The 2015 Big Bend Blues Bash opened with a bang Friday evening, but don’t worry there’s a full slate of great music on tap for Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
Local favorites, The Dirt Poor Troubadours opened the Friday evening festivities with a great set of Americana-country-outlaw original tunes. The four piece band from the Meigs County area welcomed the good sized early crowd with easily identifiable songs about about work, relationships and having a good time in gritty, but beautiful, southeastern Ohio. In an interesting twist, part way through the set, lead singer/guitarist Ben Davis Jr. slipped off his trusty Gibson acoustic and slipped on Jacob Dunn’s bass for several songs while Dunn introduced the fans to a couple of his original songs. As always, Dustin Nash held down the lead guitar tasks with strong but tasteful riffs in true wailin’ country style. Brad Jones provided the solid back-beat on the drums.
Classic rockers and area favorites, Blitzkrieg, were on the stage next. For years guitarist Lyle Moon and his brother bassist Phil Moon have been a big part of the Meigs Co. live music scene. And this line up, with Ed Sisson on guitar and Rob Heady on drums, has truly honed a powerful classic rock sound for an awesome 29 years. Blitzkreig energized the crowd with party ready heavy guitar parts and great four part vocals. As you can see the weather and the rock were both perfect!
Detroit rockers Red Stone Souls were up next. “We met Jackie Welker about 5 years ago and Pomeroy has become our home away from home,” guitarist/vocalist Ian Kirwan declared early into their set. The band brought their A-game delivering a dose of “dirty Detroit blues” in the vein of Zeppelin meets Jack White. Drummer Travis Erikson and bassist Kevin Bernard laid a bombastic groove while guitarist Beau Felix and Kirwan handled the supersonic leads. You can catch Red Stone Souls closing out the weekend party at the Grill tonight!
Up next, not your average band from Nashville or anywhere for that matter, Simo! Power three piece may be the understatement of the century when searching for an apt description. Barefoot and harboring one of the kindest spirits in the universe, guitarist/vocalist JD Simo literally brought the entire crowd to it’s feet with his trademark guitar expertise. A vintage Marshall amp head or two, a vintage wah pedal and a beautiful vintage sunburst Les Paul were all the tools necessary for Simo to unleash his sonic joy upon the crowd. Drummer Adam Abrashoff, stationed behind a handsome kit of Ludwig emerald green metal flake drums, provided the unbridled power and the clockwork precision necessary to complement Simo’s guitar melee. Bassist Elad Shapiro rounded out the trio’s sound with powerfully clean and sometimes dirty bass lines. A stunning performance of what most closely resembled the late Joe Cocker’s version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” had fans in music euphoria!
Closing out the first evening of the Bash was not going to be an easy job, but make no mistake, The Chris Duarte Group were 100% ready for the task! Currently based out of Atlanta, Duarte has enjoyed success since cutting his teeth in the red-hot Texas blues rock scene of the 80’s. And as a veteran guitar player of international acclaim, Duarte unleashed a repertoire of 30+ years of guitar creativity on the the Blues Bash crowd. Blues … and jazz … and metal … and soul … and funk … even a little rap groove all churned together, like the tail-waters of a powerful Ohio River barge, into a melting pot of powerful songs. Duarte was a mad genius as he worked a myriad of guitar pedals which expanded the sonic horizons to levels rarely heard. Holding this trio together was drummer John McKnight playing some of the most dynamic and intricate drum lines of the evening. Guest bassist Yoshi Oagasahara, as you might surmise from Japan, rounded out this outstanding trio with a solid pulse and groove that literally had folks dancing on the asphalt unlike often seen!
A huge thanks to Larry Wright as well, Larry Wright Signature Drums is supplying the beautiful set of handmade custom drums which many of the artists will use during the Blues Bash!
Today’s line up features a ton of great music. Do not miss this!
Saturday, July 25, MAIN STAGE
- 1:00pm The Azztones
- 2:00pm Chaz Humley & the Effects
- 3:30pm Blue Z Band
- 5:00pm Noah Wotherspoon Band
- 6:30pm Johnny Rawls
- 8:00pm The Kinsey Report
- 10:00pm Eric Gales Trio
Red Stone Souls will rock the Court Street Grill tonight as well!
