Tuesday, June 10, 2008

James Montgomery headlines River City BluesFest @ ELIXIR - July 8 - 12

ELIXIR at The Freight House presents

River City BluesFest @ ELIXIR

Tuesday through Saturday, July 8 - 12






ELIXIR at The Freight House, White River Junction, Vermont’s premier destination for fine dining and live music, will present River City BluesFest @ ELIXIR -- five evenings and a Saturday afternoon of outstanding blues on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 8 -12, 2008. The event is a follow-up to last fall’s highly successful River City JazzFest @ ELIXIR, which presented three nights of top-quality jazz. Call ELIXIR at 802-281-7009 for reservations. There is no cover charge for evening music events inside ELIXIR Restaurant and Lounge. For Saturday afternoon’s outdoor event, there will be a cover charge of $10 in advance and $12 at the door for seats and $10 at the door for standing room. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paying adult, and there will be face-painting and balloons for the kids. Beer, food and ice cream will be available from on-site vendors.


River City BluesFest @ ELIXIR kicks off on Tuesday, July 8, from 7 to 10pm, with an Upper Valley favorite who’s performed his brand of blues around the world, singer-guitarist RICKER WINSER. On Wednesday, July 9, singer-songwriter KURTIS KINGER brings his soulful originals and covers and his Delta Blues harmonica playing to ELIXIR from 7 to 10pm.  And Thursday, July 10 will mark the return of New Orleans jazz and blues singer SAMIRAH EVANS, who performs from 7 to 10pm with members of her blues band. Evans has often been compared to Etta James, and legendary jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan has said, “Samirah’s artistry is as spectacular as her personality…she’s magic…everyone should hear her.”


On Friday, July 11, singer-guitarist DR. MICHAEL PAYTON brings his electrified blues, honed in the urban bars of Chicago’s west and south sides, to ELIXIR from 8 to 11pm with Matt Getman on saxophone, Ben Butterworth on bass, and Bob Sparadeo on drums.


On Saturday afternoon, July 12, there will be a blues extravaganza outside The Freight House. The festivities begin with THE DR. MICHAEL PAYTON BAND from 1 to 4pm. And from 4 to 7 pm, River City BluesFest @ ELIXIR presents headliners THE JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND, with world-renowned blues harpist James Montgomery, guitarist George McCann, drummer Seth Pappas, and bassist David Hull, who served as Aerosmith’s bassist during Tom Hamilton’s medical leave last year.


And, back inside, on Saturday evening, July 12, from 8 to 11pm, JOHNNY B AND THE GOODES, featuring popular harmonica player JOHNNY BISHOP and renowned guitarist ED EASTRIDGE, perform with Charlie Hilbert on bass.  Johnny B and the Goodes will release their first CD this summer on Big Mo Records.


About the musicians

Legendary blues harmonica ace and singer JAMES MONTGOMERY brings his hotter-than-ever band to the River City BluesFest after opening for Aerosmith last fall at the Tweeter Center and performing with Stephen Stills at a recent UNICEF event honoring Stills. A Detroit native, James started his first band in the 1960’s while learning the blues first-hand from John Lee Hooker, James Cotton and Junior Wells. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, James rose to the top of New England’s music scene, along with Aerosmith and the J.Geils Band. He signed with Capricorn Records and toured extensively with the Allman Brothers, Steve Miller, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King and others. In the ‘80s, James and Alex Taylor formed the East Coast Funkbusters, which led to an invitation to play harmonica with the Blues Brothers on tour. In the ‘90s, James continued to spread the Blues Gospel with his band and his syndicated radio program, “Backstage with the Blues,” which featured over 100 interviews with such Blues greats as Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John and Koko Taylor, and newer artists such as Keb Mo and Rod Piazza. James received a Gold Record for his recording with Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker and released the W.C. Handy Award-nominated CD, Bring It on Home. He also founded charitable organizations that assisted children with AIDS and provided medical care for blues artists. Since 2000, James has been busier than ever, touring throughout Europe and the U.S as a member of the Johnny Winter Band; opening for B.B. King at his 80th birthday concert at Boston’s Symphony Hall; performing with Steven Tyler and Aerosmith members at fundraisers; and organizing star-studded benefit concerts to fund health care for blues musicians. In 2005, Johnny Winter’s I’m a Bluesman, which featured James on harmonica as well as songs he co-wrote with Winter, was nominated for a GRAMMY Award. The James Montgomery Band’s upcoming CD features members of Aerosmith, blues legend James Cotton, Johnny Winter and DMC. For more information, visit: www.jamesmontgomery.com


