February 6th, 2014 | By Mary Sicard
Today, the Activities Council of Thomson announced the lineup for the 21st Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, to be held on Sat., May 10, 2014. The one-day fest, with a large fan base from all over the Southeast, will be held at the regular festival site on Stagecoach Road, 300 yards off Washington Highway, north of Thomson, Ga.
Tickets, which are $30 advance and $40 day of, go on sale March 1
The event is held each year to bring great American roots and blues music and musicians to the rural South, as well as pay tribute to country blues legend McTell, a Thomson native son, born and buried in the Happy Valley area of McDuffie County.
The small town feel and exceptional quality of the music presented year in and year out makes the McTell Festival a special event indeed. The organizers strive to feature artists who offer the best in American music, focusing on the styles of Americana, folk, gospel, rock, blues and all its variations with musicians that our smaller market can support — music played by folks at the top of their game.
This year’s line-up is still being finalized as we go to press, but it’s shaping up and packed with talent from all over the United States.
Headlining this year will be Los Lobos, a multiple Grammy Award–winning, American roots rock band from East Los Angeles, California. Their music is influenced by rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues, brown-eyed soul, more. Their live electric show is white-hot, featuring the very best of over 20 albums of music filtered through 40 years of playing together in this lineup. They are led by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist David Hidalgo, regularly recognized the world over as one of the very best guitarists working today. In addition to fronting Los Lobos, he is routinely included on the roster of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festivals, held bi-annually around the nation to showcase the all guitarists of note.
2013 saw the release of Disconnected in New York City, a live set, celebrating their 40 year legacy.
In addition to Los Lobos, the McTell Festival is proud to present Jaimoe’s Jazzz Band. Led by Jaimoe Johanson, one of founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, the ensemble plays solid blues arrangements that feature the vocals and guitar of Jr. Mack. The rest of the lineup is rock solid with the sacred steel sounds of the Campbell Brothers and Chicago blues by Sugar Ray Norcia and the Blue Tones.
Always mindful of Willie McTell’s country blues style of guitar playing, we’re proud to present Tony Furtado. Furtado is brilliant on acoustic guitar, especially on slide, and is a master of the banjo as well. He’ll be on stage, along with his bassist in a duo setting.
Rounding out the roster is a great up and coming combo from Alabama, St. Paul and the Broken Bones. They will be touring behind their first national release “Half the City”, releasing on February 18. These young guys are really starting to “build a buzz” in the Southeast. Check out some of their videos on YouTube and you’ll see why.
As in years gone by, there will be an array of vendors serving traditional Southern food and beverages: ribs, chicken, fish, Cajun, great dishes that go hand in hand with the music that will be on tap that day.
Carry in food and drink will not be allowed. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Advance tickets for the Saturday afternoon show will be $30. Tickets will go on sale in March 1. They will be available locally at the Chamber office as well as on this website. For additional info, visit the Blind Willie McTell Facebook page.