It’s tough enough finding really great and inspiring music these days, and when one does finally discover some seriously good live music it’s even more fun when it comes from what would seem like an unlikely place.
On July 24th and 25th, Pomeroy, OH becomes the music capital of Ohio and the Midwest, as the small Ohio River town welcomes fans for the 15th Annual Big Bend Blues Bash.
The two-day festival gets it’s name from the curvature of the Ohio River has it snakes its way through the region. As for the origin of the rest of the name just look to the organizers, the Pomeroy Blues and Jazz Society. They’re the local group that does a great job of bringing music of all genres to this quaint Ohio town.
Over the years, the festival has grown from a heavy dose of the blues to one which is still deeply rooted in the blues, but also presents music of other genres which has been deeply influenced by the blues. Throw in a few local bands and one has a truly diverse and entertaining lineup of music!
In its early years, the festival was a one-day event, but several years ago organizers decided to expand the musical horizons of the event and offer what has become a more rock and roll flavored Friday evening.
Instead of having a paragraph about each performer, please read the short descriptive phrases and trust that they’re all fun and talented! Here’s the start times and a short description.
Friday, July 24, MAIN STAGE
- 5:00pm Dirt Poor Troubadours (twang n’ roll energy from some great young local musicians)
- 6:00pm Blitzkrieg (blues meet classic rocker jams from longtime area musicians and good guys)
- 7:00pm Red Stone Souls (big, fuzzy, high energy guitar grooves from Detroit rockers)
- 8:00pm SIMO (incendiary psychedelic blues rock from the nicest bunch of guys)
- 10:00pm Chris Duarte Group (remarkable red hot Texas blues with a touch of Hendrix soul)
Saturday, July 25, MAIN STAGE
- 1:00pm Azztones (bluesy, funky rockin’ soul with a twist)
- 2:00pm Chaz Humley & the Effects (PBJ amateur blues comp winners from St. Albans)
- 3:30pm Blue Z Band (local fun loving classic rockers with a streak of the blues)
- 5:00pm Noah Wotherspoon Band (straight ahead guitar blues power trio from Dayton)
- 6:30pm Johnny Rawls (smooth southern blues and soul to get your groove on to)
- 8:00pm Kinsey Report (legendary Chicago style blues grooves from Gary, IN)
- 10:00pm Eric Gales Trio (Prodigal talent. BB, Albert King, Jimi. Universal blues rock power)
And just up the street at the Court Street Grill, the Noah Wotherspoon Band will be performing on July 24th at 10pm and the Red Stone Souls will close the weekend out on July 25th at 10pm.
Admission is only $25 per person for a weekend pass! Admission for Friday is only $15 and $20 for Saturday only. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. The event is held rain or shine but the weather is looking like a beautiful forecast. There are no refunds. Fans should bring a camp chair or blanket.
Coolers are welcome, but no alcoholic beverages please. Event sponsors will be on hand to provide beer, wine and some of the Blues Bear’s legendary frozen drinks. There’s also always plenty of good food to be had from various festival vendors!
Call 740-992-6524 or 1-800-MEIGS-CO for more information or visit www.pomeroyblues.org for more info.
Sometimes everything just seems to fall into place; sometimes it seems even almost too good! And that’s the case as the Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series presents “Roots on the Ohio” on Friday evening.
The show will be held next to the river at the Ohio Valley Rowing Club (OVRC) located at 2201 Keever St. in Parkersburg and feature Tommy Womack, Adam and Chris Carroll and Chris Canterbury. The gates open at 6 p.m. and music will begin at 7 p.m.
“We were planning a show with Adam and Chris Carroll, which perform as two solo acts and just happen to be husband and wife,” music coordinator Jeff Fox said, ”they had played a show for us last year and asked to stop by next time they toured our part of the country. The Tyler, TX residents were on the book when Tommy Womack contacted us,” Fox said.
Tommy Womack has played several shows benefitting the Parkersburg office of the Children’s Home Society of WV,so he was a welcome addition to the bill. Womack is from East Nashville and is well known in the Americana music circles. He is currently performing a series of reunion shows with his 80’s era alt-rock band, Government Cheese. “But on Friday, we’ll get Tommy one on one, with an acoustic guitar and delivering his original songs with all the intensity and uniqueness for which he is renowned,” Fox said.
