Fourth Annual Historic Wallace Blues Festival

July 10 - 12, 2015

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This page was last updated on Friday, July 17, 2015.

Recap of 2014 Historic Wallace Blues Festival

Recap of 2014 Historic Wallace Blues Festival
21 performers on 6 stages over 3 days

Thank you to the members of the Inland Empire Blues Society for voting us the Best Blues Festival in 2014.

Since our first Historic Wallace Blues Festival won the Best Blues Event for 2012, AND our second Blues Festival won the Best Blues Festival for 2013, we are now in the Blues Hall of Fame! (And out of the competition for the next three years.)

Follow the links to see photos of performers and fans taken during these award-winning festivals.

Best 2012 Blues Festival awarded to Wallace Idaho
14 performers on 5 stages for 2 days


A 96 photo 2014 FESTIVAL RECAP highlights the talent of the performers, the enthusiasm of their fans and the charm of historic Wallace Idaho.


We are dedicating this year's Wallace Blues Festival to the Memory of Ted Todd. Ted passed away in April.

Ted emceed EVERY one of our Festivals. He tirelessly promoted our Festival and worked the booths that promoted all the blues events in the Northwest. He created the audience that the Blues has in the Inland Northwest. He was the rock behind the Inland Empire Blues Society that informed us and gave the blues a sense of community, as well as the awards ceremony. Ted WAS the Blues for the Inland Northwest and he will be sorely missed.

We are also saddened by another great loss to the blues this year: B.B. King. He is pictured here with Ted Todd. May they both Rest In Peace.

Ted Todd and BB King
Wallace District Arts Councii
In a change from previous years, this festival is now a project of the Wallace District Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) organization since 1988. Part of our mission is to offer seminars, workshops, and other classes in all arts disciplines. Therefore this year we will offer FREE Blues Music Workshops at the Elks Lodge (corner of Fifth & Cedar Streets) on Saturday.
Neil Elwell (Doghouse Boyz) Slide Guitar noon
Charlie Butts Blues Harp 1:00 PM
Jeff Aker Blues Guitar 2:00 PM

Our fourth Historic Wallace Blues Festival will feature 17 bands and single entertainers on six stages over three days. jump to video playbox Click on the musical note to jump down to the music video playbox where each artist is featured. Click on new artist added to go to the last item added.

All seventeen performers are featured in the biographical section.

Information on camping, parking and lodging includes GoogleEarth images and animations.

2015 Historic Wallace Blues Festival LINE UP (one page pdf handout)

Alphabetical Line-up
  1. Anita Royce
    (4th year here)
  2. Atomic Blues Band
    (NEW this year)
  3. Atomic Jive
    (NEW this year)
  4. Ben Rice Band
    (NEW Main Stage act)
  5. Charlie Butts & the Filter Tips
    (3rd year here)
  6. Doghouse Boyz
    (4th year here)
  7. Jeff Aker
    (NEW this year)
  8. Jim Tilden Brown
    (3rd year here)
  9. John Kelly
    (2nd year here)
  10. Kenny Neal
    (our Main Stage 8PM headliner from Louisiana)
  11. Mason Stone Band
    (NEW this year)
  12. Mudslide Charlie
    (NEW this year)
  13. Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method
    (NEW Main Stage act)
  14. Sammy Eubanks
    (4th year here)
  15. Sara Brown Band
    (3rd year here)
  16. Studebaker John
    (NEW Main Stage act)
  17. Too Slim & the Taildraggers
    (headliner at our 2012 Blues Festival)
Tickets are $30 in advance and will be available at the following locations beginning on April 18, 2015.
  • Wallace
    • Wallace Inn (800)643-2386
    • 1313 Club (208)752-9391
    • Harvest Foods (208)752-1233
  • Coeur d'Alene
    • Long Ear Music
      2405 North 4th Street, Coeur d'Alene ID      (208)765-3472
  • Spokane
    • Bronco Inn
      8714 E Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA      (509)927-0966
    • 4000 Holes
      1610 N.Monroe St, Spokane, WA      (509) 325-1914
  • Tickets West      800-325-7328
Tickets will be $35 at the door.
However, children 12 and under will be $10 at the door only.
  • Tickets for Shoshone County residents with photo identification will be $20 at the door only!
  • Tickets sold in town during free-music Friday will be $30 naturally.
"The Center of the Universe" is located in Wallace, Idaho! Don't believe it? See for yourself at intersection of Sixth and Bank Streets!
Here is the Main Stage Saturday line-up.

