The 7th Annual Blues Bash, held at the Sitnik Theater at Centenary College, has earned a solid reputation of delivering great music – and memories - to the area. The Blues Bash has clearly become a tradition with an array of national acts gracing the stage – from David Bromberg last year, to Johnny Winter, Hubert Sumlin, Peter Tork, Cyril Neville and Samantha Fish.
The Edgar Winter Band headlines Friday night March 18 and Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown, celebrating 50 years of music this year, leads the way on Saturday night March 19.Tickets range from $35 and up, with discounts for two-day flex passes. Opening up on Friday is North Carolina's Red Dirt Revalators with their swamp style blues. Friday night's Centenary show also showcases singer-songwriter Jenny Cat.
On Saturday the very special guest openers for Savoy Brown will be Bill Kelly and Andy Goessling! Kelly, a singer-songwriter, poet, and actor who has appeared in numerous high profile TV shows, and who has performed with many touring acts and with his own band, has opened up for a host of major acts over the years, and is formerly from Northwest NJ. He will be joined by the amazingly multi-talented Goessling, best known nationally for his work with Railroad Earth and in New Jersey, with Bill Kelly and the House of Cards and Blue Sparks From Hell. Meanwhile, Zach Russack will be highlighted on Saturday as the event's Lobby Act.
Once again, great regional acts will be included in the overall Centenary line-up, with free pre-shows at Marley’s Gotham Grill in Downtown Hackettstown Friday and Saturday, featuring Dan Fadel and Mike Tichy on Friday, and Don Kincaid with Pierre Marceau, and Bernie Drury, on Saturday. To cap things off, there’s the traditional post show party at Marley’s on Saturday night, this year with the Kim Brewer Band.
Presented by Joe Hirsh Productions in association with the Centenary Stage Company, major supporters of Blues Bash 2016 include PNC Bank, Kope Electric, Mr. Music, Inn at Millrace Pond, Good Impressions Printing & Mailing, Village Family Clinic, Karmabridge Acupuncture, Hackettstown Business Improvement District, Marley’s Gotham Grill, Quincas, Scott Anderson - Morristown Financial Group, Cathy Miller Photography, HTV Media Productions, WNTI.org, CHP Communications, and guest hosts Pete Hoff and Mike Watterston of WNTI.org.
Edgar Winter, whose late brother Johnny played the Blues Bash three years ago, is best known for his mega-hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride”. Winter, however, has found success not just in music, but in film and television.
Winter’s music can be heard in no fewer than fifteen film and television projects, including "The Simpsons”, "Wayne's World”, “Air America"," Wag The Dog", "Encino Man" and "My Cousin Vinny", as well as advertising campaigns such as Miller Highlife, and most recently the "Tupac Resurrection" film, which includes his powerful song "Runnin' (Dying To Live)". The song was part of a soundtrack album that was number one for eight weeks. His live TV appearances include David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel.
You can say that Winter is an inventor, too. He designed the keyboard body strap, an innovation that allows him the freedom to move around the stage during his high-energy multi-instrument performances. He is also a prolific writer, with a volume of poetry and a collection of exciting stories in his writing repertoire.
British Blues/Rock pioneer Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown is now celebrating 50 continuous years, 45 albums, and more than 5,000 gigs from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall to the Fillmore East and West and now the Sitnik Theater at Centenary College!
But Kim Simmonds is not living in the past; he’s challenging himself and his band to reach new heights and find higher ground. “Savoy Brown is a very musical band,” Simmonds says. “We’re not comparing ourselves to others. We appeal to an audience who wants to hear what we are up to now, what we are rehearsing, creating as a band. I think my guys and my team is empowering me to do this.”
That’s what Kim lives for and invigorates him - playing for audiences who are hungry to listen for new heights in artistry - not just living off 50 years as an architect of the British hard blues scene.
On September 18, the 45th release by Kim Simmonds, The Devil To Pay hit the stores with quick acclaim, showing what 50 years giving one-hundred and ten percent can do.
The Devil To Pay represents years of wood shedding in Kim’s White Cottage Studio, usually at o’dark thirty in the morning. Between tours, Simmonds is constantly honing his craft, playing guitar, singing, writing songs, recording.
Simmonds was a lynchpin of perhaps the most exciting scene in history, establishing Savoy Brown in the first wave of British blues-boomers, signing to Decca, opening for Cream’s first London show and being name-dropped in the same breath as peers like Clapton and Hendrix (with whom he jammed). Soon, Savoy Brown had achieved what most British bands never did – success in America – and became a major Stateside draw thanks to their high-energy material and tireless work ethic.
Other related Blues Bash event information can be found at joehirshproductions.com or "like" the Blues Bash NJ Facebook Page. Tickets at http://www.centenarystageco.org/centenary-blues-bash.php.