A big time festival is going on in Durham NC. It is the 20th annual Bull Durham Blues Festival. An old friend and temporary Iowan, Andy Coats, tipped me about this a few weeks ago, so I should have got to this sooner, especially since it starts TONIGHT!!!!!!! Down below I have the schedule of events, and the bios of the artists directly from the website. Click HERE.
The shows take place at the ball park in Durham.
Scheduled to Perform:
Thursday, Sept 6, 2007 7pm *- St. Joseph's Performance Hall at Hayti Heritage Center - 804 Old Fayetteville Street - Directions: The Hayti Heritage Center is located at the corner of Fayetteville Street and Lakewood Avenue, only 2 minutes from downtown Durham, 10 blocks from North Carolina Central University, and just off of the Durham Freeway (Hwy. 147).
Guy Davis proves himself a blues musician worthy of acclaim, playing traditional country blues as well as his own contemporary blues compositions. Guy has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. His album, Legacy was chosen by the music critics of National Public Radio as one of the best albums of 2004. He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of
' creativity. Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces. Davis
The Carolina Chocolate Drops is a group of young African-American string band musicians that have come to together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in
Carolinas’ piedmont. Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson both hail from the green hills of the North Carolina Piedmont while Dom Flemons is native to sunny . Although they have diverse musical backgrounds, they draw their musical heritage from the foothills of the North and Arizona . They have been under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string band player, of South Carolina and they strive to carry on the long standing traditional music of the black and white communities. Joe’s musical heritage runs as deeply and fluidly as the many rivers and streams that traverse our landscape. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are proud to carry on the tradition of black musicians like Odell and Nate Thompson, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Libba Cotten, Emp White, and countless others who have passed beyond memory and recognition. Mebane, NC
The Bull Durham Blues Festival pays tribute to three legends of the Blues on Thursday, September 6, 2007. This concert is produced in their honor:
John Dee Holeman, Master Bluesman and Buckdancer
John Dee Holeman is a very talented storyteller, dancer and a blues artist. He has an expressive blues voice and incorporates both Piedmont and Texas guitar styles in his guitar playing. Holeman, who was born in rural Orange County in 1929, has been playing guitar and singing the blues since he was 14 years old. After moving to Durham in 1954, he began flavoring his traditional rural blues style with touches of modern urban blues to create his own unique musical repertory. Holman is also expert in the folk art of buckdancing, a solo dancing style often given rhythmic accompaniment by "patting," or light percussive blows to the body. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage fellowship and a North Carolina Folk Heritage award, John Dee has toured the U.S, Europe and Asia. John is retired from a career as a heavy machine operator and continues to tour both in the states and abroad.
Joe Thompson, African American Olde Time Fiddler
Joe Thompson is perhaps the last surviving African-American "old-time" fiddler. Joe and first cousin Odell (with whom Joe played until Odell died in 1994) made their homes near the Alamance and Orange County line north of Mebane, North Carolina. Born and raised on farms in the area (Odell in 1911; Joe in 1918), they grew up helping their parents tend crops of tobacco, cotton, corn, and wheat. Music-making was much valued in their households, and the sounds of the banjo and fiddle could be heard whenever the work was done. Joe and Odell's fathers, Walter and John Arch Thompson, were constantly sought after by neighbors, black and white, to play for square dances. Joe played his fiddle at dances and parties throughout the 1920s and '30s, while Odell took up the guitar and learned the blues. The early 1970s brought a revival of interest in African American folk music traditions. The Thompsons were "discovered" by folklorists who encouraged them to play publicly again, only this time for predominately white audiences at folk festivals and special events. In more recent years, they appeared at the National Folk Festival at Lowell, Massachusetts, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in the state of Washington, and at New York's Carnegie Hall. Their dynamic instrumental styles and soaring vocals packed plenty of punch and brought attention to the rich tradition of African American string band music in the South.
