, and the list of artists is impressive.  

The festival begins Thursday night, August 23rd at Kenlake State Resort Park Lodge with the traditional free performance on the lawn. This year will be a big party, a birthday party for Lew Jetton & 61 South as they host a number of friends and special guests for an evening of favorites and surprises.

Friday evening, August 24th, the festival moves over to the Kenlake State Park Amphitheater. Gates open at 3 PM with music starting at 6PM with local favorite, The Sullivan Three. They'll be followed by the down home swing of Woody Pines.  Next up is Blue Mother Tupelo, a husband/wife band with a unique sound which merges Appalachia with Delta Blues.  Friday night's finale is Albert Castiglia. The  Miami-based guitarist began playing professionally in 1990, and hit the international Blues scene a few years later, when the legendary Junior Wells asked Castiglia to join his band during its world tours. After the passing of Wells, Castiglia joined the band of singer Sandra Hall, before striking out on his own in 2002. Since then, he's released 7 albums, including 2016's Big Dog and this past year's Up All Night, both on Ruf Records, which received extensive worldwide airplay and catapulted Castiglia's career to the next level.  

Saturday, August 25th, the gates open at 10 AM with music beginning at noon, with one of Western Kentucky's most talented, up and coming guitarists,  Andy Gibson, followed by the  West Tennessee based Elam McKnight Band. Up next will be Soul Dog, which features music from the glory days of  Memphis' Stax  and Hi Records. They'll be followed by Microwave Dave and The Nukes, which features the slide guitar of Dave Gallagher, a member of the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame.  Next will be one of last year's festival favorites, returning by popular demand, Ivas John, who is a fixture in Blues clubs from St. Louis to Chicago. John's distinctive finger picking style and voice have kept him on the Roots Music Report's charts for extended stays. The next artist is also returning to the Hot August Blues Festival, but Miranda Louise's last appearance was more than a dozen years ago. Known as the Sweetheart of the Blues, Louise packs a punch with her powerful voice.  Louise is followed by Mr. Hot August Blues himself, Big Mike Griffin.  Big Mike, all 6'10”, played the very first Hot August Blues Festival in 1990 and returns each year as the beloved crowd favorite.  Griffin is also a Hall of Famer, as he was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame a few years ago.  The festival finishes off with the Delta Hurricane himself, Larry McCray. McCray recorded his first album in 1990, but made a splash on the international scene in 1993 with Delta Hurricane, recorded in Memphis with the famous Uptown Horns, and featuring a gut wrenching version of “Soul Shine” which put McCray on the Blues map to stay. McCray's latest album, The Gibson Sessions, features McCray's take on 12 of his favorite songs, from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, The Doobie Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more, featuring some of his closest musical friends, Derek Trucks, Dickie Betts and more.

For a limited time, fans can get tickets for almost half price if they order online. Tickets are available at

Corporate sponsors for the festival already include Peppers Automotive Group, Lee;s Heating and Air,  Kenlake Marina, Universal Windows Direct, Audibel Hearing Center, Beacon Dragway,  Aurora Electrical and Storage, Abernathy's Harley Davidson,  Cellar Door Wine and Spirits, Griffin Plumbing and Piping, Bunch Auction and Realty, Kenlake State Resort Park, Strickland's Seafood Restaurant, Harper Guitars, State Representative Candidate Desiree Owen and, 

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Published 03:00 PM, Thursday May. 17, 2018
Updated 09:12 PM, Thursday May. 17, 2018