Wiregrass Blues Fest launches tonight

Published 3:00 am Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wiregrass Blues Fest 2015 will launch from the Johnson Center for the Arts tonight and the public is invited.

The Johnson Center, Troy University, the City of Troy and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce have partnered to bring the Wiregrass Blues Festival to Troy.

Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director, said Dothan has hosted the Wiregrass Blues Festival since 2011 and tonight will be the first time the festival will be launched from Troy.

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“This free event will be from 7 until 8:15 tonight at The Studio and will feature blues performers, Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson,” Pritchett said. “Debbie Bond is an amazing blues singer and guitarist from Tuscaloosa. Rick Asherson is just as amazing on the harmonica. The even will honor the late blue guitarist JW Warren and Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Hornsby. JW Warren is from Enterprise and was raised in Ariton. His contribution to Wiregrass blues was primarily playing in area juke joints. He was a legendary blues artist who inspired many of the current blues artists in Southeast Alabama.”

Pritchett said Paul Hornsby of New Brockton played with The Allman Brothers Band and worked with Marshall Tuck and the Charlie Daniels Band.

“The Wiregrass Blues Fest kickoff will also feature a discussion about the musical contributions of Hornsby and Warren,” Pritchett said. “Local blues artist, Lenny Trawick, knew JW Warren and will share personal stories about him. Gil Anthony, a disc jockey for the Blues Power Foundation, will join the discussion about legendary blues greats from the Wiregrass. It will be an entertaining evening of blues and stories. We invite everyone to come and join the fun.”

On Friday, the public is involved to a free art experience that will be held in the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s Blumberg Gallery in Dothan. “When Art Meets the Blues” will feature an exhibit of cast masks of blues legends and the photography of blues fest performer E.G. Knight and paintings of blues musicians by Tami Curtis-Ellis.

Saturday is the main event when the Wiregrass Blues Fest partners with Blue Moon Café’s Gumbo Cook-off on Museum Avenue directly in front of the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

This blues fest will feature E.G. Knight and the Blue South Band, the Blues Women ‒ Debbie Bond, Shar Baby and Rachel Edwards ‒Lil’ Jimmy Reed and Hornsby.