Welcome to the Annual Blythe River Blues Festival website!

This years event was a big success, all of the bands were exceptional. At the bottom of this page please leave a comment on what you liked and suggestions for improving next years show.

Acts that appeared at the 2012 Blythe River Blues Festival in order of appearance!

Paul Winer (Quartzsite’s Boogie-Woogie Bluesman)
Paul not only owns a bookstore off Interstate 10 in Quartzsite, and draws cartoons for newspapers. He is a talented, entertaining performer. Before moving to Quartzsite – Paul was a travelling bluesman who rubbed elbows with the likes of Jay Leno and many more. Paul’s performance at a show in Quartzsite was legendary and a definite crowd pleaser. We are very lucky to have “Sweet Pie” grace the Blythe River Blues Festival stage.

Blythe’s own South Main Street Blues Band
With Lead Guitarist Tom Farrage, John Boyd vocalist/harmonica player, Gary Mays guitarist/bassist and singer drummer Joe Sundes were awe inspiring. If I hadnt been told this was their first show I never would of known. Bet the next show they will be even better.

Bernie Pearl is a blues guitarist from Los Angeles, who learned the art from some of the greatest blues legends to come out of the Mississippi Delta. His band has backed B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn, to name a few. His latest CD, Sittin on the Right side of the Blues, is a tribute to his working with the late great Lightnin’ Hopkins for over a decade). Bernie is a true connection to America’s great blues history. Check out a video of him in the right sidebar or click this YouTube search for more of his performances.

The 7th Sons were conceived in late 2010 and have appeared with Savoy Brown, Johnny Winter and others. Bill McFadden the bands drummer is a Blythe native, many are anxious for his return and to see him play with this great band. We have a video of The 7th Sons to the right, but more can be found on YouTube. The top 6 videos in this search result shows just a small taste of what the 7th Sons have to offer.

Bluesman Deacon Jones added to 1st Blythe River Blues Festival lineup!
An accomplished blues artist, composer and arranger, as well as a widely acknowledged master of the Hammond B3 organ, DEACON JONES served for over 18 years as band leader for blues legend John Lee Hooker, having earlier performed in a similar capacity for Freddie King and Curtis Mayfield. His original composition, We’ll Meet Again, was the featured single on John Lee Hooker’s 1996 Grammy Award-winning platinum CD, Chill Out.

Deacon studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and at the University of Chicago. He has toured and recorded with numerous jazz, blues and rock luminaries including Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Joe Cocker, Joe Louis Walker, Carlos Santana, Buddy Miles, Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Hank Ballard, Noel Redding, Mic Fleetwood, Marva Wright, Willie Dixon and Stevie Ray Vaughn.(Source: http://www.deaconjonesbluesband.com/)

Fran Banish got his first guitar at age 6 and began to perform professionally at 14. He jammed with many Chicago Blues masters while studying classical guitar at Northwestern University. He recently recorded an all blues CD with former Buddy Guy band members and considered one of the best blues guitarist around. We have one of his videos also in the side bar, but Fran Banish has a YouTube channel with some great videos here.


  1. This was a great show, it was an extreme pleasure to see Paul Winer perform. Even if there were some sound issues, he was still impressive. The Main street band blew me away, for this being thier first show together it was amazing. Im looking forward to seeing thier next show. Bernie Pearl and his band was great, they gave us a taste of what old school real blues really is. 7th Sons were nothing short of phenomenal – WOOHOO! Deacon Jones was excellent, his band was very, very good too. Being a guitar player I was particulary impressed with his guitarman. Had to leave because my daughter was getting cold and missed the rest of the show.

  2. Cynthia Thaning

    I want to thank all the people of Blythe for taking such good care of Bill & I during our visit… we had such a good time. I am amazed at what you all were able to accomplish in such a short time! You really pulled it off, and it was a great show!

  3. Thank you Dan for the very kind compliment! I would like to thank all the wonderful people of Blythe who worked so hard to make this 1st Annual Blythe River Blues Festival the huge success that it was. I would also like to thank all those who came out to lend their support and be a part of that success, because without you, it could never have happened. Mike Evans, Marty Bachman, Sam Patel & Tom Farrage all made huge contributions to make this event possible, and I want to thank them all very much for their hard work and kindness. John Walker overcame huge obstacles in his path to insure we had good sound for the concert, and in spite of a few small glitches, he did just that. Bravo John! There were many more people who worked hard behind the scenes (i.e. security, vendors, Blythe FD, & others who helped out) that deserve a big thanks too! As a son of Blythe, I can’t tell you how proud I was, and am, of my home town & it’s incredible people. You all pulled together to make a miracle happen in the middle of the desert, and you should be super proud of yourselves! I can’t wait to see what happens next year.

  4. South Main Street Blues Band
    Tom Farrage Lead Guitarist and John Boyd.vocalist, harmonica player
    Gary Mays guitarist, bassist and singer
    ” heck, we need to go down to the produce department at Albertsons and get Joe Sundes, the best drummer in town… and bam, we had a blues band.”

    I know Joe had A blast playing and was happy to share his drum kit for all the drummers to play on.

    Myself I would Hope to see Video of The South Main Street Blues Band Put online too.. they may be a new formed Group. but there are seasoned pros playing in it. and would Like to be treated as a equal for playing the same gig. even if they dont have a star behind the years. ( just my own opinion 🙂

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