History

A BRIEF HISTORY…

It all started in the spring of 1981, with a sold out concert at the San Jose Civic Auditorium by the rock group, Ambrosia. The Associated Students wanted to do a Free of Charge show to repay their fans for their support during the year. The board of directors decided on a blues festival because 1) the blues is an art form that cuts across every demographic line known to man, 2) blues artists usually don’t cost an arm and a leg to contract, and 3) there was almost no blues in San Jose at that time. To everyone’s surprise about 1,000 fans appeared to see mostly local acts, and just seemed to have a grand time of it. Some money was put aside earlier in 1982, John Lee Hooker and the Coast to Coast Blues Band was hired to headline, around 2,500 people came and the rest is history.

In 1997, the Festival had some financial problems and was on the verge of going under when our friends at Metro Newspapers signed on as the presenting sponsor.  Metro has kept its commitment ever since to  “Save the Blues” for San Jose and the South Bay.

35 Years of Lineups:

First Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2, 1981

  • Ron Thompson and the Resistors
  • Little Charlie and the Nitecats
  • J. J. Malone
  • Troyce Key and the Rhythm Rockers
  • Charlie Musselwhite
  • Tom Mc Farland
  • Imam Omar Shariff
  • The House Rockers
  • Mark Naftalin’s R and B Revue
  • Dr. Wild Willie Moore
  • Mississippi Johnny Waters
  • Sonny Rhodes
  • Sugar Pie DeSanto

Second Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 1, 1982

  • John Lee Hooker
  • Ron Thompson and the Resistors
  • Buddy Ace
  • BBQ Barnes
  • Francis Clay
  • Sonny Lane
  • Little Frankie Lee
  • Sid Morris
  • Mississippi Johnny Waters

Third Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 7, 1983

  • Koko Taylor and the Chicago Blues All Stars
  • The Oakland All-Stars
  • The Broadway Blues Band with John “Broadway” Tucker
  • Roy Rogers
  • R. B. Fire

Fourth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 12, 1984

  • Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
  • The Chris Cain Band
  • Luther Tucker All Stars Blues Revue
  • Ms.Maxine Howard
  • Little John Chrisley

Fifth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 12, 1985

  • Bo Diddley with the Rat Band and Lady Bo
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • Nick Gravenites
  • Ms. Maxine Howard
  • Johnny Heartsman
  • Little John Chrisley and the Hair Of The Dog

Sixth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 11, 1986

  • John Lee Hooker and the Coast To Coast Blues Band
  • with Roy Rogers and Michael Osborn- guitars; Kenny Baker-Sax; John Missocco, bass; and Tim Michael, Drums
  • The Bobby Murray Band
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • The Rat Band with Tim Kiehatsu
  • Little Frankie Lee
  • Little John Chrisley and the Hair Of The Dog

Seventh Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 10, 1987

  • Katie Webster
  • Nitecry
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • (HELP! This is all we have of that year’s lineup. Ted Gehrke lost his booking book for that year and the poster is not in any of our files! DOES ANY ONE REMEMBER? REWARDS! Call Ted Gehrke at 408-924-6262)

Eighth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 8, 1988

  • Buddy Guy
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • The Bobby Murray Band with Maurice Mc Kinnies and Vivian Irvine
  • Andy Just and the Shapes
  • Little John Chrisley
  • Beau Kane’s Blues Train

Ninth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 7, 1989

  • Otis Rush
  • Johnny Heartsman
  • Earl “Good Rockin” Brown
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • Nitecry
  • The John Garcia Blues Band

Tenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday May 6, 1990

  • Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
  • Johnny Heartsman
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • Nitecry
  • Madylan Rose
  • Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers

Eleventh Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 5, 1991

  • Slide Guitar Shootout
  • Johnnie Shines with Kent Duchine
  • **Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
  • John Mooney
  • Robert Lowery with Virgil Thrasher
  • Nitecry
  • The Back to Back Blues Band
  • **Roy Rogers, booking consultant

Twelfth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 17, 1992

  • Harmonica Heaven
  • Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers
  • The Junior Watson/ Lynwood Slim Blues Band
  • The Bobby Murray Band
  • Andy Just and the Shapes
  • The Gary Smith Blues Band
  • Little John Chrisley
  • Ginny Sakellar

Thirteenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Sunday, May 2, 1993

  • Women and the Blues
  • La Vern Baker
  • The Debbie Davies Blues Band
  • Taylor P. Collins
  • Vala Cupp
  • Liz Fisher
  • Beverly Stovall
  • Lady Bianca Thornton
  • Nancy Wright
  • The Great Nitecry (On Stage for 4 Hours!!)

Fourteenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, April 24, 1994 (RAINED OUT)

  • Little Charlie and the Nitecats
  • Zakiya Hooker
  • Smokey Wilson
  • The Johnny Nocturne Band with Brenda Boykin
  • W. H. A. T. (Wedemeyer, Hayes and Tarsey)

Fourteenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 14, 1994

  • Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
  • Sista Monica
  • Zakiya Hooker
  • The Johnny Nocturne Band with Brenda Boykin
  • W. H. A. T. (Wedemeyer, Hayes and Tarsey)

Fifteenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 13, 1995

  • Jimmy Rogers and the Chicago Blues All-Stars
  • Johnnie Johnson (backed by the Tommy Castro Band)
  • Sista Monica
  • Mark Hummell and the Blues Survivors
  • The Tommy Castro Band

Sixteenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 18, 1996

  • Lowell Folson with the Kevin Coggins Band
  • Johnnie Johnson (backed by the Tommy Castro Band)
  • Pam Hawkins
  • James Armstrong
  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • The Elmer Lee Thomas Blues Revue

Seventeenth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 10, 1997

  • The Texas Blues
  • The Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band with Bnois King
  • Lou Ann Barton
  • Angela Strehli
  • Derek O’Brien
  • Antone’s House Band
  • Pete Mayes
  • Kelly Joe Phelps

Eighteenth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 9, 1998

  • Great Guitars
  • R. L. Burnside with Kenny Brown
  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • Eddie King and the Swampbees
  • Deborah Coleman
  • Barry Levinson with Sherry Pruitt and Edward Earl Thomas
  • The Ray Bailey Band

Nineteenth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 8, 1999

  • Son Seals (backed by the Sammy Varela Band)
  • Howard and the White Boys
  • Chris Cain
  • Sugar Pie DeSanto
  • Rusty Zinn
  • Terry Hanck and the Soul Rockers

Twentieth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 13, 2000

  • Bo Diddley with the Debby Hastings Band
  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • Sista Monika
  • Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers
  • Murali Coryell
  • Jimmy D. Lane
  • The Jimmy Dewrence Blues Band

Twenty-first Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 12, 2001

  • Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
  • Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
  • The Smokin Joe Kubek Band with Bnois King
  • Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets with Sam Myers
  • The Imperial Crowns
  • The Kaye Bohler Blues Band

Twenty-second Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 11, 2002

  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • Magic Slim and The Teardrops
  • E.C. Scott and Smoke
  • Corby Yates
  • Mighty Mo Rodgers
  • The Cathy Lemons – Johnny Ace Blues Band

Twenty-third Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 11, 2002

  • Bernard Allison
  • Sista Monica
  • Corby Yates
  • Blue Monday – with Ron E. Beck, Chris Cain, Clifford Coulter, and Danny Hull
  • Rene Solis and the Persuaders featuring Gary Smith, with special guest, Essra Mohawk
  • The Shane Dwight Band

Twenty-fourth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 8, 2004

  • Canned Heat
  • Otis Taylor
  • Lady Bianca
  • The J. C. Smith Band
  • The Shane Dwight Band
  • Ron Hacker and the Hacksaws

Twenty-fifth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

  • Etta James and the Roots Band
  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • Chris Cain
  • Craig Horton
  • The Lara Price Band
  • David Jacobs-Strain

Twenty-fifth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

  • Etta James and the Roots Band
  • The Tommy Castro Band
  • Chris Cain
  • Craig Horton
  • The Lara Price Band
  • David Jacobs-Strain

Twenty-sixth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday May 13th, 2006

  • Great Guitars 2
  • Magic Slim and the Teardrops
  • Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
  • The Craig Horton Band with special guest Rusty Zinn
  • The Debbie Davies Band
  • Johnny A
  • The Daniel Castro Band

Twenty-seventh Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

  • Buddy Guy
  • Sista Monica
  • Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
  • Jason Ricci and New Blood
  • The J.C. Smith Band
  • The Lara Price Band

Twenty-eighth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

  • The Robert Cray Band
  • Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine
  • Sonny Landreth
  • The Smokin’ Joe Kubeck Band Ft. Bnois King
  • The Shane Dwight Band
  • Maxx Cabello Jr.

Twenty-ninth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

  • The Derek Trucks Band
  • The Tommy Castro Band ft. Chris Cain
  • Lurrie Bell
  • The Candye Cain Band ft. Laura Chavez
  • The Bay Area Blues Society Caravan of Allstars
  • John Wedemeyer and Friends

Thirtieth Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

  • Otis Taylor
  • Bettye LaVette
  • Metro Fountain Blues All-Stars
  • Sista Monica
  • Jason Ricci & The New Blood
  • Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Thirty-First Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

  • Roomfil of Blues
  • Tommy Castro with special guests Guitar Shorty, Rod Piazza and Sista Monica
  • The Guitar Shorty Band
  • The Metro Fountain Blues Festival All-Stars

Thirty-Second Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

  • Elvin Bishop
  • CANNED HEAT featuring Fito de la Parra, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, and and Dale Spalding
  • Ruthie Foster
  • The Chicago Blues Guitar Shootout with Lurrie Bell and John Primer

Thirty-Third Annual Metro Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday July 20, 2013

  • Girls Got the Blues
  • Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings
  • Ruthie Foster
  • John Mayall

Thirty-Fourth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday June 20th, 2015

  • Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • John Nikki Hill
  • Nemeth
  • John Primer
  • Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic

Thirty-Fifth Annual Fountain Blues Festival

Saturday June25th, 2016

  • Otis Taylor Band
  • Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
  • Maria Muldaur with her Red Hot Blues Band
  • The Delgado Brothers
  • Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir