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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 16, 2018

Blue Ribbon Blues Fest Saturday on fairgrounds

Aug 02, 2018

The fifth annual Blue Ribbon Blues Fest, presented by the Southeast Iowa Blues Society and the Fairfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, is set for Saturday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

This year’s lineup features four acts: John Németh, The Chris Antonik Band, The Riverdog Blues Band and Tony Blew.

With his James Brown sense of soul and harmonica in hand, Blue Ribbon Blues Fest headliner John Németh has grooved his way to the top of the blues charts. Németh has already established himself among the very top ranks of blues musicians and modern soul singers touring today.

Growing up in Boise, Idaho, Németh was drawn to the hard-edge hip-hop sounds and rock bands of the day, but when a friend exposed him to Buddy Guy and Junior Wells’s classic “Hoodoo Man Blues,” he was hooked.

Moving to the bay area exposed Németh to more of the soul and funk grooves of what he calls “the early East Bay Grease sound” of San Francisco and Oakland bands. Now based at the home of the blues — Memphis Tennessee — Németh continues to be one of the hottest stars in the musical firmament, touring nationally and internationally with his Memphis band.

Németh has received two Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Male Artist in 2014 and Soul Blues Album in 2015 and was nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award in the category of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

Németh is scheduled to play at 9 p.m.

Also performing at the Blue Ribbon Blues Fest will be The Chris Antonik Band. Toronto-based Chris Antonik is a three-time Maple Blues Award-nominee (Canada’s national blues awards) and one of Canada’s most acclaimed blues artists. Blending innovative, thoughtful songwriting with stunning blues guitar work, some music critics have drawn comparisons to Eric Clapton. Antonik is set to play at 7 p.m.

A local favorite, The Riverdog Blues Band, will open the main stage entertainment at 5:30 p.m.

Iowa Blues Hall of Fame inductee Tony Blew will perform between acts throughout the evening.

The gates open at 4:30 p.m., with Blew kicking of the blues fest at 5 p.m.

Food will be available at the Blue Ribbon Blues Fest from an Iowa Beer Bus, Sweet ’n’ Saucy BBQ and Golden Kettle Corn. No food or drinks can be brought onto the grounds, but attendees should bring a lawn chair, and are reminded that camping is available.

Tickets for the Blue Ribbon Blues Fest are $25. Tickets for Southeast Iowa Blues Society members are $20. Tickets can be purchased at Morgan’s Bar and Grill in Ottumwa, The Guitar Farm in New London, Weird Harold’s Record Shop in Burlington and the Classic 96 studios in Fairfield.

For more information, call Southeast Iowa Blues Society member Gary Henry at 641-919-7477 or visit the website http://southeastiowabluessociety.org.

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