(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Grammy Award-nominated jump-blues outfit Roomful of Blues headlines Berkshire Blues Bash, a daylong blues-fest at Ski Butternut on Saturday, July 29, from 3 to 8pm, which also includes performances by swamp-blues vocalist/guitarist Walter Parks and Boston-based blues-rock quartet Grits and Groceries Orchestra.
Roomful of Blues is known as one of the tightest blues ensembles and over four decades has earned five Grammy Award nominations and seven Blues Music Awards.
For the past two decades, the eight-piece Roomful of Blues has been led by guitarist Chris Vachon, and for 40 years, the hard-charging horn section has been sparked by tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille. The band’s new lead vocalist, Phil Pemberton, is known for his multi-octave range and his unique use of jump-blues musical roots. Along with bassist John Turner, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, drummer Chris Rivelli, keyboardist Rusty Scott, and baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, Roomful of Blues continues delivering its mix of jazzy jump-blues and early R&B.
Veteran blues and jazz guitarist Walter Parks has built an international career as the lead guitarist for Woodstock legend Richie Havens, as half of the folk-duo The Nudes, and as leader of the neo-southern rock group Swamp Cabbage. Just as Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp has served as the headwaters of Florida’s Suwanee River, so has it served as the inspirational headwaters for Walter’s unique guitar concept – a banjo-esque fingerpicking style that toggles between expressing the swamp’s foggy, ambient underbelly and its eminent danger via the use of a modicum of pleasant distortion. Inspired by the sultry black gospel that wails from storefront churches and roadhouses in the American southeast, Parks’s raspy vocal lows and soaring operatic falsetto explore the frontier of the modern human spirit in search of a place where it can flourish.
Based out of Boston, Grits and Groceries Orchestra — winners of the 2016 Boston Blues Society “Blues Challenge” – plays a mixture of blues, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll. The group includes bassist/vocalist John Anthony, tenor saxophonist Robert Lyons, guitarist Charlie O’Neal, and drummer Kemp Dunn.
The event is part of the Barn at Butternut Berkshire Bash Series presented by The Barn and Artistic License.
Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door, Limited Quantity $100 VIP Package includes exclusive seating and post party at The Barn with artists. Food options include Smokey Sweet Barbeque, Wood Fired Pizza by Soma Catering, Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine, SoCo Ice Cream, and Lefty’s Beer. Kids 12 and under are free and there will be activities for them provided by United Cerebral Palsy Association. Free parking.
Berkshire Bash also presents Berkshire Hot Summer Swing on Saturday, August 26, a day-long event featuring Squirrel Nut Zippers.