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The Costa Rica Blues Fest

February 8th, 2009

Harp PlayerWhen I left Chicago almost a decade ago, I knew the stuff that I would not miss (snow, cold, weeks with no sunshine, snow, cold, snow, etc.) and the things I would miss (grand kids, children, friends, Fall, Chicago Fest, Spring, the Blues and the Chicago Blues Fest, etc.).  Well strike the Blues off the list as of last night for that was evening of the Second Annual Costa Rica Blues Fest.

Candian Blues Player... ummm NOT!I found out about this a bit late (Friday) so I did not have adequate time to get organized. The concert began at 10 AM and ran until at least 11:00 PM.  I say at least because I was not around at the end.

I had some work to do, so Maria Luisa and I did not arrive until about 4:30 which was about right as I think any earlier would have made for a really long day.

The venue was the Club Cubano (the Cuban Club) in Guachipelín de Escazú, not far from the MultiPlaza Mall. Poolside BluesWe were able to get parking about ten yards from the first stage, but that was just luck.  There appeared to be adequate parking though. There were apparently two stages.  We never went looking for the other as we were kept entertained at the first, and more important, we had good seats and out of the wind.

Now I know I am not going to receive a modicum of sympathy from those still in the Northern part of the US, but man it was COLD!  It has been very windy and the temps poolside (yeah, the stage was near the pool, was nasty… blowing non stop about 25 MPH. The temp was about 71 (cold for here) but the wind chill made it feel like 60.  I wore a coat for the first time ever since I arrived here.

Great front man! Sadly I do not know the bandHeadliners were Guitar Shorty and Sonny Boy Terry, both from Houston. However, there were at least three other bands down from the US, The Road Dogs, San Diego CA,  Robbie Clark and the Live Wire Blues Band, Austin, TX, and V and the Wholly Cats, Canada (that was the only crummy band I heard!).

I guess what really amazed me, and probably shows my ignorance,  were the FIVE blues bands from Costa Rica (some links below), and I am here to tell you that the local boys were Goooood! Whudda thunk it??  Imagine Latin Blues players… but as I think about it… why not? Costa Ricans take their music very seriously and there are a ton of truly superb musicians in Costa Rica.

Four Ticas enjoying the Costa Rica Blues FestWhile I would guess the crowd consisted of about 60% North Americans, the rest were Costa Rican and from what I could see, they not only enjoyed the show, they knew their blues!

The beer flowed in rivers, but the food left something to be desired. There was supposed to be Texas BBQ, but we could never find it.  That was sad as the food we could find was overcooked chicken and some truly horrible hot dogs.  I am sure if we were serious drinkers, the food would have tasted delicious.  I remember eating some horrible food in my college days that I endorsed heartily as delicious after 8 to 10 beers.

In any case, this was a first rate show, certainly not equal to the multi-day Fests in the US, or some of Chicago’s fine blues clubs, but well worth the time and money ($25.00).  Next year, I will make a point of knowing well in advance and making better plans.


The Known Associates

Calacas Blues

The Blues Devils Band

7 Responses to “The Costa Rica Blues Fest”

  1. Katt on February 9, 2009 9:29 am

    I am loving this. I am a singer in Nashville,Tn. My husband and I are considering a move to Costa Rica…It is good to know there is a strong music community there…..we are coming to visit in March.

  2. miguel on February 9, 2009 10:22 pm

    Sweeeeet…se canta en espanol o ingles?

  3. Tim on February 9, 2009 10:33 pm

    All in English 🙂

  4. Joe on February 11, 2009 9:28 pm

    The “great” frontman’s band : The Known Associates

  5. Penny on February 18, 2009 1:19 pm

    aww! Kewl!!! My parents went to Costa Rica in November for a butterfly convention–I wish I had been able to tell them about some dives they could go to!
    Oh! I’ve added a video I made with some of their clips on my blog!!

  6. The Known Associates on March 23, 2009 12:07 pm

    Thanks for the review. Just a note for those of you who missed the blues fest, we, The Known Associates, (great front man photo, and harp player photo) will be playing this Saturday, March 28 at Mini Taberna 2, in Alto Guadalupe. there is more info on our website, http://www.theknownassociates.com, and at http://www.ldxmc.com.


  7. EL CLAVO on November 4, 2010 5:52 pm

    I had the pleasure of attending the first and third annual gathering of most wonderful people(literally)in the world-BLUES PEOPLE.The performers were top notch-ALL.A wonderful venue and and the people responsible for making it happen are sterling.I cannot express how GREAT it is.I will be there next year March 12 -GOD willing.In my estimation the best event that happens in Costa Rica,see you there. PURA VIDA—-EL CLAVO