Etta Baker, Legend of Piedmont Blues (1913-2006)
North Carolina's Etta Baker, called the world's premiere Piedmont-style blues guitarist, died at 93. Baker grew up in a family that was proficient in blues, hymns, and rags. She first gained notoriety in 1956 when she appeared on a compilation album called "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians." A handful of field recordings of Etta Baker's music, released in the 1960s, were enough to influence many aspiring traditional guitarists, from Bob Dylan to Taj Mahal. But Baker wasn't paid for her music until recent years -- she put out her first full CD in 1991. The woman recognized as a treasure of the Piedmont Blues style popular through the mountains of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia stayed on at her factory job in Morganton, N.C., for some 50 years. But those days have passed, and Baker, who raised nine children and a large extended family, devoted her attention to her music, and collaborations with other musicians, like Taj Mahal.
Time schedule for the performances for Blues Festival artists. It is as follows:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2007 - 6PM - 12 MIDNIGHT
Buddy Guy - 10:45 pm – 12 midnight
FIREWORKS DISPLAY IN CELEBRATION OF THE 20TH BDBF - 10:30 - 10:45
Percy Sledge - 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Janiva Mangum - 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Li’l Malcolm Walker and The Zydeco House Rockers - 7 pm – 8 pm
Big Rick & The Bombers - 6pm – 6:45 pm
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 - 6PM – 12 MIDNIGHT
Booker T & the MG’s - 10:45 pm – 12 midnight
Shemekia Copeland - 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Watermelon Slim & The Workers - 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Big Bill Morganfield - 7 pm – 8 pm
Betty Pride & The BP Ride Blues Band - 6pm – 6:45 pm
......................................................................................................... Friday, Sept. 7th 2007
BUDDY GUY - Five time Grammy Award Winner, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, WC Handy (23) and Blues Music Award winner, recipient of The Congressional Medal of Arts, the legendary BUDDY GUY. Guy is known as an American blues and rock guitarist and singer. Know as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and other 1960s blues and rock legends. Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues, and is know for his showmanship.
10:45 pm – 12 midnight
PERCY SLEDGE - has captivated generations of fans from all over the world with his sweet and soulful warbling on “When A Man Loves A Woman”. Released in 1966, the song went on to become one of the most beloved of the R & B classics and established Percy as a premiere pop music balladeer.
JANIVA MAGNESS - is one of today’s most talented and recognized blues and roots vocalists. A three-decade darling of blues genre, Janiva’s vocal prowess is now being recognized by music critics at large. Billboard writes “Magness carves out a rich by singing the blues with maturity and sophistication.”
LI’L MALCOLM WALKER & THE ZYDECO HOUSE ROCKERS - personify two closely related terms: family and tradition. The five-man band centers on guitarist Percy Walker and his two sons. Inspired by Zydeco legends the band’s steady focus on tradition sets them apart from newest wave of “pop zydeco” bands.
BIG RICK AND THE BOMBERS call Raleigh, NC home, but their busy touring schedule keeps them away from the Triangle quite a bit. The 2006 PBPS Blues Challenge winners have added a new weapon to their formidable onstage arsenal; organist Adrian Duke, who has performed with Cyril Lance and others. Duke's soaring keyboards and gritty vocals give the Bombers a funky edge. Big Rick Nunez proves that he is equally adept on lead guitar as he is on bass, and Lynette Barber brings it all home with her scintillating vocals. Check out the band at www.bigricksoul.com.
Saturday, Sept. 8th 2007
BOOKER T. AND THE MG’S As the house band for the Stax/Volt labels, Booker T. and the MG's helped define the spare, punchy sound of Memphis soul music. By contrast to Motown's orchestrated, pop-soul records, the Stax approach was lean, economical and deeply groove-oriented. Between 1963 and 1968, Booker T. and the MGs appeared on more than 600 Stax/Volt recordings, including classics by such artists as Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and William Bell. As a result of Stax's affiliation with Atlantic Records, the group also worked with Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and Albert King. Moreover, Booker T. and the MGs were a successful recording group in their own right, cutting ten albums and fourteen instrumental hits, including "Green Onions," "Hang ‘Em High," "Time Is Tight" and "Soul-Limbo."
SHEMEKIA COPELAND’S passion for singing, matches with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music the timeless power pounding urgency of a very few greats who have come before. The media has compared her to a young KoKo Taylor, Aretha Franklin and the late Ruth Brown, but Shemekia- who was raised in the tough, urban streets of Harlem has her own story to tell. Copeland testifies her music to both seasoned music lovers, who appreciate her musical roots, aw well as fans, who love her contemporary attitude. “I want people who love hip-hop to know where it came from, “My music is rooted in blues, but it’s different. I am singing about my era, I am here and I’m singing about today not yesterday.”
