Filled With Sound
By Mike Greenblatt
BEAUSOLEIL, CURTIS SALGADO, BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA & MARIA MULDAUR HIGHLIGHT 2014 BLAST FURNACE BLUES FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 7, 8 & 9 IN BETHLEHEM PENNSYLVANIA
On The Site Of The Iconic Bethlehem SteelStacks, 20 Bands On Two Stages
2013 Blues Music Awards Entertainer of the Year Curtis Salgado, multi-Grammy Award winners the Blind Boys of Alabama, Maria Muldaur and the Midnight Scramble, Cajun Legends BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and more highlight the 2014 Blast Furnace Blues Festival presented by Highmark Blue Shield Feb. 7, 8 & 9 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.
On Feb. 8, Blast Furnace Blues welcomes award-winning singer and harmonica player Curtis Salgado. A legend in the blues, Salgado has performed in the Robert Cray Band, Roomful of Blues and Santana and The Nighthawks. It is said he provided the inspiration for John Belushi to create The Blues Brothers. Salgado is the reigning Blues Music Awards Entertainer of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year.
Also taking the stage Feb. 8 are the iconic Blind Boys of Alabama, who have been performing for more than seven decades. Since 2000, the group has earned five Grammy Awards and four Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Over the years, they have worked with Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Mavis Staples, Ben Harper and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, having also performed at the White House for the last three presidents.
On Feb. 9, Blast Furnace Blues is headlined by Maria Muldaur, a dynamic singer who has recorded more than 40 albums over the past five decades, covering gospel, R&B, blues and more. Muldaur, who’s perhaps best known for her 1974 hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” topped the Living Blues Charts with her 2011 recording, “Steady Love.” In 2012, she appeared on the all-star tribute album “First Came Memphis Minnie.” Her band, Midnight Scramble, features musicians who have played in The Band as well as the bands of Delbert McClinton and Levon Helm: Jim Weider on guitar, Bruce Katt on keyboards, Randy Ciarlante on drums and bassist Gary Soloman.
Other performers include Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, the dynamic Candye Kane (a five-time Blues Foundation award nominee), Southern Hospitality, lap steel guitar master Damon Fowler, guitarist extraordinaire J.P. Soars, and keyboard wizard Victor Wainwright. On Feb. 7, the festival will kick off its three-day run with a night of local blues greats including the Sarah Ayers Band, James Supra Band, Dugan Thomas Band and the BC Combo.
On Feb. 9, a Blues Brunch will feature a brunch buffet and performance by Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, and challah French toast; eggs with crawfish and Andouille sausage, honey-brushed jalapeno cornbread, jambalaya, crawfish ettoufee, pecan pie, sweet potato pie and white chocolate bread pudding.
A Blues Photography Workshop taught by Brian Hineline, a concert photographer who has shot hundreds of shows over the past 15 years for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and other publications, will include a classroom session featuring tips and tricks for taking great concert photos, plus the opportunity to photograph participating artists.
BLAST FURNACE BLUES LINEUP
Friday, February 7
Sarah Ayers Band
James Supra Band
Dugan Thomas Band
The BC Combo
Saturday, February 8
Blind Boys of Alabama
Damon Fowler (2 shows)
Duke Robillard Band (2 Shows)
Felix y los Gatos
Sunday, February 9
Maria Muldaur and the Midnight Scramble
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens (2 shows)
JW Jones (2 shows)