Excitement is brewing as the Hot August Blues & Roots Festival prepares to celebrate 20 years of bringing the best performers in blues and Americana music to the tri-state area. Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 18 when the grassy knoll of the picturesque Oregon Ridge Park fills once again for a day of star-studded performers heating up two stages for this not-to-miss event (named by the Tristate Indie Music Awards as Best Regional Festival for 2011).
Topping the lineup is arguably the hardest working band in rock history, Gov’t Mule! Fronted by Rolling Stone’s 23rd Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule is an unstoppable force. Theirs is a gargantuan sound punctuated by aggressive hooks and ferocious vocals delivered by Haynes, who when not touring with the Mule can be found gigging with the Allmans Brother’s Band and members of The Dead. Not to be pigeonholed, Gov’t Mule covers the gamut of musical styles from the familiar southern soul akin to Haynes’ roots, to the blues/rock influence of Led Zeppelin; they’ve even been known to throw in a little Funkadelic and Pink Floyd to the mix to create a cacophony of sound that leaves fans screaming for more. Supporting Haynes is Matt Abts on drums, keyboardist Danny Louis, and bass player Jorgen Carlsson, each putting his stamp on a brand that’s become synonymous with delivering the goods resulting in Gov’t Mule becoming an in-demand act at festivals nationwide.
“...just what you'd expect from the acclaimed jammers — ...thick riffs, searing solos and Southern rock songs. In short, it was good time music from a bunch of good ol' boys...” Baltimore Sun
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue make their long-awaited Hot August appearance. Since releasing his debut recording in 2010, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews has been packing venues with his intoxicating fusion of high octane New Orleans funk, soul, R&B and hip hop. This is a band not to trifle with as they push the creative envelope well beyond the confines of your ordinary brass ensemble. With Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Dwayne Williams on percussion, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax and Tim McFatter on tenor sax, Shorty and his crew are writing a new chapter in contemporary funk with fearless live performances that whip audiences into a state of euphoria.
“Here’s another bit of advice: Run, don’t walk, to catch (Trombone Shorty) next time he comes to town.” Austin360.com
Justin Townes Earle has had nothing if not a whirlwind few years. First named Best New and Emerging Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Awards, he quickly followed up with the critically acclaimed 2010 release, Harlem River Blues, which earned him a second AMA in 2011 for Song of the Year. “Barely three years into his career, Earle is seemingly moving at an accelerated rate,” notes the Houston Press. And that momentum continues as Justin ramps up to tour in support of his forthcoming CD, Nothing's Going To Change The Way You Feel About Me Now (March 2012) which includes a stop in Cockeysville, MD. Not only is Justin the son of famed alt/country rocker Steve Earle, he is an unwitting fashion icon as well being named one of GQ Magazine’s 25 Most Stylish Men in the World in 2010. Creativity, virtuosity and a snappy dresser to boot – it’s worth the price of admission alone to see this guy in action.
“Talent isn't a genetic trait that can be inherited, but Earle inhabits genuine country and blues with unusual force, transforming the old-timey back into something modern and dangerous.” LA Times
Putting the “roots” in Hot August Blues & Roots is Locos Por Juana. Blending a diverse mix of musical influences ranging from those of their Columbian motherland to the contemporary styles heard on the shores of their adopted home in Florida, LPJ creates a sound the LA Times calls, “a funky, pan-Latin amalgam.” The nexus of the two-time Grammy nominated band is made up of vocalist Itagui Correa, guitarist Mark Kondrat, and drummer Javier Delgado who are regularly joined by trombonist Lasim Richards and percussionist Carlos Palmet, plus an assortment of guest musicians at any given time. What WAR was in the 70’s to the music scene of East LA, Locos Por Juana is to the Magic City today being dubbed, “Miami’s beloved Latin-Reggae-Hip-Hop mashup master” (Miami Herald).
For 10 years he led the famed Baltimore band The Bridge, now Cris Jacobs is on his own with the newly formed Cris Jacobs Band. Fans of the local hero need not fret, CBJ isn’t a departure from The Bridge; it’s an extension of Cris’ musical evolution as a singer/songwriter in the blues, rock and soul traditions. Mixing newly penned originals that embody his unique abilities, Jacobs and his band – bassist Jake Leckie, drummer/ex-Bridge alumnus Mike Gambone, pedal steel guitarist Dave Hadley, and backing vocals/percussionist Ed Hough – create an original sound that points towards a very bright future. The Cris Jacobs Band kicks off the event at 12:00 noon then hosts the festival after party at The Green Turtle located in nearby Hunt Valley Town Center.
Now in its third year, Hot August Blues & Roots Festival offers even more great music with an expanded lineup on a bigger and better than ever B-Side Stage. A complete listing of bands is forthcoming, but our headliner is set: Magic Slim & the Teardrops!
Morris Holt, aka Magic Slim, is a living blues legend. Born in 1937 in rural Mississippi, he studied at the feet of blues master Magic Sam (who would later give young Morris his nickname). Slim spent countless years performing in Chicago clubs before forming the Teardrops, a band that would eventually tour the world. Recipient of numerous Blues Music Awards including Blues Entertainer of the Year (2003, 2006, 2009 and 2010) Magic Slim shows no signs of slowing down. Backing him are Andre Howard (bass), John McDonald (guitar), and drummer Brian Jones who together find themselves continually nominated for the Blues Foundation’s Blues Band of the Year (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011).
“Slim has earned a reputation as one of the most consistently entertaining live acts on the blues circuit today” Living Blues Magazine
Once again, d-jays from Towson University radio station and event sponsor WTMD will emcee the event, stilt walkers will delight, and a local dance troupe will entertain between sets. The ever-popular Kids Korner will feature local harmonica player Choo Choo Charlie Williams providing lessons while parents shop the array of crafts for sale by the area’s best artisans. No coolers are allowed, but festival goers will have their choice from a wide selection of offerings cooked up by local eateries. A variety of beverages will also be for sale including microbrews from event sponsor Magic Hat Brewing among others. A nominal per-vehicle parking fee will be charged which includes complimentary shuttle service to and from the overflow lot.
Funds raised benefit Common Ground On the Hill, the Baltimore Blues Society, and Marcia’s Kids Endowment for the Arts. No food, cans, bottles or coolers are permitted. For a complete list of guidelines and restrictions, visit www.hotaugustblues.com