Even as Womack has been busy strapping on a Telecaster for his shows with Government Cheese, he is still deeply connected to bare roots of Americana music. He’s played with other great roots players such as Will Kimbrough, Lisa Oliver-Gray and other buzz-worthy East Nashville artists. But it’s his way of looking at life coupled with honesty, heart and the wit that he pours into his songs that have helped Womack earn the unofficial title “Nashville’s best loved musical eccentric.”
Adam Carroll has been noted as a great influence to great songwriters like Slaid Cleaves and Hayes Carll; his gift of turning everyday common experiences into a twisted and often humorous way of looking at life have drawn Carroll accolades from the seven releases in his repertoire.
“Chris Carroll is a Canadian born songwriter, and Adam’s wife, and will bring a great contrast to our male dominated line up,” Fox said. Her music helps to exemplify the different genres that melt together to form Americana music, add to that a Natalie Merchant-esque voice and you have some very appealing songs, many from her latest release 2014’s “Trouble & Time.”
The show was set, or was it? “I received a text message from one of our
other great contributors from East Nashville, Kevin Gordon, and he was hoping to find a show for fellow musician and East Nashville resident, Chris Canterbury” Fox said, “Kevin’s been great to work with over the years, so it was easy to do him a favor, plus we inadvertently ended up with a really great little Americana music festival,” Fox added.
Even though this is his first trip to Parkersburg, Canterbury has played in Morgantown. “Although I’ve only played once in West Virginia, I’ve sold quite a few records and downloads in the state. You people seem to dig good music. That’s really refreshing,” Canterbury said.
So how does playing an unknown town and venue affect a musician? “I’d be lying if I said it’s not a little intimidating, but once I start playing and singing, it seems to all kind of fall into place. I don’t talk a lot on stage, as in crowd banter, but actually I tend to open up a little more in uncharted territory. It’s an honor to be on the same bill as these guys…really humbling…but it’s also a little push to give a little more,” Canterbury said.
Admission for the show is a recommended donation of $10 for adults, $5 for current college students and youngsters through high school students are admitted free with parent, but no music fan is turned away due to a financial situation.
“The folks at the OVRC continue to be great to work with and we love doing something a little different by presenting music along this scenic stretch of river,” Fox said, “We invite folks to bring a camp chair, blanket, food and beverages and enjoy some great music.” With temperatures dropping into the low 60’s, a bonfire is also possible and folks have enjoyed roasting a marshmallow or two during past shows.
For more info visit and like the “Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series” page on Facebook or call 304-485-0650.
After what seems to have traditionally become a tough last few weeks of winter, the sounds of birds chirping, mowers running and great music now fills the warm air. The first two Spring sounds can be found in any Mid-Ohio Valley neighborhood, but for the last, one may want to attend Springfest 2015!
The Mid-Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series will be hosting the mini-music festival on Saturday May 9th at the Ohio Valley Rowing Club (OVRC) located at 2201 Keever St. in Parkersburg, WV. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and music will begin shortly after 6 p.m.
“The folks at the OVRC have been great to work with and they have a really scenic and relaxing stretch of land along the Ohio River,” music coordinator Jeff Fox said, “We invite folks to bring a camp chair, blanket, food and beverages and enjoy some great music.”
The show will benefit the Parkersburg office of the Children’s Home Society of WV (CHSWV) and the OVRC. “It’s nice that two area non-profits, providing different opportunities for area youth, can come together and share resources and help each other,” CHSWV state director Steve Tuck said.
What is Americana music one may ask? “Americana music is a blend of various American roots music styles. Some old country, mountain folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues and of course a touch of rock and roll,” Fox said, “Some of our shows are more acoustic instrument oriented, but this show expands on the influences of Americana music, we’ll be amping things up for what will be an energetic evening of music.”
The show will feature three bands, two of which have deep roots in the Parkersburg area music scene.
The Jimmy Clinton Band is a long time favorite of the Parkersburg. Jimmy blends his deep 70s-80s-90s influences into a fun dose of blues powered folk rock! Vinnie Mele adds a solid bass groove while Jeremy Harmon keeps the beat rocking on the skins.
The Greens are well known throughout the area for their original and up-tempo songs and lively performances both by the band and the crowd. Andy Tuck provides dynamic guitar work and vocals for their finely crafted original tunes. Nathan
Yoke on drums and Ben Sweeney on bass provide the super-tight backbeat and an all night groove which allows Tuck’s guitar to ascend to atmospheric regions.
