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Thorogood, Fish, Hoyer Light Up Yankton Trail Park on Day 2 of JazzFest in Sioux Falls

George Thorogood JazzFest 1
Photo Courtesy of Dan Thorson/Dan Thorson Photography

Day 2 of JazzFest 2014 is in the books and what a day it was! Six bands on two stages and Mother Nature cooperating on the weather with temperatures staying in the mid to upper 70s has helped draw larger than normal crowds the first tow nights.

Friday’s main stage performances got started by Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers, a nine-piece soul band from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers

Jpsh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers played a set filled mainly with originals from their self-titled debut album which has been near the top of the Roots Music charts (and which you’ve heard on the Blues Fix at 6) but threw in a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” which got even more people up and dancing to a band that takes influences from New Orleans, to Chicago, to the west coast and melds it into and soul stew that people can relate to.

Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers 2

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Next up was a fantastic Kansas City blues band, the Samantha Fish Band!

Samantha Fish 1

Fish first caught my attention on the ‘Girls With Guitars’ tour a few years back with Dani Wilde and Victoria Smith, but Fish’s voice and paying really stood out to me. Her debut, ‘Runaway’ helped win her the Blues Music Award for Best New Artist and her latest release “Black Wind Howlin'” is another step forward for the 25-year old star on the rise.

Samantha Fish 2

With influences as diverse as the Rolling Stones, John Hiatt, Tim Petty and the Black Crowes, Fish says she grew up in a house where her dad and older sister both played guitar, but she started out on drums, showing little interest in the guitar until she was 15 when her dad bought her an acoustic. She told me about the family vacation to Florida a year or so later when it rained for two weeks straight and she spent a lot of time watching a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert DVD. She said she couldn’t wait to get home to practice! The practice has paid off BIG time as she is becoming a fantastic guitar player yet humble enough to know she has a lot more to learn. That being said, Fish OWNS every stage she steps on with her fantastic rhythm section of Scot Sutherland on bass and Go-Go Ray on drums.

Samantha Fish 3

Those of us that have been following her for several years and those of you that just ‘discovered’ her this weekend all know that the Samantha Fish Band is a name to know in the Blues world. Love her songwriting and to show that much confidence in front of, at the time she was on stage, 30,000+ and growing, shows that she and the band are a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to hear what they do next and see them again because as good as the CD’s are, they’re no match for the live show. And guys, try playing like she does wearing THESE shoes

Samantha Fish 4

Fish thrilled the audience with a set that included a ton of originals from her two albums, mixed in with covers that she puts her own spin on like an acoustic solo cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Dead Flowers’, an emotional cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” to their encore: Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”! Do yourself a favor. Pick up a Samantha Fish CD (or two) and get to her shows. Amazing talent.

Samantha Fish 5

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Over on the second stage, two fantastic local bands, Jazzed with Bobby Gripp and Brian Masek & Friends, brought the ‘jazz’ to JazzFest while Sioux City’s Mat d. and the Profane Saints brought some outlaw country, bad man ballads, hard luck Americana and more and as always put on a great set and left it all on the stage.

Mat d and the Profane Saints
Photo Courtesy of Tim Passmore

Our main stage headliner Friday night, courtesy of Midcontinent Communications and Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society was George Thorogood and the Destroyers on their 40th anniversary tour!

George Thorogood
Photo Courtesy of Bob Uecker

From the opening riffs of “Born To Be Bad” and “Who Do You Love”, Thorogood had the crowd of, by our estimates 60,000+, rockin’ and reelin’. George made sure to acknowledge Sioux Falls and South Dakota often during his set either between songs and sometimes IN the songs: “Good times in Sioux Falls can’t be beat. Who do you love?”

George Thorogood 3
Photo Courtesy of Bob Uecker

Thorogood has been a band of the ‘common man’ since the very beginning as he told me earlier in the afternoon saying that you never really set out expecting to have a ‘legendary’ career, but if you want to stay in business a long time, you want to have mass appeal. He compared the Destroyers to starting a restaurant with good burgers and beer. Something that everyone can enjoy and agree on.

George Thorogood interview

Thorogood played hit after hit that had the crowd singing along deep into the night.

George Thorogood Bob
Photo Courtesy of Bob Uecker

It was like watching the Detroyers greatest hits come to life in Sioux Falls from “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer”, to “Move It On Over” to his tribute to late friend and blues legend Johnny Winter who passed away Thursday and his cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and of course “Bad To The Bone”. Thanks to my friend ‘Spirit Sparks’ for her video of George!

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The final day of JazzFest is here with 14 bands playing on two stages starting at noon. Gov’t Mule and Gary Clark Jr. will headline tonight. Temperatures are expected to be where they’ve been the past two days, upper 70s to low 80s. You can check out set times and everything you need to know for Saturday at JazzFest here.

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