Storm can't stop the blues: Bear Creek Blues Fest headliners play on

Monday, June 29, 2009
A shocked Karen Teeter of Kansas City holds, for the first time, the transparent cherry-finished Ibanez AS73 hollow-body guitar she won in a raffle drawing at the Bear Creek Blues Festival in Slater, Saturday, June 27. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

Karen Teeter of Kansas City had her name picked in the drawing for an autographed Ibanez AS73 hollow-body guitar with a transparent cherry finish during the Bear Creek Blues Festival Saturday, June 27, in Slater, making her the excited new owner of the guitar.

The autographs were from members of the bands who performed at the festival that day.

The guitar came with a carrying case and an instructional book on blues music.

Smokin' Joe Kubek, left, and Bnois King, right, play at the Bear Creek Blues Festival in Slater Saturday, June 27. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

Teeter, a photographer and member of the Kansas City Blues Society, said she is unlikely to keep the guitar for herself.

But her son, for whom she has purchased a number of guitars in the past, she said, is "going to tell me how much he loves his momma."

From left to right, Alycia Kendrick of Salisbury dances with six-year-old Taylor North of Gilliam during the performance of headliners Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King at the Bear Creek Blues Festival Saturday, June 27, in Slater. (Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)

When headliners Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King took the stage at 10:30 p.m., there was lightning in the air, and when the rain let loose about 20 minutes into their show, the large crowd dancing at the stage or lounging in lawn chairs nearby quickly dissipated as the band briefly halted to allow Kubek time to protect his guitars from the rain.

The two, backed up by Paul Jenkins on bass and Carol Dierking on drums, played on through the brief but heavy rain.

Once it subsided, it did not immediately stop being an issue for the band; a torrent of water released by the tarp above the stage nearly drenched Dierking, but she played steadily on all the while.

Not long after those audience members prepared with umbrellas put them away, much of the crowd returned to the stage for the last hour or so of the band's set.

Kubek lived up to his moniker, a cigarette almost always tucked into the strings at the head of his guitar during songs, then placed into his mouth when the opportunity arose, exuding a cloud of smoke around his head as he puffed vigorously.

During one lengthy solo, King smiled broadly, then bent over and placed his mouth to his guitar, the solo continuing right in time with the rest of the band.

Though it seemed he was using his teeth to pick the strings, when he dropped the guitar from his mouth, his wagging tongue was revealed as the likely cause of his guitar's rhythmic hum.

This was the sixth year Slater has hosted the annual Bear Creek Blues Festival.

Contact Geoff Rands at

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  • I thought the fireworks were a perfect ending since i didnt get to see the whole day of music. Thanks Bill's Fireworks for providing the end to our great evening

    -- Posted by riverrat7663 on Mon, Jun 29, 2009, at 10:28 PM
  • yes...all six fireworks were year there shoud be sparklers and little papper poppers.

    -- Posted by BigPoppi on Tue, Jun 30, 2009, at 4:03 AM
  • BigPoppi... " Bear Creek Blues Fest " don't see fireworks exposition any where in there's about the music!

    -- Posted by bluesfan74 on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 5:04 PM
  • Bluefan74-

    Perhaps your comment should also be directed to riverrat7663. As it is that person also commented on the fireworks. Therefore my comment was directed to them and Bill's Fireworks lack of enthusiasm in closing out a good show in a spectacular way.

    -- Posted by BigPoppi on Mon, Jul 13, 2009, at 3:32 AM
  • bigpopi

    riverrat was giving a thank you, not a whining complaint.

    -- Posted by bluesfan74 on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 4:26 PM
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