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2011 Bluebird Blues Festival September 24

Holmes Brothers - photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

The Bluebird Blues Festival is back for another year at PG Community College. There are some great acts on both the indoor and outdoor stages this year. Headlining are the Holmes Brothers. Christchurch, Virginia’s Sherman and Wendell Holmes along with their partner Popsy Dixon offer the best harmony vocals in the blues. They’re equally at home singing sanctified music. You’ll also get that deep gospel feel from Avery Sunshine who’s piano and vocals stay more on the soul side than deep in the blues.

Inside on the Nap Turner stage, Nat Reese and Phil Wiggins should be a highlight. Wiggins is an amazing harmonica player and West Virginia guitar man Reese is one of a few players that he’s been teaming up with since John Cephas passed in 2009. Carolyn Malachi adds a bit of neo-soul to the mix. She’s received a lot of well-deserved attention since being nominated for best song for her song “Orion.” It’s always fun to see the Jewels. In the 60’s the girl group worked under the wings of James Brown. They’re still together making great music today.

The festival always has a great atmosphere including family-oriented activities. It’s moved to Saturday from it’s traditional Sunday, but the event is still free.


Main Stage (Novak Field House)
Host: Mary Knieser (Mama K)
12:45 Opening
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.: Cathy Ponton King
2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Whop Frazier
3:30 p.m.-4:40 p.m.: Avery Sunshine
5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.: The Holmes Brothers

Nap Turner Stage (Queen Anne Fine Arts Building)
Host: Barry Lee Pearson
1:00 p.m.: Opening
1:15 p.m. -2:00 p.m.: Phil Wiggins & Nat Reese
2:00 p.m.-2:50 p.m.: Barry Lee Pearson-Workshop
3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.: Grammy Nominated Recording Artist Carolyn Malachi
4:00 p.m.-5:00p.m.: The Jewels