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Delta Blues Festival at Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center
March 30, 2007
Blues, Beauty, Arts and Literature –
Five Rivers’ Grand Opening Just Got Even Better!
Explore the outdoors, step out onto the scenic trails, make your way down the historic waterways – take it all in at the new Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center -- then take it home with you.
Two new additions to the grand opening celebration will change the way you see our home state. One special guest is the author of two of the most stunning books ever published about Alabama’s natural beauty. The other is a man who has turned Alabama’s earthen resources into an art form – literally.
Doug Phillips, author of Discovering Alabama Forests and Discovering Alabama Wetlandswill be at the new Cypress Gift Shop on Saturday, April 14th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Phillips is Coordinator for Environmental Information and Education with the Alabama Museum of Natural History and producer of the award-winning Public Television series Discovering Alabama. The ecologist-educator released his latest book in 2006. Discovering Alabama Forests has been called a “visually stunning portrait of Alabama’s precious and majestic forests” and “an excellent educational resource and overview history of Alabama forests.” You won’t want to miss this chance to meet the author – and then take the beauty home with you!
On Sunday, take a piece of Alabama home with you – in the form of a masterpiece of pottery! Artist John Rezner will be in the Cypress Gift Shop all day on Sunday, April 15th to share conversation on his craft and creations. After graduating from Auburn in 1990, Rezner put his fine art degree to use making pottery fulltime. Rezner works with clay from the area near the Fish River, just south of his hometown of Fairhope, an area known as “Clay City.” Growing up near there, the potter knows Baldwin County is well-known for its large deposits of natural stoneware clay. By digging his own medium, Rezner takes joy not just in his art, but in sharing what he calls “closeness with nature and tradition on a daily basis.”
But that’s not all this weekend of fun, sun and celebration has in store! The Delta Blues Festival is two days and nights of awesome live entertainment, featuring three of the most amazing blues musicians in modern history. Richard Johnston, Tab Benoit and Shemekia Copeland will leave listeners hungry for more, while four restaurants famous for coastal cuisine also serve up sensational sounds – and all in celebration of the NEW Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center!
Delta Blues Festival at Five Rivers
APRIL 14th & 15th
Spanish Fort, Ala. – It’s here that Alabama’s five rivers come together to create the largest national natural landmark in the state, and one of our country’s most diverse plant and animal sanctuaries. And on April 14th and 15th, it’s also the only place in Alabama to enjoy the sweet sounds of award-winning blues artists set against the backdrop of this exquisite environmental oasis -- the soulful Mobile Bay delta. This weekend of celebration and song will start each afternoon at Five Rivers with outdoor concerts, then continue well into the evenings with live entertainment and coastal cuisine at nearby eateries.
The fun and festivities officially start Friday, April 13th, with the ribbon cutting of the new Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. The ceremony is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., and everyone is invited. The facility is located across from Meaher State Park on the Mobile Bay Causeway (US Highway 90/98) in Spanish Fort, about five miles from downtown Mobile.
On Saturday, April 14th enjoy the best in blues entertainment at the new Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. Headlining the day’s festivities is world-famous Richard Johnston. Johnston, a one-man-band, is considered to be one of the most powerful solo entertainers in history. With fans in more than 80 countries, he has played live in 11, and now brings his beloved blues to Spanish Fort. During the Delta Blues Fest, the Tensaw Theater will present the Max Shores documentary, Richard Johnston: Hill Country Troubadour. The film originally aired on PBS and has received 10 nominations by national and international film festivals. This is a great place to experience this film -- the Tensaw Theater is complete with a wide-screen and surround sound, and comfortably seats up to 90 people.
Saturday’s concert is FREE. Gates open at 1:00, concert starts at 2:00. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!
On Sunday, April 15th, find even more music and fun at Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. You won’t want to miss Tab Benoit and Shemekia Copeland live in concert! Tab Benoit has been called one of the most important performers on the modern blues scene. Just last year, his album Fever for the Bayou won Best Contemporary Blues Album. Brother to the Blues was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album, and Tab was nominated for the Blues Music Award’s Best Contemporary Male Artist and Entertainer of the Year. Shemekia Copeland has been called the next Tina Turner. She blasted her way into the music scene at 18, and in the last 10 years has collected five Blues Music Awards, a Grammy© nomination, five Living Blues Awards, and was honored with the coveted "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" Award by the DownBeat Critics' Poll.
On Sunday, gates open at 12:30 p.m., with music from 2:00 to 6:00. Tickets are $12 in advance; purchase 10 tickets in advance and pay only $10 each. All tickets are $17 each the day of the show. Tickets are available at Five Rivers, at all participating restaurants, at the Frontgate Outlet at 354 Dauphin Street, Mobile, or online at www.frontgatetickets.com.
Both afternoons, when the music is done, make your way along Battleship Parkway for even more fun! Move from one local eatery to the next, taking in live music and tasting traditional coastal cuisine. Blues entertainment will continue Saturday and Sunday evenings at the Bluegill Waterfront Amphitheatre, Ed’s Seafood Shed’s Bayfront Deck, Felix’s Swamp Room and The Original Oyster House Tiki Room.
There’s so much to see and do at the new Five Rivers – Alabama’s DeltaResourceCenter!
Pack a picnic and soak in the springtime or take a walk on the wooded trail system. The Perimeter Trail is ADA compliant. You’ll find the trailheads in the Shellbank Welcome Center, which also houses visitor information, restrooms and exhibits. Bartram’s Landing, the last stop of the Bartram Canoe Trail, is a free, ADA-compliant pier, featuring a floating dock and retail store for sales and rentals. A separate powerboat landing can accommodate boats up to 30 feet long, and will be the starting point for Delta boat tours and airboat tours for years to come. Plan to get to know this tremendous waterway network even more, by plotting out your own canoe or kayak trip down the Bartram Canoe Trail, or find out how you can encourage others with your enthusiasm for the outdoors by volunteering. Nearby, the Nature Center Complex houses a 4,000 square foot exhibit hall, reception area, theater, gift shop and powerboat landing. With its truss ceiling and children’s activity corner, Apalachee Exhibit Hall will host world-class environmental and educational exhibits every year. Delta Reception Hall also has room for additional exhibits, as well as an exceptional executive meeting space complete with fireplace, screened-in porch, kitchen/break room and office area. Blakeley Hall is a multi-media meeting space can convert from two to four rooms, and can accommodate up to 150 people. There’s also a gift shop full of unique and interesting items for outdoor-lovers of all ages.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes responsible statewide land stewardship and protection of the state’s unique natural resources. To learn more about Five Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, visit alabamafiverivers.com or outdooralabama.com.