Blues Fest kicks off with special workshop performance by Samuel James

By Brian Golden

Sun Staff Writer

NORWICH – The Chenango Blues Festival will kick-off a day early this year with a special workshop performance by acclaimed blues guitarist and vocalist Samuel James, to be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Guernsey Memorial Library meeting room, 3 Court St.

Described as “part Bill Withers, part Tom Waits, part James Brown, part Leo Kottke and part P.T. Barnum” on his website,, James is a riveting storyteller and commanding guitarist, according to Blues Fest organizers. He first performed at the Chenango’s annual blues extravaganza – now celebrating 20 years – in 2008, wowing a packed crowd from the stage of the acoustic tent. Rolling Stone France called the talented guitarist a “guardian of lightning,” while What’s Up! magazine said James delivers “so much energy for each pick, slide, strum and foot stomp that it seems impossible for one man to accomplish.”

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