The Tom Batchelor Band from Morgantown will also be joining the lineup. They are favorites at music festivals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and will be bringing their unique blend of rock, reggae, funk and folk to this Saturday’s event. Tom leads the band through great jams complete with unique instrumentation like horns and steel drum in what will promise to be an ultra-funky fun groove on Saturday evening!
Fans are invited to be creative and invent their own little artistic-funky viewing area. The most appealing design will win free tickets to an upcoming show. “We thought this would be a fun way to create a more festive atmosphere for the event, it is a little walk from the parking area though, so a small pull wagon would be perfect for folks to haul in their things,” Fox said, “but we don’t want any set-ups so big that they will block other folks view of the bands.”
Admission for the show is a recommended donation of $10 for adults, $5 for current college students and kids through youngsters through high school students are admitted free with parent. “We only recommend the donation amounts because we understand different folks have different financial issues, some give less but some give more,” Tuck said, “we just want folks to come together for an enjoyable evening of music, we think that will work out great for everybody in the end.”
“There are several ways to get to the OVRC, trains can sometimes make getting to Keever St. a little tricky,” Fox said.
Folks can turn off Garfield St., travel to the foot of 19th St. and make a left onto Keever St. Folks can turn off of Murdoch Ave., travel to the foot of 29th St. and make a left onto Keever St. Or folks can turn off Garfield Ave. onto 12th St. and proceed under the railroad overpass, turn right through the flood wall opening and slowly make their way through the CSX yard. This route allows one to bypass the railroad tracks.
For more info visit and like the “Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series” page on Facebook or call 304-485-0650.
Every year about this time, one can hear that train a rolling round the bend. And this Saturday evening, February 7th, folks will get the chance to hear some great Johnny Cash songs and much more at the Worthington Golf Course Ballroom, 3414 Roseland Ave., Parkersburg.
The Parkersburg office of the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is excited to present their annual fundraiser, which has become affectionately known as the “Cash Bash.” But this year the musical tributes will include many of Cash’s contemporaries with whom he shared the stage and more than a few colorful times.
“This year’s event will not only feature Cash songs, but also songs from Willie, Waylon, George and other rambunctious classic country songwriters,” said music coordinator Jeff Fox. “With a career the size of Johnny’s, he essentially touched or influenced nearly every artist, country or otherwise, from the 1950’s until his death in 2003,” said Fox.
The doors will open at 7 p.m. and music will begin around 7:30 p.m. The format will feature area musicians performing their renditions of various “Cash and Friends” songs. Each artist will perform a 15 to 20 set.
“Along with the music we will also be having contests and raffles to help raise money,” Children’s Home Society of WV state director Steve Tuck said, “we’ll also be giving away two tickets to this weekend’s Mountain Stage concert in Charleston and we even have a piece of jewelry made by one of Johnny and June Carter Cash’s daughters!”
At the end of the evening, Ben Davis Jr. & The Dirt Poor Troubadours with special guest Chris Keesey will close out the night’s festivities with an up-tempo set of great music. Ben Davis Jr. and his band will be making a return performance from last year’s show to support the fundraiser.
“It’s great to have area musicians who enjoy playing and giving back to the community, they truly get on board with our idea of raising money for a great cause and playing some fun music along the way,” Tuck said.
Music fans can also support the cause by purchasing chili & cheese with chips and homemade cookies which will be available at the show. Tickets for the show are a recommended donation of $10, but music fans and supporters are never turned away due to financial reasons. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the show. Call 304-485-0650 for more details.
“This show is guaranteed fun, the musicians really come up with some interesting twists on some great songs too,” said Fox, “and after all, who wants to miss out on the fun and be left with a case of the Folsom Prison Blues the rest of the winter?”
Any band needs a great front person singing, strumming and sharing a witty story or two. But often times their success is only as good as those surrounding him or her onstage. On Thursday, January 22nd the Mid-Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series is proud to present a musician who wears those hats and a few more, Austin, TX based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jeff Plankenhorn.
Plankenhorn can be found touring with Texas songwriting greats like Joe Ely, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves and others; his instrumental versatility and originality is in high demand. But other times, he can be found playing with one of the three Austin bands with which he collaborates or hitting the road as a solo act as he is doing in early 2015.
