Winter Park / Live Music: Two week left before Blues from the Top festival
The Grand County Blues Societys Sixth Annual Blues From the Top festival is only three weeks away (June 28 and 29) and tickets are going fast. Those who purchase tickets in advance save $4 on the ticket price.The two-day festival is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Grand County Blues Society each year and may be one of the best and most diverse Colorado concert events scheduled in 2008. GCBS founding member John Catt said the line-up is stacked this year. The theme of the festival is about legends and legends-to-be.The festival kicks off Saturday, June 28, with musicians Johnny Winter, Jimmy Thackery, Steady Rollin Bob Margolin, the Delta Sonics, Eden Brent, John-Alex Mason, Soulmate, and The Runaways. Sundays line-up June 29 highlights Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Hall and Tommy Shannon and George Rains; Ronnie Fruge, Deanna Bogart, Larry Garner, Jason Ricci and Zak Harmon.Theres also several evening parties planned to showcase the big talents in town. A Pre-Fest Party is Friday night at Smokin Moes, starting at 9 p.m. with Margolin, the Delta Sonics and Hall. Tickets are $20. On Saturday night Smokin Moes will host four shows featuring Harmon, Thackery, Hall, and some surprises. The Saturday night show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20.The Grand County Blues Society is also pleased to announce several other blues musicians playing around town Saturday and Sunday. Ricci and New Blood, and Mason are playing at the Winter Park Pub Saturday night, starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 (970-726-4929). Al Chessis and the Delta Sonics and Soulmate are set to play at Buckets Saloon Saturday starting at 9:30 p.m. ($12, 970-726-3026), and the Eden Brent Trio with Jimmy Yozell and local musician Andy Irvine are playing at 9 p.m. Saturday at Fontenots for a dinner and show at $15 (call 970-726-4021).Some of the big-name talents set to play on Sunday include:Joe BonamassaCalled a bold talent with wicked guitar thrills, Joe Bonamassa is a blues-rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist and songwriter. He was named Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazines readership in their annual Readers Choice Awards in 2007 and the years success continued with the release of Sloe Gin, Bonamassas seventh solo album, and fourth on his own J&R Adventures label. It is a mix of heavy blues, big rock and textured acoustic tracks.He is widely renowned for his insanely fluid phrasing and post-modern fusion of electric British blues, traditional Delta blues and rock n roll chops. When I play blues, I try to think a little outside the box, while still paying tribute to the founding fathers like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, he told Guitar Player in 2005. With the Sloe Gin album, Bonamassas redefinition of the blues-rock art form continues to evolve as does his own identity as one of contemporary musics most profoundly talented stars.The Jimmy Hall ExperienceTommy Shannon, George Rains and Ronnie Frug join Jimmy Hall for a unique concert performance on the Sunday lineup.Shannon was Stevie Ray Vaughans musical partner for a decade. He was the primary bass player for both Johnny Winter and Vaughan two of the most celebrated rock guitarists in Texas.Rains started playing drums as a teenager in bands around his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Later he relocated to Austin and among the long list of musicians and bands hes played with, including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly and Boz Skaggs; Rains has toured and recorded extensively with Jimmie Vaughan.Born in Alabama, singer and saxophone and harmonica player Hall was raised by a musical family steeped in gospel tradition. He moved on to Georgia, forming the Wet Willie band and has shared the stage with such artists as The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Grand Funk Railroad. Hall continued the southern musical tradition by fronting a new all-star southern rock band called Deep South.Guitarist, singer and songwriter Frug has been playing since he was about 12 with family band the Little Giants. Formerly a long-time local of the Fraser Valley, he played regularly at the Derailer and the Crooked Creek Saloon. A full-blooded Cajun with a rich history, Frug now calls Nashville home and has played with many big names including Stevie Ray Vaughan.Cost per person is $28 for advanced tickets, and $32 per day the day of the festival. An advanced two-day pass is $46 (day of show is $55. VIP and Gold passes are also available both are limited. The VIP Pass is $100 for one day, $150 for two days and includes lunch, dinner, covered prime seating and cash bar. Two tickets remain for the Gold Pass for $325 for the two-day festival and includes all access, including VIP tent both days and all night shows. To secure an opportunity for these special seats, call (970) 531-1641.Regular tickets are available at Radio Shack in Fraser, Rudis Deli, The Paper Clip, Winter Park / Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce, and on the Web sites of the GCBS (www.grandblues.org) and Tickets West (www.ticketswest.com). Interested sponsors may contact a GCBS board member on the GCBS Web site, http://www.grandblues.org.
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