Blues Crawl: Downtown Southern Pines Primed for Annual Event
By now you know the drill -- boogie, boogie, boogie, all night long.
The Sunrise Theater's seventh annual Blues Crawl goes dancing into the twilight at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the theater with Otis Taylor, blues baby supreme, and then cranks up at various venues around town from 8:30 until well, whenever.
The tickets are $40 for an all-inclusive pass, $25 for Otis Taylor alone, and $20 for juke joint only passes.
It's a heck of a deal when you figure you're getting a night on the town with some of the best blues musicians in the country. And, hey, it's July in the South. If you can't kick up your heels in the cool of the evening, when can you do it?
"Over the past six years, we've had our fair share of hot bands at the Blues Crawl," says David Young, president of the Sunrise Board, "but we've never had the equal to this year's lineup. Otis Taylor will flat knock you out, and there are six more blues bands at various venues to keep you jumping all night long."
Here's the lineup:
n 7:30 p.m. at the Sunrise -- Otis Taylor signed with NorthernBlues Music in early 2001, and released the ground-breaking "White African" (2001) and "Respect the Dead" (2002). These two recordings would put Taylor on the map as one of the most original blues artists to emerge in recent years. Mojo magazine in the UK writes, "Rural, urban, universal, Taylor is destined to be one of the blues greats."
n 8:30 p.m. at Flynne's Coffee Bar -- Wicker & Jones come from the Piedmont, just like their blues. Hailing from North Carolina, these two musicians have played it all, from Rock 'n' Roll to bluegrass. Honing their skills over the years, today they find themselves comfortably wrapped up in the soul of the acoustic blues. Award-winning harmonica player Mel Jones and Danny Wicker combine expert instrumentation with crisp vocals to recreate the country blues like no other.
n 8:30 p.m. at the Wine Cellar & Tasting Room -- Owen Poteat is an award-winning solo blues and acoustic entertainer from the mountains of North Carolina. He's known affectionately by a number of monikers, including "North Carolina's own Keb Mo," "The best damn drummer with his feet in the world," "More blues and soul than a white man should be able to have." The former editor-in-chief at Rolling Stone magazine said, "All the best parts of Delbert McClinton packaged with a ton of personality and showmanship."
n 9 p.m. at the Bell Tree -- Valentino and the Piedmont Sheiks, based in Raleigh, is the most dynamic vibrant blues band Raleigh has seen in a long time. Their repertoire is steeped in vintage blues and jump numbers that captivate their audience with high energy emotional performances. With over 140 years of combined experience playing the blues among its members, Valentino and the Piedmont Sheiks are a tight unit. They know how to hit you with a down and dirty groove on the slow numbers and really cook on the steaming swing tunes.
n 9 p.m. at the Jefferson Inn -- Elliot & the Untouchables from Columbia, S.C., perform the "real deal," authentic, vintage blues. From jumpin' West Coast swing numbers to burnin' slow blues and nasty slide guitar workouts, the Untouchables' repertoire is as diverse and powerful as the blues itself. The band has released five CDs on BluePoint Records. Their last release, "Voodoo Stew," has been nominated as Best Self-Produced CD in the International Blues Challenge.
n 9 p.m. at Neville's Club -- Chickenhead Blues Band bill themselves as "the best blues band ever!" "Close your eyes and imagine a big, steamy pot of greasy electric blues, a bubbling bowlful of African rhythm, the slurpy wail of a slide guitar, and one big juicy chicken head. Now that's a scrumptious batch of American music that has few culinary equals, if any. The Chickenhead Blues Band concocts a recipe that'll tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your soul never mind the salt and pepper."
n 9 p.m. at O'Donnell's Pub -- WSNB played at last year's Blues Crawl, and they're back by popular demand. Formed in May 2006 in the western foothills of North Carolina, WSNB is giving new life to an old style. The band has shared the stage with some of the best bands and musicians around: Blues greats B.B. King, Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Tab Benoit, Carl Weathersby, Shemekia Copeland, Walter Trout, Gatemouth Brown, The Kinsey Report, and The Allman Brothers Band, just to name a few
n 9 p.m. at Caf Iano -- The King Bees are also a returning act. "Sexy." "Brilliant." "Genius." "Acrobatic." "The best dance music ever!" "They lowered my car insurance in less than 15 minutes!"
These are all words that have been used to describe King Bee over the past several years. Their calendar continues to fill with performances throughout town and they're now booked through 2008. But it's not about the money -- really. They claim they're pretty close to independently wealthy (by Amazon basin standards).
Tickets for the Blues Crawl may be purchased at Sunrise Theater Office, 244 NW Broad St. from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or at The Country Bookshop, Nature's Own, the Wine Cellar & Tasting Room, and in Pinehurst at the Given Memorial Library or Jewels of Pinehurst.
Those wishing to pay via Mastercard or Visa can call (910) 692-8501.
Contact Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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