25th Anniversary ~ Fort Smith Riverfront Bluesfest

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The 25th Annual Riverfront Blues Festival will be June 26 – 27 at Harry E Kelley Park. This year the “Best Little Blues Festival in America” will once again feature some of the best local, regional and national touring acts in the genre.
We will also have a special Thursday night Kickoff Party this year on June 25th at Warren’s Rec Room in Alma featuring The Nick Schnebelen Band and local favorites Oreo Blue. A Kansas City native, Nick has blazed his trail through the blues world over the past 12 years with his family band Trampled Under Foot. In 2008 Nick won the Albert King Award for “Best Guitarist” that year at the International Blues Challenge and TUF took first place in the overall competition. With the demise of TUF, Nick has created a new band bearing his name and featuring himself on lead guitar and vocals along with vocalist Heather Joan Newman, drummer Joe Voyce and bassist Gregory “Coko” Henderson.
A true Arkansas original, Oreo Blue has been cranking out consistent blues for over 20 years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. Their latest album, OB20, is packed with the classic songs fans want to hear. Lead man Gary Hutchison has said they are currently working on a brand new album to be released this spring or early summer, just in time for the festival.
For 2015 we are also bringing back our blues workshop on Saturday June 27th. This year we have Ben Prestage presenting his unique approach to the blues and the instruments he uses. The workshop is open to the public and will be followed by a live set from Ben with local singer/songwriter Laura Pierson opening for him.
On the main stage this year we have our local solo IBC qualifier, Matt Dodd, opening the festival on Friday night. Following Matt will be local favorites The Wanda Watson Band, stirring soul and blues guitarist Hadden Sayers and our very first IBC winner from Arkansas the Chris Cameron Band will close out the night with a mixture of classic blues and smokin’ originals.
On Saturday night, our 2015 IBC representative, The Eric Mathews Band, will kick things off followed by Little Rock’s own Steve Hester and DejaVooDoo.  Next up will be the rockin’ Americana foursome Levee Town followed by Arkansas fan favorite Jimmy Thackery. And this year’s headliner is none other than Arkansas Music Hall of Fame member the legendary Larry McCray.
Early bird passes can be purchased for the three day event, in advanced, by going to www.riverfrontbluesfest.org  or each night at the door.