In the early 1960s, while the blues languished in obscurity here in the United States, teenage guitarists all across England were wearing the grooves out of scratched 45s by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, and dozens of other American blues artists. The first wave of the British Invasion was not led by The Beatles, but by working class bands that first put their own stamp on classic blues covers, and then tapped the blues idiom for a new generation of original rock & roll. The third annual British Blues Explosion (BBE3) taken place at Duff’s Garage on Saturday, November 7, pays tribute to those English lads who kept the blues flame alive until we rediscovered it here.

Like its predecessors, BBE3 celebrates the blues as interpreted by groups like The Animals, The Kinks, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and many, many more. Expect a mix of familiar classics and obscure nuggets dug up by the evening’s performers. The line-up confirmed so far includes Greg Georgeson, Jon Koonce, Robbie Laws, Rich Layton & The Troublemakers, and Jon Wallace.

Once again, the event has a genuine thread back to where it all began with British saxophone legend Chris Mercer, a charter member of John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. That thread connects to a new generation of blues artists this year, with performances by “young guns” Ben Rice and Kivett Bednar.

Duff’s Garage is located at 2530 NE 82nd, showtime is 9:00 pm. This is a Cascade Blues Association co-sponsored event, so bring your current membership card to receive a $1.00 discount at the door. Please note, both BBE1 and BBE2 were sold out shows, so be there early to guarantee entrance.