Every year, ten dedicated people, lead by powerhouse organizer, Audrey Fraizer, plan the Barnful of Blues Festival on the first weekend of August. Meeting once a month in Manchester, at The Webster House, we plan the event with the love of the Blues in mind. I cannot take credit for making the hour and ten minute drive every month, but I have been on the board for so long that I know my job and what I need to do to achieve success in the booking and marketing department. Audrey, Dave Gilmet and Fred deal with the stage, the equipment, the set up and execution of the sound and all the things that make the music sound good. Roxanne Mann has been good at getting vendors and she works the web site. My point in telling you this is that there is an amazing amount of details that go into our Blues Festival. I want you to appreciate Audrey, Roxanne, Fred, Dave and all the others that help make the day a fun success.
Each year we like to add some youth to the presentation with The Michael Vincent band, with their young perspective on great Blues classics and in between sets Veronica Lewis played original and traditional barrelhouse Blues piano.
It was great to have Chris Fitz back again with his strong guitar playing and inimitable flair, he got the place up and dancing.
Erin Harpe and The Delta Swingers were unfortunately without Jim Countryman, who had an episode a couple of weeks ago and was in the hospital for a short time, so Erin and her harp player sat down for a back porch set. She is very talented and a delight playing slide guitar and talking about her love of the Delta sound.
Arthur James put together a nice solo set for us between acts. He has really matured into his music, full voiced and excellent guitar work made for a nice interlude between the bands.
It was exciting to have the powerful driving beat of The Delta Generators with Brian Templeton on vocals and harmonica this year. When I called Brian to see if he could play the festival he informed me that he was with the Delta Generators now and I thought that was a win win situation for all of us. The Delta Generators have won numerous awards and with the added enthusiasm of Brian the band is reaching new heights! Brian is a farmer and he looked right at home in our barn.
The headliner, Roomful of Blues, were such a great end for the day. They put 110% into their show and the horns even walked through the crowd at the end! There were people dancing the entire show, there were lots of women up there, but my friend Marty was jumpin’ and jivin’ right up until the very last note.
It was a thrill for me to have Roomful there! My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them!
The day started out being iffy, weather wise. Audrey made the executive decision to bring the show inside. I applaud her for her brave decision because it didn’t rain for a while but when it did, it came down HARD later in the afternoon. It was comfortable and the barn is spacious and has festival lights wrapped around the rafters. Plenty of room for our Blues Society tables and everyone had a place to put their chairs and coolers. I was glad to see so many new people come to our festival! It is our premier event of the year and we appreciate your support.
We also send a band and a solo act to the Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. If you can, come and help support the bands at our FUNdraiser.