For fans of one particular type of music or another, the festival is the most wonderful time of the year. If you dig washboards, accordions, and a heaping helping of andouille, then each time the Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival comes to town, you're probably as happy as a mudbug in a swamp pond -- which is to say, fairly pleased. If you smell like patchouli and smoke copious amounts of weed, you're probably waiting in eager anticipation of the second-annual Langerado Festival. But if you got the blues down to your soul, this is certainly the most wonderful time of the year.
The Sound Advice Blues Festival, now in its 17th year, brings some of the biggest names in blues to South Florida for three days of wailin' and moanin'. It all kicks off on Halloween at the Fort Lauderdale Stadium Festival Grounds (1201 NW 55th St., Fort Lauderdale) at 5:30 p.m. with a lineup that includes Michael Burks, David Shelly and Bluestone, Sonnie and the Road Kings, the Regulators, Ernie Southern, and Slick Ballinger.
But if you want the biggest bang for your buck, you'll want to get your tickets for Saturday, if only to catch the Bob Margolin All Star Blues Jam, among the 20 acts that day. Though the hefty number of performers ensures music from 11 a.m. to midnight, the Blues Jam features Margolin (above) himself, Pinetop Perkins, Carey Bell, Mookie Brill, Willie "Big Eye" Smith, and Hubert Sumlin -- in other words, Muddy Waters' band, plus a few other all-time greats.
The festival wraps up Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with performances by Robert Belfour, Otis Taylor, Delta Moon, Coco Montoya, Art Tipaldi, the Downchild Blues Band, Solomon Burke (see story in Music), and Dr. Slide.
Tickets cost $15 for one day, $25 for two days, and $28 for a three-day pass if bought in advance, or $20, $34, or $37 at the gate. Call 866-337-8849. -- Dan Sweeney
Still pissed off
Joe Strummer was in a pub band before he saw the Sex Pistols. The same goes for Charlie Harper, the man in charge of England's U.K. Subs. The Subs were born in a time when England was stuck in a rut and people needed something to destroy the monotony of life. Harper and the boys came along as the original smash and grab, a more-bollocks-than-brains punk-rock band, or at least, that's what they want you to think. These electric warriors are actually informed intelligent folk. Songs about nuclear holocaust ("Warhead"), the future of the free-thinking female gender ("Tomorrow's Girls"), and, of course, the perils of being in love ("Stranglehold") have kept them touring for close to 27 years. These days, the Subs get nods from bands such as U.S. Bombs and Rancid. Plus, they have the dubious distinction of being the most "real" punk band in the eyes of the political shit-stirrers known as Crass. The Subs make a stop at the Poor House (110 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale), with openers Toxic Narcotic and the Mary Tyler Whores this Sunday. Show starts at 10 p.m. Call 954-522-5145. -- Tim Moffatt
Ray's Music Exchange guides a sinking ship into harbor
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To us South Floridians, the words Ray's Music Exchange might conjure up thoughts of some strange alliance between certain clubs in West Palm Beach and Hollywood. But outside of our confines, the name describes a band that may be the future of jazz fusion. Certainly, Ray's Music Exchange itself won't be going down in history any time soon, but the sound it champions could be the future of jazz fusion. The combination of fusion, world, and psychedelia featured on the band's 2001 album, Turanga, reveals a lot of those possibilities. If you're a fan of the three-minute pop song, there is absolutely nothing for you here. But if you wondered what ever happened to jazz fusion, this could be your answer. Hear it live at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, at 9 p.m. Thursday when the Yoko Theory opens for Ray's Music Exchange. Tickets cost $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Call 954-564-1074. -- Dan Sweeney
Rockin' for the Lord
Christian music station WAY-FM (88.1) states that its annual music festival, Boonadducious, is the largest Christian music festival in South Florida. A multistage event in its tenth year, the Boonadducious roster includes Relient K, Shaun Groves, Ginny Owens, Chris Rice, Superchic[k], Plus One, and headliners the Newsboys. "America's the only place in the world that has a Christian music industry," says Newsboys keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein, who has been with the band since the early 1990s. "For some people, a Christian music festival is a gathering of churches and denominations that wouldn't come together otherwise." Many ministries have booths at Boonadducious, including family-advocacy center the Sheridan House. "Doing the concerts and the band thing is a lot of fun," Frankenstein says. "But for me, doing the mission trips and working with World Vision, not the concert where 10,000 people cheered for the Newsboys, is what's important." Boonadducious begins bright and early at 11:30 a.m. at Sound Advice Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $15 to 45. Call 561-793-0445. -- Marli Guzzetta