A Happening Blues Gig in Libbey Park

No one really needs a reason to be a slug in the sunshine in Ojai, but here’s one anyway. Saturday in Libbey Park, and clearly a cultural landslide, is the 11th Annual Bowlful of Blues.

Joe Louis Walker & the Boss Talkers, recently signed to the big time with Polygram, will headline this year’s show. He’s a blues dude with a happening horn section making his first Bowlful appearance since 1987. This gig has been going on so long now, it’s got history.

Maria Muldaur, mostly remembered for her ‘70s hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” has since reinvented herself as a Louisiana swamp blues artist--and not a moment too soon. Her Black Top Records labelmates, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, have got that jump blues thing figured out. Which probably means you’ll be jumping out of your seats to dance. Now Mike Piazza can hit for a better average, but Rod plays a better harmonica.

Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers, making their West Coast debut, are this week’s happening zydeco band. Whether he sings in English or French, your feet will know what to do. Robert Lowery, a Delta guitar kind of guy, will be accompanied by his permanent partner, harmonica whiz Virgil Thrasher.


Representing the local roots music scene will be Santa Barbara’s Little Jonny & the Giants. Although they’d have more friends if they were Little Jonny & the Dodgers, the band, nonetheless, contains several virtuoso players, among them Jim Calire on keyboards and sax, Bill Flores on everything else, not to mention Jonny Lawton himself on guitar and vocals.

Tickets for the show are $23 at the gate or $20 beforehand at the usual places. All sorts of food will be served under the oaks. Permitted are picnic baskets, blankets or low-backed chairs. On the taboo list are booze, high-backed chairs, dogs, video cameras and, once again, no grenade launchers.

Gates open at 1 p.m. with show time at 2 p.m. How you could need more information seems inconceivable, but should you just want to call someone, the number is 646-7230.