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Cool Down With Some Hot Blues, New River Blues Festival Brings Deep South to High Country Aug. 31


By Jesse Wood

Aug. 14, 2014. The lineup for the 2014 New River Blues Festival is stellar as usual and features keyboardist Johnny Neel of The Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule, the legendary harmonica player Charlie Sayles and, among others, the New Orleans blues mama herself Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen.

The 12th annual New River Blues Festival takes place at the River House Inn in Grassy Creek on Labor Day weekend. The gates open at noon on Sunday, Aug. 31, and the festival ends at 6 p.m.

Tickets cost $17 in advance and $20 at the gate. The event is rain or shine, so bring lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas. Food, mixed and soft drinks, beer and wine will be available for purchase.

While the world-class music is the same, all of the performers – with exception to The King Bees, producers of the festival with Donovan Murray – are all new to the festival. In addition to those mentioned above, Boo Hanks, who is described as one of the greatest authentic Piedmont blues discoveries in many years, will perform. Hanks, 84, worked in the tobacco fields nearly all of his life and “now at the age of 84, Boo’s talents have ripened and matured to their spellbinding height,” according to the festival’s website.

“We are excited about bringing in new blood,” said Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville of The King Bees.

“We continue to bring real blues to Appalachia, which is unique for the fact that we are bringing it to the heart of bluegrass country. The mission remains the same. We are bringing the real-deal southern blues to the High Country,” Baskerville continued.

The King Bees are well known in the High Country and across the blues sphere. The band consists of Baskerville on guitars and keyboards and Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni, who plays bass, sings and pens songs.

Click here for more information, directions and to order tickets.