The Annual Lowcountry Blues Bash

Image by Flickr user -Chad Johnson

Update February 3: The Charleston City Paper has scoped out the festival and names eight highlight events during the first week of the festival; get the rundown here.

First reporting: The Lowcountry Blues Bash is the area's best celebration of the genre and the annual week-and-a-half festival starts Friday, February 5, and runs through the 16th.

This years featured performers include: Eddie KirklandBryan Lee & The Blues Power Band, and Beverly Guitar Watkins.

Here's more details from the festival:

Eddie Kirkland – ‘The Gypsy of the Blues’ (Georgia)

An enduring presence on the scene for over six decades, octagenarian guitarist/singer/harmonica player Eddie Kirkland is one of the last of a great generation of American bluesmen. Born in Jamaica but raised in the Deep South, Eddie was mentored, as a youth, by some of the country blues players living near his rural home. Migrating later to Detroit, he met and worked with John Lee Hooker through the late 1940s before embarking on his own illustrious career. Since that time, he has recorded a catalog of records for a variety of labels and continues to travel worldwide with his music. Don’t miss this rare chance to catch a blues legend in action.

Bryan Lee (‘Braille Blues Daddy’) & The Blues Power Band (New Orleans)

Bryan Lee is the fabled blind singer/guitarist who held court for years as house band at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Everyone from rock stars and politicians to locals and tourists knew that his was the blues gig to catch anytime you were in the Big Easy. Since Katrina, Bryan and his hot band have been on the road nonstop, taking their hard and happy blues gospel to the world. We’re delighted to host this fine artist in his Charleston debut; three scorching shows to choose from.

Beverly Guitar Watkins (Atlanta)

Everyone’s favorite rockin’ blues mama, Beverly Guitar Watkins turns 71 this year and shows no sign of slowing down. As an original member of Dr. Feel- good & the Interns (Piano Red’s infamous band in the early ’60s), Beverly (the band dressed in hospital garb; she was the nurse!) learned early in her career the value of hard work and show(wo)manship. She plays a mean guitar, sometimes duckwalking or playing with her teeth, sings with spirit, and plays from a fat songbook of both originals and classic blues and soul. Welcome back a true American original.

You can check out the event brochure to learn more.

In all it offers 53 acts over 12 days in 24 venues.