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Mel Sando & Kim Ellerman


What better way to start the Festival than with longtime Bayfront Blues friends Mel Sando and Kim Ellerman? This guitar/harmonica duo delivers stripped-down Delta-style country blues a la Son House, Rice Miller, Little Walter and Booker White. They aren’t shy about entertaining you, and they’ll do everything they can to get people involved and play relevant roots tunes that reach the fans they know and love.


Hailing from Two Harbors, Mel is a longtime musician, band leader and writer/producer. He has played at the Festival nine times over the last 25 years in a variety of bands. Drumming in a polka band gave him his start. From there, he became a drummer for rock bands. To stave off boredom on the road, he picked up guitar and learned to play. Around the same time, he was checking out Albert Collins, Hound Dog Taylor and other blues albums from the library, which altered his perspective on music. Mel also started Nickel & Dime Studio in the 90s with the area’s first CD burner, turning out his own recordings as well as those for others. He played at Bayfront with the Delta Resonators, Melvis & Fish and Ain’t Nuthin’ But.


Kim Ellerman played folk, bluegrass and country long before playing straight blues with The Busters North Coast Blues Band. His versatility on the harmonica allows him to play along with nearly any style.


The stripped-down Delta blues duo offers Mel’s original tunes that he and Kim have been playing locally along with roots classics. It’s the next evolution for these talented local musicians who love the blues, admire the fans and give their all to make sure everyone has a great time!