Billtown Blues Festival Organizers are ready and anxious to present a great weekend of blues at the 31st Annual Billtown Blues Festival, set for June 11,12, and 13 at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville, PA.
Kicking things off on Friday will be a “festival within a festival”, as the “multi-time” postponements of the BBA’s annual Audition Concert will finally take place. Friday festival ticket holders, those with a 3-day bundle Music Only ticket, or a weekend camping package receive complimentary access to this special Audition Concert. Performing on the Williamsport Sun-Gazette Main stage for their “challenge” are the Noaker-Combs Duo, Jason C Yoder, The Cadillac Cats, The Kevin Hyatt Band, and Becky Blue and her Brand New Review. Through a rigorous balloting process, the slate of judges will determine a winner in each of the solo/duo and band categories. Each winner will then perform on Saturday as an official part of the 2021 Festival lineup. Due to the affiliation of the BBA with the International Blues Foundation in Memphis, each winner becomes eligible to participate in the 2022 IBC in Memphis as well as a guaranteed performance at The Exchange listening room in Bloomsburg PA.
Other changes to note this year is the expansion of camping access on Thursday, allowing campers additional time to prepare for the three days of music. Sunday stayovers are also available. For the music fans, we now offer a 3-day Bundle Ticket at an added discount, allowing festival-goers quick and easy entry each day. Many new food vendors will be on hand as well as an increased area for those wishing to create their own “space” with their 10×10 canopy.
What has not changed is the determination of the BBA to present a 3-day lineup that provides quality performances with an array of blues diversity as we stick to our mission of preserving and perpetuating the blues art form while at the same time creating a special place for friends and family to meet, relax and enjoy great music.
Travel often to billtownblues.org for any updates but most of all to acquire your Festival tickets. Note there will be no walk-up ticket outlets this year but options for purchase are possible online for CC or mail order for checks.
Expected to perform on the Williamsport Sun-Gazette Main Stage are:
Friday, June 11
6 pm: Uptown Music Collective, Blues Performance Group. Part of the Festival tradition starting with showcasing the UMC students. Blues is very much a part of the UMC curriculum. What better place to demonstrate how well they learned their lessons!
7 pm: The Nate Myers Trio. Long-time BBA friend, Nate cleverly blends traditional blues, r&b, and hip-hop into a style all his own. Coupled with his hi-energy, amazing voice, and stage presence, Nate is a complete package that always delivers.
8:15 pm: Florida-based, we are honored to present Kat Riggins. Kat is riding high following her 2021 Blues Music Awards nomination in the contemporary blues category. Kat is a blues star in the making. Backing Kat for her first Northeast tour is The Gabe Stillman Band.
9:30 pm: Noah Wotherspoon will light up the night with his powerful guitar-based set. The 2015 Albert King Award recipient, (now Gibson Guitar Award), Noah can be found almost anywhere in the world demonstrating why. Noah comes to us from Cincinnati.
Saturday, June 12
12noon: Band and Solo/Duo 2021 Audition winners get the Saturday Festival day off on the right track. These two winners as determined by the Audition Concert held a few hours earlier on Friday and judged by a slate of BBA members will entertain today and are now eligible to participate in the Memphis-based International Blues Challenge in January 2022.
2 pm: Mikey Jr is now celebrating his 25th year as a professional musician. This modern-day blues harp powerhouse learned from the masters by way of his vinyl collection. Mikey is a strong vocalist and an impressive entertainer. Buckle up!
3:30 pm: Delaware-based and International Blues Challenge semi-finalists, the Lower Case Blues Band is ready and anxious for their Billtown debut. The high energy from this set comes from Jake Banaszak on guitar, BJ Munz on bass, and Paul Weik on drums.
5 pm: Reverend Billy C Wirtz will be rocking the 88’s, belting the blues, preaching the blues, storytelling, often with a comedic twist and sometimes all at the same time. Don’t consider him a novelty however, as a blues musician he is as real as they come and an entertainment genius to boot!
6:30 pm: Andy T (Talamantez) featuring Alabama Mike. Nashville-based, this special pairing brings to Billtown the tasteful guitar of Andy T and the classy tenor vocals of Alabama Mike – the result is a memorable powerful blend of blues talent.
8 pm: Trudy Lynn: The Houstonian says “Trudy Lynn has lived the life!” She has climbed the highest of mountains and dealt with the lowest of disappointments. Through it all, she kept on singing her songs and enjoying her audience. Trudy is one classy lady fueled by whopping doses of grit and spunk. We are thrilled to have Houston-based, Trudy Lynn on board in 2021. Trudy is a Blues Music Award nominee in the Traditional Female Blues category.
9:30 pm: The second reverend on the stage today is The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This unique trio from Indianapolis is wowing blues, rock, folk, jazz, and Americana audiences worldwide with their incredible stage presence, scorching talent, and distinguishable sound. The band is nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Blues Rock category.
Sunday, June 13
11 am The Billtown Gospel Revue this year will feature the incredible vocalists and musicians from the Uptown Music Collective, and likely some special guests. We are thrilled founder and Executive Director Dave Brumbaugh didn’t hesitate when the invitation was made. This will be one special show.
12:15 pm: It has been since 1995 that Billtown had the pleasure of presenting the incredible Clarence Spady. Clarence writes with deep-felt conviction, honesty, and truth and showcases his lyrics with his perfectly executed guitar accompaniment. Joining Clarence is upright bassist Jon Ventre.
1:30 pm: We are thrilled to have Jason Ricci, now residing in Louisiana, find his way to the Billtown stage once again. It has been since 2008 since we have seen this artist bend all the rules in the harmonica lexicon. Just when you think you have come to grips with what he is playing he tosses in a jaw-dropping unexpected twist. Jason is a 2021 Blues Music Award nominee in the blues harmonica category.
3 pm: It has been 2009 since we have experienced the remarkable style and creative genius of JP Soars. A member of the Gibson Guitar (formally Albert King Award) Award family JP has taken many twists and turns along the way – always re-inventing himself and pulling in new ears enjoying respect from within the music industry. JP is a 2021 Blues Music Award nominee in the Contemporary Male Blues category.
4:30 pm: Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88’s. Coming to us from Los Angeles, Mitch will close out the Festival with his signature “rock-aboogie-woogie”!. Making this set extra special will be former Nighthawks member Pete Ragusa on drums, Dave Chappel on guitar, John Previti on bass, and Chris Watling on the horn.
Get all the fest details, advanced tickets, camping packages, and more by visiting www.billtownblues.org!