River City Blues Festival to be March 16-17

C.J. Chenier

MARIETTA — Some of the top regional and national blues acts in the country will be performing at the 27th annual River City Blues Festival on March 16-17 in downtown Marietta.

The two-day event will be held at the Lafayette Hotel at 101 Front St. in Marietta and is being sponsored by the Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society of Marietta.

Weekend pass to all events are $70 for BJFM members and $85 for non-members. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for non-members for Friday night, $25 for members and $30 for non-members for Saturday matinee and $25 for members and $30 for non-members for Saturday night.

Tickets and information are available by calling Helen Holt at 304-615-7997 or Peggy Bolen at 740-376-0222.

The 2018 River City Blues Festival performers include:

Cary Morin

* JJ Thames and The Violet Revolt

Thames has performed all over the world with artists as a backing vocalist, and has even penned songs for some mainstream pop, R&B, rock and hip-hop artists. Classically and jazz trained, she began performing at 9 years old and became a blues- shouting banshee by the time she was 18 years old. She cut her teeth after moving down to Jackson, Miss., where she performed with the celebrated “Chitlin’ Circuit” superstars. She is a mixture of traditional blues and soul.

* C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

Chenier is the Creole son of the Grammy Award-winning “King of Zydeco,” Louisiana musician, Clifton Chenier. In 1987, Chenier followed in his father’s footsteps and led his father’s band as an accordion performer and singer of zydeco, a blend of cajun and creole music.

* Cary Morin

Mississippi Heat

Morin has been described as acoustic Native Americana fingerstyle blues with strong qualities of jam, reggae, jazz, blues, bluegrass and dance. His 2017 release, “Cradle to the Grave,” won the 2017 Indigenous Music Award for Best Blues CD. He currently performs as a solo artist, and with Young Ancients.

* Gaye Adegbalola

Adegbalola is a Blues Music Award winner and a founding member of Saffire — The Uppity Blues Women. She plays guitar and harmonica and is a composer. She has recorded 10 CDs on Alligator Records and has toured widely throughout the U.S. and internationally. She has also released five CDs on her own Hot Toddy Music label.

A former Virginia State Teacher of the Year, she is also in demand for workshops, lectures and motivational public speaking. A longtime activist, she is presently involved with issues of diversity and is committed to the struggle for GLBT rights.

* Lurrie Bell

Gaye Adegbalola

Born in 1958, the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell picked up his father’s guitar at age of 5 and taught himself to play. In addition, he grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. He has released a variety of albums and has received multiple Blues Music Award nominations as Best Guitarist and Best Traditional Male Blues Artist by the Blues Foundation. Bell has appeared on over 50-plus recordings either as leader or featured sideman.

* Mississippi Heat

Led by harmonica master and songwriter Pierre Lacocque, Mississippi Heat is a world-class Chicago Blues Band. The band is known internationally for their passionate blues delivery. Overseas and national touring have been an integral part of their work for decades. The band has appeared at many world-famous festivals including many in the U.S. and around the world.

The band’s current lineup includes Pierre Lacocque, harmonica, Inetta Visor, lead vocals, Michael Dotson, guitar/vocals, Brian Quinn, bass, Kenny Smith, drums/vocals, Terrence Williams, drums, Giles Corey, guitar/vocals, and Neal O’Hara, keyboard.

* Bernard Allison

Allison was born in Chicago, where his father, Luther Allison, was a Chicago blues musician. Bernard Allison moved back and forth between Illinois and Florida, but remained close to his father’s music whether with him or not, listening to his father’s albums when they were apart. He has released over 12 albums between 1990 and 2018.


2018 River City Blues Festival Schedule


* 7 p.m.: Doors open

* 8 p.m.: JJ Thames and the Violet Revolt (soul-blues)

* 9:45 p.m.: C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band (zydeco)


* 11 a.m.: Schools that Rock (local students supervised by Mark Doebrich) (free and open to the public)

* 12:30 p.m.: Doors open

* 1 p.m.: Cary Morin (Native American fingerstyle guitar)

* 4 p.m.: Lurrie Bell (Chicago blues)

* Dinner break

* 7 p.m.: Doors open

* 8 p.m.: Mississippi Heat (Delta-inspired blues)

* 9:45 p.m.: Bernard Allison (blues rock)