Music festival brings female blues artists to McIntosh, Minn., on Friday and Saturday – Grand Forks Herald

McIntosh, Minnesota – Little Bobby’s Bar and Grill will host the Women of the Blues Festival 2024 in McIntosh on Friday and Saturday, May 31-June 1.

The free event, featuring the likes of the Laurie Morvan Band, Dwa Brown, Amanda Fish and Shannon Curfman, will be held in the former Opera House theater built in the 1880s, according to event organizer Bobby Houle, owner of Little Bobby’s Bar and Grill.

Several of the musicians have become nationally known, Hall said.

Hall said the event begins at 8 p.m. Friday with a “Blues Jam” hosted by the Laurie Morvan Band. Female musicians in attendance are welcome to improvise with the orchestra that evening.

Guest artists performing Saturday are: Dwa Brown, 5 p.m.; Amanda Fish, 6 p.m.; Shannon Coffman, 8 p.m.; and Laurie Morvan Band, 10 p.m. Due to limited space inside Little Bobby’s, TV Screens will be placed outdoors to accommodate large crowds.


Jacquie “Lady J” Maddix is ​​the host of the blues radio show “Soul Song” on KFAI 90.3FM in Minnesota and is considered one of America’s finest blues storytellers.


Houle said Jacquie “Lady J” Maddix, host of “Soul Song” on KFAI 90.3FM, a Twin Cities radio station, will serve as emcee for the entire event.

Maddix has been an important part of Minnesota radio and television entertainment for more than three decades, he said.

“She is one of America’s best blues storytellers, telling her listeners the backstories of blues music’s greatest classics,” he said.

Maddix is ​​inducted into the Minnesota Blue Society Hall of Fame and is the author of Roots Wisdom in the Elder Circle, published in 2020, which focuses on maintaining daily spirituality.

Saturday’s events also include a breakfast brunch at Little Bobby’s Bar and Grill (295 SW Cleveland Ave) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds will be donated to the Win-E-Mac School Alumni Association to fund college scholarships as well as the school’s music program, Girl Scouts and Women of Today organizations.

An art and wine event featuring the work of Dwa Brown’s daughter Rebecca Brown and local visual artists is planned for Saturday at 1 p.m. Hall said their artwork, including paintings, prints and beadwork, will be available for purchase.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for the Bobby Jr. Walk of Fame, which will showcase the names of more than 40 regional, national and international artists who have performed at the McIntosh venue over the past four years. Those include Blind Joe, Dion Pride, Indigenous, Cathy Erickson, Kelly Baker and Lydia Rose, Hall said. The artist’s name is engraved on metal stars that will be installed on the side of the building facing Highway 2.

The Laurie Morvan Band advanced to the finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, and were nominated for Best New Artist at the Independent Blues Awards in May 2018.


Dwa Brown is an Ojibwe recording artist from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota who is known as a powerful singer.


Dwa Brown is a Leech Lake Ojibwe recording artist who has played hundreds of local and regional shows with her band The Spirit Remains, including the Moondance Jam Music Festival in Walker, Minnesota and Sturgis, South Dakota . The group is known for insightful, powerful music that can serve as solace for personal pain amid the chaos and uncertainty of the world.


Award-winning singer-songwriter Amanda Fish is winning over new fans and industry professionals alike.


Singer-songwriter Amanda Fish releases her first all-original record, Down In The Dirt, for which she won the 2016 Sean Costello Rising Star Blues Explosion Music Award. Her second all-original studio album, Free, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart and won the 2019 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Album. Her long-awaited third studio record, Kingdom, will be released this summer.


Playboy magazine’s Vic Garbarini described guitarist-singer-songwriter Shannon Curfman as “a dynamic, commanding performer like no other Play a solo on the guitar”.


Since 2010, Shannon Curfman has been the guitarist, duet partner, and singer-songwriter in the kid rock band Twisted Brown Truckers. , Page/Plant, Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, et al. She has recorded with such artists as John Fogerty, Bob Seger, Buddy Buy, Keb Mo, Kid Rock, John Mayall and Joe Bonamassa.

Spotlight on female blues artists

In McIntosh, the annual festival started a few years ago with a focus on country music, but was changed last year to highlight female blues musicians, Hall said. He was encouraged by last year’s turnout of between 300 and 400 people to continue the same theme this year.

Particularly in metropolitan areas, Hall said, it’s difficult for female blues musicians to get the attention they deserve.

“A lot of great artists don’t get a chance to shine,” he said.

He hopes the festival will help change that.

“We started this event last year to bring attention to all the talented women in the blues,” said Tanya Nelson, Houle’s publicist. “Women who wear blue are generally under-recognized and undervalued.”

Hall and others chose to schedule the festival the weekend after Memorial Day, positioning it as one of the first summer music festivals in the United States

To reserve a space at Camp McIntosh this weekend, call (218) 563-3043.

This event is supported by the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, a grant from the Minnesota Legislature, and a partnership with the Win-E-Mac Alumni Association.

For more information, visit or contact Nelson at (218) 693-8075 or

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