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#574 > Bowlful of Blues Festival - 2022 (


Bowlful of Blues Festival – Sep 4, 2022

Fred Maytag Bowl

Newton, Iowa


By Phillip Smith; Sep. 5, 2022


Original source :


Enjoying the Blues in Newton, Iowa at the Bowlful of Blues Festival is at the top of my list of things to do on Labor Day weekend.  There’s s not many better ways to spend the holiday.  The clouds dissipated and the sun came out, making for beautiful day to listen to music in Newton’s historic Maytag Park.


Presented by The South Skunk Blues Society, the Bowlful of Blues Festival celebrated its thirtieth year.  The lineup was absolutely terrific and featured Muddy Walter Band, Matt Woods Band, Ghost Town Blues Band, Kent Burnside, and Popa Chubby.  Playing between sets, were local blues artists Rob Lumbard, Bob Dorr and Jeff Peterson, Buckmiller Schwager, and The Jury.


I arrived just in time to catch local blue legends Bob Dorr and Jeff Petersen, aka The Blue Two.  I was so glad to be able to hear them again.  On a side note, they also performed at the very first Bowlful of Blues Festival.  Following Bob and Jeff, The Ghost Town Blues Band took the stage.  This was my fifth time this year to see this six-piece ensemble from Memphis.  Their Stax-meets-Muscle Shoals approach always means a fantastic show.  They are truly one of my favorites.     

I had reviewed Buckmiller Schwager’s debut album To Memphis and Back earlier this year, and was quite taken by it.  Meeting Brian Schwager and Tom Buckmiller in person and hearing them play live really made my day.  I was very excited to see Kent Burnside.  Bringing a big batch of real-deal Mississippi blues with him, he absolutely commandeered the stage.  I’ve been a fan of Burnside since reviewing his 2013 debut album My World is So Cold.  

The Jury, a band who I was not familiar with, stepped up next to play a thirty-minute set of all-original songs.  They were tight and sounded good.  New York bluesman Poppa Chubby headlined the show, filling in for Carolyn Wonderland who had to cancel due to health reasons.  I had seen him several times over the years, and he’s such a phenomenal guitarist. 

Special thanks go out to The South Skunk Blues Society and all the volunteers who makes this wonderful event happen every year. 



  * All photos by Phillip Smith

Bob Dorr and Jeff Petersen

Ghost Town Blues Band

Buckmiller Schwager

Kent Burnside

The Jury

Popa Chubby

   * All Photos by Phillip Smitb

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