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Photos © 2016 by: Roman Sobus

About Blues on the Fox: What started as a street fair in 1996 exploded into a colorful, world-renowned festival, drawing blues fanatics from around the globe to appreciate the genre’s soul, grit and power, right here in the Fox Valley. Now, we’re celebrating 20 years of red-hot blues legends like BB King, Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples rockin’ in Aurora, so this time, it’s more than just a two-day-long party. It’s a celebration of where the blues have been, where the blues are, and where the hell the blues are going, and it’s all happening just down the Fox River from the place that put Aurora’s blues scene on the map: the famous Leland Bluebird studios.

We’re getting Day 2 of Blues started with a band that was literally created to pay tribute to the Fox Valley’s blues roots. “The Leland Sessions,” a collection of blues staples recorded in downtown Aurora’s Leland Hotel in the 1930s, brought together the Midwest’s finest, including Robert Lee McCoy, Walter Davis, John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson and countless others. Nearly 80 years after “The Leland Sessions” took place, Cornmeal and Magic Box guitarist Scott Tipping decided to re-record the songs these icons created in Aurora with the area’s top blues musicians… and Leland was born, and reborn. It’s going to be something really special when these blues die-hards give these recordings new life, live on a stage just down the street from the very place they originated.


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