5th Annual Camping with the Blues at Sertoma Youth Ranch October 19-21, 2018!

“Blues Under The Stars With The Stars Of The Blues” That’s right….now going into its fifth year, Camping with the Blues continues to be a hit year after year!
For those who have never had the opportunity to experience Camping with the Blues, you are in for the best weekend of live music! With a stellar lineup each day, phenomenal music fans, covered stage and pavilion area for seating, permanent bathrooms and showers, picnic tables, nightly jams around the camp fires, family and dog friendly, fantastic vendors, oaks trees galore, over 200 water/electric sites and 80 acres of primitive camping, free parking…what’s not to love? 

This music festival is not just a camping event; camping is optional, and you can purchase single day tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday or buy the weekend pass.  However, if you do love to camp and need a site with electric and water, 80% of the sites have already been reserved, so make your reservations now if that is the way you want to enjoy this fest.  Self-contained RV/Campers and tent campers have plenty of space to spread out but are still encouraged to book early.  Several hotels are also located up at the next exit from Sertoma.

If would like to camp, but don’t own a camper or RV, call Marcia Jones at 352-428-8118 and she can assist you with a rental.

This year we are proud to announce Mackey Law Group as our presenting sponsor.  Located at 1402 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL, they have experienced legal counsel for 25+ years providing real estate closing and title services, civil litigation and divorce/child custody and THEY LOVE THE BLUES and support live music!  Please be sure to give them a call at 941-746-6225  when you need an attorney who works for you.

This year’s lineup features:

Brody Buster – Brody placed second in the solo/duo category and won best harmonica player at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, aka the IBC (the world’s largest gathering of blues musicians); Brody is a blues and rock musician from Lawrence, KS. He’s a former harmonica child prodigy and has been featured on countless TV shows, including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dateline, Crook & Chase, and the Jon Stewart Show. Even Baywatch Nights and Full House showcased Brody’s talents.  For those of you who have not seen Brody Buster play, you are missing out. If the Kansas City Legend B.B. King calls someone, “The Harmonica player of a generation.”, he is worth checking out and now is the perfect time.

LC Williams & the Driver – LC Williams also competed in the 2017 IBC and was a semi-finalist in the duo category.  Living in the St. Petersburg area, the band is a local and regional favorite with a uniquely old-school sound.  Lauren fires from both barrels with her blazing harp and powerful vocals.

Duffy Bishop – The Duffy Bishop Band is without a doubt one of Portland’s greatest treasures.  Duffy is in the Cascade Blues Association and Washington Blues Society Hall Of Fame, and a recipient of both organizations’ Lifetime Achievement Award. She has won the CBA’s Female Vocalist Award so many years in a row that they renamed it the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist Award.

Grammy nominated, Washington Blues Society and Cascade Blues Association Hall of Famer and recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, Duffy continues to be a favorite wherever she performs.  Whether it be an intimate club, theater or festival setting, Duffy connects and delivers with her personal warmth, humor and booming emotional voice.  In her four decades of performing professionally, she has shared the stage with many legends, including Ruth Brown, John Lee Hooker, Lou Rawls, Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, Bobby Blue Bland and the great Paul DeLay.  With her long time collaborator, guitarist and husband Chris Carlson, they have played venues across the USA, Canada, Norway, Japan, Hong Kong and Austria.

JP Soars & the Red Hots – Soars and his band, the Red Hots, won the 2009 IBC for Best Band and Soars also won the Albert King award for most promising guitarist.  A gritty and expressive vocalist, Soars elicits signature tones from hollow-body guitars, plus a home-made two-string cigar box guitar for his incendiary slide guitar playing.  

AND THIS IS JUST THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018!

Let’s back up a minute to remind you; don’t forget to bring your instruments and join in the camper’s acoustic jam each day right before the first band hits the stage.  Everyone is invited to participate.  This is a lot of fun and of course, there is always jamming around the campfires after the shows each day.  

The bands jam each evening after the last artist performs and all we can tell you is, they are EPIC!

SO, LET’S GET TO THE LINEUP ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2018:

Scott Ellison Band – 2013 Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, Scott Ellison, is a Tulsa born blues artist, talented singer-songwriter, guitarist, and blues-rocker with hints of rock ‘n’ roll and soul wrapped into a contemporary shell.  Scott has been credited many times on silver screen and on stage with blues legends such as B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland.  

Packrats Smokehouse – They are the KINGS OF THE FL SWAMP BLUES.   Anthony “Packrat” Thompson is a raw, greasy harmonica player, evoking the swamp sounds of Baton Rouge that has spread and taken root in the steamy Florida lowlands. His voice is reminiscent of Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf.  The lowdown guitar sound of guitarist Robert “Top” Thomas who is equally impressive, can spit out fiery solos and muscular riffs reworking the deep, swampy groove of New Orleans and Delta blues, that make you think of the pine flatwoods and cypress bottoms of Central Florida.   Top is from New Smyrna Beach and Packrat is from Lake Helen Florida. Although they have shared bandstands since the late 1970’s, it wasn’t until 1988 that they began to explore their common roots and their love of the Blues.

