Cary Morin, one of the scheduled performers for the 27th Annual River City Blues Festival. (Submitted)

27th Annual River City Blues Festival Set for March 16-17

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For the past 28 years, the Mid-Ohio Valley Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society has been gathering some of the most exciting blues acts from around the country for the River City Blues Festival, a two-day musical celebration each March within the historic Lafayette Hotel in downtown Marietta. This year is no different. The 2018 edition of the event will take place Friday, March 16 through Saturday, March 17.

Bernard Allison, one of the featured performers for this year’s River City Blues Festival. (Submitted)

“One thing that we have done this year, that is different from what we have done in past years, is that all seven of the acts that we have playing over the two-day period are all professional acts,” said Jay Phillips, a longtime member of the Mid-Ohio Blues, Jazz, and Folk music society, as well as one of the committee members responsible for arranging the event. “In the past we have always had six professional acts and one act who was our competition winner. Not that our competition winners aren’t professionals, it’s just by nature of being in the competition they are in some way amateurs.”

C.J. Chenier, the son of Clifton Chenier, the progenitor of zydeco, who will perform at the 27th annual River City Blues Festival on Friday, March 16. (Submitted)

Phillips said that he is excited for the annual performance by the High Schools that Rock group, which is made up of middle and high school students who have learned to perform blues and rock ‘n’ roll with the assistance of a retired educator in Marietta. The group will open up the second day of the festival with a free performance starting at 11 a.m.

The Missippi Heat, who will perform on the evening of March 17 at the 27th Annual River City Blues Festival. (Submitted)

“I don’t know if people really understand the quality of music that we have been bringing to southeast Ohio over the years,” said Phillips. “This year in particular we have quite a diverse line-up: a fantastic zydeco group, some horn driven blues, all types of blues music. We have a great venue, the Lafayette Hotel, and it is a clean and friendly environment and even a dance floor for people to dance near the acts.”

Check out the line-up for the weekend below.

WOUB Culture will be covering the 2018 River City Blues Festival all weekend long! Keep tabs on us at @WOUBCulture on Twitter and on WOUB’s Facebook page for photos all weekend long, as well as a full feature on the event to be posted Monday, March 19.