By Emre K. Erku
Special to The Free Press
---- — ST. PETER -- Hittin’ licks on her guitar like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Shannon Curfman is coming to St. Peter’s Fifth Annual Ambassadors’ Blues Fest to turn some heads and shred Minnesota Square Park.
The lead guitarist for Kid Rock will be making history Saturday by being the first non-male performer to headline the event.
“She’s our first female headliner and the artist with the most national appeal,” Ambassadors member John Mayer said.
In 1999, Curfman established herself on the blues and rock scene at the tender age of 14 with her debut album "Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions." Now 27, the young artist went on to work with some of the greatest names out there: John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana and many more. To add, she’s made appearances on late night TV programs with hosts such as Jay Leno, David Letterman and Craig Kilborn.
A native of Fargo, N.D., Curfman adds to the Midwest flavor of the festival, which has built up a nice history, featuring talent from area towns, southern Minnesota and beyond, according to Mayer.
“We’ve been doing this for five years, so something must be going right,” Mayer said.
Opening up for Curfman are a handful of talented blues performers and groups such as The Blue Vipers, Annie Mack, Blue Max, and The Swamp Kings.
Blue Max is the only group to have played the festival before, having headlined back in 2009.
“We wanted to do something to mark the fifth anniversary," Mayer said. "So we said why not bring a headliner from our past?”
Mayer said one of the goals of the festival has always been keeping it free of charge. Generous grants and contributions from several sources have kept that possible.
“This is about supporting local and regional bands,” said Mayer. “And giving people a great event to attend, absolutely free.”
If You Go What Ambassadors' Blues Fest Where Minnesota Square Park in St. Peter Cost Free Schedule Noon: Blue Vipers 2:30 p.m.: Annie Mack 4:30 p.m.: Blue Max 6:30 p.m.: Swamp Kings 8:30 p.m.: Shannon Curfman