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JP Soars at Winter Park Blues from the Top Music Festival

JP Soars and his handmade guitar

It turned out to be another perfect weekend of beautiful weather and outstanding blues performances for the eighth annual Blues from the Top festival in Winter Park, Colorado.  This weekend is my personal favorite of all Winter Park music festivals because: 1) it kicks off the summer in Winter Park; and 2) you can dance to the blues music right in front of the stage. You must check it out sometime if you haven’t yet.

The festivities started on Friday night with Curtis Salgado followed by Andy Irvine’s Blues Collective at Music at the Mall at Cooper Creek Square, then moved over to Smokin’ Moes for the official Pre-Festival Jam with jam performances by the festival’s performers.   The dance floor at Smokin’ Moes was packed as usual and the musicians were clearly having as much fun as we were!

I missed the show on Saturday, but the highlight (from what I’ve heard) was the Walter Trout performance preceded by the hail strorm that swiftly cleared the park out for about 10 minutes. The cooler air after the storm was welcomed by my festival-goer friends, who came back to enjoy Walter and his band close out Saturday’s show.

Sunday’s show started out with a mimosa from one of the vendors, then my freinds and I settled in our campchairs to take in some sun and music. It wasn’t long though before we were up dancing to the tunes.  We had Curtis Salgado, Nick Moss and the Fliptops, Mike Zito, Theresa James, JP Soars and Trampled Under Foot.  JP Soars was especially entertaining with his handmade guitar (pictured). His high energy blues, paired with a deep soulful voice, was definitely a lot of fun to dance to. 

There were a lot of vendors to peruse between acts, plus good food like BBQ, Fried Catfish and Mexican. I loved the authentic $3 tamale and the mint chocolate chip ice cream for desert.  The continual lathering of sunscreen was necessary with all the wonderfully bright sunshine, with no afternoon thunderstorm or hardly a cloud in sight.  The Australian hat vendor sure must have made a killing, although be warned, he doesn’t take bargaining jokes lightly.

Ah, just another fun summer weekend in Winter Park, with plenty more to come. Next up is the Free Hi Country Music Festival, the Winter Park Jazz Festival, the Free Fox Classic Rock Festival and the Crankworx Colorado Mountain Bike Festival. The summer was just kicked off wonderfully by the Blues from the Top Music Fest.

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