Festival Blues Nights is held in Varniai for 24 years and is famous for its free spirit and the sense of brotherhood. Even the biggest blues music stars are surprisingly simple, and their list of requirements does not raise any concerns. “Sometimes we even ask more than once, whether or not everything is sufficient to the extent that is specified in the artist’s rider” – laughs the organizer Algirdas Barniškis-Blėka. He likes the simplicity of the stars, and while organizing other festivals, he had a lot of different experience and is accustomed to the most bizarre foreign artists and their needs, Blėka continues to wonder: “No bizarre needs?” In return, he is preparing a pleasant surprise for the musicians behind the scene – personally cooked “chili con carne” stew in the back of the stage.
The biggest Blues Nights festival star of this year is the American singer Earl Thomas. 56-year-old bluesman had the honor to work with BB King, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Costello. Sir Tom Jones, Solomon Burke and many others chose song lyrics written by Earl. Also, he was twice nominated for the Grammy Award, and four times has won the prestigious San Diego Award. But all these achievements haven’t made an impact on his behavior, and even though he is aware of his status, Earl remains surprisingly easygoing man.
This year, The Blues Nights festival also invited the exotic Shanna Waterstown. Her blues path started from the gospel choir, later she played with the New York musical troupe and even got into the famous Apollo Theater, and afterwards exchanged it to the Parisian cabaret. Shanna had the opportunity to warm up such musicians as James Brown, Buddy Guy and other blues legends. Despite that, Shanna remains simple, warm and grateful to everyone and everything.