The East Stage is located at University Avenue. For more information on locations, go to our Maps page under the Home tab.
2022 East Stage Schedule
2021 East Stage Schedule
2021 East Stage Entertainment
Read a little more about acts coming to the #CDAF2021 East Stage before the festival!
BLUES AXIS is a blues-rock-jazz band founded by Edwin Daniel in the 1990s. The group’s eclectic repertoire includes driving electric blues, funky New Orleans second-line, and popular Latin jazz styles. The group consists of Edwin Daniel on guitar, Doug Thomas on saxophone, Jim Beaty on bass, and Bob Damm on drums.
The Stormy Monday Blues Power Trio consists of John Gholston on vocals and guitar, Zac Ashmore on drums and harmonica, and Barney “The Hitman” Davis on bass guitar. All three were born and raised in Mississippi, and have a deep love and appreciation for the Blues. This trifecta version, of the normal four piece band, throws everything they have into every song they play. Raw emotion mixed with real deal musicianship and drive, is the recipe for the BPT. Stay tuned for more info!
Webster plays melodic, roots-based acoustic music, spanning across many genres… always maintaining a fresh, soulful country style. In addition to his sets of original tunes, he entertains while playing audience favorites, feel-good fun songs, and classic country staples.
While his friends were hitting the clubs in and around Jackson, Byram, MS native Calvin Webster was using his fake ID to get into the famed “Subway Lounge” blues club/juke joint every time the doors opened. “I’ve never seen anything else like it in my life… people would get up and sing and play their hearts out”, says Webster. It was on this stage on a Mississippi Sunday afternoon that he would play live for the very first time, by invitation of none other than the great blues man, “King Edward”.
His beginnings in an authentic blues juke joint are evident in Webster’s rich vocals and soul-moving original lyrics. Immersed in the music of BB King, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Merle Haggard, and Elmore James, Webster began touring the Southwest, playing anywhere from backwoods bars to crowded club venues. He gained a loyal fan base and recurring invitations from many of music lover’s favorite night spots. In 2004, Webster made the move to Nashville, TN to pursue music as his lifelong career.
While most artists are able to be likened to others (“He sounds like ____”), Webster’s voice is one you just can’t quite “place”. His inflection and delivery of even the most simple arrangement is memorable and distinctive. In Nashville, a town full of different and unique, Calvin Webster is… different and unique.Stay tuned for more info!
Honeyboy and Boots
This guitar and cello duo has a unique style that is all their own. Their sound embodies Americana, traditional folk, alt country, and blues with harmonies and a hint of classical notes.
Drew Blackwell, a true Southerner raised in the heart of the black prairie in Mississippi. First picked up the guitar at fourteen, he was greatly influenced by his Uncle Doug who taught him old country standards and folk classics.
In High school he met, was mentored and inspired to write (and feel) the blues by Alabama blues artist Willie King. Willie King is credited for bringing together the band The Old Memphis Kings
Honeyboy (Drew) can be found belting out those blues notes as the lead vocalist for the Old Memphis Kings and begins everyday with a hot cup of black coffee!
Courtney Blackwell (Kinzer) grew up in Washington State and comes from a musical family. She began playing cello at the age of three taking lessons from the cello bass professor Bill Wharton at the University of Idaho.
Her teacher along with strict commitment from her mom was most influential in her progression of technique, tone quality, and ear training.
Since moving south in 2009, she has enjoyed focusing on the many varieties cello is used in ensembles. When she plays, you will feel those groovy bass lines making way to soaring leads melodies that create an emotional and magical connection between you and her music.
Courtney enjoys working in the studio, collaborating with artists and continuing to challenge the way cello is expressed.
They have opened for such acts as Verlon Thompson, The Josh Abbott Band, Cary Hudson (of Blue Mountain), and Rising Appalachia. This past year they have performed at the 2015 Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin, TN. They also came in 2nd place at the 2015 Gulf Coast Songwriters Shootout in Orange Beach, FL. They have also been featured on Thacker Mountain Radio in 2021. In June of 2021, they were performers at the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival in Red Lodge, MT.
MSU Black Voices
Black Voices is a group of Mississippi State University students committed to reverencing and worshiping Jesus Christ through the ministry of music. This year, they are celebrating their 50th year of singing the Lord’s praises. Within these 50 years, students have been servants to the community and have worked hard to do what they love for who they love. Everything they do is a reflection of their motto and purpose:
To praise and not to perform,
To exalt and not to entertain,
For service and not for show,
This is why we sing,
To the glory of his name!
With what began as an acoustic music side project between three friends, 30 Fingers has stood the test of time. Guitarist Jeffrey Rupp, bassist Jim Beaty and percussionist Earl Six have each had their share of success in many local groups, but consistently return to the trio format for performances ranging from festivals to club dates to private parties and receptions.
Drawing from a broad pallet of songs, these consummate pros play a little of everything – from James Taylor and Van Morrison to surprising covers by Jethro Tull and Maroon 5. “We really try to touch all bases,” says Beaty. “Give everyone a taste of something they know and have a great time in the process – that’s what makes a good night for us. We all sing, so we tend to spread lead vocals all around. Plus, having a lot of harmony vocals are what make us a little different from most acts.”
This Starkville-based trio has been around since the late 90s and have opened for several national acts including The Guess Who, Paul Thorn and Foghat. As great friends both on and off the stage, 30 Fingers look forward to many more gigs together – all of them in perfect harmony
Shane Tubbs Band
Rockin' blues in a hillbilly box, the Shane Tubbs Band are a Columbus, MS based band featuring Shane Tubbs (vocals, lead guitar), Shawty Williams (percussion), and 'Cornbread' Ed Swan (bass guitar, backing vocals). Check out their albums at shanetubbs.com, and catch the next live show near you...y'all comin'?