On Friday, July 10, we will close streets to traffic so that you may enjoy outdoor Blues

On Saturday, July 11, there will be Blues everywhere in town all day long, beginning on the Cedar Street Stage at 11:00 AM. Between our Main Stage headliner acts, Blues artists will play at TWO locations.
But that is not all!
Rockin' Boogie Blues will also be featured on the RED LIGHT GARAGE deck. The street in front of this restaurant will be closed to traffic for your listening, dancing and wandering enjoyment. Acoustic Blues will be featured THE FAINTING GOAT. This wine bar will again provide a cosy ambiance when your feet are tired from dancing at the Redlight.

So this year the Kiwanis will again serve breakfast at the Elks Lodge from 8 to 10 AM. For $10 you also get to hear the Sara Brown Band one more time! In 2014, Sara was awarded the Inland Empire Blues Society's "Best Female Blues Performer" for the third time and entered the IEBS Hall of Fame. Sara also was IEBS's Best Female Vocalist in 2014.
Nick Vigarino's Meantown Blues Nick Vigarino was a huge favorite at our first blues festival. Unfortunately, he was recently working on a home in Oso Washington, helping folks recover from the land slide, when he fell and broke his left hand (his fretting hand), and severely sprained his right hand. He is literally selling anything he can on Ebay and CraigsList because he has zero income. He is in trouble. He told folks that he didn't need any help, but he is in a very bad way. He has never asked for this kind of help from anybody and said he didn't want charity. However his friends have started a Go Fund Me campaign in his behalf. We would really appreciate it if you would consider contributing to it, and more importantly, if you would share this link with people who may know him. Please help if you can! Here's the link:
Having trouble keeping track of all the music happening at the Historic Wallace Blues Festival? Here is a one page pdf schedule that spells it out in a separate window. Never been to Wallace and having a hard time visualizing this three day extravaganza? Open this GoogleEarth based five-frame animation that shows the road closures and the various Friday, Saturday, and Sunday venues last year. The plan worked, so we are not changing it. The 1024x705 pixel gif animation opens in a separate window.

Artists performing at the
2015 Historic Wallace Blues Festival


Anita Royce & The High Rollers

Anita Royce on stage For the fourth year, Anita Royce Anita Royce and The High Rollers will play at the Wallace Blues Festival. In 2012, she entertained Blues fans at the Red Light Garage. In 2013, her band performed three times in the gazebo on Sixth Street. Last summer, she returned for a dramatic afternoon performance at the Red Light Garage.

The music of the High Rollers may be described as "Rockin' Blues and Jump Swing." They provide a high energy show with Anita Royce's sultry vocals and guitar leads, Forest Govedare's soulful guitar, with Jimi the Keys and his inspirational wit on the weighted eighty eights. Art Donnelly on bass and Doug McQuain on drums are a groovin' rhythm section. jump to video playbox Anita has been called the Queen of the Blues by Sammy Eubanks. She was awarded "Best Female Vocalist 2013" by the Inland Empire Blues Society. Anita won this award way back in 1998 and has been singing ever since; finally she captured it again. At the root of it all is that the lady loves to sing. In 2014, the IEBS presented Anita with a special "Keeping the Blues Alive" award.


Atomic Jive Band

Atomic Jive Band, 2015 Atomic Jive. The name conjures up 1947 in America. Glamor girls, chrome plated cars, jive music. Anything atomic was new and mysterious. Welcome to the 21st Century. Atomic Jive is all the above and more. The glamor of swing, the irresistible beat of rockabilly, and the smooth groove of rhythm&blues. Individually the Atomic Jive musicians have been across the country and the world. We know the musical groove in Kansas City is different than Chicago, Dallas, or The Big Easy, we know because we’ve played there. From sports arenas to the dives we’ve paid our dues and believe in paying them again everytime we take the stage. Atomic Jive will take you upscale and bring you the best in American popular music.

jump to video playbox This band is new, and has built it’s growing fan base largely through live performance and word of mouth. The first time vocalist Estelle performed with the group three different event promoters were waiting backstage to book Atomic Jive. Their style is power, pulling every bit of emotion from a song, not by sheer volume but with the heart. This band is horn driven by design, not an “add horns to anything” group. The members of the group aren’t kids and have performed every style of music you can be paid to play. Now they make the music they love to play. Give them a stage and they will own it. Every time.


