River City Blues Festival to be March 20-21

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas will perform at 9:45 p.m. March 20 at the River City Blues Festival in Marietta. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — The 29th annual River City Blues Festival will be held March 20-21 at the Lafayette Hotel.

The annual weekend of music is sponsored by the Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society of Marietta.

For reservations and information, contact Peggy Bolen at 740-376-0222 evenings and weekends. The cost is $30 for Friday night, $30 for Saturday afternoon, $40 for Saturday night and $85 for a weekend pass.

The event schedule includes:


Vanessa Collier will perform at 8 p.m. March 21 during the 29th annual River City Blues Festival. (Photo Provided)

* 5 p.m.: High Schools That Rock (free and open to the public)

* 7 p.m.: Doors open for festival ticket holders

* 8 p.m.: Peaches Staten with The Mike Wheeler Band

* 9:45 p.m.: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas

MARCH 21 (Afternoon)

Peaches Staten with The Mike Wheeler Band will perform at 8 p.m. March 20 to kick off the River City Blues Festival in Marietta. (Photo Provided)

* Noon: Doors open for ticket holders

* 1 p.m.: Micah Kesselring

* 2:30 p.m.: Studebaker John & The Hawks

* 4 p.m.: Lil’Ed & The Blues Imperials

MARCH 21 (Evening)

Mr. Sipp will be the final performer of the 29th annual River City Blues Festival on March 20-21 at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. (Photo Provided)

* 7 p.m.: Doors open for ticket holders

* 8 p.m.: Vanessa Collier

* 9:45 p.m.: Mr. Sipp

Among this year’s performers will be:

* Peaches Staten with The Mike Wheeler Band

Peaches Staten is a world class entertainer who is known for jet setting across the continents spreading the joy of blues since 1997 playing many festivals and clubs. Staten offers a mixture of gritty vocals and explosive personality along with deep roots in blues, soul and funk. She is a product of the Mississippi Delta, though she was born in Doddsville, she grew up in the mix of the thriving Chicago Blues scene and was raised on gospel, blues and soul.

* Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas.

The music of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas was formed in 1985, and since has brought a take on regional South Louisiana music to all corners of the globe. From Lincoln Center in New York to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the music has crossed all barriers. Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005, Nathan Williams has also been honored with the Zydeco Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Cha-Chas have been voted the top Festival Band in the country, and have won the coveted Big Easy award for Best Zydeco Band for several years running.

* Micah Kesselring

Micah Kesselring has performed blues music since he was 14-years old. Raised in the Appalachia foothills of Southeastern Ohio, Kesselring quickly made his way onto the Columbus blues music scene after playing smaller hometown shows, and became acquainted with the Columbus Blues Alliance. He soon made his way down to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge, representing the Columbus Blues Alliance in the Youth Showcase category.

He has performed at numerous festivals, including the Heritage Music Bluesfest in Wheeling, the Traditional Acoustic Blues Festival in Worthington, Ohio, the Grey Skies Blues Fest in Tacoma, Wash., Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival in Gahanna, Ohio, and the Big Bend Blues Bash in Pomeroy.

* Studebaker John and the Hawks

Studebaker John Grimaldi was born in an Italian-American section of Chicago and started playing harmonica at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago’s famed blues melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the 1970s. As a songwriter and musician, Studebaker John has emerged as a major creative force in the world of the blues today.

* Lil’Ed and the Blues Imperials

In Chicago, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for over 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets.

Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Multiple albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre.

* Vanessa Collier

A master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa Collier, weaves funk, soul, rock and blues into every performance, combining vocals, saxophone and songwriting skills. She has been playing saxophone since age 9.

Collier has received three Blues Music Award Nominations (BMAs), a Blues Blast Award nomination, the Jammingest Pro Award bestowed by the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, First Place for lyrics in the International Songwriting Competition and Best of 2014 Blues Breaker on Dan Aykroyd’s BluesMobile. She is a 2013 graduate of the Berklee College of Music, has toured nationally and internationally and released three albums.

* Mr. Sipp

Castro Coleman, aka Mr. Sipp The Mississippi Blues Child, was born in the small town of McComb, Miss. He is a husband and father of four daughters. He has been around music all of his life. His parents and aunt had a quartet group. He was influenced by B.B. King at the age of 6 which is when he started playing the guitar.

In 2014 Castro was the winner of the International Blues Challenge (Band), the Albert King Gibson Guitar award, BMA Best New Artist Album winner 2016, The Spirit of Little Walter Award 2016. In 2016, Castro was the first blues artist to have his handprint inducted into the Wall of Fame in Fredrikshavn Denmark. In 2014, Castro was given the Bobby Rush Entertainer of the Year Award by the Jus’ Blues Foundation. In 2015, he won several Jackson Music Awards including International Male Blues Artist, Blues Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the year.

Wayne Towner can be reached at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com


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