NORWICH – Combine the sizzling, hot sun of a lazy Saturday in August with the cool breezes of rhythmic blues and you’ve got what fans of live, outdoor music call The Chenango Blues Festival.
A few thousand festival lovers are expected to embark upon the county’s fairgrounds in Norwich this Friday and Saturday, for the 17th annual show sponsored by Manpower and the Chenango Blues Association, Inc. The volunteer organization’s reputation for bringing award winning and legendary groups and performers is well known and the small-town, family friendly atmosphere keeps fans coming back for more.
The publisher of Blues Review and Blues Wax magazines, the two largest publications dedicated to the music genre, attests that the Chenango Blues Festival is one of the best, small, local festivals in the world.
“We pick the best quality festivals to travel to each year, from Austria to Norway and from Canada to all over the United States. We gave our seal of approval to 36 this year, and of those, I get to pick which one I go to. I always pick Chenango,” said Chip Eagle, publisher.
And it isn’t just for the blues. Eagle said he usually brings his young son to the event, a testament to what he called “a cool family of Chenango friends who put together a world class little festival.”
That group includes a group of 50-something friends who’ve known each other from way back in high school to family members and new friends accumulated along the way. Working nearly year ‘round behind the stage at the festivals are Pam and Eric Larsen, Linda and Steven Palmatier, Pat Dietrich, John Rutan, Eileen and Tim Andrews, Greg Grosvenor, John Blenis, Drew Squires, Sandy Long, Mark Norfolk, A.J. Oliver and Carrie Larsen.