Kettle Moraine Blues Fest

  • April 19 - 20, 2024
  • The Bend

    125 N. Main Street
    West Bend, Wisconsin 53095
Ticket Price $23.00-$30.00 This event is now over

Join us for our 2nd Annual Kettle Moraine Blues Fest

 A 2-day festival of live Blues music you don't want to miss! Buy a ticket for day 1 (Friday, 4/19/2024) or day 2 (Saturday, 4/20/2024) OR buy a 2-day pass to experience both nights of The Bend's Kettle Moraine Blues Fest.


Blues has been called America's only true original American music art form; whether it's Chicago blues, delta blues, New Orleans blues, or southern rockin' blues. These blues bands showcase the diversity of what the term 'blues' is all about.


Friday, 4/19/2024:

Night 1 of Kettle Moraine Bluesfest (Friday, 4/19/2024) features Host Mandi Strachota followed by  The Katz Sass and ending the evening with John Primer &The Real Deal Blues Band .


John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band

John Primer has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. The echos of tradition bellowing from the birthplaces he played such as: Maxwell Street, Theresa's, Checkerboard and Rosa's Lounges, pulse from every chord in his fingers today. John Primer is a Chicago Blues Living Legend.


Growing up on Mississippi sharecropper land in 1945, inspired by his family’s hard work and field songs daily, deep devotion to spirituals on Sundays, and blues on Saturdays! John dreamed of one day playing with the Legendary Muddy Waters! 


Moving to Chicago in 1963, he started on that path of becoming a great bluesman, getting his first steady gig at the legendary Maxwell Street in Chicago on Sunday's and at the famous Theresa’s Lounge seven nights a week for seven years! John was taught by the founding fathers of the blues! Starting out with his own band the Maintainers with Pat Rushing on Maxwell Street, he then moved on to play with the legendary Sammy Lawhorn and Junior Wells at Theresa's Lounge. He worked hard and impressed Willie Dixon enough to go on tour with him and his Chicago Blues All-Stars Band. At this point he was known and John's dream finally came true in 1981 when he got to play with his idol, Muddy Waters! Muddy called for him to lead his band and changed his life forever. After Muddy’s untimely death, he joined up with Magic Slim & The Teardrops for the next 14 years, traveling all over the world. 


John paid his dues and in 1995 he began leading his own band, The Real Deal Blues Band. He has been recorded more than 87 albums with 17 albums in his own name. He has written and produced more than 55 songs on more than 6 record labels including his own, Blues House Productions. Earning 2 Grammy Award nominations, given 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, awarded the "Muddy Award" for being a traditional blues icon, winning a Blues Music Award, Blues Blast Awards and countless other awards, John Primer is a legendary Chicago Blues Icon!


The Katz Sass

The Katz Sass is a contemporary blues/rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with roots in Texas blues topped with a Taste of 1960’s Irish and British blues guitar influence.  This award winning band is a 2013, 2014 and 2016 WAMI Nominee for Blues Artist of the Year!  Keyboardist Kevin Schultz won the 2023 WAMI award for Organist of the year.  "Is it Wrong" written by The Katz Sass was a WAMI finalist for 2023 Blues song of the Year.


Saturday, 4/20/2024:

Night 2 of Kettle Moraine Bluesfest (Saturday, 4/20/2024) features Host Mandi Strachota followed by  Reverend Raven and ending the evening with Mississippi Heat.


Mississippi Heat

Led by harmonica master and songwriter Pierre Lacocque, Mississippi Heat is a world-class Chicago Blues Band. Their motto is “Traditional Blues With A Unique Sound” as they present fresh yet vintage-based musical ideas.


MISSISSIPPI HEAT’s name is a reflection of Pierre’s reverence for Mississippi’s blues culture and music. The band’s conviction is that there is no deeper music than Delta-inspired blues to express what lies in everyone’s soul. They have received world-wide critical acclaim, including from Living Blues Magazine: “MISSISSIPPI HEAT delivers its traditional urban blues with a freshness, energy and competence that makes them a treasure on today’s Chicago scene.”


Mississippi Heat is known internationally for their passionate blues delivery. Overseas and national touring have been an integral part of their work for decades. The band has appeared at many world-famous festivals including many in the US (like the Pocono’s and the Chicago Blues Festivals), Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, Tunisia, Finland, Venezuela and in Mexico, among many others. Besides a scheduled European tour for 2018, they will also soon perform in Dubai.


Buddy Guy has gone on record saying that it’s “been a long time since I heard a good blues band like this.” And recently the band received this critical acclaim from Bonnie Tallman at the Billtown Blues Festival (Hughesville, PA): “Can’t find enough words to express how blown away everyone was with the Mississippi Heat performance! It was spectacular in every way.”


The band has made waves on the blues charts by regularly reaching the #1 spot on Living Blues Magazine’s radio charts.


Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys

Bringing crowds to their feet at the hardest to please and sophisticated night clubs in the Midwest, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys play traditional blues, straight up with a big dose of passion. With smoking grooves, served up with hot harmonica and smooth stinging guitar they play original songs peppered with nods to Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and the three Kings. 


Born and raised on south side of Chicago, the Rev  has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 15 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers.  




Doors open at 6:30 PM to give you time to find your seats, visit our historic lobby, concession stand and fully stocked bar!


Show begins at approximately 7:30 PM


Date & Time

Apr 19 - 20, 2024

Venue Details

The Bend

125 N. Main Street
West Bend, Wisconsin 53095 The Bend
The Bend
The Bend is an experience venue in downtown West Bend, WI. Built in 1929 as a Vaudeville theatre building, The Bend was restored by the nonprofit organization Historic West Bend Theatre Inc in 2020. 

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