“We’re excited that Jeff Plankenhorn found time to make a stop in our little city, he truly is very talented and very busy musician,” said Children’s Home Society of WV CEO Steve Tuck. The show will be held at The Worthington Ballroom (3414 Roseland Ave., Parkersburg, WV 26104) and begin at 8 p.m. “The show will benefit the Parkersburg office of the Children’s Home Society of WV,” Tuck said.
Plankenhorn got his musical start as a member of the church choir in his boyhood home state of Ohio. His older brother passed down a guitar and the young “Plank”, as he is affectionately known, became engrossed at learning all he could about stringed instruments. After high school, Plank headed to the University of Michigan where he performed regularly throughout Ann Arbor. He eventually headed to Nashville before landing in his current hometown of Austin.
Along the way, Plank immersed himself in various musical genres at each stop. Gospel, Motown soul, funk, bluegrass, country, blues and hard
rock music have influenced Plank and allowed him to create a very unique and identifiable sound played on a variety of instruments, including his own custom built electric slide guitar, known as “The Plank”.
Chris Keesey will open the show at 8 p.m. The Athens, OH based singer/songwriter will be performing songs from his new EP “Dyin’ Town”. “Keesey draws inspiration from the greats of classic country and Americana and uses it to write very identifiable songs about life in our little neck of Appalachia,” music coordinator Jeff Fox said, “and I look for this show with Jeff and Chris to be a really energetic and dynamic show!”
Tickets are available at the door on the night of the show. A donation of $10 is recommended, however fans are never turned away due to financial reasons. “While this is a charitable event, we also know that some folks may be experiencing tough times, and we don’t want to turn music lovers away. We’re happy with any amount one can afford to give,” Fox said, “and we want everyone to get a chance to enjoy the national and regional talent that we’ve luckily been able to present at our shows.”
Music often finds its story-line in the realm of relationships and within its twists and turns. But for husband and wife, Adam and Chris Carroll, music is a way of life. On Friday October 24th, the Carroll’s will bring their brand of Texas flavored Americana music to the Worthington Ballroom at 3414 Roseland Avenue in Parkersburg, WV. The event is part of the Mid-Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series and will benefit the Children’s Home Society of WV – Parkersburg Office.
“The core of what I do is songwriting; it’s the one thing I’m passionate about. It’s the most fulfilling and challenging job I can imagine,” Carroll said. This passion for songwriting led Carroll to a partnership with Grammy award-winner Lloyd Maines. Maines has produced Carroll’s albums throughout his career, working hard to capture the Carroll’s excellent songwriting skills. And the critics and fans have taken notice.
Carroll is often compared to the legendary folk songwriters like John Prine, Bob Dylan, and more recently Todd Snider but as with those artists, Carroll’s most impressive comparison may well be the comparisons with fellow Texan, the late Townes Van Zandt. Carroll is currently touring in support of his most recent album, “Let It Choose You.”
Joining Adam will be his wife, Chris, also an acclaimed songwriter. Born in St. Catherines, Ontario, Chris found her love of music and performance in the 4th grade choir. From there she was hooked and explored a wide range of musical genres. Her songs exhibit touches of Americana, blues, r&b, jazz and country music. Chris will be performing songs from her first full length album, “Trouble and Time.”
Tickets are available the evening of the show. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. with music starting around 8:00 p.m. A $10 donation is recommended but folks are welcome to contribute whatever they can afford. For more information, one can contact 304-485-0650 during the day. More info is also available at “Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series” on Facebook.
City of Parkersburg workers were busy Friday afternoon surveying and charting possible routes for a bike path along the Ohio River. The path would begin near Point Park and travel north to Vienna.
Along it’s route, the path would need to cross several notable sections of industrialized private property. “We’re in the very early stages and there’s a good bit of work to be done with landowners,” said an unnamed city worker. “We’ll have to work with Martin-Marietta and CSX to get this thing done.”
Many will remember the excessive amount of time it took local officials to get the Point Park completed. Delays were the product of bad weather and subsequent river levels, contractor’s planning and efficiency and actually obtaining permission to use various sections of the land for the park. “At Point Park we used imminent domain to help secure some of the property, but do to the rules with the type of grant used to help fund the bike path we can’t do that here,” said the worker.
