PHOTOS: 26th Annual River City Blues Festival< < Back to
Over this past weekend, there was something particularly alive within the Grand Ballroom of the historic Lafayette Hotel in Marietta, OH. Friday and Saturday the hotel played host to the 26th iteration of the River City Blues Festival, which is organized yearly by the Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society.
The event kicked off Friday evening with performances from blues guitarist Kara Grainger and renowned New Orleans based outfit Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hell Raisers. Saturday morning Ohio-based Schools that Rock (under the direction of Mark Doebrich) started the second day of the festival with a free set, which was open to the public.
Schools that Rock is a year-long program dedicated to teaching young people in the Southeast Ohio region how to play and perform a variety of musical styles. The program is completely free, and has been ongoing for about 16 years.
The second act of the Saturday round of performances started off with Chicago-based Studebaker John, whose sound is heavily influenced by the fact that he was an attentive student to mid-century bluesmen such as Big Walter Horton, “One-Armed” John Wrencher, and Johnny Littlejohn throughout his youth.
Bona fide Chicago blues legend John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band followed Studebaker John with a blistering set. Primer has performed with the likes of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Junior Wells, Gary Clark Jr., Johnny Winter, The Rolling Stones, Derek Trucks, Buddy Guy and more.