August 1, 2013
Waukesha, WI – The entertainment line-up for Waukesha BluesFest, Friday and Saturday, August 9 & 10 at Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield, Wisconsin, features 14 national, regional and local blues acts, an art show and an exceptional dining experience from local restaurants.
“The Waukesha Rotary Club is once again excited with the music line-ups we have put together for the seventh annual Waukesha BluesFest,” said Bob Mittnacht, who manages the entertainment for Waukesha BluesFest. “We have a number of very interesting nationally acclaimed musicians performing this year, topped off by our headliners, The James Hunter Six and Moreland & Arbuckle.”
Friday night starts off the two day “American Music and Art Festival” with highly acclaimed headliner The James Hunter Six. James Hunter was born in 1962 into a working–class family in Colchester, Essex. “It wasn’t quite like growing up with the blues in Alabama, but in my part of England, anywhere south of Watford would be considered Alabama,” he notes. Among James’ earliest musical influences was his collection of 78 rpm records of Fifties rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm & blues. In the early 90’s, Van Morrison caught James’ act at a gig in Wales and subsequently hired him as a touring and recording backup singer. His 2006 debut US release People Gonna Talk, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
The rockin’ blues trio Moreland & Arbuckle take the stage to headline Saturday night. Since their beginnings in the Kansas heartland a decade ago, guitarist Aaron Moreland and vocalist/harpist Dustin Arbuckle have captured the visceral spirit of the early 20th century Delta blues and the raw energy of post-World War II urban blues and distilled it all into a hard-driving and powerful garage-rock configuration of guitar, vocals, harp and drums. “I think we’re lucky in that we have a unique sound and a unique style that I don’t really hear anywhere else” says Moreland.
The entertainment line-up for Friday and Saturday night does not stop with these highly acclaimed musicians. On Friday additional performances include Nikki Hill. Nikki Hill draws on vintage female rhythm and blues influences such as LaVern Baker and Etta James, as well as some of her favorite male singers Otis Redding and Solomon Burke, without being pigeonholed strictly as a ‘retro’ artist. Her tough vocal style fits with contemporary sensibilities yet evokes all the great blues shouters of previous decades. Friday’s line-up also includes performances by Altered Five, The Incorruptibles, Serious Trouble, Andrew Koenig Band, and Matt Tyner.
The Saturday line-up also features Bryan Lee and The Blues Power Band. Bryan Lee grew up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. After attending the Janesville School for the Blind, Bryan played guitar and sang in bands in and around the Midwest for many years, eventually making his way down to New Orleans where he played at the Old Absinthe Bar on Bourbon Street for 15 years during the 80’s and 90’s. In 2007 he had the honor of performing with Kenny Wayne Shepherd on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Additional acts on Saturday’s bill are Harper and Midwest Kind, and The Steepwater Band, both national touring acts along with Robert Allen Jr. Band, Steve Cohen and Peter Roller, and A.B. Skhy Blues Band guitarist, Denny Geyer.
Waukesha BluesFest, “An American Music and Art Festival,” is in its seventh year and is held at Naga-WaukeePark in Delafield, 1/2 mile north of I-94 on STH 83. Gates will open at 12:30 pm both days, and live music acts will perform from 1 pm to 10:30 pm.
The Restaurants: There won’t be a shortage of variety for hungry blues fans with the exceptional selection of food from Sliver Spur Texas Roadhouse BBQ and Café Esperanza restaurants. A full selection of beverages will be available including a wide variety of Lakefront Brewery craft beers, Miller Lite, red and white wines, sodas and water.
Along with great music, food and beverages, Waukesha BluesFest also includes an Art Show featuring seven talented local and regional artists representing a broad variety of affordable art. The Artists: Michelle Kobriger, Waukesha - jewelry; Lynn Gaffey, Waukesha - fused glass; Don Priewe, Hartford – metal sculpture; Kevin Myers, Peducah, Kentucky – mixed media; Ted Turner, Wauwatosa – painting; Don Maupin, Waukesha – wood; Shay Johnson, Waukesha – leather; and Patty McRery, Waukesha – photography.
Major sponsors include the Waukesha law firm of Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes, LLP, Clear Channel Outdoor, Waukesha State Bank and Cooper Power Systems. Admission prices will remain the same once again this year. In advance, a single-day pass will cost $15 and a two-day pass will cost $25 through August 8. At the gate, admission will be $20 for a single-day pass and $35 for a two-day pass. Children 8 and under are free with a paying adult. Parking and taxes are included with the admission price. Tickets are on sale on-line at www.waukeshabluesfest.com. Tickets are also available at a number of local area businesses. Proceeds from the event will be distributed by the Waukesha Rotary Club Charitable Fund to local charities and civic projects.