Canton Blues Fest Returns this Weekend!
by Jara Anton
In life, it can be argued that blues music is the biggest equalizer in life—-something for everyone and what you like can easily define you. Tom Waits said, “You can’t ignore the impact that it has had and continues to have on the whole musical culture. It’s a tree that everyone is swinging from. Without it, I don’t know where I would be. It’s indelible and indispensable.” That said, Canton’s Blues Fest 2016 is only a few days away! This Friday, June 10 and Saturday June 11 will feature a solid lineup over the two best days of the weekend. Market Square in downtown Canton will be your headquarters for all things blues, both stages. Don’t worry, you can sleep it off on Sunday.
There will be live music beginning at noon both days. But, the real party starts at 6:30pm on Friday/Saturday nights. The headliner on Friday is harmonica playing, Memphis via North Carolina, 2016 Blues Music Award nominated singer Brandon Santini. The story goes that he bought his own harmonica at the age of 15. Years later, in 2003, he created the band Delta Highway that went on to become a Blues Music Award nominated band. Once he moved to Memphis, he was able to dial in his craft on the stages that both Muddy Waters and BB King sweated on. If you like really exciting, goose bump inducing harmonica and a honey dipped voice, Santini is your guy. Victor Wainwright is slated to open for Santini. Wainwright, a legacy from a family full of musicians from the Savannah, Georgia area. Get there early for his soulful blues and electric stage performance.
Saturday night, the headliner is Samantha Fish. This twenty-something artist has the soulful, seasoned voice of artists much older and much more experienced musician. Fish has a stage presence that is nothing short of ferocious. Behind that mane of blond hair and blue eyes lurks a very old soul, but a vocal range that weighs in around soft angel breath to deep and dirty blues. Watching her perform, you are sucked in immediately and let down easy with the wall of guitars she brings with her. Along to open the show is Fish’s label mate, Mike Zito, a blues/roots artist on his way to the top. Maybe he’ll play “Roll On” which was featured on the tv show, Sons of Anarchy.
Tickets are FREE! Just grab a chair or a blanket, get there early and post up. However, if you want the best seats in the house, you need VIP. Once you go VIP, you won’t ever want to go back. VIP passes are on sale now. After 5pm they entitled you to complimentary drinks and food and unrivaled views of both stages. Pick up a two day VIP pass for $80, the one day is only $50. VIP passes are available online through CantonChamber.org/canton-blues-festival or by calling 330-458-2070.
Court Avenue and Fourth Street NW. Tickets are free. VIP Passes are available.