Another factor will be bridging the various tributaries which empty into the Ohio River. Parkersburg officials are planning to construct a bridge for the bike path at Pond Run, which is located behind Camden Clark Memorial Hospital. The path’s next bridge would be needed at Little Pond Run which empties into the Ohio River just south of the Grand Central Mall. Present plans call for the path to have a cul-de-sac at that point, but bike enthusiast are hoping for a longer path. “We’ll work with Vienna officials and hope to hand the project off to them to get the bridge near the mall built,” said the worker.
From the Grand Central Mall to the north things would then get trickier. With no floodwall along that stretch of the Ohio River, many businesses and residents have located adjacent to the river. Hopefully at some point progress can be made in completing a path with a terminus in Williamstown, but that would be in the far future. But as the saying and the worker said … “you gotta start somewhere.”
In music, miles matter. Stories from the road often change into songs for future audiences … and Mark Stuart has plenty of both under his hat. Tonight, Friday September 12th, Stuart will bring his 30+ years of performing his unique brand of roots music Ohio Valley Rowing Club located at 2201 Keever St. in Parkersburg, WV. Jimmy Clinton and Hank Poole are sharing the bill as well. The event is part of the Mid-Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series and will benefit two local non-profit organizations, the Children’s Home Society of WV – Parkersburg Office and the Ohio Valley Rowing Club.
Stuart returns to once again help out with our charitable cause. He and wife, Stacey Earle, have performed several times at the coffeehouse series which were held in the old offices of the Children’s Home Society. Since the age of 15, Stuart has been playing roots music, an all-American blend of rock, folk, country and blues. He’s a talented multi-instrumentalist who has fronted various bands over the years but has also stepped away from the spotlight to perform as part of the touring band for the likes of Steve Earle, Joan Baez, Freddy Fender, Steve Forbert and others. Possibly his sweetest gig has been with his wife and the 2000+ shows they have performed worldwide. Stuart has been on the road for much of the past year wowing audiences with guitar wizardry, great original songs and some tribute songs to old bandmates … and of course some entertaining stories of life on the road.
Jimmy Clinton is no stranger to Parkersburg area music fans and he’s a veteran of several decades of live music as well. The songwriter/guitarist has entertained throughout region with The Larries in the 1980’s, Jimmy Clinton and The Mean Red Spiders in the 1990’s, as a solo or duo acoustic act with Todd Burge in the 2000’s and The Jimmy Clinton Band in the 2010’s. No matter what the format, Clinton offers up soulful originals born from the blues of the 50’s, the folk of the 60’s and the rock of the 70’s & 80’s!
While our first two performers have many, many miles and shows under their belts, nine-year old Hank Poole is relatively new to the music scene. But don’t let this newcomer fool you. Poole respects the heritage of great music and delivers it through his spirited tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Hank recently won First Place in the Junior Division competition at the world’s largest Elvis Festival held in Collingwood, Ontario. The young performer has also performed at Graceland and in Tupelo, MS as part of Elvis Week.
The show is held on the banks of the scenic Ohio River. Music fans are welcome to bring their favorite beverage and food, but no glass please. A lawn chair or blanket is also recommended. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting around 7 p.m. A $10 donation is recommended but folks are welcome to contribute whatever they can afford. In case of rain the show will be moved inside the boathouse. For more information, one can contact 304-485-0650 during the day. More info is also available at “Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series” on Facebook.
As the summer temperatures increase so do the number of outdoor musical events in the Mid-Ohio Valley and nearby areas. One can find festivals at college campuses, remote mountaintop farms and even in minor league stadiums … all of which are extremely entertaining. But one of the the best kept bargains of great original music can be found this weekend in the river village of Pomeroy, Ohio.
This weekend, Friday July 25th and Saturday July 26th, will mark the 14th anniversary of the Big Bend Blues Bash. The festival is the result of the hard work of the Pomeroy Blues and Jazz Society (www.pomeroyblues.org) and Pomeroy area businesses and supportive citizens. The Bash has undergone a metamorphosis over those 14 years … And while the weekend is still rooted in the blues, all types of original music genres are represented by the excellent lineup of performers.
