The bands are booked and counting down to the start of one of the most anticipated weekends in Coeur d’Alene for area blues fans: the COEUR D’ALENE BLUES FESTIVAL. On March 20 the Coeur d’Alene Resort hosts what the Inland Empire Blues Society has dubbed “best blues festival” five times running!
It’s easy to see why. Locals will love experiencing their favorite bands in new and unusual venues, as well as getting to know acts they might not have heard before. Start the weekend off with one of the region’s beloved R&B performers: Sara Brown, who when it’s just her and her husband Jesse goes by Rusty and Ginger. They’re at Whispers Friday evening — no cover — for an intimate little performance full of sass that’ll get your toes tappin.’
If you’ve been to any blues events in the Northwest, you’ve heard of and fallen for Soul Proprietor, a big nine-piece band with an even bigger sound. They have a lot of fun laying on the horn, covering bands like Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears for more than 20 years, and they’re headlining the Friday Night Live event at the Resort ($10).
The rooftop of the resort is the place to be on Saturday for Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips ($5). They’ve been a Northwest favorite since 1994 with groovy tunes like “Comin Home-More Peas” and their funky rendition of Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces.”
Also on Saturday, you have not heard nor seen anything like the electric-guitar stylings of Ana Popovic. Fresh from recording her latest album — produced by none other than the legendary Keb’ Mo’ — Popovic is one of five bands featured Saturday evening at the all-out blues bash inside the resort convention center ($42.50), which also includes Lloyd Jones Struggle, Rae Gordon Band, Sugaray Rayford and Whack A Mole.
Of course, that’s only a smattering of what’s happening during Blues Festival weekend. Friday night you can climb aboard your choice of two separate lake cruises featuring either The Doghouse Boyz or the Kenny James Miller Band and cruise on over to the Hagadone Event Center for a performance by Lloyd Jones Struggle (Blues Fest Cruise tickets only available to Blues package holders). Sunday features the Gospel Brunch at Dockside and the Blues Cruise Sunday brunch. Several ticket bundles are available, like the weekend package. Enjoy a two-night stay, dining credit, and two all-access passes to performances on Friday and Saturday both (starting at $289 per night). Make it a VIP experience for $50 more and hang out with the artists at one of the resort’s posh private suites, with reserved VIP seating during Friday’s five-band blowout plus early boarding for the Friday cruise. Visit cdaresort.com for details, including online ticket purchases and room reservations.
Doug E. Fresh Banked Slalom
This banked slalom race is hand dug and weaves its way down the terrain park — finishing at the Grand Teton beer garden! Even if you’re not racing, this event is a good time.
Ski Bum Prom Night
Ski under light and then dance the night away at the mountain summit with live music and drink specials at Moguls. Wear your best retro ski attire and get some awkward snapshots with your date. Lift tickets $15 valid from 3-8 pm. Moguls will remain open until 9 pm.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Coeur d’Alene turns green St. Patrick’s Day weekend, starting with the annual parade which marches down Sherman Avenue, starting at Eighth Avenue and finishing at First Avenue. Visit cda4.fun for complete rundown of St. Patrick’s day parties, cruises and events.