2008 Deep Blues Festival

This was the official site for 2008 Deep Blues Festival. Content is from the site's 2008 archived pages plus other outside sources.

The current website for the Deep Blue's Fest is found at: http://deepbluesfest.com/


Here’s a little background on the festival if you aren’t familiar…

In 2007, Chris Johnson created the Deep Blues Festival to celebrate the outsider and alternative blues and blues influenced music that he felt deserved more attention. He established connections with hundreds of bands from around the world while making a name for the Deep Blues Festival on the international circuit.  Fans have travelled from across the country and from around the world to support and attend the festival. FYI: This was the initial website.

The Deep Blues Festival started near the twin cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) with a 1-day event showcasing 18 bands.  Every year, the event evolved, and in 2014 the festival moved south to Clarksdale MS.  The reins have been handed, the crown bestowed…and the new folks are honoured to carry the torch of Chris Johnson’s vision & festivities.

Chris says: “I’m no longer the driving force behind this event, but it’s never been about me.  The musicians, the fans, venues and promoters will continue to support this great music.” We argue that it is about Chris Johnson, or the passion and dedication that he gave tirelessly (until he got tired), and we are bringing that momentum into the coming festival.


Info and About Deep Blues Festival Circa 2008

I love these bands and this music. I wish more people did. We hope you'll take the time to learn about the artists and think about joining us in July.

This is a festival for the fans and by the fans, not some big corporate event. Lots of great music, lots of space, free parking and free admission for your kids. Low ticket prices with no handling charges or fees. Bring your lawnchairs and blankets and come have some fun.

- Chris


What can we answer for you?

General festival inquiries:



For media inquiries, please contact: 

Betsie Brown 
Blind Raccoon LLC 

Blind Racoon



Press Release

2nd Annual Deep Blues Festival


Jul 18, 2008 to Jul 20, 2008
10:00 AM


Forty-five renowned national and international "Deep Blues" bands perform at the 2nd annual Deep Blues Music & Film Festival on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 18-20, 2008. This festival celebrates the alternative and punk blues sound as well as the modern juke joint music of the Deep South with bands from 18 states as well as Italy, Australia, Canada, and the UK.

Due to the expansion and popularity of the festival, the new location is the Washington County Fairgrounds by Lake Elmo, on the East Side of Minneapolis/St Paul, MN. The bigger venue accommodates the additional acts and anticipated larger crowds. Two stages side by side allows for continuous music throughout the three days. Tickets are now on sale and this unique event is once again drawing music lovers from across the country and overseas including France, England, and Australia.

The lineup for the Deep Blues Festival includes:
. Richard Johnston
. Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers
. T-Model Ford
. Scissormen
. Black-Eyed Snakes
. Black Diamond Heavies
. Bob Log III
. Scott H. Biram
. Left Lane Cruiser
. Hillstomp
. Charlie Parr
. and 34 other national and international acts

The film festival, which features many music-related films, is free and open to the public at the fairgrounds throughout the weekend.

The Deep Blues Festival prides itself in being a "fan friendly" event. Free parking, affordable ticket prices and concessions, no ticket service fees, and plenty of room for the fans are guaranteed. A limited quantity of discount advance three day passes are available at the two festival websites




Ticket Sales

Advance Tickets On Sale Now!

All persons 21 and older must have a festival ticket. Children under 21 are free, but must be accompanied by their parent.

No handling fees, convenience charges, or shipping fees. Sales tax is included.

Advance three day passes are $75 and advance single day tickets are $30. These will be sold on our websites until July 8th only, to allow for mailing. At the festival, 3 day passes will be sold on Friday for $90 and single day tickets at the fest will be $35, but may not be available.

Please visit our myspace page for more details or go to our ticket page and store to purchase.



All of the proceeds from our pop and water concessions at the festival will be going to support the 3 Days Breast Cancer walk.

Join the thousands of women and men who will come together to walk 60 miles over the course of three days to fight breast cancer.

Net proceeds from the Breast Cancer 3-Days benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

Please visit www.The3Day.org or call 800.996.3DAY to register today.

Breast Cancer 3-Days


Schedule - Location - Directions

Gates will open at 10am each day with music starting at 11am and finishing at 9:30pm. There will be a number of festival bands performing at night in twin cities area clubs throughout the weekend.

The Washington County Fairgrounds are just east of Lake Elmo MN. Take I-94 to exit 253 and go north on Manning Ave (hwy 15) four miles. A link to the Washington County Fairground website and map is here.

