Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pennsylvania Blues Festival Celebates 23 Years Of Pocono Blues

James Cotton at 2007 Western Maryland Blues Festival - Photo © Ron Weinstock
The 4th Pennsylvania Blues Festival celebrates 23 years of blues in the Pocono Mountains, July 25-27 at Blue Mountain Ski Area & Resort's Valley - at the base of Blue Mountain with 1 wide spectrum of real blues acts two covered stages. Headlining this year’s festival are Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters; The James Cotton Blues Band and C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Lousiana Band.

The Festival starts on Friday night with PA Blues Fest Showcase with The BC COMBO featuring Bev Conklin, Slam Allen, Mikey Junior, Joe Mac & Lonnie Shields. Bev Conklin and her band anchored last year’s showcase and it will be a treat to hear this year’s group that features the Mississippi born Lonnie Shields bringing his distinctive touch along with harmonica wizard Mikey Jr., and Slam Allen who was part of James Cotton’s Band for many years.

Barbara Carr at 2010 Pocono Blues Festival. Photo © Ron Weinstock
Saturday, July 26, the Festival will open with Tad Robinson performing on the Main Tent Stage while Rip Lee Pryor (son of the legendary Snooky Pryor who recently had his first recording issued on Electro-Fi) will open the Adventure Center for the first of two stages. Also appearing at the Adventure Center Stage will be Ursula Ricks for two sets. After Tad Robinson, there will be sets on the Main Tent Stage by Shawn Holt and the Teardrops (Shawn is son of Morris ‘Magic Slim’’ Holt); the great soul-blues vocalist Barbara Carr; the magical guitar of Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters;  and the legendary James Cotton Blues Band will close that night. After the main performances there will be Saturday Night Jam in the Adventure Center featuring Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames.

Warner Williams of Little Bit of Blues.
Sunday, July 27 will open with VIP Sunday Brunch with The Murali Coryell Band with Special Guest - Dave Keyes. The Main Stage opens with the marvelous gospel harmonies of The Como Mamas; Following the Como Mamas will be The Jarekus Singleton Band featuring the young Mississippi bluesman who recently signed with Alligator and will soon have his debut album for the label. Little Bit of Blues, a Washington DC trio that features the amazing guitar and vocals of Warner Williams will be at the Adventure Center for the first of two sets and followed there by Super Chickan, also playing two sets there. Other main stage acts include the Chris Cain Band, featuring the wonderful, if highly underrated West Coast singer and guitarist; the Heritage Blues Quintet; with C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Lousiana Band closing the main stage with some les bon temps roulet zydeco. The Jarekus Singleton Band will close out the Adventure Center stage.
CJ Chenier at 2010 Pocono Blues Festival
Once again Michael Cloeren has put together a line-up that captures a wide range of blues styles and includes some artists making rare East Coast appearances. Blue Mountain Ski Area is in Palmerton PA. For more information on the Festival, including information on tickets, and other matters visit

I have added links to reviews I have posted of a number of the performers. Just click on their names (which will be in blue) and it should take you to my review of that artist. This links will be updated as I add additional reviews.

1 comment:

Deb in SF said...

What a fabulous lineup! Thanks for reminding me of the great acts, Ron. For me, Ronnie Earl and Tad Robinson would be enough, but add to them all the other great bands (Barbara Carr!). This year as every year, I cannot wait!