13th Annual Blues In The Natural State Festival

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KXUA got in touch with it’s NWA roots last Friday, at the 13th Annual “Blues in the Natural State” Festival. The event, held by the Ozark Blues Society, showcased blues artists from across the area.Friday’s feature, “Women in the Blues,” shed the spotlight on female vocalists and a powerhouse lineup. Nikki Hill, Kelley Hunt, Divas on Fire, and Shemekia Copeland took to the stage at George’s Majestic Lounge, each with their own contemporary twist on a style rooted in tradition.In particular, Nikki Hill caught our attention. Her energy was contagious, her moves flirtatious, and music unique. Hill balanced a mix of original tunes, and classic covers. She added a personal touch to hits coined by Little Richard and Barbara George, successfully recreating the works in a a refreshing format.KXUA covered just one of several evenings hosted by the Ozark Blues Society. The festival brought 13 acts to town, each with an original sound.

In addition to hosting this yearly festival, Ozark Blues Society spear heads educational programs designed to bring Blues music to NWA schools. The Ozark Blues Society’s “Blues Education” program brings the genre’s history, form, and traditions to students throughout the area, placing an emphasis on Arkansas’ role in the development of this musical genre. To learn more about this program, and upcoming events hosted by the Ozark Blues Society, visit www.ozarkbluessociety.org.
-Shelby Steingraeber

Photo by: Tom Mowry Photography

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