Rollin’ on a Riverwalk

According to legend, the blues was born along the Mississippi River Delta when Robert Johnson met the devil at the crossroads and sold him his soul. Five generations later, Fort Lauderdale’s New River is a far cry from the Mighty Mississippi. But this weekend, it’s ground zero for all things blues-related. At the 19th Annual Riverwalk Blues & Music Festival, blues may be serious business, but it also makes for a serious party. You can’t even consider this music without being conscious of what went down in New Orleans this past summer, but even an act of God can’t quell the sounds that haunt men’s souls. Representing the bayou are BeauSoleil and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Also pourin’ it all out at Riverwalk will be Elvin Bishop, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, and the son of the “Crawlin’ Kingsnake” himself, John Lee Hooker, Jr. The Riverwalk Blues Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday at Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk (from the Downtowner Saloon, 408 S. Andrews Ave., east to the NE Third Avenue bridge). Single-day passes cost $20; two-day passes, $38 ; and three-day passes, $52. Advance tickets and a complete lineup can be found at
Feb. 9-12
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Lewis Goldberg