Sunshine and blues

Kincaid Park may not be the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado but there isn't a better place in the Anchorage Bowl to hear the blues.

Sunshine was the highlight of the fourth annual Blues on the Green festival June 9 at Kincaid Park. The Kincaid venue offers grass, trees and superb views of Cook Inlet and Mt. Susitna. Jets on final approach to Ted Stevens International Airport silently descend over the inlet and pass behind the stage as if the festival is their destination. And all day the music mingles with the sun, trades molecules with the wind and wraps the body in warmth and rhythm.

By mid-day a small crowd had filtered into the festival area. Local band Bucket-o-Bolts set the pace for the day pounding a beat that had early arrivals tapping their feet while arranging blankets and chairs. Children chased a football as it rolled down the grassy slope. Off to the side a vendor yanked continuously the starter rope on a stubborn generator—to no avail.

Local blues bands—and Anchorage can boast some good ones—continued the rhythm throughout the afternoon capped by Joey Fender and the 55's before the headliners took the stage. Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang entertained a larger evening crowd followed closely by Magic Dick, J. Geils and Bluestime and as the sun slipped closer to the Sleeping Lady and wallpapered the sky in a mix of orange and blue, Koko Taylor and The Blues Machine.

Near the stage an energetic multitude danced the evening away. On the grass the music rolled, fluttered and flew around sun-red faces and torsos. Blues on the Green is becoming one of the best little known music festivals in the country.