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26th annual Billtown Blues Festival kicks off June 20 with non-stop music

By Staff | Jun 17, 2015

HUGHESVILLE – The 26th annual Billtown Blues Festival is ready to roll out a full lineup of blues and sizzling entertainment on Saturday, June 20th at the Hughesville Fairgrounds.

The Vanessa Collier Band will be the opening act starting starting at noon. They were this year’s winner for the festival’s audition concert. With a powerful voice and her thrilling saxophone, Collier is up there with other notable blues artists, playing alongside Annie Lennox, Kathy Mattea, and Willie Nelson.

At 1 p.m. playing on main stage will be Mike Mettalia and Midnight Shift with special guest Rockin Johnny. This four piece Pennsylvania band has recently released their third album which met with rave reviews. Over the years they have grown into a mature blues band.

At 2 p.m. on the tent stage performing will be Dave Brumbaugh’s Boogie Chillen’s Guitar workshop. Brumbaugh is the executive director/guitar & theory instructor of the Uptown Music Collective in Williamsport. He is an incredible guitarist and will be holding a worshop for the youth who would like to learn more. This will be a perfect opportunity to get that guitar tuned.

Next at 2:30 will be the popular Miz Ida and her Blues Revue. Cheryl Holt Miller has been a staple in the local blues scene for the past 25 years with her silky, smooth vocal style and her wonderful rapport with her audience.

Following her will be Tom Rosencrans who began playing guitar in Montoursville back in the early sixties. In college after being introduced to the music of Doc Watson, a serious fascination began with learning to play and sing Piedmont and Delta Blues. He is a superb guitarist and particularly proficient in the acoustic styles. He is one act not to miss.

At 4 p.m. Doug McMinn from the local Billtown music scene and well known in these parts, will play solo working in various types of blues styles. He is proficient on many instruments and has spent a lifetime playing in bands. He has jammed with many notables such as EG Kight, Lonnie Shields and Ann Rabson.

A Roomful of Blues will take the main stage at 5:30 p.m. They have thrilled audiences worldwide for more than 45 years with a blend of jump blues, r&b, and early rock’n roll. Roomful does not simply dress in period clothes from the 40s and 50s and emulate bands from that era, but these guys love and live the music. They have captured the spirit of the time.

Mississippi Blues lovers will enjoy the sounds of Mr. Sipp on the tent stage starting at 6:30 p.m. Born in 1976 Mr. Sipp is a hard working family man who loves the blues music. He has appeared on over 50 national recordings; he is a dynamic vocalist, songwriter, musician, composer, producer and entertainer who cites BB King and Buddy Guy as major influences.

Award winning Ruthie Foster will turn on the heat as she takes the main stage at 7:15 p.m. with her astounding voice that has won her a worldwide fan base that is truly dedicated. She began her career in the church choir in rural Texas that soon took her to perform with the U.S. Navy Band. Her list of achievements is long with over a half dozen albums to her credit. She can really pour it on and bring down an audience with a soft, sultry sound hot enough to melt the soles of shoes.

Leading to the grand finale of the night and one of the earliest blues and rock bands to make its way to the American shores, is the Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown band. They have been a hit for the past 50 years, and have never sounded better. They are passionate and full of emotional power that comes from deep wells of experience and a willingness to expose themselves to the audience.