Pulled together out of an idea in Zuzu Welsh's head that there should be a festival devoted to showcasing local blues-based music, the festival was hosted on the banks of the Swannanoa River at The Valley Music Hall and Cook House. Marty and Debra Baker partnered to make the event happen.
The first event showcased Miranda Clark, The Lowdown (featuring Berklee-bound Ethan Lewis), The Zuzu Welsh Band, Hurricane Bob, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats and headliners Stolen Hearts, featuring Robert Johnson and Pam Taylor. The emcee for the show was The Blueshound, from AshevilleFM, and he has been an annual fixture for the event.
The event had its hiccups as any new event does, but the participants and the attendees all agreed this should be an annual event. And so a tradition was born.