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Local musician plays to hometown crowd during Blues Fest

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POLSON – If it seemed like vocal artist and songwriter Jordan Albert was playing a gig in his backyard during the Flathead Lake Blues and Musical Festival, it’s because he was. 

On Friday afternoon, the Polson native took center stage to help kick off the annual two-day festival. The event was located along the shores of the Flathead River at the Regatta Shoreline Amphitheater.

“The Polson crowd is always fun to play in front of,” Albert said. “The hometown crowd loves the blues. They really get into it.”

For Albert, this year’s festival wasn’t just another ordinary gig. He has performed numerous times in front of the Polson crowd at other events and venues, but Friday’s performance marked the first time he has played during the music festival. 

“Every time I would see the blues fest advertised in the newspaper, I would say, “Man, I would love to get up and play in that because the blues are my thing,” he said. Coming from a musically inclined family, Albert’s influences range from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Def Leppard. 

He joined this year’s music festival cast of more than a dozen all-star blues artist from around Western Montana and the Pacific Northwest. Following Albert’s performance on Friday, other musical performers took to the outdoor stage, including Money Penny, a quartet from Missoula; The Pleasure Kings, also a Missoula quartet; The Kelly Brothers, an all-star band from the Flathead Valley; and a funk/rock trio called Ticket Sauce.

Saturday’s unique lineup featured Blue Moon; The Bobby Patterson Band; The Zach Cooper Band; and the Michelle Taylor Band. Finishing Saturday’s musical extravaganza was The Stacy Jones Band, who are the winners of ten 2018 Best of the Blues Awards from the Washington Blues Society. 

The festival was closed down each evening by a jam session where all the bands gathered on stage to rock the crowd. Although the amphitheater’s seating is currently a bring-your-own-lawn-chair or blanket style setting, any spot offered a picturesque view of the stage, along with the Flathead River and Mission Mountains.

The festival has hosted nearly 100 acts on the stage in its nine-year history, and festival coordinator Steve Pickel is already excited about next year’s musical lineup, which will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the summertime music festival. 

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