T-Bone Walker "Blues Train" to arrive in Longview Tuesday
Family members of Aaron "T-Bone" Walker will arrive at Longview Amtrak Station Tuesday after a trip from Los Angeles, California. Aboard the Amtrak Texas Eagle 422 will be T-Bone's daughter Bernita Walker, granddaughter Kelie Sturgis, and niece Lorna Crowell. Accompanying them will be a founding member of the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest board of directors, Fred Walecki, and past president and current board member Nicolas Emiliani. The group is here to participate in activities surrounding the 11th annual T-Bone Walker Blues Fest that will take place Friday and Saturday at Maude Cobb Convention Center.
The Californians started their trip aboard Amtrak's Sunset Limited in Los Angeles and connected with the Texas Eagle in San Antonio. The Walker party will be joined in Dallas by festival board member Natalie Rabicoff, festival founder Russell Wright, and Shreveport blues musician Buddy Flett.
The group will arrive in Longview at 6:51 PM Tuesday. Flett will provide live blues music in the Eagle's club car during the Dallas - Longview leg of the trip.
The travel arrangements are part of Amtrak's efforts to promote Longview's T-Bone Walker Blues Fest as a travel destination.
The popular bluesman Flett is the only musician who will have played in all eleven T-Bone festivals. He was a featured performer on Kenny Wayne Shepherd's live album "10 Days Out: Blues From the Backroads." The effort was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008.
The T-Bone Walker Blues Fest is named for the iconic musician Aaron Thibeaux Walker, who was born in 1910 near Linden, Texas, was a transformational figure in blues and rock music development, and is a member of both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The festival is a production of the non-profit T-Bone Walker Blues Fest, Inc., whose mission is to
showcase contemporary blues musicians and promote a strong future for 'The Blues' genre. The annual event is supported in part by a grant from the City of Longview.