Black History Month Profile: The Eastside Kings Blues Festival

The festival takes place every year on the second weekend in September and upholds the traditions of eastside Austin.

By Miles Bloxson, KUTXFebruary 5, 2024 10:15 am, , , , ,

From KUTX:

The Eastside Kings Blues Festival started in 2013, as an idea of bassist, producer, and veteran  Eddie Stout.

Stout created the Eastside Kings Foundation in 1999  along with recording and releasing an album also named Eastside Kings on Dialtone Records. The album featured several of Austin’s largely unknown veteran and emerging African American blues artists that Stout considered extremely talented including  Clarence Pierce, Willie Sampson, and Donald ‘Duck’ Jennings.

The first album’s popularity led to entire series of Eastside Kings albums. Soon after the Eastside King Festival was born. The naming of the festival was a tribute to the artists featured on the albums  and the East Austin post-war blues circuit.

Housed in several neighborhood venues along the 12th Street corridor all while bringing back the unique tradition of blues, jazz, and gospel music which provides a glimpse for just two nights of what the African American blues scene was really like from 40’s-60’s.

In the past performers like  Lavelle white, Blues Boy Willie, Jewel Brown and Tomar and the FC’s have graced the festival’s stage. This unique festival continues to remind us about the origins of Austin’s blues history and how it all really began in juke joints and bars populated by African Americans performers on the eastside of Austin.  In 2018, the Festival was presented with the award for Best Cultural Preservation from the Austin Chronicle.  The Eastside Kings Festival  takes place every year on the second weekend of September embracing and upholding the traditions of the eastside of Austin all through this musical celebration.

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