The Bands

Local 362 All Stars - 1:00PM

Since 2010, musical members of the South Bend Fire Department have come together to create an all-firefighter band specifically for the South Bend Firefighter's Local 362 Bluesfest. They call themselves the 362 All Stars. Although the line-up changes from year to year, a core group of individuals provide a solid foundation.

Because members work on opposing shifts, practice time comes at a premium. The band compiles a set list and is able to rehearse only about a half dozen times before taking the stage as the first act at the Bluesfest. In the past, they've played everything from Buddy Guy and The Beatles to B.B King, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

"It's for a great cause and we have a lot of fun. It's something I look forward to every year," says core drummer, Mark Mammon. "Our goals are pretty simple," added keyboardist, Todd Skwarcan. "Give about an hour of entertainment, have fun and try not to lay an egg."

J R Clark - 3:00PM

This act consists of national talents: Johnny B. Gayden - Alligator Records recording artist and bass player for "Albert Collins and the Ice Breakers”; Drummer Jerry "Bam Bam" Porter - toured with Buddy Guy for 14 years, Jerry has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, toured with Magic Slim and the Teardrops, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and currently fresh off touring with the late great James Cotton; Willie Styles on keys - Willie briefly toured with Robert Ward and is one of the premier and most sought out keyboard players in west Michigan.

J R Clark fronts the band on vocals and guitar. Melding a host influences such as, Michael Burks, Luther Allison, and Larry McCray, J R puts out a big sound of house rockin’ blues, soul and southern rock of his own! J R has also toured nationally with Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. Performing at a host of festivals like South Bend Blues and Ribs festival at Coveleski Stadium, Kalamazoo Blues Festival, “Meet me on the Island” in South Bend , Lansing Chicken Wing Festival and many regional venues in IN, MI and IL. These guys are rolling and are always a crowd favorite. This high-energy act consisting of national and international touring artist’s is sure to put a smile on your face and a groove in your step!

Blue Lunch - 5:00PM

Blue Lunch plays retro music. Its specialty is that confluence of late '40s/early '50s jump blues/R&B/post-swing music that soon morphed into rock 'n' roll. But there's nothing musty about this nearly 20-year-old Cleveland act that has really started to make a name for itself in the last decade.

Their fourth album, Big Sound Blues, contains four tracks by band leader/vocalist/ guitarist Bob Frank, most of it consists of vintage covers, with a heavy focus on lively, fun stuff that often, on tracks like “Chicken Blues” and “Honey Chile,” exhibits the goofball humor that era's pop music was known for. Spirited, danceable tunes like “Alligator Meat” and “I Do, I Do, I Do,” driven by the crisp horn section, predominate, spelled by an occasional blues track like “Little Boy Blue.”

That the band brings it all off with such panache is a tribute to its chops; the eight players comprise some of this town's most seasoned musicians. In big-band style, brief but non-indulgent solos give them a chance to shine without breaking up the flow of the tunes. -By Anastasia Pantsios, Cleveland Free Times

Funk Mojo Daddy - 7:00PM

The members of MojoDaddy are all top-shelf musicians who have achieved considerable success with their respective groups. Throughout their careers, these guys have taken the message of Chicago blues and traveled the world to spread it with artists such as Buddy Guy, The Kinsey Report, Steepwater Band and Green Room Rockers. The group consists of Kenny Kinsey (bass/vocals), Jerry Porter (drums/vocals), Jeff Massey (Slide guitar/vocals) and Ryan Frahm (guitar/vocals).

Joining forces for this CD and to take that message further, they've built a high-energy blues, funk/soul, roots-rock supergroup who thread the spirit of the past into this ten-song disc with creative, passionate playing. Employing a trio of accomplished, fire-breathing guitarists (Nick Byrd, Corey Dennison, Jeff Massey), a rock-solid rhythm section (Kenny Kinsey, Jerry Porter), and four distinct-yet-complementary vocalists (Byrd, Dennison, Massey, Kinsey), the band fuses their musical tastes into a must-have disc for any hardcore blues-rocker who has an occasional sensitive moment.

Together, they have quickly gained a reputation for being one of Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland area’s top blues bands and rhythm sections. All of this has led to them appearing on a regular rotation at some of the areas hottest live music venues and annual summer festivals.

These musician’s pride themselves on playing with heart and soul, creating an unstoppable energy. Their intense delivery of the music will have you up and dancing, while never letting you forget where our musical debt is owed.

Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers - 9:00PM

“America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne Dopsie plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.

Dwayne attributes his musical ablilities to his father, Rockin' Dopise, Sr., a pioneer of Zydeco music. As a small child, Dwayne was interested in the washboard, but quickly realized he had incredible talent with an accordion. He has played the accordion since age seven and states, "This is my calling - Zydeco music is in my blood and it is my heart and soul." As a tribute to his late father, the most influential person in his life, Dwayne plans to record an album of his Dad's greatest Zydeco hits.

Dwayne Dopsie and his Hellraisers have performed in 20 different countries and in hundreds of cities. Because of the energy and power of the music they play, he was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007, and also nominated for the last 7 years for best accordion and artist from Off Beat Magazine Awards. In September 2016, he was on "Louisiana Rising" with Harry Connick Jr. and Randy Jackson, performing their song for the flood victims called "Rollercoaster" which is one of the songs on their new cd, soon to be released in 2017.