Blues harmonica blowout headlines Chenango Bluesfest Aug. 16

There will be something for everyone at the 16th Annual Chenango Blues Festival, this year sponsored by Manpower of Norwich.

You can listen to nationally-recognized artists on two stages, browse great craft vendors, eat from a variety of interesting food booths or watch the kids play in the free activity area. It’s hard to go wrong at what’s become known as one of the most fan and artist friendly shows on the festival circuit.

Headlining main stage performances, sponsored by Kerry Bio Science of Norwich, are the Blues Harmonica Blowout, an all-star band with a rock solid rhythm section, backup guitar player in Rusty Zinn, and three of the most acclaimed harp players in the country today: fest favorite Kenny Neal; former Little Charlie and the Nightcats frontsman Rick Estrin; and West Coast star Mark Hummel.

“They plan to wage a no-holds-barred harmonica playoff like you’ve never seen,” said Chenango Blues Association President Eric Larsen.

A member of the band said the Norwich venue is a great opportunity to introduce more East Coast audiences to harp blowouts.

“I had heard about the Chenango Bluesfest for quite a while,” said Hummel, who has been playing in harp blowouts for the past 19 years. “It tends to have a real fun line up and real enthusiastic crowds who come from throughout the Northeast. We are trying to spread the word about what we are doing with these blowouts. There’s a real edge of competitiveness between us.” Hummel said the band tries to read the audience and picks songs that they “are going to get.”

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