The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of (Blues) Music


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The 6th Annual Foothills Blues & Arts Festival is scheduled for Fri., Aug. 26, and Sat., Aug. 27, in the rolling hills of Meigs County.

“Music and art bring people together, and that is what this festival is all about,” said Jared Sheets, president of the Foothills Music Foundation, which is co-sponsoring the festival. “Twenty-one acts on two stages, as well as dozens of local and regional artisans, make this festival a must-see event. Thanks to donations from local businesses and individuals, as well as support from organizations such as the Ohio Arts Council and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, we can offer this as a free event.”  

Once again, the Foothills Music Foundation is partnering with the Athens Local Professional Artists and Craftsmen Association (ALPACA). Local artists affiliated with ALPACA will be demonstrating and displaying works throughout the weekend with many hands-on activities for children and adults.

"We're expecting nearly 30 artist vendors this year," said Sheets. "In addition to the artisans, we also have 10 local food vendors offering everything from classic barbeque with pulled pork and ribs to southern fried catfish."

The weekend starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday with six acts that include Athens, Ohio band Broken Ring. "This is Broken Ring’s first time playing Foothills and we can’t wait to kick it off," said Colleen Carow, the group's singer/songwriter. "We’ve heard great things about what a warm time it is, and a lot of our friends and fans are planning to go."

International Blues Challenge finalist Chris Sutton and his band C & S Railroad from Barboursville, W.Va., are scheduled for Friday night, along with local favorite The Mudfork Blues Band. Rounding out the night's lineup are Sam Lamont of Morgantown, W.Va., Jazz Spoken Here from Athens, Ohio and Sit Down Baby from Providence, R.I.

Saturday has 15 musical acts on two stages running from 12:30 p.m. until midnight. Performers include James Armstrong of Chicago, Ill., and international blues legend Larry Garner of Baton Rouge, La. 

Garner was the recipient of the 1988 B.B. King Lucille Award, the 1995 Mo' Better Blues Award and a 2002 Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame inductee. In addition, he was named the BBC Bluesman of the Year and has been a three-time recipient of the Blues Songwriter of the Year Award in Paris. 

The festival is located just off State Route 143 near Harrisonville, Ohio, on the Sheets’ family farm. Free camping for the entire weekend is available on-site, including RV parking by email reservation. Those coming to the festival will need to bring their own lawn chairs and may bring their own coolers, but no glass containers are allowed.  For details and directions, visit www.foothillsmusic.org or email the Foothills Music Foundation at info@foothillsmusic.org.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Friday 8/26 All Music on Covered Stage

5:00pm    Campgrounds Open and Artisan Demonstrations Begin
5:30pm    Broken Ring, Athens, Ohio
6:30pm    The Mudfork Blues Band, Harrisonville, Ohio
7:30pm     Jazz Spoken Here, Athens, Ohio
8:30pm    C&S Railroad, Barboursville, W.Va.
9:30pm    Sam Lamont Blues Band, Morgantown, W.Va.
10:30pm   Sit Down Baby, Providence, R.I.

Saturday 8/27

Noon – Artisan Demonstrations Begin

Electric Stage
12:00pm    Duke Junior and the Smokey Boots, Athens, Ohio
1:15pm    Sit Down Baby, Providence, R.I.
2:30pm    Magic Mama Band, Point Pleasant, W.Va.
3:45pm    Dennis McClung Blues Band, Fairmont, W.Va.
5:15pm    Ellie Lee & Blues Fury, Columbus, Ohio
6:45pm    The Mudfork Blues Band, Harrisonville, Ohio
7:45pm    James Armstrong Blues Band, Chicago, Ill.
9:15pm    Larry Garner Blues Band, Baton Rouge, La.
10:45pm    The Jimi Vincent Band, Sylvania, Ohio

Acoustic Stage
12:45pm   Todd Burge, Parkersburg, W.Va.
2:00pm    Todd Burge, Parkersburg, W.Va.
3:15pm    The Bob Stewart Band, Athens, Ohio
4:45pm    The Bob Stewart Band, Athens, Ohio
6:15pm    Izzy and Chris, Weirton, W.Va.
7:15pm    Izzy and Chris, Weirton, W.Va.