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Attendees arriving at Turkey Hill Brewing Company found this friendly greeting . . .
Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats tore it up at Balzano's!
. . . and then Miner Blues opened the Festival.
The Teddy Young Duo played at Rose Marie's
Sean Farley and then the Blind Chitlin Kahunas played at West End Ale Haus,
while volunteers worked all night at most locations directing patrons to the buses!
John Sweeney and Tom and Jina Rosencrans
played acoustic blues at F0g & Flame
Our good friend Goodtime Charlie introduced all of the performers at the Caldwell Consistory, starting with the Jesse Loewy Band
17-year-old Jesse has appeared at festivals for a few years already, and he wowed the crowd in Bloomsburg as he has at Briggs Farm -- but the best came a little later (see below)
Clarence Spady took the stage first in the Consistory's beautiful second-floor Auditorium, built for Masonic rites in 1906; he performed an acoustic set joined by friends on the upright bass and harmonica
John Sweeney brought the full-sized Sweeney Blues Revue to the downstairs stage for the second year in a row
In one of the highlights of the entire weekend, Slam Allen left the Auditorium stage to walk the crowd, asking people along the way if they played guitar. The only one who answered "yes": Jesse Loewy, who then played a seven-minute solo. Far from planned or staged, this happened entirely sponatneously; Slam had never even heard of Jesse before. Once he heard the young man play, though, Slam said "This here's the future of the Blues, and it's in good hands. Now go to bed, kid."
Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats wowed the crowd again, this time on the Consistory's downstairs stage
Mac Arnold & Plate Full O' Blues brought us some old-school blues at its finest, and the people danced!
Bev Conklin and her BC Combo finished out the night on the downstairs stage -- best hat of the Festival, and Blues as good as any we heard
Finishing up the second night of the festival, Teeny Tucker and her band -- and her back-up singers -- filled the Auditorium with a joyful noise. Before leaving the building, the three women sang a capella gospel backstage and brought tears to the eyes of everyone who had the good fortune to hear them
Wesley United Methodist Church has never sounded like this before! Pat Gensemer, Wesley's minister of Music, brought her choir of Columbia County-area singers, and Alexis P. Suter brought the Ministers of Sound, and they MOVED the audience -- the congregation: We gathered to hear them sing to the glory of their God. Alexis also brought her good friend Sister Bearether Reddy, who performed two songs without accompaniment and without any amplification -- none needed!