Updated Tue, Mar 5, 2013 5:16 pm
Marietta's music fans, restaurants and shops are gearing up for the 22nd annual River City Blues Festival, being held March 15-16 at the Lafayette Hotel.
Hosted by the city's Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society (BJFM), the fest will feature a variety of blues styles from national and regional acts.
"Blues is the roots of all American music and this year’s festival lineup will include a variety of blues musicians from around the country," said Peggy Bolen of the BJFM. "More and more people are getting into the blues...we expect our shows to be very well-attended and the restaurants, bars and shops in town to be full all weekend."
The fest kicks off on Friday night at 8 p.m. with The Michael Gough Group from South Union, Ky., followed at 9:45 p.m. by The Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings.
Saturday's schedule gets underway at noon with "Schools That Rock," featuring local students from Marietta's "Blues in The Schools" program. The show is free and open to the public.
At 2 p.m. Chris Sutton will open the festival's "Saturday Matinee" with a 30-minute set. Sutton was the first-place winner of the 2013 River City Blues Competition and will represent the BJFM at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis early next year.
Traditional acoustic blues will be represented by Rocky Lawrence, who has modeled himself after legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, right down to a matching suit, Dobbs hat and two-toned shoes. The Connecticut-based Lawrence will perform at 2:45 p.m.
At 3:50 p.m., The Jake Leg Stompers will take the stage with a blend of high-energy Memphis blues, jazz and vaudeville. Expect a spirited and unpredictable set from this Tennessee quintet.
Chicago's Eddie Shaw has spent a lifetime rubbing shoulders with blues legends, including a stint in Muddy Waters' band in the 1950s and backing up Howlin' Wolf in the mid-'70s.
Shaw and his band The Wolf Gang have performed throughout the world and are considered to be one of the premier Chicago blues bands performing today. They will perform at 8 p.m.
Zac Harmon will close out the festival at 10 p.m. with a set firmly rooted in the blues tradition, a reflection of his Jackson, Miss., upbringing.
Tickets will be sold at the door, but but advance tickets and weekend passes are suggested. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.