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In blues

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Presented by the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation, the 15th Annual Bull Durham Blues Festival brings a smokin' roster of local talent and internationally known blues legends--with a big old shot of Southern boogie, roadhouse and jazzy blues--to the Triangle. The fest, which draws blues fans from all over, sets the Durham Athletic Park rockin' with two nights of talent, including local outfits Stuff in the Pot, Skeeter Brandon and Blues Kravin. On Friday night, mixing it up between funky soul and zydeco, Louisiana native Terrance Simien performs. Simien's as likely to throw out a funky Meters beat as pump his squeezebox, and his smooth vocals draw comparisons to the likes of Sam Cooke and Al Green. Also on the bill is left-handed guitar slinger/singer-songwriter Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater (pictured above), a versatile player who delivers the goods, followed by Marcia Ball and the event's most interesting pairing, blues legend James Blood Ulmer and former Living Colour guitarist and producer Vernon Reid, who deliver a set of raw, updated blues classics. Saturday night's headliners are Chief Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias with the Mardi Gras "Indians"--a name given working-class black groups that are part social club, part spiritual society--playing a mix of funk, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and the New Orleans musical tradition. Soul-blues singer-songwriter Bobby Rush closes Saturday's show. The fest takes place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6 and 7, at the Durham Athletic Park, starting at 6 p.m each evening. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster (834-4000) or by visiting www.hayti.org. --Angie Carlson

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