Johnny B and the Goodes harmonica player JOHNNY BISHOP has his roots in the south. His hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, a small college town, had a hot, active music scene in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and was a common stopping point for bands traveling between Atlanta, Washington, DC and New York City. Johnny received an education seeing the bands that came through town, including Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Earl, Bob Margolin, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Delbert McClinton and The Nighthawks.  He lived at the shows, watching, listening, learning and soaking up all he could.  Profoundly moved the first time he heard the blues, he has never looked back. Now, over 30 years later, he’s still at it.  A six-year stint working at Hohner USA in Richmond, Virginia, was a turning point.  (He is a Hohner Harmonica endorsee.)  From then on, playing music became his full-time passion, and he has been featured blowing harp with Muddy Water’s Legendary Blues Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, The Nighthawks, Bob Margolin, and Tinsley Ellis.  Johnny has opened for Delbert McClinton, Billy Price and The Keystone Rhythm Band, The Skip Castro Band, The Marshall Tucker Band and Kenny Neal.  For more information, visit:  www.johnnybblues.com and www.myspace.com/johnnybgotblues.


Johnny B and the Goodes guitarist ED EASTRIDGE grew up in Edgewater, Maryland, where he worked through the ‘70s with various bands in nearby Washington DC. As an award-winning recording engineer and producer, Ed has worked for hundreds of the world’s premier artists, including Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Richard Thompson, Vince Gill, Linda Ronstadt and many others. Ed presently teaches guitar and performs as an accompanist to many area musicians and as a guitar soloist specializing in Brazilian, blues, jazz and classical styles. He is currently working on a collection of guitar music entitled “Music from the House with Four Chimneys - the Music of Erik Satie.”


Singer SAMIRAH EVANS moved from New Orleans to Brattleboro, VT in the fall of 2006 following Hurricane Katrina. She began her career as a jazz and blues vocalist in New Orleans in the 1990s, playing French Quarter clubs with pianist Willie Metcalf, whose early students included such modern jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison, Jr. Since that time she has performed regularly at the premier jazz venues in the Crescent City and has also made 14 appearances at the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as both a leader and featured vocalist. Samirah has shared stages with a multitude of legendary national artists, from B.B. King and Godfather of Soul James Brown, to New Orleans’ own Queen of Soul, Irma Thomas. Evans’ performances have featured trumpeter Terence Blanchard and saxophonist Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers. Her debut CD, Give Me a Moment, was #5 on the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s annual music list of 2002.  She is currently working on the follow-up CD, My Little Bodhisattva, to be released soon.  For more information, visit: www.samirahevans.com or www.myspace.com/samirahevans.


Singer-guitarist DR. MICHAEL PAYTON has entertained packed crowds in the late-night, smoky, urban bars of Chicago’s west and south sides.  Learning his trade from a “who's who” of the blues greats, he now carries the torch in the lineage of soulful, electrified blues players. His band includes Berklee College of Music alumni Matt Getman on saxophone and Bob Sparadeo on drums, and Ben Butterworth on bass.


KURTIS KINGER has been a singer/songwriter for over 25 years in the Central Vermont area. His soulful originals and covers are genre-bending blends of folk, root blues, alternative, and rock mixed with natural-born funk and soul and a sense of humor goes straight to the funny bone. With local artist/writer Rich Meijer, he has co-written and produced songs for the films “The Helix Loaded” and “Dunsmore.” Kurtis has played with John (Marmaduke) Dawson, from New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Georgia Satellites. He is a producer and engineer at King Catamount Productions and had been a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) since 2004. Kurtis is deeply soaked in Delta Blues harmonica playing, and his strong vocals and soothing guitar-playing go straight to the heart.


RICKER WINSOR, who, as a teenager, heard Mississippi John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk and many others in Greenwich Village, has been singing and playing finger-style country blues for 50 years. He has been performing for twenty years, from Seattle to New York to Europe -- and as far as Bangladesh. Ricker has recorded three CDs and is a regular performer at ELIXIR and other Upper Valley venues, including the Hopkins Center. He was a teacher of painting and drawing for many years, and his West Wind Studio is in Bradford, Vermont.  For more information, visit www.rickerwinsor.com.

Located at The Freight House, 188 S. Main Street, White River Junction, VT (802-281-7009), ELIXIR Restaurant and Lounge presents eclectic fare and small plates and features special martinis, local beers, an international wine list and live music nightly.  Eat, laugh & drink. 


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