Depot Days at Newport Arkansas
With Sonny Burgess and Billy Lee Riley
and Rhythm and Blues sensations The Bel Airs

Sonny Burgess is what Rocknroll is about. He helped invent it. On Saturday, April 29th his music rang across the streets of Newport, Arkansas at the first Depot Days Festival. Newport is a historic Rocknroll towns. The rocknroll acts that walked it streets and played it's sock hops, school gymnasiums, and clubs are music legends. Carl Perkins, Elvis, Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, The Pacers, Johnny Cash, Larry Donn, and on and on. These were also the same musicians that found their way to Memphis and Sun Records.

This year was the first year for Depot Days and honored their resident rockers Billy Lee Riley and Sonny Burgess. They've been playing since the fifties, and they haven't lost a thing. Also on the Depot Days schedule were The Bel Airs from Columbia, Missouri. These three guys are dynamite with the tightest groove I've heard in a long time.

Billy Lee Riley is a consumate performer. His music has spanned 5 decades and he has been instrumental in bringing Blues and Rock harmonica to the mainstream. Billy Lee Riley helped create the LA Sound. He and fellow Arkansan Glenn Campbill were two of the most recorded musicians in LA during the sixties.

Since the late 80's he has begun to focus on the music of his youth. The Blues has been a passion of Billy Lee Riley's since he was a kid living on the plantations around the Arkansas Delta. He has formed his own recording company called Sun Up Records and has his first CD on this label "Shade Tree Blues" is now available.

More Photos from Newport's Depot Days
Sonny Burgess On Delta Musicians
Billy Lee Riley On Delta Musicians
Billy Lee Riley's Shade Tree Blues