Story by Alison B. Harbour Photography by Richard Rasmussen
The local John Calvin Brewer Band is up first, known for rocking Hill Wheatley Plaza.
Following Brewer will be Little G Weevil, the award-winning blues guitarist and singer-songwriter “who sings his heart out and tells his real life stories in a way that is really hard to forget,” according to his biography.
The Selwyn Birchwood Band will play, the first-place band out of more than 230 bands from around the world that received top honors at the 2013 International Blue Challenge. Birchwood also received the Albert King Award for best guitarist.
Shakura S’aida is on the program, the Canadian blues and jazz vocalist.
Zac Harmon Band, ambassadors for the blues and Saturday’s headliner, makes a return performance at the festival and wraps
things up for the evening. Day two begins at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 1. Local duo Salt & Pepper opens the festivities followed by the local Gil Franklin Band, both Spa City Blues Society representatives at the 2013 International Blues Challenge.
Memphis vocalist and harmonica player Brandon Santini is on the lineup, “a player to keep an eye on as the latest surge of young blues artists leave their footprint in blues history,” his biography said.
Local act The Hump Night Blues Band will take the stage followed by the Bart Walker Band. “Bart has a reputation for virtuosity and showmanship built on his scalding guitar playing and commanding vocal style,” his website said.
Headlining the festival on Sunday is blues-rock trio Southern Hospitality, “SOHO” for short. “They are a powerhouse all-star band,” Hughes said. The trio combines the electrical forces of lap steel player Damon Fowler, high-octane boogie pianist-vocalist Victor Wainwright, and eclectic blues guitar slinger JP Soars.
According to their website, the three are “top virtuosos on today’s roots music scene who create soulful harmony that flows beyond the music as it enlightens the listener and separates the band and its music from anything out there today.”
During the festival, visual artists will be on hand to showcase and sell their artwork and jewelry. Workshops will include Themed Photography with Jenn Ocken. “A cool workshop will be Bill Jagisch teaching people how to build a cigar box guitar,” Hughes said. Registration is due Aug. 26.
“After-parties will be at The Big Chill, Fat Jack’s, The Ohio Club, and 3 B’s Bar and Billiards who are hosting folks for us,” Hughes said.
Festival admission is $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. Passes may only be purchased in advance until Aug. 23.
Food and beverage vendors will be on site, so no outside beverages are allowed.
Little G Weevil