May 10, 2014 – Festival Photos

May 14th, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

There were a lot of great photos taken at the festival. These are from the festival’s official photographer Gene Driskell.

Created with flickr slideshow.


Backstage photos from festival photographer, Gene Driskell.

Created with flickr slideshow.

New Lineup

May 1st, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

We’ve been working hard the last few days to make the best lineup decisions we can make, after Los Lobos cancelled. To that end, our closer will be Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band this year, preceeded by St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Frankly the buzz around Jaimoe and the Broken Bones being at McTell Fest has been as strong as any of the acts we’ve had in that last few years. It makes perfect sense.

We’ve also added one of Georgia’s roots music icons, the honorable Col. Bruce Hampton, along with his new band the Madrid Express. Reviewing the past 20 years, its unthinkable that he hasn’t been to our fest….ever! The performance schedule changes will be published in the next day or so. Get your tickets for a great day of music, May 10.

View the full festival schedule here.

Lineup Change

April 28th, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

For Immediate Release - Los Lobos Cancellation

Today, the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival announces a lineup change for this year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, May 10, 2014, in Thomson, GA. Los Lobos, the renowned roots rock band from Los Angeles, announced that they would not appear at the festival this year.

The following statement was received by the Festival organizers on Friday evening of last week.

Due to unavoidable and important family issues, we have been forced to cancel our appearance at your festival. The struggle balancing work and family can be extremely challenging, and this decision was difficult and painful. To all of you…our fans and all of the BWBF regulars, we are very sorry we won’t be there, but we do hope to have the opportunity to come and play for you soon. – Los Lobos

Festival organizers are working now to decide on any lineup additions, if necessary. The rest of the stellar roster include Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, St.Paul and the Broken Bones, The Campbell Brothers, Tony Furtado, and Sugar Ray and the BlueTones. Any additional act(s) added as a result of this cancellation will be announced during the days ahead.

The Festival certainly regrets this unavoidable cancellation and appreciates all of the support of the loyal fans of our event. Please call 706-597-1000 for additional information and we hope to see you on May 10 at the 21st Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival.

Giant Stella Guitars

April 23rd, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

Three artfully-painted, 7-foot guitars are currently located along Main Street. These guitars are replicas of the Stella guitar that Blind Willie McTell was known to play. 


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Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

April 21st, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

Sugar Ray and the Bluetones will be kicking off the music this year! Music starts at noon!

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

April 10th, 2014 | By Elizabeth Vance

If you haven’t heard the buzz about this Alabama band’s live shows, you probably just aren’t listening… but you can hear and see them live on May 10 in Thomson, GA.

Tickets Go On Sale March 5

February 25th, 2014 | By Mary Sicard

Advance tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (803) 278-4849.

Advanced tickets are $30. (Fees apply.)

Tickets at the gate are $40.

Children 12 and under get in free.

The Festival is “Rain or Shine.”

21st Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival to be Held May 10, 2014

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.

Line-Up Change

May 16th, 2013 | By Mary Sicard

We regret that Eric Lindell and his band the Sunliners will not be at the festival. Eric has some health issues and cannot travel. That is bad news and we wish him well….perhaps another year.

THE GOOD NEWS….Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets are the replacements. The band is Anson Funderburgh — Guitar, Bill Heid — Keyboard, Tom Brill — Bass, and Big Joe Maher — Drums and Vocals. Should be good.

They’ll play in the same slot as Lindell would have played.

20th Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival to be Held May 18, 2013

February 7th, 2013 | By Mary Sicard

Make plans to attend the 20th Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival on Sat., May 18, 2013.

The line up includes Buddy Miller, Tab Benoit, Jim Lauderdale, Eric Lindell, Anson Funderburgh, Randall Bramblett, The Revelers and the Crosstie Walkers.

Tickets are on sale online and are available the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce office.

Please like our Blind Willie McTell Facebook page.

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