Saturday, May 05, 2012

DC Area Has The Blues

Chick Willis returns to Lamont's for the Lamont's Blues Festival
Just want to highlight and make some comments on upcoming blues events in the Washington Metropolitan area through June that folks might want to be aware of.

Yesterday I attended a production Women of the Blues that takes place at the Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church in Falls Church Virginia. This is a blues review that is described as celebrating the lives and music of some of the greatest divas of the 20th Century. Directed by internationally acclaimed artist, Matt Conner, the show will take audiences on a soulful and sassy journey though some of the most memorable songs in the blues canon. It is being produced in conjunction with the Tinner Hill Foundation. It will run this and the next two weekends, Thursday through Sunday through May 20. The Creative Cauldron’s website is The link for tickets to this show is and there will be a bit more information on the production there.

Ruthie Foster will be at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Two weekends from now there will be two blues events in the Washington area. The annual Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival takes place May 19 and 20. This event takes place at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis and is a fundraiser for charities. Frankly, the festival is more of a blues-rock event, especially on Sunday with Jonny Lang as a headliner and performers like Albert Cummings although the Swiss artist Phillippe Faunkauser sounds promising. Sarturday, up against the Preakness in Baltimore, has a stronger line-up for those who want blues, not blues-tinged rock including Janiva Magness, Ruthie Foster and the Delta Guitar Slingers with Michael Burks, Bernard Allison and Lurrie Bell. I would also not mind seeing the Tedeschi-Trucks Band but would have to sit through Big Head Todd to wait for them. For more information on this festival, check

Bobby Parker will be at the Lamont's Blues Festival

An alternative for a straight blues show on May 19 is the Lamont’s Blues Festival at Lamont’s in Indian Head (PoMonkey), Maryland. Performing at Lamont’s will be Chet ‘Dr. Feelgood’ Hines, Lady Rose, Clarence ‘The Bluesman’ Turner, along with DC Blues Legend Bobby Parker and the Stoop Down Man, Chick Willis. After the show outside, it will move indoors for the after-party with the Gridlock Band until the night runs late. Lamont’s Entertainment Complex is at 4400 Livingston Road, Pomonkey, MD 20640 and a phone number is 240 393-2525. It is easier for me to get to and less hassles. Also, every chance I have to see Chick Willis I try not to miss him. I intend to be here unless the Washington capitals are still in the playoff and playing at home.
Walter Wolfman Washington will be at the Western Maryland Blues Festival

The first weekend of June brings the Western Maryland Blues Festival in Hagerstown Maryland. Actually it starts on Thursday May 31 with a prelude show. It begins in earnest on Friday evening, June 1 with a nice line-up of Skyla Burrell Band, Billy Thompson Band, Walter “ Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters and Matt Schofield Blues Project. Saturday June 2 the festival has two stages of blues with Hard Swimmin’ Fish, Mike Westcott Band featuring Tommy Lepson, Trampled Under Foot, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, Moondog Medicine Show, Moreland & Arbuckle, The Lee Boys and Walter Trout. Both Friday night and Saturday’s shows take place in downtown Hagerstown. Sunday, there is the annual Festival in the Park at Hagerstown City Park with Paul Pfau Blues Band, Stack O’ Blues, Bad Influence Band and Bobby Parker Band. For more information including cost of tickets for Friday night and Saturday, see

Ironing Board Sam will be at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival as part of the Music Makers Revue
The following weekend, the same as the Chicago Blues Festival is the annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival produced by the Tinner Hill Foundation and held in the City of Falls Church VA City Park. On Friday night, June 8, the Festival presents at the State Theatre, the wonderful Texas blues powerhouse, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy. with the superb guitarist Jonn Del Toro Richarson. Saturday, June 9, the Festival takes place at several locations. There will be blues at the weekly farmer’s Market. At 10 Am, Dianna Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley present the history, music and legacy of the Underground Railroad and its connection to Blues Music! at the Falls Church Community Center. At 11:00PM Big Ron Hunter from the Music Maker Blues Revue will create a Tinner Hill Blues Song at his Songwriting Workshop also at the Community Center. The main festival takes place at Cherry Hill Park with performers including the Big Boy Little Band, The Pluckerland Band, Cathy Ponton King Band, Dianna Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley, the Kelly Bell Band, and the Music Maker Revue with Ironing Board Sam, Big Ron Hunter, Ardie Dean, Sol Creech and Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen. There will be screening of the film, “John Jackson; A Blues Treasure”

Other events include a showing of the award-winning short film documentary film on the life and music of John Jackson by film maker Beverly Lindsay-Johnson and narrated by DC legend Chuck Brown, and “Call it the Blues”, a juried Art Show, awards presentation at Art & Frame of 111 Park Avenue  Falls Church, VA 22046 which will be on view all weekend! The winner will be announced at the Festival at Cherry Hill Park. On Sunday, June 10 the Mad Fox Brewing Company & Restaurant will host a Blues Brunch, Tribute and Open Jam featuring musicians associated with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation. For more information on the festival check out the Tinner Hill website, Note that some events have a charge. For more information visit I hope to attend some of the events although I will also be attending some of the annual DC Jazz Festival that takes place June 1 through June 10.
Warner Williams will be at the Silver Spring Blues Festival
Two following weekend on Saturday June 16 will be two free blues festivals. The Columbia Pike Blues Festival takes place at the intersection of South Walter Reed and Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia. Performers include Karl Stoll & the Danger Zone, Moondog Medicine Show, Danny Blew and the Blues Crew, Chris Polk and headliners Peter Karp and Sue Foley. Information on the festival is at The same day in downtown Silver Spring, the Silver Spring Blues Festival will take place with an electric stage lineup that is headlined by Warner Williams and also includes Moonshine Society, Fast Eddie & the Slowpokes, and DC Blues Society Band featuring Ayaba Bey. On the acoustic stage will be the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation Ensemble; Sheryl Sears Trio and Cooking with Gas. For more information on this event see

That captures some of the more significant blues events in the Washington DC area through mid-June. All photos on this blog entry copyright Ron Weinstock

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