After a four-year hiatus, the Riverwalk Blues Festival returns to the New River with a couple of intriguing headliners: Sugar Blue and Otis Taylor. Sugar Blue is best-known for his contributions to late-70s/early-80s Rolling Stone albums, most notably on the hit Miss You, from 1978s Some Girls. But the harmonica virtuoso, who plays Saturday at 8:30 p.m., made his bones alongside genre giants such as Honeyboy Edwards and Louisiana Red. Raised in Harlem, Blue, AKA James Whiting, developed a flashy yet substantive style on the chromatic harp. On his latest album, Threshold, the harmonicist delves into R&B and jazz but still gets deep into the blues with blustery takes on Messin With the Kid and Trouble.
Up before Sugar Blue will be Otis Taylor. Theres nothing flashy about Otis Taylor, whos slotted to perform at 6:30 p.m., but hes one of the blues worlds most-riveting tale-spinners. The Denver-based musician mesmerizes with trancelike grooves pulled from acoustic guitar, banjo, or mandolin and a voice as dry and haunting as grave dust. The festival takes place Friday through Sunday on the south side of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Admission costs $10 each day or $25 for a three-day pass. Call 786-380-0866, or for a full lineup, visit riverwalkbluesfestival.com.
Fri., Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 13, 12:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 14, noon, 2010