Doheny Blues Festival-Doheny State Beach - May 18, 2013

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Jackie Connor
Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper

Doheny Blues Festival
Doheny State Beach
May 18, 2013

Summer festival season officially started in south Orange County over the weekend as the 16th annual Doheny Blues Festival kicked off the 2-day concert series at Doheny State Beach. Although weather remained temperate with cool ocean breezes, the bluesy tunes turned up the heat from all three stages for a sprawling celebration of all things raw, rugged and "down home." Bonafide bluesmen,and housewives with sauced husbands in tow danced around in cheesy cowboy hats to the fine, electricfied tunes of artists like Joanne Shaw Taylor, Tedeschi Trucks Band and headliner Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. Here's a taste of what we saw this weekend.

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Jackie Connor

5.Best Old School Band: Jimmie Vaughn and the Tilt-A-Whirl Band with Lou Ann BartonIf
I saw these Austinites walking down the street, my first reaction would be to smile and think 'Yep, they're gangster.' Their cool Ray Ban sunglasses, slicked hair coupled with their old school bee-bop sound made you wish for a dance partner to swing you across the floor. These guys have 1950s cool written all over them and so does their sound.

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Jackie Connor

4. Best Harmonica solo: Charlie Musselwhite and Steve Marriner
I know what you 're thinking: WTF, how can you put them in the same category?! But seriously the two had to tie. Musselwhite, a legend in his own right, employed a series of intricate solos meshed well with the electric guitar. He utilized techniques only harmonica aficionados could understand. Steve Marriner also pulled off some sweet and long solos that made me envy his lung capacity.

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