News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Festivals join for an evening of blues

To help with the kickoff of this year’s Sisters Rhythm & Brews Festival, the Sisters Folk Festival and Rhythm and Brews are teaming up to put on a special acoustic evening of country blues and gospel, accompanied by tasty barbecue.

An Evening with the Blues, Thursday, August 11, showcases generational talents Jontavious Willis, Southern Ave., and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, each doing a unique set leading up to the Rhythm and Brews Festival, August 12-13.

Every generation or so, a young bluesman bursts onto the scene and sends a jolt through the blues community. The 24-year-old Greenville, Georgia resident and multi-instrumentalist Jontavious Willis has just that effect on people. With Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ producing his latest Grammy-nominated album “Spectacular Class,” the gifted musician delivered a timeless album featuring dynamic vocals, stand-out fingerpicking, flat picking, and slide guitar prowess.

Willis will open the evening, starting his set at 6 p.m.

Hailing from Bentonia, Mississippi, the 74-year-old Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is known as the last of the Bentonia Bluesmen, a unique sound first brought to light with the 1931 recording of Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman.” With producer and guitarist Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Holmes put out his 11th recording with the 2021 Grammy-nominated Best Traditional Blues Album “Cypress Grove.”

Memphis-based and Grammy-nominated quintet Southern Avenue began as a bluesy outfit that incorporated soul and became an immediate phenomenon following their 2018 self-titled debut album, which reached number one on the Blues Album chart before being honored with Blues Music Awards’ Best Emerging Artist Album.

They followed up that initial success with 2019’s “Keep On,” to worldwide critical acclaim and their first Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

With veteran producer/Los Lobos member Steve Berlin behind the controls, their latest album, “ Be the One You Want,” has the band morphing into a soul force that works blues into its sound.

Known for their high-energy shows, the band has cooked up a special performance for this show with a mostly acoustic set featuring their personal favorites as well as some traditional gospel tunes.

Award-winning barbecue will be on-site, serving up tasty traditional southern recipes including some choice non-meat options.

This is a limited-capacity event. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $35. Tickets and more information can be found at www.sistersrhythmandbrews.com and at www.sistersfolkfestival.org.

 

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