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Saturday, April 5: Gray Sky Blues Music Festival


Cee Cee James will perform at 6 p.m. in The Swiss Pub April 5. Press photo

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Ahhh, the Daffodil Parade! As surely as pint-sized marching bands will file down the street in lockstep while serenading onlookers with "Tequila," the sky will fill with dark clouds before an inevitable downpour drenches everyone within a two-mile radius of downtown Tacoma - (Don't tell me it won't happen. It always happens! ALWAYS!) - which is as good of an excuse as any to go hear some great blues music and dry off. And the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival, which seems to be named just for this happenstance, begins right after the parade wraps up. The event takes place across three venues: The Swiss, The Harmon Restaurant and Brewery and Stonegate Pizza and Bar. The festival's headliner is Cee Cee James, who - I'm told by the reliable source that is this event's press release - is "one of the most popular female blues artists on the scene today." She'll hit the stage at 6 p.m. in The Swiss. Stonegate will be the scene of the festival's after-party, which begins at 8:30 p.m. With any luck you'll not only be starting the day with "Tequila," but ending it that way, too.

THE GRAY SKY BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL, noon to midnight, Saturday, April 5, The Harmon, The Swiss, Stonegate Pizza, Tacoma, cover for headliners,


The Swiss Restaurant and Pub (1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma)

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.: The Cody Rentas Band

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.: Brian Lee and the Orbiters

($10 cover charge starts at 3:30 p.m. / $8 for Blues Association/Society members and active military)

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.: Arthur Migliazza Trio

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.: Cee Cee James, festival headliner  (Grants Pass, Ore.)

The Harmon Brewery (1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

Noon - 12:45 p.m.: Fistful of Dollars (Puget Sound Music for Youth Association)

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.: The Mark Riley Trio

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.: Maia Santell and House Blend

3:45 - 4:15 p.m.: Jack Gaffney  (Boulder, Colo.)

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.: Nolan Garrett

Stonegate Pizza and Bar (5421 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma)

8:30 p.m. - midnight: Steve Cooley and the Dangerfields (upstairs)

8:30 p.m. - midnight: Puget Sound Music for Youth Association (live bands on the main level)

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