Photo essay: Sacramento Music Festival

Trombone Shorty played an electrifying Friday-night set.

by Paul Piazza

The Sacramento Music Festival transformed Old Sacramento into the musical and party center of the Memorial Day weekend universe. Continuing to build on its theme of bringing in acts to attract a younger audience, excellent headliners—including an electrifying Friday-night set by Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, a Saturday-night set by Mat Kearney, and a Sunday-night set by Collective Soul—seemed to draw a large and diverse crowd to the event.

But with nearly 20 venues for music lovers to explore, amazing sounds were to be found everywhere for those willing to mosey around in the hot temperatures. Among other acts who stood out were the incredibly festive Texas Tornadoes and the powerhouse set by Stray Cats co-founder Lee Rocker. There was also a national act, Meschiya Lake and the Lil’ Big Horns who transformed their six sets over three days into a time machine that would transport the listener to the French Quarter in the 1930s.

Local and regional acts that stood out included the Zydeco Flames, Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame, Joy and Madness and young harmonica sensation Kyle Rowland. A special and well deserved tribute was paid on the final day to Mick Martin, who has long been a champion for blues and live music in the Sacramento area. Long may you ride, Mick!

Here are some photos from the weekend:

Flaco Jiménez of Texas Tornados plays a mean conjunto accordion.

Meschiya Lake brought blues and style to the festival.

Local legend and radio-show host Mick Martin smiled before performing.

Mick Martin was feelin’ it during a performance.

Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame is a blues band from Modesto.

Festivalgoers danced to some jams.

The Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band & Temperance Society, LMTD. brought its antics to the festival.

Barbecue oysters were a big hit.

Lee Rocker slapped the double bass.

Trombone Shorty rocked the mic during his Friday-night set.

Zydeco Flames brought washboards into its groovy set.

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