The Bash has a great setting overlooking the “big bend” in the Ohio River from its perch next to Main St. The stage, sound and lighting are all of excellent quality and music fans can chose to set up their camp chairs at varying distances depending on their tastes in volume. Traditionally, over half a dozen food vendors attend the event offering unique food and beverages. Plus downtown Pomeroy businesses also welcome the music lovers.
Now for lovers of live, original music, this show is truly a no-brainer. It’s an easy and scenic 40 minute drive from Parkersburg (US 50 to OH 7 South), has a lineup packed full truly interesting and talented bands and is one of the best bargains in music festival pricing you’ll find all summer long. Only $15 for Friday evening, $20 for a full day of music on Saturday … Or the intelligent package deal of $25 for the entire weekend!
As mentioned before this festival has grown over the years. Once a single day event rigidly adhering to the blues genre … the organizers listened to feedback and met the demand of the audience. Essentially folks wanted a little more variety and more music is always a good thing. Hence the evolution into a two day festival.Generally Friday night is seen as more of the “work-week-is-done time to blow of some steam” night.Maybe a little more aggressive, a little more rock and roll, a little crazier … and this year will not be and exception. OK … Saturday will be just as raucous of hootenanny … but folks shouldn’t forgo Friday evening!
At 6 pm area classic rockers Blitzkrieg will rock their many local fans. Then get ready for an uptempo dose of The Beatles provided by The Lennon Orchestra (7 pm) which hails from the Athens & Columbus area. Next up … blues fans this is your cue … Michael Locke and the Repeat Offenders (8 pm) return to Pomeroy with some Stratocaster fueled blues. Rip Lee Pryor (9 pm) is up next with some smokin’ Chicago style blues that harp fans will surely enjoy. Closing out the Friday night show at 10 pm will be everybody’s favorite simians … The Gas House Gorillas from NYC! The Gorillas are hauling a truckload of swagger and attitude, blues & swing & soul & rock n’ roll back to Pomeroy And this is just Friday’s lineup … whew!
Saturday’s lineup highlights some great southeastern Ohio musicians throughout the afternoon and kicks off at high noon with local alt-country rockers, Ben Davis Jr. and the Dirt Poor Troubadours. The Meigs county favorites have been working on some new tunes for a Bash debut! At 1 pm the .32-20 Band from Charleston, WV will provide a dose of some classic blues ala Waters, Wolf and Reed … but faithfully amp it up to today’s modern blues sound! Sonic diversity hits the main stage at 2 pm as Ecco Mecca returns to the Bash with an intoxicating blend of electronica with dashes of jazz, soul and groove. Bash alumni, The Magic Mama Band, bring the blues, soul, funk and high powered vocals to the main stage at 3pm … expect a great local following and plenty of newly won over fans! At 4 pm another local fave, the Blue Z Band keeps the afternoon rolling with a great mix of blues, classic rock and all songs perfect for fun in the sun. At 5 pm the Bash will switch gears with a wonderful set of Appalachian Americana from the hills of Kentucky with Sasha Colette. Next up are old friends and blues competition winners of the Pomeroy Blues and Jazz Society, Chaz Humley and the Effects from South Charleston. Chaz and the gang are right in the pocket with a solid blues groove they rode to Memphis!
At 7 pm the segue begins to more national talent as guitar slinger Howard Glazer and the EL-34’s take the main stage. The award winning Detroit guitarist may offer up some Diddley-style, some classic shuffles, some all out rock … but be ready for the fiery slide guitar work that has wowed fans around the world! At 8 pm Simo returns to one of their fave places to play. If you’ve caught them at the Grill, then you know this is red hot, straight ahead blues rock from a couple decades back, but folks it’s all fresh and new … no wonder Bonamassa calls JD Simo one of his favorite guitar players out there today! At 9:30 pm the Devon Allman Band will jam! Sure he’s got a famous father, but this is all Devon. The group is touring in support of their recent album “Turquoise”. Allman strikes out with a solid southern blues rock groove full of soul and storytelling that only a child of rock and roll could retell!
The party doesn’t stop once the Bash winds down each night either! The Court Street Grill will be jamming on Friday night with the Red Stone Souls from Detroit and on Saturday night get ready to see the strings played off a Stratocaster with the Noah Wotherspoon Band. Both shows start 10 pm-ish! See ya’ there!