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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Get a case of the blues in Orillia

Media Release
4 June 2012

The Orillia Spring Blues Festival hosts world-class music at a variety of venues

ORILLIA, Ontario, Canada - $10 is all you need to take in all four days of the Orillia Spring Blues Festival, taking place June 7, 8, 9 and 10. The 16th Annual OSBF is set to release a torrent of blues talent on Central Ontario city of 31,000.

The festival kicks off Thursday, June 7 at The Royal Canadian Legion with acclaimed Nova Scotian Morgan Davis and his HISTORY OF THE BLUES. Using music from his personal collection, commentary, anecdotes and audience participation, Davis takes you on a journey spanning two continents and 80 years. From African music to the "field hollers" of the southern U.S., from Mississippi to Chicago and from Georgia to Texas, Morgan illustrates regional styles as well as influences and interpretations. Doors open at 7:00 PM. Show begins at 8:00 PM.

Couchiching Beach Park plays host to the Festival Main Stage. The beer tent opens at 6pm on Friday, June 8th for a highly anticipated live performance from Juno Award winning Fathead harpist Al Lerman at 7pm. The evening concludes with MOONLIT MOVIE IN THE PARK featuring the film: MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE at 9pm. Follow Rita Chiarelli, Canada’s Queen of Blues, in this remarkable film about her pilgrimage to the Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary aka Angola Prison – one time home to early bluesman Leadbelly and what used to be the bloodiest jailhouse in America. MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE is not only a journey to the heart of the blues but a quest for hope, redemption and forgiveness.

Lifetime Achievement Grammy winner Booker T. Jones, headlines the Festival Main Stage on Saturday, June 9. This Rock and Roll inductee is arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history. With four Grammy Awards under his belt Jones is the embodiment of a living legend. His work with Booker T. and the MGs, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and others defined the STAX sound of the 60s and has influenced generations of musicians around the world ever since.

Other Main Stage acts over the weekend include piano and vocal powerhouse Curley Bridges, Montreal blues-rocker Justin Saladino and legendary guitarist Mike McKenna, backed by duo Anderson & Sloski. Opening for Booker T. Jones will be young guns Jordan John and the Blues Angels; a compelling Toronto group who have shared stages with the likes of George Clinton & the Parliament, Lou Reed, The Blues Brothers, David Wilcox, Molly Johnson and even the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Closing Saturday night will be the iconic Paul James Band, a great chance to catch this recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Maple Blues Awards.

Morgan Davis returns to kick things off at 12pm, Sunday. The festival closes with the lead singer of the Downchild Blues Band’s new project Chuck Jackson and the Big Bad Blues Band, a tribute to great blues shouter Big Joe Turner. Jake and the Fundamentals will round out the program on Sunday.

As always, there will be Blues music all-night in restaurants and pubs all over Orillia. Vancouver based C R Avery  will be bringing hip hop rhythms with a blues mentality to the Brownstone for the Pub Crawl on Friday, June 8. Saturday at the Grape & Olive Wine and Martini Bistro, catch local blues favourite, the Ronnie Douglas Blues Band and Toronto trio The Distillery will charm audiences at Era 67 Restaurant and Lounge.

More information about the 2012 Orillia Spring Blues Festival is available at www.orilliaspringblues.com

Ticket Information
Festival Pass is $10
Available at AlleyCats Music – 95 Mississaga Street East 705-329-1339
Orillia Opera House (online) – www.orilliaoperahouse.ca
(Service charges may apply)

For more information please contact:
Lance Anderson
Artistic Director

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