“A mountain meadow, a sparkling river, world-class Blues”: this has been the mission and achievement of New River Blues Festival over the past 12 years. This one-of-a-kind event presents internationally renowned Blues artists in a setting of natural beauty on the New River.
Located at River House Inn in Grassy Creek near West Jefferson, the Blues celebration is produced by Ashe County residents Donovan Murray, and Rob Baskerville and Penny Zamagni of the internationally acclaimed band, The King Bees. It stands as the only Blues festival in the North Carolina Mountains. It has been named by “Our State Magazine” as one of the “Top Ten Things To Do On Labor Day”.
“New River Blues Festival provides the only chance of seeing authentic Blues in the High Country,” says guitarist Rob Baskerville. “The musicianship and showmanship are like nothing else being presented here.”
“We bring Southern artists who are steeped in Blues culture and tradition. These folks are the real-deal,” says bassist-vocalist-song smith Penny Zamagni. “They bring deep passion and a joyous vibe that are hallmarks of the best American roots music.”
The Artists Roster is abounding with lions and life-blood of Blues who have achieved eminence on the worldwide Blues scene:
Travis “Moonchild” Haddix- His birthplace, Mississippi, resounds in every note. Moonchild is the recipient of countless commendations and awards including Best Blues Artist and Best Blues Entertainer.
Git Shorty- Early in his career his guitar pyrotechnics won him the spot as guitarist with the legendary James Brown. Shorty puts on a rambunctious, stellar show.
Lady D is The First Lady Of West Virginia Soul and Blues, and has written and performs in a critically acclaimed play depicting the life of Bessie Smith.
Veronika Jackson, an African-American woman who generates her own original and exciting style of acoustic music, received raves at Merlefest.
The King Bees, formed in 1987 have been featured on numerous international festival stages. They have performed with Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Bo Diddley among other blues legends, and were part of the B.B. King Birthday Tour.
The Hotel Tavern in West Jefferson will host a Kick-Off Party on Saturday Sept. 5 at 7pm. Multiple Blues Challenge winners, Lawyers Guns & Money, will be featured.
Festival fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and the kids. Food, soft drinks, beer, wine, and mixed drinks will be available for purchase. Please no pets or coolers. Rain or shine. Gates open at noon and the music begins at 1pm. Advance tickets are available for $17; tickets are $20 at the gate on Sunday Sept. 6. Children 12 and under, free.
Please go the www.newriverbluesfestival.info for ticket purchase, directions, and all information.