top of page

Feel the Blues in Your Bones
steamy blues music .jpg

Eric Gales and Bernard Allison  Headline

Big Steam Music Festival


Back for the second year, Big Steam Blues & Roots Music festival will feature huge names in the blues and R&B genre, with Eric Gales and Bernard Allison as the headliners. Big Steam will take place in Hill Wheatley Plaza in beautiful downtown Hot Springs on September 29 - 30, 2023. The festival will be free to attend, but VIP tickets are available for purchase which include reserved seats and other perks.     


Eric Gales grew up in a musical family with four brothers, two of them who learned to play the guitar upside down and left-handed in the same fashion that Eric does. Eric released his first record at age 16 for Elektra Records to an amazing response from the media and music fans around the globe. Guitar World Magazine’s Reader’s Poll named Eric as “Best New Talent,” in 1991. As a left-handed guitarist of extraordinary ability and an expressive vocalist, it is natural for people to compare Eric to Jimi Hendrix. But Eric has developed a unique hybrid blues/rock sound that also draws upon influences as diverse as Albert King and Frank Gambale. A unique amalgam of styles, Eric Gales stands head and shoulders among other guitarists in his genre. His latest album “Crown” was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album.


There’s good news for those who were not able to see Bernard Allison, Tullie Brea and others when pop-up storms cut the 2022 festival short. They will be the Saturday night headliners for the 2023 festival, and inclement weather plans will mean that the show will go on, even if it rains. 


Bernard Allison totes the same smokin’ six-string shooter that his late father assaulted the blues with. Bernard is blessed with his father's soulful voice, spiritual devotion and a musical freedom, which experiments with the blues.  As a true “Son of the Blues”, Bernard possesses the requisite guitar feel and vocal intonations necessary to propel his blues to the next century. He delivers the energy level essential to captivate audiences and indulges showmanship and spontaneity to drive his performance in fresh, innovative directions each night. Bernard’s 2022 album, “Highs & Lows” hit #1 on the Billboard Blues album chart.


Tullie Brae, a soulful Blues singer and multi-instrumentalist credits her musical gift to Gospel music. Tullie's musical journey began singing in church where her Daddy was a preacher and her Mom was a vocalist and musician. Tullie grew up near the Louisiana cotton fields and wetlands of the Blues, cutting her teeth in a type of church where you could hear soul-shaking music seeping through the walls before you entered the doors. Early on she began writing original material while also learning to play various instruments, she also assumed the role of choir director which led to recording and touring professionally, singing harmony and lead with Gospel groups. While touring and performing, Tullie was introduced to the many sounds of different genres of music. Her Gospel roots naturally segued into the Blues where you can still hear and feel the hints of Soul along with her grittiness of Rock There will be special surprise quest to appear with Tullie.


The full lineup of talented performers, more information about the event and VIP tickets can be purchased at


Organizers say dozens of volunteers will be needed and, of course, sponsors as well.  Anyone interested in being a part of the great new event to keep the blues alive in Hot Springs should contact Mary Zunick at

bottom of page