20th Blues Fest draws record crowd   View the Photo Gallery

NORWICH – For a third straight year, the Chenango Blues Festival drew a record crowd to the county fairgrounds Saturday, with some festival-goers hailing from distant locations such as Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana and Florida.

Thousands attended the popular event, which celebrated 20 years of bringing the best of the blues to the area with performances by J.J. Grey & Mofro, the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Duke Robillard, Davina and the Vagabonds, James Armstrong and many more.

It was, said Chenango Blues Association President Eric Larsen, a Blues Fest to remember.

“We always get together Sunday afternoon to re-cap and everything just went so smoothly,” added Larsen. “It was a perfect day, we had more people than we’ve ever had and we had zero problems. It was fantastic.”

The 20th annual Blues Fest kicked off Friday night with a trio of free performances by Murali Coryell, Alligator Records recording artist Anders Osborne and the New Orleans-based Papa Grows Funk. Coryell jump started the show with a virtuosic set that had fans crowding to the front of the stage. Osborne, subsequently, proceeded to wow audience members with a furious – and jaw dropping – assault on his battered Fender Stratocaster, while Papa Grows Funk closed out the night with a lengthy, inspired set of jazz and funk, New Orleans style.

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