2022 Festival is in full planning!

The 2022 Festival with Women of the Blues looks to be our best yet!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2015 Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park set for Saturday, August 29th!

Our planning for 2015 is underway.  Saturday, August 29, 2015 is on the weekend before Labor Day and is our date for our 6th annual Crossroads Blues Festival which will be held again at Lyran Park.

Albert Castiglia has agreed to come play for us.  We recently caught up with him at the Blues Blast Music Awards.  He's won several Blues Blast Awards over the years.  His high energy rocking blues will be a great act to grace our stage!

8 PM

Coming off a hot 2014 Delmark Record with rave reviews and sold out performances is Dave Specter!  With him is the great Chicago vocalist Sharon Lewis who always puts on a fantastic show.  Brother John Kattke joins the mix on keys and vocals!
6 PM

2014 Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee Mike Wheeler and his band will also be playing for us.  His Delmark Recordings are all big hits and we think that our blues fans will really love this act!
4 PM
Local young harp great Justin "Boots" Gates is coming to do a harmonica workshop!
3:30 PM
Returning from Down Under will be our great Australian blues friends Stormcellar.  Jo Fitzgerald will be joining them again.  They will perform new and old music, including the song "Rock River" which they wrote while here earlier this year.  You can listen on the link below and download from itunes, CD Baby, and Amazon!

Our Blues Challenge Competition winners will also be playing there:

- Band Competition Winner Jimmy Nick and Don't Tell Mama will open the day on the main stage


- Solo/Duo Competition Winner Dan Phelps will play solo acoustic between acts in the Pavilion

Here's a map-  Mapquest and some GPS were really messing up last year but we fixed all that with Google. MapQuest and Bing Maps.  The address is 4781 S. Bend Rd., Rockford, IL, 61101 and it's less than a half mile east of where the road ends at Kishwaukee Road. Go west on Baxter from I39 and it becomes South Bend Road.  Many GPS units and Mapquest tried to send fans to South Bend and IL-251's intersection.  It is a couple of miles further west of that location on South Bend Road.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thank You to Everyone Who Came Out to the 5th Annual Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park!

It looked grim early in the day.  A slight drizzle began as Stormcellar took the stage to open the festival.  About 20-30 minutes into the set the skies opened but there was no lightning or thunder so the show went on.  It lasted about 30 minutes as heavy rain and then light rain fell till about 2:30 PM.  It was hazy the rest of the day until the sun came out about 6 PM; the weather and park were great as it all drained away at the venue and show were ready to go!  Thanks to all who came out and especially to those who braved the entire day!  A special thanks to the Lyran Society who were our partners for this great event.  Lyran Park was a great location for our festival and we will be planning for 2015 soon!

Here are a few pictures of the festival.  For more go to:
2014 Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park Photo Album

Stormcellar from Sydney, Australia.
Rain?  It's not so bad!

 Stormcellar- Jo and Mike
 Beer Ticket Sales and Friends
 The corn was good as was all the food!

 The rain is letting up!
 Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames

 Dave Weld Testifies to the Crowd
 Joe Filisko Harp Workshop
 Joe and Zoe Instructing their Students
 WNIJ at Blues Central
Bert Gray (WNIJ Development Director) and Saturday Night Blues Host David James

Merch Sales
Sales were actually good!

Filskpo showing that no hands are needed to play
Rick Raven and Dave Weld playing the same guitar
Benny Rickun on Harp
Rev Raven hitting a high note
Danny kicked his stool away as he played "Wild Child"
Hardtime Cigar Box Raffle
The lucky winner gets his guitar from Randy Shuld

Crossroads President and Festival Chair Steve Jones take the ALS challenge without even flinching!
Mel Ford- Madison's Guitar Great
Barrelhouse Chuck- master of the blues piano!
Westside Andy Linderman- no one plays harp like him!
Lurrie Bell- headliner extraordinaire with a Blues royalty band!
Lurrie and the Band
Roosevelt Purfoy Jr.

Willie "The Touch" Hayes
Melvin Smith
 Lurrie Bell

Monday, August 11, 2014

What to Drink and Eat at the Fest

Beginning with drinking, beers are $4.00.  You can have the standard fare of many of the Bud, Miller and Coors products or the sweet stuff that Bud and Mike's make, or you can sample these fine beers.  We've got a great IPA and Porter from a craft brewery in Chicago, Sam, Blue Moon, two of Oberon's nice ales, Goose Island Wheat beer and Stella.  Not a bad selection!  Pop and water will be only a buck!

Food is also important.  We've got a few vendors with some great stuff.  Smokehouse BBQ has their fare to sample, Anjan's Eats has bourbon glazed chops and all sort of other good stuff and Take Outz is offering Italian beef and sausage.  There will be some more good stuff, too!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Getting Around Lyran Park

Handicapped assisted entry- we have golf carts that can transport 
attendees from parking to the festival area.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fifth Annual Crossroads Blues Festival August 23, 2014

Press Release
5th Annual Crossroads Blues Festival
August 8, 2014

Lurrie Bell, the great multiple Blues Music Award nominee and 2014 BMA winning artist for top blues song of the year, will headline the Fifth Annual Crossroads Blues Festival.  Held for the last four years in Byron, IL, the fest has moved to Lyran Park and will be held on Saturday, August 23rd.  Gates open at 10 AM and the music starts at noon.  Advanced tickets are $5 and entry is $10 at the gate.  5 and under get in free with an adult.  Camping is available for both Friday and Saturday night on a limited basis.   $20 per day for campers and RVs, tents are $10 each per day.

