Lounging on the golf course with plentiful sunshine and the Pacific Ocean playing backdrop – what could be a better setting to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of live blues music? The Avila Beach Blues Festival packed in the music lovers once again at this beautiful central California coast town for the 17th run of this annual Memorial weekend extravaganza. Concert-goers arrived early to claim their lawn space with beach chairs and blankets, while those in reserved seating sauntered in just before show time to slip into their front and center seats and side tables. The sun was out in full force, causing the usual lengthy lines of hot and thirsty customers at the drink concessions, begging to be shot by the folks with water spray bottles.
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk started the festival with their rousing brand of funk, and the bodies really started moving once Tower of Power hit the stage with their self-proclaimed urban soul music. An impressive horn section plays a key role in this band that has been around for more than 40 years, and still gets people to jump to their feet to shake their groove thing.
Headliner Jonny Lang impressed with his amazing guitar work, but at times it sounded more like a practice session than a performance. Maybe that’s part of his charm. After all, he did get a Grammy nomination. This festival never disappoints, and is a fantastic way to kick off the summer.
RV travelers can find a place to park just a few miles up the road at Avila Hot Springs Resort. Full hookups are provided for RVs up to 30 feet in length, and dry camping is available for longer vehicles. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates are available, and visitors can enjoy the swimming pool and natural hot springs. The resort is located two miles from the beach on Avila Beach Drive, and next to the Bob Jones bike trail. For more information, see their website.