Jonny Walker's "Last Call" — Beer, Bluesapalooza, blues and my dad

I wandered through the labyrinth of trees at Sam’s Woodsite last weekend to the beat of the music.

Never would I expect to be in the same place at the same time with my dad, grooving to blues. 
When I arrived, I meet my roommate for a beer at bar #1. We got our Mammoth Brewing Co. apocalypse brew,  and returned to the flowing conversation with friends. My mind was now at taking sip and sip of the golden liquid of life. 
When I agreed to be a volunteer for the event, I never knew how fun it could be. I guess there’s truth in the saying, “The best things in life you do for free.” Maybe you think its remedial but I don’t take it for granted. No matter what madness you might be enduring, you can always find your peace.  
While working on the lights and sound setup on the main stage, I had the opportunity to meet some rock ’n’ roll guys in the business. West Pacific Sound from Bakersfield is a solid operation. They establish order out of the chaos that event productions can be.
When all said and done, that stage at Bluesapalooza killed it in terms of quality sound—a complete, professional operation.
I was impressed to see not only people I knew, but people from all over the state and beyond who came to visit not only for the great music, but, naturally, for the beer.
The crowd at Bluesapalooza wildly ranged in ages. Perhaps the blues brought in my dad’s crowd, and the beer brought in mine.
It don’t matter. Everyone was there to have a good time.
The lineup of musicians was stacked for the long weekend.  Johnny Winter Band and Edgar Winter group tag-teamed the main stage on Friday night. Joe Louis Walker, Leslie West, Betty LaVette, and many more were just vibrating with awesomeness as they took their turn on the mic. 
And the venue was packed. Families, friends, and newly found romances joined together to create a humming, sing along group of viewers.
When you waited in line for a hot, powder-sugared funnel cake, people danced all around you. Talk about energy galore.
I could hear people singing at the top of their lungs as favorite classic jams flew across the air. It took me a while to find my friends because there were so many people. 
Good thing I always had a beer. The brews offered during the weekend were so refreshing on the lips, I replaced consumed beers with full ones as quickly as I could. 
If you didn’t make it to this year’s event, shame on you.
Make sure to pre-purchase your tickets for the 18th annual event next August (always the first weekend). I promise you, it will be just as sweet as this year.
Up Next
This coming weekend, get your sombreros out because it’s gonna be tequilarific.
The Mammoth Margarita festival is coming across the border for the first time this summer. This salt-rimmed event will be held in the Village at Mammoth.
The event starts on Friday (today) with a margarita bar serving blended or on the rocks margaritas until 6 p.m. Tequila and margarita tastings are Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  
With that there will be tapas style food and lots of great music, too. You just can’t go wrong.
See you there. Ciao…
Jonny Walker—and that’s his real, birth name—makes a living by teaching snowboarding, repairing mountain bikes, and guiding groups of adventure seekers down white water rapids. He’s also the creator/founder of Snarvz (a facemask used for winter sports), a passionate fine artist, and has a tan and black dog named Guinness. When he’s not working, he treats his taste buds to the sweet variety of delicacies found throughout the Eastern Sierra’s many festivals, bars, and happy hours. He may be contacted at or you can find his number in the bathroom stall of your local pub. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of the Mammoth Times.