Lurrie Bell now records on the Chicago legendary blues label Delmark Records and his latest release Blues In My Soul was one of 2013’s top albums.  His 2012 The Devil Ain’t Got No Music was also highly acclaimed and featured Lurrie in an acoustic mode doing Gospel and Delta blues in a truly amazing set of performances on Aria Records.  He was also a fixture on both volumes of Chicago Blues: A Living History and has a number of great prior releases.  Son of the famed harp player Carey Bell, Lurrie has been playing guitar since he was five years old. After years playing church as a youth, he was playing with Willie Dixon at the age of 17.  In 1977 he was one of the Founding members of Dixon’s and Billy Branch’s Sons of the Blues.  A year or so later he was touring with Koko Taylor. 

A series of personal demons beset him but they were overcome and he released several albums for Delmark and then released a BMA nominated album with Dad Carey on Alligator Records.  He then began recording on his own label, Aria Records and later was part of the Chicago Blues Living History sessions prior to his return to his old “home” at Delmark Records.  His recordings and works have been nominated for a host of prestigious awards.  Bell goes on stage at 8 PM with his band and they are also some of the best in the blues world.  Melvin Smith joins Lurrie on bass.  Melvin was Koko Taylor’s bass player and traveled the world with her.  He now plays with both Lurrie and John Primer and is one of the greatest bass players out there!  Willie “The Touch” Hayes appears on drums.  Willie was also with Koko and has played with greats like Luther Allison.  He is one of the most respected percussionists around!  Roosevelt “Mad Hatter” Purfoy performs a jazz inflected blues style deeply influenced by gospel music on keyboards; he is highly in demand and has performed with many greats.

This 8 PM show will cap off a day of blues with four other great bands and two performers.  The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band with Barrelhouse Chuck goes on at 6 PM, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys are on at 4 PM, Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames go on at 2 PM and the day opens at noon with Stormcellar, a blues and root band all the way from Sydney, Australia!  Joe Filisko will hold a harmonica workshop at 2 PM and RAMI Youth Jam winner Justin “Boots” Gates performs between the stage acts over in the park’s pavilion.

Call 779-537-4006 for more info!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lurrie Bell to Healdine 8/23 at Lyran Park!

The great Lurrie Bell will headline this year's fest at Lyran Park on Saturday, August 23rd.  His set begins at 8 PM.  Lurrie received the 2014 Blues Music Award for Song of the Year for "Blues In My Soul" !!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Official! Lyran Park, Here We Come! August 23, 2014

It's official!  Crossroads Blues Society and the Lyran Society have agreed to co-chair the 2014 Crossroads Blues Festival at Lyran Park.  Nestled along the banks of the Kishwaukee River and Kilbuck Creek and just south of Rockford Airport, Lyran Park is a wonderful, private setting for a festival.

Located along South Bend Road and just a quarter of a mile east of it's intersection with Kishwaukee Road, Lyran Park is a beautiful wooded setting with a great stage right along the riverfront.  A gently sloping bank affords a great view of the stage from your folding chairs or blankets as you sit in the shade or sun and enjoy the festival.

As you enter the park from the main entrance there is ample parking for more people than have ever attended the festival.  Camper camping with electricity is available in limited supply for $20 per camp vehicle/trailer.  Tent camping is also available for $10 per tent.  Entry into the festival is only $5 in advance and $10 at the gate.

After you park, there is a short, paved path down the hill to the festival grounds.  We will have a few golf arts for the handicapped and elderly access.  The area will be professionally sprayed prior to the fest to reduce mosquito populations (just in case).

The lineup is still under review but here is what we have so far.  Opening the day will be Australia's top blues and roots band Storm Cellar!  Bringing their brand of music to the stage (they call it "Ozicana") at noon, it will be a great opener for this 5th annual event in its new location. Next up will be Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames.  Working on their second Delmark Record release, Dave and the band are a rocking good time!

Two acts from above the "Cheddar Curtain" will also be featured.  Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys will bring their traveling blues revival show back to Rockford.  Westside Andy Linderman promised to sit in with Rik and the boys and with like Big Al Groth might actually make the trip down with his sax, too.  Add in Danny "Pork Chop" Moore on keys and it will swing! 

Westside Andy Linderman and Mel Ford will also be there, accompanied by incomparable Barrelhouse Chuck on piano and organ.  Chuck learned at the feet of masters like Sunnyland Slim and Little Brother Montgomery and is probably the best blues man on the 88 keys today.  Mel and Andy will bring their smooth sound down from Madison and the party will be in full swing!

The headliner is 2014 BMA Winner Lurrie Bell.  His song "Blues In My Soul" from a Delmark Record of the same title was song of the year! Lurrie is one of the pre-eminent guitar players in the blues world and will light up the stage with his great guitar work!

Between acts we have RAMI Youth Jam winner Justin Boots Gates.  This 14 year old wunderkind plays guitar, harmonica and sings in a great traditional style.  He is the real deal and will play in the covered pavilion across from the stage between sets and may stick around afterwards if the crowd wants more!

We have some food vendors lined up but may take a couple more.  We hope you can join us for our fifth and biggest festival yet!  Gates open at 10 AM.