Ben Rice Band

Ben Rice Band

Ben Rice and the iLLamatics were the Cascade Blues Association's representatives at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, where they placed as one of the top nine finalists out of 250 acts from around the world. Ben, at 25 is a growing force in the NW Blues scene. Ben Rice brings vintage blues into the modern era from his home town of Newberg, Oregon. jump to video playbox Twisting soul, roots blues, and west coast blues with rockabilly, funk, and rock. Ben Rice, as Lloyd Jones put, "gets it." Along with their music is an exhilarating stage show featuring, cigar box guitars, resonators, and lots of crowd interaction. Ben Rice has already been established as a virtuosic guitar player with a soulful voice. His inventive twists on blues are creating a buzz up and down the West coast. Winning the 2013 Male Vocalist and Traditional Act of the Year from the Cascade Blues Association as well as Performance and Acoustic Guitar of the Year from the West Side Blues Society. Ben Rice CD: Pour Me Some Whiskey Ben's last all original CD, Pour Me Some Whiskey, is among the best CD releases from the Northwest.


Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips

Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips is one of the longest-established R&B dance bands in the Inland Northwest. This five-piece band has been playing in Washington, Idaho and Montana since January of 1995. Their musical influences run the gamut from R&B to soul to funk to blues and jazz. They present a wide variety of styles, with the common thread that it's all danceable. This is now an all-star band, with members representing some of the greatest bands in the Inland Northwest. They play with intense passion, and obviously have fun doing what they do. This was evident in 2013, when they entertained at the Red Light Garage on Saturday afternoon. Last summer the weather was hotter, and so was Charlie when he returned for an evening dance party at the Red Light. Check out the happy faces!
Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips consists of
  • Charlie Butts, saxophone and harmonica
  • Pat Barclay, vocals and guitar
  • Danny McCollim, keyboards
  • Luther Hughes, vocals and drums
  • Josh Simon, bass guitar

Band Biographies

jump to video playbox

Doghouse Boyz

Doghouse Boyz Inland Empire Blues Society multiple award winners, the Doghouse Boyz are Neil Elwell on acoustic guitar, dobro, and vocals, and Ramiro Vijarro on fretless bass, and vocals. The Doghouse Boyz continue to make their brand of blues, jazz, folk and rock a welcomed and dynamic sound for fans throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The Doghouse Boyz present original blues, as well as dynamic renditions of old favorites and obscure tunes from "back in the day." Congratulations are due to Neil Elwell, IEBS's 2013 Empire Award for Best Blues Slide Guitar!

For our last three festivals, the Doghouse Boyz entertained folks in the Beer Garden between Main Stage acts. They were joined by Jim Tilden Brown to make the Beer Garden a very happening place in 2013 and 2014.


Jeff Aker

Jeff Aker jump to video playbox
Jeff Aker is an electric and acoustic Blues musician, vocalist, songwriter and bluesicologist who has played all over Washington and Idaho, including the Port Townsend Country Blues Festival and the Ritzville Blues Festival. The end of the Ritzville Festival was the impetus for beginning the Wallace Blues Festival in 2012. Jeff is fluent in the styles of Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broonzy, R.L. Burnside, Blind Blake, Rev.Gary Davis, Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell. A member of several bands, Jeff will however play solo at our fourth Blues Festival. He will join John Kelly to entertain at the Fainting Goat wine bar on Saturday. Jeff will be playing Delta Blues, some Piedmont finger style, and some Hill Country Blues, among other acoustic delights.

Jim Cale, AKA Jim Tilden Brown

Jim Cale, AKA Jim Tilden Brown

The charm of historic Wallace has always attracted talented musicians. From 2000 to 2002, Cogwells Saloon (now the Smoke House Saloon and BBQ) was known for a wide variety of folk and blues music on weekends. Jim Tilden Brown, then known as "The BOSSMAN," played there at least twice. Jim was known for getting the place hoppin' with his wit and "rockin' boogie blues."

jump to video playbox Now we welcome him back to town for a third time to join the Doghouse Boyz in the Beer Garden during Main Stage breaks. However, in 2015, Jim has changed his stage name to Jim Cale. "Cale is my grandfather and great grandfather's name and my mom's maiden name. Much easier to remember, sounds good, its simple and a tribute to my family of musicians. Needed a new marketable name that people can remember and spell!"


John Kelly and the Atomic Blues Band

John Kelly We welcome back John Kelly, a gifted musician, singer and musical arranger. Known for his solid guitar licks, expressive vocals and a genre-bending blend of eclectic musical influences, John is quickly gaining attention throughout the Northwest as a talented and animated performer. John will again entertain Friday night from 6:30 to 10:00 at the Fainting Goat wine bar, a new business in town we hope you will visit. They offer a wide selection of wines and delicious food in a delightful setting. John will return to this new music venue on Saturday, playing from noon to 2:00 PM. So make sure you leave the gated Festival Area every so often to check out the other talented blues artists playing throughout town.

