2009-08-20 / Scene

Redwood Blues Festival brings big names to Flint

By Natalie Blythe
Staff Writer

FLINT — Several national blues recording artists will groove into Flint Aug. 21-22 for the 2009 Redwood Blues Festival at Redwood Lodge, 5304 Gateway Centre. The festival features eight well-known acts during the two-day extravaganza.

The festival is being organized by Greg Nagy, solo blues artist and member of Root Doctor. Nagy said the idea of having a blues festival in Flint came after Root Doctor finished its set at the recent Windsor Blues Festival.

“I had a nice talk and walk with one of the promoters of the event. We spoke about the struggling economies in Windsor and in my hometown of Flint,” he said. “We spoke of songwriting, recording, politics and other sundries of life. Mostly, community and artistic inspiration was the focal point of the conversation. About the time, Steve Earle took the stage the message in general was pretty much hammered home.

“Gravity and levity. Bringing things down to earth, and lifting peoples’ spirits. That is what a good festival can do,” Nagy says. “And as artists can approach this in more or less subtle ways, a positive gathering in a depressed community can be an amazing thing.”

With that hope in mind, Nagy said he agreed to participate in the upcoming festival and offered up the idea of bringing in other national acts.

“From there, they’ve added an additionally impressive array of Grammy- and Handy-nominated blues talent to the festival: Tad Robinson, Root Doctor, John Primer, Teeny Tucker and Johnnie Bassett, as well as Midwestern stalwarts Howard Glazer, Joe and Vicki Price, and the up-and-coming Flint area band, Big Bill and The Blues Ambassadors,” he said.

The opening act is Big Bill and The Blues Ambassadors at 7 p.m. in the tent. Following their performance, Root Doctor will take over the tent at 8:30 p.m. Tad Robinson will close the tent for the evening from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. While artists and guests will be rocking outside, John Primer will keep listeners entertained while performing inside Redwood Lodge from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

On Aug. 22, the Redwood Blues Festival tent opens at 2 p.m. with Joe and Vicki Price, followed by Johnnie Bassett at 3:30 p.m. Howard Glazer and the EL34S will continue the festivities at 5 p.m. and then Teeny Tucker will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m. The final two acts for the tent are Greg Nagy at 8:30 p.m. and John Primer from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Inside the lodge, Robinson will perform from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Gates open one hour before show time. Advance tickets are $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday or $25 for both days. Tickets are available online at www.flintfood.com. A portion of the proceeds goes to The Old Newsboys of Flint.

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