NORWICH – Mid-August always proves to be rather busy when it comes to live music in Norwich. This year is no different as the 22nd Annual Chenango Blues Festival begins on Friday night.
As a prelude to that entertainment, a Norwich native is bringing his newly-formed band to downtown Norwich to perform its debut show at The Blarney Stone Pub.
“After all, music is the only universal language,” said Norwich native Troy Abbott. “Without a local music scene, the youth has no encouragement to pass that universal language on.”
Abbott recently formed the band “Right To Revolution,” consisting of Abbott, Roscoe Hafler, and Germ Bussman. Hafler and Bussman are both multi-instrumentalists and also add vocal harmonies.
As for Abbott, he said he spent approximately eight months traveling from coast to coast until he finally settled in Corning to live. Abbott’s full-time occupation involves traveling around the country as the general manager of Griffin Glass Tools. He said he is selling glass blowing tools to artists worldwide.
“At one point I was in Hawaii and happened to pick up my sister-in-law’s ukulele and was hooked,” said Abbott with regard to his time spent traveling. He said after some searching on the big island of Hawaii he found a ukulele to call his own — which he affectionately named Lola.
Said Abbott, “I got the ukulele back to the house and read through the literature that came with it, only to find out it was made out of spalted maple from none other than Central New York.”
Hafler and Bussman hail from the Corning area.
“I thought it fitting to play the first show on the stage where I grew up musically,”Abbott said. “We all strive to play, and encourage others to do the same.”
“I took the name from our country’s forefathers, that when they wrote the constitution they knew politics and government will eventually corrupt,” Abbott said with regard to the origin of the band’s name. “Knowing this in the Constitution, it gave us – the people – the right to revolution.”
The band is set to take the Blarney Stone stage at approximately 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14.
“Instead of sitting back and complaining,” Abbott said, “we openly encourage people to stand up for the rights they inherited.”
“We're really excited to kick off Blues Fest weekend with a great local act,” said Blarney Stone owner Sarah Woods.
The 22nd Annual Blues Festival kicks off Friday at the Chenango County Fairgrounds, yet there is additional music on top of what the Chenango Blues Association has provided in this year’s lineup. Brandon Santini plays at the Blarney Stone on Friday, and Ron Spencer takes the stage Saturday.
“It's our favorite weekend. Every single year we say that the Chenango Blues Association couldn't possibly top the last, but they've done it again,” Woods said. “The caliber of music they bring into Norwich is amazing.”
Tickets for the Blues Festival are $20 in advance and $30 for Saturday, Aug. 16. Tickets are available at Chenango County Tourism, The Blarney Stone Pub, Nice-N-Easy, Big Blue’s Convenience Store in Oxford, Morrisville and Mount Upton, The Eighth Note in Oneonta, Music City in Binghamton, and Sound Garden in Syracuse.
There is no cover charge for any of the upcoming shows at the Blarney Stone.
Further information on this year’s Blues Festival will be published in an upcoming edition of The Evening Sun.
“The only way that any place in the world can have a music scene is if musicians and music lovers create it,” Abbott said. “The Chenango Blues Association has been doing it solid for 22 years, and every year adding more and more free music prior to the finale. I’m stoked for friends, I’m psyched for the music, but most of all I’m thankful that so many work so hard to make a music scene happen — including all the local musicians in Norwich that still kick it week in and week out.”