Hanging with Brit Popster James Blunt

photography by rickycphotography.com

My pals, Alice@97.3, hosted their 10th annual Now and Zen music fest on Sunday in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Thousands braved the early gloom to see Peter Bjorn and John, Gin Blossoms, Joss Stone and headliner James Blunt.

Now and Zen Fest

The weather was disagreeable for much of the day, but joy of joys, the fog and clouds took flight as British popster James Blunt ventured on stage. JB had a tough act to to follow, a fellow Brit, the lovely and wickedly talented Joss Stone. The sensational songbird belted out one chillingly brilliant tune after another, helped by an A list band of musicans and singers who quite clearly on this day had their A game on! Joss blew everyone away, a class act, a huge delightful voice, and the best from her, I believe is yet to come.

Backstage, Alice personalities mingled with musicians, radio and record people along with Alice pals. In the booze tent where beer, wine and cocktails flowed freely, all the talk was of Joss Stone. "Wow," a word heard everywhere, all quite clearly bowled over by her sheer musical brilliance. OK, you get it. I love Joss Stone. I was not a fan; I am now.

James Blunt at Now and Zen Fest
James Blunt rocking out.

James Blunt at Now and Zen Fest

Meantime, Mr. "You're Beautiful" Blunt gave the fans exactly what they wanted: the hits and more from his debut record Back to Bedlam. His 80-minute set was loaded with new tunes too from his just released sophomore offering All The Lost Souls. JB surprised the 8,000-plus crowd with a cover of the dreamy Peter, Bjorn and John song "Young Folk." A nice little musical nod of respect to his fellow Europeans. A great show from JB. He was happy to be in SF and the throng of "Blunt-heads" (fans) were enthralled and enchanted by his every move and every note!

James Blunt at Now and Zen Fest

I chatted with James after his set. With a beer in his hand, he talked candidly in front of a small audience about music, love and tabloid intrusions. I'll share the full interview soon. For now, I asked James:

Did you feel the love today in Golden Gate Park?
James Blunt: I always feel the love when I come to San Francisco. It's a special place. The audiences here have always been good to me. It's always a real pleasure to come and play here. I love it here. And playing in the park was rather cool.

And we love ya too, Jimmy.

James Blunt at Now and Zen Fest

Check out his new record All the Lost Souls, which just came out and does not disappoint. More heart-tugging tales of love and loss. Blunt fans will be happy with the sounds.

Alice@97.3 did it again. A glorious day of music and fun in the park for the 10th Annual NOW and ZEN. Thanks, Alice.

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