photos and article by Diana Shonk
DATELINE: August 2, 2014 The Barnful of Blues Festival in New Boston, NH was on the most perfect day, this summer. Considering past performances of the weather, (we had that hurricane blow thru one year) it makes you gun shy for years afterward. Well this year was just beautiful.
Steve Clarke of the Installers opened the show with the National Anthem in his big baritone voice and then his band joined him onstage for a rousing set.
Blues Tonight came on after them with their fun originals. Willie D brought up a young guitar player and singer, Delanie Pickering who is very talented and she accompanied him on guitar.
Before her set I introduced myself and asked her if she had had time to go over some songs with Sweet Willie and she said she had met him but they hadn’t really decided on particular tunes and she was looking forward to their set. I thought to myself, how brave! And she did a marvelous job backing him up on a number of Gospel and Blues tunes while Willie took us to Blues church. Delanie played in between acts as well, she was a welcome addition to the festival. We (GSBS) are sponsoring Delanie to go to Memphis to the IBCs through the Granite State Blues Society. She should do very well. (Want to contribute to her trip? Just contact me I will get your set up and we are going to have some fund raisers for her. )Willie also came equipped to serve savory ribs and BBQ with his catering business Sho’ Nuf BBQ and they were so popular, they sold out all their food!
James Montgomery hit the stage running and put on an electrifying set in his inimatable fashion. He got the dancers going including me and my sister who came just to see him! He gets the crowd involved in his songs in call and response and it makes for a lot of fun for people who like to participate.
Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers have a great stage presence with Erin playing guitar and Rosie Rosenblatt on harmonica. Their lead guitar player also played great slide and the drummer harmonized on a few songs as they swang from here to the Delta.
Professor Harp brought his singular brand of original Blues to the mix. His big booming voice and heartfelt chromatic and regular harmonica makes for a big sound out of this 4 piece Chicago style Blues band. Tom Williams, on guitar is an outstanding musician who can play anything from the repertoire of Blues and vintage Rock and Roll with aplomb!
The Skip Philbrick Blues Band closed the show with their very bluesy sound with Rusty Corson holding up the bottom on bass, Jeremy Brown (of the Stompers) on piano, playing that good old boogie woogie beat. And their drummer John Hoik has “the” touch, adding color and spark to every song. We have been lucky to have this band in the past and it was nice to get them for this summer’s finalé. We had more vendors this year, I won some sidewalk chalk at the TDS Bank table, Rachael from Nelson’s Candies had a salad concession and I had a delicious chicken ceasar, just the thing and the icecream was delicious.
The Barnful of Blues is always on the first Saturday in August. It is inexpensive and casual, spacious and comfortable. I for one can’t wait for next year! Our President Audrey Frazier told me that it was a big success, we gave the Webster House $8,000!!