Prestage Brothers –   Ben Prestage performed at the IBC and within three consecutive years took 4th, 3rd, and 2nd place.  He is also the only two-time recipient of the Lyon/Pitchford Award for Best Diddley-Bow Player.  Ben’s interesting approach to instrumentation is his fingerstyle guitar, harmonica, banjo, lap-steel, fiddle, resonator guitar, foot-drums, vocals, and his award-winning original songwriting (recipient of ‘The Most Unique Performer’ at The Songwriters Showcase of America) has earned him invitations to perform across North America, Europe, and as far as North Africa. All awards aside, he has proven himself, through his live performances, to be the future of American Blues, Roots Music, Americana and is one of today’s most talented outsider.  His brother Jon Prestage, who plays guitar, bass and foot drums as well, is a former Orlando scene fixture who ran in certified circles for years in local bands like So Help Me Rifle and Basements of Florida.  Together, they perform Mississippi Blues, Old-Time Americana, FL Swamp Blues and originals.

Gracie Curran & the High Falutin’ Band – Gracie Curran has earned her reputation for jaw dropping blues and soul, in every blues club and juke joint from Boston to Beale Street. In the three years since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Proof of Love’, the singer has been packing houses across the country, wowing audiences with her powerful voice and soul shaking delivery. With a contagious enthusiasm and amazingly fun live show, Curran is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young entertainers on the roots scene today!

Beautiful Bobby Blackmon – Based in Central FL, this dedicated blues musician is southern soul/blues style mixed with some R&B flavor. Bobby’s music is a mixture of contemporary urban blues with some added funky southern soul-blues flavor; it’s danceable with some tasty guitar and vocals. 

Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers – A modern-day powerhouse-blues band, built on old-school influences and a mutual love for the down’ n’ dirty style of blues that define the band’s sound. A dangerously tight rhythm section, backing a funky, shake-your-money-maker groove, guarantees dancing and good times! Top that with wailing blues harp, jaw-dropping guitar licks, and the unmistakable charm and soul of the towering blues-man they call, ‘Dirty Red,’ and you can bet you’re gonna find yourself hooked. In January 2018, Dirty Red & the Soul Shakers represented Oklahoma at the IBC and made it into the semi-finals.

Mark May Band –  Mark May is former Dickey Betts and Great Southern guitarist and vocalist and TOP 10 BILLBOARD BLUES ARTIST;  his new album ‘Blues Heaven’ reached number 6 on the Billboard Blues chart. The highly acclaimed album remained in the charts for 5 weeks.“Mark May is far and away one of the most talented and passionate bluesmen I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. His songs work their way into your very soul…in a way that makes you feel naughty for liking them so much. His licks are like narcotic…you simply can’t wait for that next hit.” Sue Leighton, Program Director QFM96… Host of “Blue Monday”

MOVING ON TO SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2018:

5th Annual Camping with the Blues at Sertoma Youth RanchBlues Doctors – These guys are Mississippi-based blues veterans who play a mix of down-home Delta standards and urban grooves from the Clarksdale-to-Chicago axis with some New Orleans funk thrown in.  They’re a two-man band with a big, bold sound:  Gussow on harmonica and drumset, Gross on guitar, with both men switching off on vocals.

Amanda Fish Band – Amanda Fish, whose sister Samantha is also a well-known blues musician, began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for two years before she formed her band in early 2014, a roots rock and soul quintet featuring dual slide and rock guitars and Amanda’s signature ‘from-the-gut’ vocals locked into a sturdy groove.In 2015, she released her first LP, ‘Down In The Dirt’, on VizzTone Label Group, for which she was awarded the 2016 ‘Sean Costello Rising Star’ Blues Blast Music Award. Amanda and her band set Beale Street on fire in the 2017 IBC semi-finals, playing new material slated for her next release.  Amanda is incredible!

Tas Cru & His Band of Tortured Souls –  Tas Cru is a 2018 Blues Music Award Best Emerging Artist album nominee for ‘Simmered & Stewed’; finalist in three categories for the 2018 Independent Blues Awards:  Contemporary Album ‘Simmered & Stewed’; Contemporary Song ‘Grizzled n’ Bone’; and Contemporary Band for Tortured Souls.   Tas Cru is described as raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent, all words that fittingly describe his songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. It’s not for nothing that Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting.  As Downbeat magazine noted, “His songs are blues poetry – crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!” Live, these songs are performed with power and passion as observed by Living Blues magazine, “The vivacity and sheer joy with which Cru plays is intoxicating!”  

Brandon Santini – Brandon is an international touring blues vocalist and harmonica player and was nominated for a 2016 Blues Music Award in the categories of, ‘Instrumentalist-Harmonica’ and ‘Contemporary Male Blues Artist’; 2015 Blues Blast Award nominee ‘Male Blues Artist’ and ‘Live Blues Album’; Live & Extended made Living Blues Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 2015 at #17; 2014 Blues Music Award nominee in categories of, ‘Instrumentalist-Harmonica’ and ‘Contemporary Blues Album’ and 2014 & 2013 Blues Blast Award nominee in category of ‘Sean Costello Rising Star’.

Wow!  Imagine three days of incredible live music set in a gorgeous, outdoor venue…the only thing missing is YOU if you haven’t purchased your tickets and site (if camping).  Don’t wait.  For more information, call 941-758-7585 or go online: www.campingwiththeblues.com

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‘Camping with the Blues, for those who love the blues, and the freedom of not having to drive home after the party!’

*Camping with the Blues is produced by GPS Festival, Productions, LLC, partners Greg Herndon, Mojoe Productions and Paul Benjamin, North Atlantic Blues Festival.

Photos from GPS Festival Productions

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2018-06-14