DOTHAN - Troy University and the Alabama Blues Project will present the third Wiregrass Blues Fest's main event on Saturday, May 3, at the Wiregrass Museum of Art's Yard, to pay tribute to the Wiregrass blues pioneer of boogie-woogie piano playing, the late Clarence "Pine Top" Smith.
Co-sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Dothan, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and Wells Fargo, the Wiregrass Blues Fest will feature performances by a lineup of top performers including Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots; Scarlet Blue, Lil' Jimmy Reed, and the Alabama blues women - Debbie Bond, Shar Baby and Rachel Edwards.
Gil Anthony, host of the Blues Power radio show, will emcee. The gates will open at 6:15 p.m. with music starting at 6:30 p.m. Advanced tickets for the performances are $15 and can be purchased either at the museum or online through the Facebook page—Wiregrass Blues Fest. Tickets will be $20 at the door. Attendees should bring outdoor chairs for this yard party and the show will go on rain or shine.
The Wiregrass Blues Fest will kick off two days before with a free educational presentation/performance featuring Debbie Bond and the TruDats on Thursday, May 1, at the Wiregrass Museum of Art's Great Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and attendees can first browse through an exhibition of text panels on Alabama blues women. At 6 p.m. a short discussion of Clarence "Pine Top" Smith's life will be presented, followed by a performance with Debbie Bond and her band the TruDats, showcasing songs from her new CD. She will also discuss her Nashville recording experiences and blues influences.
In addition to the community performance and educational presentation, the Wiregrass Blues Fest will include a special educational performance for local school children on Friday, May 2, designed to introduce students to the rich cultural history of Southern blues. The "Blues in Schools" performance, including several of the artists featured in the Blues Fest, will be held at 12:45 p.m. at Geneva High School for approximately 400-500 Geneva middle school children.
"We also are really excited to partner with Blue Moon Cafe on S. Foster Street, the host of an amazing Gumbo Cook Off in the afternoon of May 3," said Dr. Jeneve Brooks, assistant professor of sociology and lead organizer for the Blues Fest. "Folks should come and eat some amazing gumbo and then head over to the Wiregrass Museum of Art for some down home blues music!"
For more information about the Blues Fest, or to purchase tickets, go to https://www.facebook.com/WiregrassBluesFest