WATERMELON SLIM & THE WORKERS has become officially recognized as a seasoned newcomer and one of the most exciting and legitimate contemporary blues artist with accolades that include a 2005 W.C. Handy Nomination for Best New Artist Debut.
BIG BILL MORGANFIELD is simply one a great one; as the son of one of the most influential musicians of the 20 th century (Muddy Waters). Bill has met the burdensome challenge of the expectations placed upon him and gone further. He has proven to be a bluesman of sparkling originality and stellar stage presence. Bill’s owns the stage he performs on as if it was a birthright and grabs and keeps the audience’s attention from the first note.
BETTY PRIDE & THE BP RIDE BLUES BAND Betty Pride, a descendant of the great Blind Boy Fuller, one of the masters of Piedmont blues, is equipped with a voice that is contagious and flexible. Hailing from the Charlotte North Carolina blues scene, she has opened for such artist as Nappy Brown, Sandra Hall and Leon Russell.
THE CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS
September 4-7, 2007
The Blues In The Schools (BITS) program is a one-week residency in which noted blues professionals conduct workshops, lecture-demonstrations and performances for a variety of audiences, including middle school, high school music students, after school programs, private/home school programs and adults in the Durham Community. The focus of the residency will be to educate and enlighten our youth and community on the music genre known as the BLUES, in addition to the Piedmont Blues style, which historically was developed and performed by Durham blues artists such as Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Blind Boy Fuller and others.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African-American string band musicians that have come to together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in Carolinas’ piedmont. Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson both hail from the green hills of the North Carolina Piedmont while Dom Flemons is native to sunny Arizona. Although they have diverse musical backgrounds, they draw their musical heritage from the foothills of the North and South Carolina. They have been under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last black traditional string band player, of Mebane, NC and they strive to carry on the long standing traditional music of the black and white communities. Joe’s musical heritage runs as deeply and fluidly as the many rivers and streams that traverse our landscape. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are proud to carry on the tradition of black musicians like Odell and Nate Thompson, Dink Roberts, John Snipes, Libba Cotten, Emp White, and countless others who have passed beyond memory and recognition.
September 6-7, 2007
"It's difficult to know where to begin with the story of New York City bluesman Guy Davis. Accomplished and acclaimed as a musician, composer, actor, director and writer, Davis somehow makes the term multi-talented seem woefully inadequate. - Jim Musser, Icon Magazine
Guy Davis proves himself a blues musician worthy of acclaim, playing traditional country blues as well as his own contemporary blues compositions. Guy has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. His album, Legacy was chosen by the music critics of National Public Radio as one of the best albums of 2004.
He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of Davis' creativity. Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.
On his guitar, he demonstrates different picking styles—from Delta style to Piedmont style. And he plays Shortnin’ Bread on his banjo like nobody’s business. Davis makes his harmonica bark like a dog and grunt like a pig and rattle like a train. He lines up a group of volunteers on the edge of the stage and teaches them how to swing an ax in the kind of rhythm that fuels the blues.
Guy has also done residency programs for the Lincoln Center Institute, the Kennedy Center, the State Theatre in New Jersey, and works with “Young Audiences of NJ”, doing classroom workshops and assembly programs all across the country and in Canada for Elementary, High School, and College students.
The Guy Davis Trio and The Carolina Chocolate Drops trio will perform in the St. Joseph’s Performance Hall on Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 PM to open the Bull Durham Blues Festival. This concert is a tribute to Carolina Blues musicians John Dee Holeman, Joe Thompson and the late Etta Baker. Limited seating available, tickets on sale now.
BITS residency activities will be held at various public schools, recreation centers, senior center facilities and the Hayti Heritage Center September 4-7, 2007. For more information and a complete schedule call (919) 683-1709 or www.hayti.org.
BITS is sponsored by the Time Warner Cable, Durham Arts Council’s United Arts Fund and Grassroots Funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency, Durham Parks & Recreation Department, and the City of Durham.