Atomic Blues Band The Atomic Blues Band was formed in Sandpoint, Idaho, by an assortment of talented musicians hailing from around the country from southern California to Chicago. In this musically creative hotbed called Sandpoint, guitarist and vocalist extrordinaire John Kelley assembled an assortment of like-minded players to form the Atomic Blues Band. In the current line up they have enjoyed each others company for many years. The solidified sound is well known and loved by those who have heard them performing at many special occasions and local clubs over the years. They have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with renowned performers such as Taj Mahal, John Mayhal, Norton Buffalo, Little Feat and Sawyer Brown. On Saturday evening they will play to the crowd gathered in front of the Red Light Garage restaurant.


Kenny Neal

Kenny Neal

Kenny Neal, born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, began playing music at a young age. Learning the basics from his father, singer and Blues harmonica master, Raful Neal. jump to video playbox Kenny is known as a modern swamp-blues master and multi-instrumentalist, that draws musically from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana.

Kenny Neal: Hooked On Your Love

His new release, Hooked On Your Love, follows the triumph of his multi-award winning 2008 comeback album, Let Life Flow. An outstanding success, the CD raked in the accolades: three prestigious Album Of The Year awards, two Song of The Year awards for the title track, and Kenny himself garnered two Artist of the Year honors.


Mason Stone Band

Mason Stone Band After a hiatus of over 12 years, the Mason Stone Band was reconceived last year by front man and guitarist Randy Hansberry... AKA Mason Stone. Now in their seconded season preforming together throughout the Northwest, dishin' out gutsy rockin' blues and the classic hits you grew up with, as well as some of today's fresh sounds. Randy, being a fourth generation Montana Rancher, his musical roots come from Country and Gospel. However, growing up as teenager in the 60's and 70's the fusion of Rock n' Roll and the Blues lent a hand in shaping Mason Stone's sound.

Holding down the Rhythm Section is Rob DeGolier on Bass and Ric Ohnstad behind the Drums. Rounding out the Band is long time Friend Connie Deeble on Keyboards. This seasoned, eclectic grouping defines the Mason Stone Band's high engery playing style. It merges passion, diverse musical abilities, and showmanship to place the Mason Stone Band amongst the many highly entertaining and deluxe bands preforming in the Inland Northwest. Listen to their music at


MudSlide Charley

MudSlide Charley MudSlide Charley creates a powerful and seminal expression of 21st century blues. With their soul firmly planted in the dirt of the Mississippi Delta, they weave together Blues, Hip Hop and early R & B into the fabric of their sound, writing and performing songs that exude emotional fervor and joyous spontaneity. Simultaneously brash and playful, these blues tell vital stories full of danger, longing, sexuality, and hope. Loaded with groove and Inspired by the patchwork of American roots music, MudSlide Charley’s brand of gut-bucket blues and ramshackle soul is as authentic as it is original and will surely make you dance.

New & Used by MudSlide Charley In November 2014, MudSlide Charley released their third CD: New & Used. jump to video playboxIt is the culmination of a year of work in the studio, on stage, and in rehearsal, honing an artistic statement that is original, yet firmly rooted in the delta blues, R & B, and Americana that formed the musical personality of the band. MudSlide Charley consists of Marco Littig, guitar and vocals, Emi Kodama, vocals, Tahj Kjelland, bass and vocals, Roger Moquin, drums and vocals, and Phil Hamilton, harmonicas and saxophones.

Although there is only one video on this Wallace website, you may listen to SIXTEEN of their songs playing at the MudSlide Charlie website.


Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method

Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method

Inland Empire Blues Society

From a beginning in immigrant camps through an early music career as a teen working bars in Mexico and the US, to becoming one of the most highly-awarded blues musicians in the Pacific Northwest, Polly O'Keary's life in music eventually took her on tours as a bassist for national blues bands, playing all over the United States and Canada, and a total of four continents. jump to video playbox

Compass by Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm MethodIn 2013, O'Keary assembled her own trio, Polly O'Keary and the Rhythm Method, and in one short year, the band released the album Compass to rave reviews from all over the world and extensive international radio play, and began touring the nation. In 2014, this album was voted the BEST BLUES ALBUM in the Northwest Region.


