Heartbreakers hosted the acts originally scheduled for the main stage. Being an open-air venue, it allowed spectators out on the street to get involved.
Billy Peek performed "Roll Over Big Muddy: A Tribute to the Father of Rock 'n' Roll," that is, Mr. Chuck Berry. What a refresher course on how important Chuck Berry -- who released his first album 55 years ago -- is to rock 'n' roll. An hour and a half wasn't enough time to perform all of Chuck Berry's hits. Billy even did Chuck's famous duck walk.
From the old to the new, Royal Southern Brotherhood ignited the place. With both Mike Zito and Devon Allman being hometowners, this brand new band and the crowd were really into it. Add Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers, Yonrico Scott -- formerly the drummer for Derek Trucks Band -- and Charlie Wooten on bass, and you've got the ingredients for a rockin' good time. They played almost every song off their debut album "New Horizons." "Moonlight Over the Mississippi," which contains a reference to St. Louis, and "Fire On the Mountain," a Grateful Dead cover, brought the walls down.
San Franciscan Joe Louis Walker headlined the show. JLW has played with all the greats, including John Lee Hooker, Buddy Miles, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Jimi Hendrix. He's out in support of his new CD, "Hellfire." JLW can slow it down to a Delta blues crawl, and then, as the title track shows, jump on the wah-wah pedal and smoke.
All photos by Rick Priest.