NORWICH — The NBT Bank Free Summer Concert Series is just two short months away, and the Chenango Blues Association has announced this year's lineup.
The can't-miss concert series is free of charge and open to the public. Concerts will be held at 7 p.m. every Thursday in East Park, with the first show scheduled for July 7 and the last set for August 25.
The concerts are rain or shine events, but in the event of potentially dangerous weather performances may be moved to an indoor site.
"If such a change occurs we will post the move and the location by noon on the performance date. Please check our Facebook page, website, and subscribe to our mailing list for the most current information," reads the Chenango Blues Association website.
After last year's ever-changing COVID guidelines, Chenango Blues Association Event Organizer Eric Larsen said the group is hoping this year's events will resemble what attendees know and love from pre-pandemic concerts.
"We’re hoping for very much a return to normal. We always put out there now, based on our last two years of experience, that we will be implementing whatever safety protocols the health department tells us are advisable," said Larsen. "We work with them very closely, we have a great relationship with them. We’re happy to do what they need us to do and we’ll continue to do that."
This year's lineup features some past performers and fresh faces, ranging in style from bluegrass to rock 'n roll to R&B funk.
Kicking off the season of blues is acoustic and rock 'n roll band Fruition on July 7. Following their performance, bluegrass band The Travelin' McCourys will take the East Park stage on July 14. July 21 will bring Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, who's music is described as a "classic blend of hardcore R&B and street-level rock, molten grooves, soulful guitar licks, and blistering horn section," by Chenango Blues Association officials.
On July 28, Shinyribs will regale the crowd with their "melting pot" music style that's earned them several awards. Kicking off the month of August will be the return of The Garcia Project on August 4, with Blair Crimmins and The Hookers showing off their Dixieland jazz the following week on August 11.
On August 18, Mike Zito's Big Band will get Blues Fest attendees geared up for the annual festival with a performance showcasing their contemporary blues style in East Park. The genre-blending Trigger Hippy will close out the Summer Concert Series season the following Thursday, August 25.
The NBT Bank Free Summer Concert Series is made possible by local sponsors.
"We’re thankful to NBT for being our Summer Concert Series sponsor once again, and thankful for the great support we get from some local foundations that help put on national act shows for free. I always say it’s hard to beat," said Larsen. "There’s not other communities really that have this available, and that’s thanks to all the great support we get."
More information on the Summer Concert Series and the Chenango Blues Fest can be found at chenangobluesfest.org or on the Chenango Blues Association Facebook page.