The Chenango Blues Festival will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary on Aug. 18 and 19 at the Chenango County Fairgrounds in Norwich, New York headlined by the North Mississippi Allstars with John Medeski. The event kicks off with a free show on Friday night beginning at 6:00 p.m., with stylish showman Reverend Shawn Amos. Following Amos will be 2017 International Blues Competition Best Band Winners, Dawn Tyler Watson & the Ben Racine Band. Headlining the opening night will be twenty-time Blues Music Award nominee Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. Lil’ Ed Williams continues the lineage of such Chicago slide guitar masters as Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, and Williams’ uncle, J.B. Hutto. The fan favorite, fez-wearing, toe-walking showman is not to be missed.
Saturday’s ticketed event ($25 advance, $35 day of show) has a jaw-dropping amount of talented musicians. Acts will alternate between the main infield stage and the tent stage.
11:30 – Gracie Curran & the High Falutin’ Band
1:45 – Muddy Magnolias
4:00 – Mannish Boys Allstars
6:30 .- Tommy Castro & the Painkillers w/s/g Magic Dick
9:00 – North Mississippi Allstars w/s/g John Medeski
Gracie Curran, Muddy Magnolias, and the Ghost Town Blues Band all continue to confirm the Chenango Blues Festival’s ability to identify and feature emerging artists that captivate audiences and quickly become fan favorites, as the GTBB demonstrates with their third Norwich appearance since 2015. Alvin Youngblood Hart’s powerful vocals will kick things off on the tent stage, where he will be followed by Jason Ricci and JJ Appleton. Ricci is one of the most talented and creative harmonica players playing anywhere. Blues harp fans will come from far and wide to hear him. He teamed with Appleton on the 2015 acoustic blues release, Dirty Memory.
The Mannish Boys Allstars is a dream team of veteran award-winning bluesmen including lead vocalist and front man extraordinaire Sugaray Rayford, guitar wizard Kid Ramos, Anthony Geraci on keyboards, and the rhythm section of Willie J. Campbell and Jimi Bott.
Tommy Castro & the Painkillers will add harmonica ace Magic Dick Salwitz, known best for his work with J. Geils Band, to their lineup.
Closing out the tent stage will be 2017 BMA Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year winner Victor Wainwright, appearing with his eight-piece project, Victor Wainright and the Wildroots. This band won the 2016 BMA Band of the Year Award. This group is a full-blown aural onslaught replete with piano, organ, guitar, bass, drums, horns, harmonica, and backup vocals.
Headlining the main stage for the second time are the North Mississippi Allstars. The duo of brothers Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, vocals) are steeped in the traditions of Mississippi hill country blues music and will be complemented by in-demand keyboard virtuoso John Medeski. Expect the unexpected with this collaboration.
More details on the 25th Chenango Blues Fest can be found here.