Tentative festival schedule:

Friday July 18
11:00am CuzN Wildweed
11:30am The BirdDogs
12:00noon Smokestack and the Foothill Fury
12:30pm .357 String Band
1:00pm GravelRoad
1:30pm Chris Cotton
2:00pm Jawbone
2:30pm Jimmy "Duck Holmes
3:15pm The Moaners
3:45pm Juke Joint Duo feat Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm
4:45pm Left Lane Cruiser
5:30pm T-Model Ford
6:30pm Black-Eyed Snakes
7:30pm Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early
8:30pm Richard Johnston

Saturday July 19
11:00am Bluesboy Jag
11:30am Illinois John Fever
12:00noon Pure Country Gold
12:30pm Adam Posnak
1:00pm Those Poor Bastards
1:30pm Charlie Parr
2:15pm Honkeyfinger
3:00pm Boogaloosa Prayer
3:45pm Pearlene
4:30pm Hillstomp
5:15pm Buffalo Killers
6:00pm Pat MacDonald
6:45pm Dex Romweber Duo
7:30pm Black Diamond Heavies
8:30pm Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers

Sunday July 20
11:00am Luther the Devil
11:30am The Dead or Alives
12:00noon Cicada Omega
12:30pm The Pack A.D.
1:00pm John Schooley
1:30pm Black Smokers
2:15pm Patrick Sweaney
3:00pm Mudlow
3:45pm American Relay
4:30pm Tarbox Ramblers
5:15pm Silver Lion's 20/20 
6:00pm Possessed By Paul James
6:45pm Scissormen
7:30pm Scott H. Biram
8:30pm Bob Log III

Film Festival

Screenings | Trailers | Submission info

We will be screening a number of music related films throughout the weekend at the fairgrounds in Hooley Hall. The film festival is free and open to the public. Seating is first available to the music festival Sponsor Ticket holders, then to the music festival ticket holders then to the public.

A complete list and further details will be published once all entries screened after mid-April. Films will include: Deep Blues, Hard Times, Songs Inside The Box, Jescofest 2006, Hasil Adkins - Live @ Local 506, A Journey Through The Blues - The Son Seals Story, Born In The Honey - The Pinetop Perkins Story, Electrified, Getting the Blues. Below are more of the films with links to trailers. Click on the titles to to view trailers.

"Hill Country Troubadour"
Directed by Max Shores
"Seven Signs"
Filmmakers: a film by JD Wilkes with Blake 
Judd, Todd Tue, and Jacob Ennis.
"One Man In the Band"
Filmmaker: Adam Clitheroe
"M for Mississippi"
Filmmakers: Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle
"Running Heavy"
Filmmaker: Nicholas Robespierre
"Journey South"
Filmmaker: Niles Atallah
"Dare You To Do It Again"
Produced by Olga Wilhelmine Munding-Mathus and Tyler B. Austin, foundation website: www.jmhemphill.org
"Cross Country with the Snakes"
Filmmaker: Hansi Johnson
"You See Me Laughing"
Directed by: Mandy Stein
"Willie King - Down In The Woods"
Produced & Directed by: Saskia Rietmeijer and Bart Drolenga
"Cheat You Fair. The Story of Maxwell Street"
Director/writer: Phil Ranstrom
"The Folksinger"
Filmmaker: M.A. Littler
"My Blue Star"
Filmmaker: Ron Smith



Anyone who has attended the Deep Blues Festival on a regular basis probably see many familiar faces as well as loads of new ones. I happened to run into a musician and fellow lover of blues for several years which then developed into a long distance friendship. J was one of many who were performers looking to make it to the big stage, but currently living the working man's life - stuck with a job that paid the rent but held him back otherwise. Living the blues was his source of inspiration and made his music more meaningful. He worked as a driver for a company specializing in medical waste disposal. His biggest clients were doctors and clinics in need of needles disposal. So when you hear his lyrics about "getting rid of them needles" or "syringes from hell" you might think he was a junkie, but he was riffing on his day job! But his band is great and he thinks he has a chance to get on the bill for next years event. I still attend the Deep Blues Festival every year although the originator is not handling the nitty gritty of the festival. Looking forward to the next.. and the next..and the next. See ya'll there.



Accommodations - Hotels - Camping

There are many hotels near the festival site and convenient to the twin cities. Our featured festival hotel and Deep Blues Sponsor is:


ST PAUL, MN 55119

The Holiday Inn St Paul East is proud to be the official lodging choice for the Deep Blues Festival. The hotel is located centrally between downtown St Paul (4 miles) and the fairgrounds (10 miles). We have something for everyone with a restaurant and lounge onsite; as well as pool, hot tub, fitness center and game room. We also feature free parking and wireless property-wide. The hotel has just completed a multimillion dollar renovation in April 2008. Come and enjoy the new Holiday Inn St Paul East! We are proud to offer all Deep Blues Festival goers the discounted rate of $95 + tax per night. Ask for the Deep Blues Festival rate when calling. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites - Hudson WI (800) 821-2228


We will not have camping and sorry no dogs at the fairgrounds. There is a campsite a few miles south at St Paul East RV Park



Festival merchandise, food and beverage will be available. This is a fan friendly event and you may carry in your own meals and coolers. For safety, no glass containers, please! If you are interested in being a vendor at the the festival please contact us at: info(AT)deepbluesfestival(DOT)com for more information and specify "vendor" in the subject.




To volunteer and work a few hours at the festival, please send your contact information to info(AT)deepbluesfestival(DOT)com for more information and scheduling. Please mention "volunteer" in the email subject. Volunteers will still need to purchase their festival tickets.



Band submissions for 2008 are no longer being accepted. To be considered for 2009, please forward to info(AT)deepbluesfestival(DOT)com for more information and specify "band submissions".

Final Deadline for film submissions ended: March 31 2008. More specific details check out the film page on this site, also the myspace Deep Blues Film Festivalpage.