Blind Lemon Pledge (2021 program)

blues and Americana

A special performance for our 2021 online festival! Watch the performance anytime on festival day by clicking on this link, then clicking PLAY ALL: .

Blind Lemon Pledge presents acoustic music for the soul.

A steaming bowl of Delta and Chicago blues, a dash of New Orleans, a taste of country, and a teaspoon of rock, all flavored with a unique songwriting sensibility, create the tasty gumbo that is Blind Lemon Pledge. This San Francisco based quintet, featuring bluesy vocals, guitars, bottleneck slide, fiddle, harmonica, bass and percussion, plays a unique combination of blues classics, early jazz songs, re-imagined rock/pop standards, and crowd-pleasing, critically acclaimed originals. This modern blues string band pays homage to the great pre-WWII blues ensembles and the free-wheeling spirit of old time jug bands, while adding a decidedly modern approach to the great music.

The band was originally formed in 2008 by eponymous band leader and bluesman Blind Lemon Pledge (aka James Byfield). A few years of experience and a few fortuitous personnel changes brought in some of the top players in the area and eventually resulted in the current band, which has a unique sound all their own: part blues, part rock, part New Orleans, part country, part modern folk … and all fun. Although influenced by old time blues, the band incorporates elements of Americana, jazz and popular music with a healthy dose of the their award winning, critically acclaimed blues and Americana influenced original songbook.

The current line-up includes:
• Blind Lemon Pledge – vocals, guitars, songwriter
• Pistol Pete Grenell – bass / vocals
• Rockin’ Juli Moscovitz – percussion
• Sioux City Slim – harmonica (not performing in this year’s festival)
• Fiddlin’ Cal Keaoola – violin (not performing in this year’s festival)

With an ever-expanding repertoire of over 70 songs, Blind Lemon Pledge brings their unique blend of classic songs and crowd-pleasing originals to appreciative audiences throughout Northern California.

In addition to his duties as band leader, Blind Lemon Pledge has released a series of albums, with band members and other guest musicians, that charted internationally and received much critical acclaim.

2016’s “Pledge Drive” charted in the Top 10 internationally and was named in the top 100 Contemporary Blues Albums for 2016 by the respected Roots Music Report, as well as garnering three slots on the Grammy Ballot (Best Blues Performance, Best Blues Song, and Best Contemporary Blues Album); and a nomination for Best Blues Song by the 2016 Indie Music Channel Awards. And his 2017 Americana album “Backwoods Glance” won Best Americana Song and Best Gospel Song at the 2107 Indie Music Channel Awards. The most recent Blind Lemon Pledge album “Goin’ Home” won rave reviews and was listed at #6 on the Roots Music Report’s Top Acoustic Blues Albums for 2020 and at #144 on the Roots Music Report’s Top Blues Albums for 2020.

Combining original songs with a time-tested repertoire of classics, the Blind Lemon Pledge band brings a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing evening of entertainment to any venue. Visit them on the web at:,, or email them at