Aug. 21, 2012. What started as part of a summer concert series has turned into one of the High Country’s best musical events and this year they celebrate their 10th Anniversary.
The New River Blues Festival is returning to River House Inn in Grassy Creek on Sunday, Sept. 2, from 1 to 6 p.m. Spend a wonderful day by the river and enjoy the scenery, food, drink and legendary performers on this year’s roster.
According to promoters the talent will be some of the best the festival has presented to date. With internationally acclaimed artists, The King Bees, providing their brand of blues and backing up the guest artists, it’s a day that blues lovers will cherish. This year welcomes such talented artists as John Dee Holman, Chick Willis, Mac Arnold and “Empress of the Blues”, Sandra Hall. This is a gathering of real blues legends.
John Dee Holman hails from Orange County, NC and is a true patriarch of Piedmont blues. Born in the mid-30s, Mr Holman has toured internationally, been awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, presented a NC Folk Heritage Award, collaborated with such artists as Kenny Wayne Sheppard and Taj Mahal and performed on Grammy nominated recordings. Holman is a national treasure and will be accompanied by Andy Coats.
Chick Willis is one of blues finest guitarists and has performed with the likes of Guitar Slim, Elmore James and Ray Charles, to name a few. Chick has also received his share of awards including Living Blues Award Best Live Performer, 2012 Georgia Music Legend Award & Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist. Combine his guitar licks and soulful voice with his showmanship and you have an unforgettable performance.
Mac Arnold has worked with such greats as Muddy Waters and James Brown. As a boy he fashioned a guitar out of an old gas can and began to dazzle folks with his playing. Over the years he has performed with such immortals as Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, B.B.King, and recorded with John Lee Hooker. He’s even done a stint with the Soul Train Band. A journeyman that will add even more to the afternoons music.
Sandra Hall has been called “Empress of the Blues” and for good reason. She has toured all over the world sharing her love for the blues and keeps setting new standards in Blues vocals. Sandra gets down with the Blues, taking it from righteous to raunchy, soulful to sassy. She has most recently been bestowed with the Koko Taylor Award. She graced the stages of some of the world’s most popular festivals, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival, and on Sept. 2nd she will grace the stage of the New River Blues Festival.
The gates open at noon on Sept. 2nd and the music runs from 1 until 6pm. There will be food and drinks (water, soft drinks, beer, wine, mixed drinks) available on site and we suggest that you bring a blanket or lawn chair (and an umbrella), NRBF happens rain or shine. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the gate for ages 12 and up.
Get more details and order on line at www.newriverbluesfestival.info. Due to the nature of the event no coolers or pets are permitted. The festival is presented by Mellowdown Productions and Celtic Force Enterprises. This event is sponsored by River House Inn and WETS-FM.