Singing the Blues

Annual Blues Bash this weekend

By Sarah Hawley -

Noah Wotherspoon performs as the crowd dances along on during the 2017 Big Bend Blues Bash.

Noah Wotherspoon performs as the crowd dances along on during the 2017 Big Bend Blues Bash.

POMEROY — The Big Bend Blues Bash returns this weekend, bringing two days of musical entertainment to downtown Pomeroy.

Music will kick-off on Friday evening at 6 p.m., with more than a dozen performers set to take to the stage Friday and Saturday. In addition, performances will take place at the Court Grill and Maple Lawn Brewery.

Friday — Main Stage

On Friday evening on the riverfront Main Stage, the line-up will feature Snuggelfish at 6 p.m.; local favorites Blitzkrieg at 7 p.m.; the Sean Chambers Band at 8 p.m.; and Joanna Connor at 10 p.m.

The Sean Chambers Band hails from Florida. Florida born Sean Chambers began his career in the Blues back in 1998 when he toured with the legendary Hubert Sumlin as his guitarist and band leader until 2003. During Sean’s tenure with Mr. Sumlin, Britain’s own Guitarist magazine named Chambers as “One of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century.”

According to his biography, on March 17, 2017, Sean Chambers released his newest album entitled “Trouble & Whiskey” on the American Showplace Music label. Trouble & Whiskey hit No. 11 on Billboard, reached No. 7 on the Living Blues Charts during the first week of it’s release, and was nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award for “Best Blues Rock Album of the year”.

Joanna Connor, from Chicago, draws her musical influences from Aretha Franklin and Buddy Guy.

According to her biography, Joanna cut her teeth at the famous club owned by Buddy Guy on the south side of Chicago — the Checkerboard Lounge with house band the 43rd St. blues band. Joanna was given her own night at the legendary Kingston Mines at the age of 26, was signed to Blind Pig records soon thereafter, toured 49 states and 25 countries. She was the first artist not on a major label to be signed to an endorsement deal by Gibson Guitars and Victoria Amps. She has been featured in every major city newspaper and guitar magazine. Her band was featured in a documentary for German television, and featured on NPR and House of Blues Radio Hour. She has held a house gig at the Chicago House of Blues for 10 years running and at the Kingston Mines since 2004, where she is a favorite of audiences of all ages and nationalities.

Saturday — Main Stage

Music on the Main Stage will begin at noon on Saturday with the Brent Patterson Showcase. At 1 p.m. will be the Napalm All-Stars; Blues Cowboys at 2 p.m.; Shouts & Whispers at 3 p.m.; Bernie Nau Trio at 4 p.m.; Rattlesnake Shake at 5 p.m.; Chris O’Leary at 6 p.m.; Lance Lopez at 8 p.m.; and Dwayne Dopsie & Zydeco Hellraisers at 10 p.m.

Chris O’Leary’s musical background includes duties as lead singer and front man for rock and roll hall of famer and Grammy award winner Levon Helm’s band, The Barnburners. During the 6 years that Chris and Levon played together they toured across the US and Canada lighting up stages everywhere they went. Chris has appeared on stage with: Legendary Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Healy, Dan Akroyd, Albert Lee, Dave Edmunds, Dave Maxwell and the great James Cotton to name just a few. Chris has also recorded with Bill Perry and Hubert Sumlin, among others.

The Chris O’Leary Band’s debut CD “Mr. Used to Be” won the 2011 Best New Artist Debut CD Blues Blast Award and was nominated for best new artist debut at the 2011 American Blues Music Awards. The regular members of the band include: Chris Vitarello, guitar; Matt Raymond, bass; Chris DiFrancesco, baritone sax; Andy Stahl, tenor sax; Andrei Koribanics, drums.

Lance Lopez was born in Shreveport, La. In 1999, Lopez started his solo career and began touring locally and regionally opening shows for B.B. King and other legends. When he was 23, Lopez, went to Europe on his very first solo Tour in 2000-01, after getting his name known in the European market by being a member of Lucky Peterson’s band. Between 2008-11 Lance, began touring Europe again heavily and began to play bigger festivals and toured with large rock acts ZZ Top, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, and Rod Stewart. Lopez has stunned audiences worldwide with his fiery brand of Texas Blues Rock and Powerhouse performances. He has won over the likes of guitar legends like Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, B.B. King, and Eric Clapton who are all not only personal friends of Lopez’s, but fans.

The Saturday evening headliner is Dwayne Dopsie & Zydeco Hellraisers from Louisiana.

“America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin, plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.

Dwayne Dopsie and The Zydeco Hellraisers not only pump out incredible Zydeco music, they also add a bit of rhythm and blues, funk, rock and roll, reggae and pop to their performances.

Court Grill Stage

At the Court Grill, Rattlesnake Shake will perform at 10 p.m. on Friday, with Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons at 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Based in Detroit, Rattlesnake Shake is a tribute to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac specific to 1967 through 1970. The band formed in 2000. Rattlesnake Shake perform all the favorite hits of Fleetwood Mac prior to Stevie Nicks/Lindsay Buckingham era. Classics like Black Magic Woman, Albatross, and Green Manalishi.

Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons are a Columbus, Ohio local band armed with electric guitars, swooning vocals, and songs that split the difference between rock and roll and dreamy psychedelia. The band packed the biggest punch of their career with Homemade Vision (2016). Like the band’s debut, Hey Kid (2014), an album whose kickoff track, “Athens,” earned Perley an International Songwriting Award in 2014. Homemade Vision was recorded in the Howlin’ Moons’ hometown of Columbus.

Maple Lawn Brewery Taproom

Additionally, the Maple Lawn Brewery Taproom will host live music on Saturday. The taproom line-up includes, Eric Buzzard at 1:30 p.m.; Corey Shields Trio at 2:30 p.m.; Brent & Barry at 3:30 p.m.; Band of Gypsys Tribute at 4:30 p.m.; Blackberry Jam at 5:30 p.m.; and Napalm All-Stars at 6:30 p.m.

One of the features of the annual Blues Bash is local craft beers. Featured this year are Sixth Sense Brewing Company, North High Brewing, West End Cider House, Devil’s Kittle Brewing and Maple Lawn Brewery.

Noah Wotherspoon performs as the crowd dances along on during the 2017 Big Bend Blues Bash. Wotherspoon performs as the crowd dances along on during the 2017 Big Bend Blues Bash.
Annual Blues Bash this weekend

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.