Sammy Eubanks

Sammy Eubanks
Sammy at the Red Light Garage

Wallace Blues Festival 2014
Sammy at the Red Light Garage
Sammy at the Red Light Garage

Wallace Blues Festival 2013
Sammy Eubanks was a huge hit at all three previous Blues Festivals, so we are excited to again have him play Wallace. He will again keep folks dancing at the Red Light Garage until closing Friday night, and then return to jam Saturday from 10PM to midnight on the Main Stage with some of the previous performers. jump to video playbox The dancing never stops on Saturday.

Sammy's Bio.


Sara Brown Band

Sarah Brown Band We are honored to have the 2014 Inland Empire Blues Society's "Best Female Blues Performer" Blues Hall of Fame winner at our 2015 Wallace Blues Festival.

This will be her third Wallace adventure. In 2013 she played at the gazebo begining at 10 PM, then entertained other tired but hungry Blues fans for breakfast at 8 AM. Last year, the High Rollers played at the Red Light and then returned to serve music for pancakes on Sunday. jump to video playbox

Sara Brown loves performing and has a passion for powerhouse vocals. Backed up by a very talented band, Sara gives a dramatic performance, even at breakfast. She has an infectious smile, unending energy, a voice that will excite you... and there's no stopping all the talk about her shoes.

This year Sara and her band will entertain us THREE times: Friday night on the Cedar Street Stage, Saturday at the Red Light, and, of course, Sunday at breakfast.


Studebaker John

Studebaker John

Studebaker John Grimaldi was born in an Italian-American section of Chicago and started playing harmonica at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago's famed blues melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the'70s. The band name referenced the Studebaker Hawk, a car Grimaldi still owns today, and was also intended as a tribute to his friend, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks. John began playing guitar after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers perform. jump to video playbox "Hound Dog started playing, hitting notes that sent chills up and down my spine. He was versatile and powerful and would play rhythm as well as leads. I left there knowing what I wanted to do. I had to play slide guitar." More Studebaker John bio...

Studebaker John CD Old School Rockin "My new CD, Old School Rockin', is rockin' blues that helps people to forget their troubles. I've tried to incorporate the raw blues sound into songs that strive to be more contemporary and without musical boundaries. It's what that sound turned into in the late '60s and early '70s, when the raw blues heavily influenced many contemporary artists, and changed the course of popular music. Old School Rockin' is for all the people, from the rocking blues crowd to the purists, and from the young folks just getting into it to those who've been listening all along."


Too Slim and the Taildraggers

Too Slim and The Taildraggers

Tim Langford (AKA Too Slim) was a main stage performer at our first Wallace Blues Festival in 2012. Since then, he moved to Nashville and survived cancer surgery. He has just been given a clean bill of health and the go ahead to start performing again. He has new players backing him up, and we are proud and excited to have this popular Pacific Northwest performer back! jump to video playbox His latest work, Anthology, a 2 CD set, hits the stores June 17 with pre-sale starting May 27! Too Slim and the Taildraggers 2 CD set: Anthology This is a collection of songs from the Underworld Records catalog featuring songs from the last decade of recordings from Too Slim and the Taildraggers and features 3 new songs produced by Grammy Award winning Producer Tom Hambridge

Again this July, you will want to be surrounded by mountains in
the most fascinating small town in America
as you listen to these blues artists perform.

Select a video to load:


So book a room in the Silver Valley already! Or pack the camper! Air out the tent! See you in Wallace July 10-12, 2015 at the Inland Empire's Best Blues Event!

new lodging deal Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg will again put together a special lodging package for the Wallace Blues Festival. Silver Mountain Resort logo The studio sleeps 2 and the deluxe sleeps up to 4. The code to use for booking online or calling in for a reservation is "BLUESFEST." Reservation number is 800-204-6428. This is a special rate without water park access. However, for your convenience there will be a shuttle running between the Resort and Wallace for this festival.

As it develops, more information will follow.

    Contact: Craig Heimbigner
  • DBA Too Far North Productions
  • or (509) 534-1187 for festival questions
  • for all other questions about Wallace, accommodations, locale, or attractions, please call Jackie (208) 512-1260

click to Wallace Inn in Wallace Idaho
The Wallace Inn

  Stay in Style


click to the Guest House in Kellogg Idaho
The Guest House Inn & Suites

  adjacent Silver Mountain Resort


A complete listing of all Silver Valley accommodations with phone numbers is on a separate page, along with camping possibilities. Four GoogleEarth annotated views show parking and camping sites near town.

Thank you for your interest in Wallace Idaho and the Silver Valley,
Greg Marsh, Ph.D.
Marsh Scientific Services



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