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4th Annual Brevard Blues & BBQ Festival set for June 2-3


brevard blues bbq festival
Roomful of Blues will be performing at this year's Brevard Blues and BBQ Festival in Pisgah National Forest.

PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST -- The 4th Annual Brevard Blues and BBQ Festival is coming back to the Brevard Music Center on June 2nd and 3rd this year. Brought to you by 185 Productions and Brevard Music Center, tickets are now on sale. There will be two days of music, craft beer, food vendors, and “BBQ Cook Off”.

The lineup consists of blues legends like Tinsley Ellis, Anson Funderburgh and Roomful of Blues. Local and regional favorites like Delta Moon, Lee Griffin Band, Peggy Ratusz and the Daddy Long Legs, Dangerous Gentlemens, Mojo Brothers Blues Band and many more will also be performing. Brevard Music Center in itself is a headliner. Situated on a wooded 180-acre campus in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina the center features the Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, an open air 1800 seat venue that will be rockin’ the blues in June.

Over the past 40 years, Tinsley Ellis has performed in all 50 states, across Canada, Europe, South America and Australia. He's taken the stage in Russia, the Canary Islands and other destinations not on the traditional touring circuit. His vision for the future is to continue to release the type of albums that push the boundaries of Blues and to expand his touring radius. He reflects, "Playing concerts is what I've done the longest. From the time I was a young teenager watching BB King, Howlin' Wolf and Billy Preston, to the great new music of today, I've taken what I've learned from these masters and incorporated it into my concerts. From BB King, I learned about performing with dynamics. From James Brown, I've learned about putting on a seamless, exciting concert. From The Allmans, I've learned about how to excite fans with extended instrumental jamming. I try to learn something new about putting on shows at every concert I attend."

Even though Roomful of Blues’ lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. In 2010, singer Phil Pemberton took over the vocal duties, bringing his sweet and soulful vocals and adding another bright new dimension to the jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor. Along with newer members, bassist John Turner, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, drummer Chris Rivelli, and keyboardist Rusty Scott, and longtime members baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, Roomful keeps on rockin’ in 2015.

Anson Funderburgh, a native of Texas, has spent the majority of his adult life playing the blues, with influences from blues legends such as Freddie King, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed and Bill Doggett. Anson has earned the respect of artists like Delbert McClinton, Boz Scaggs, Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ronnie Earl. Over the years, these musicians have called on Anson to lend his tremendous guitar talents to their projects.

Austin, Texas transplant and Blues/Jazz/Swing & Soul chanteuse, Peggy Ratusz has been pulling out to play, the cream of the area’s music crop, since moving here in 2002. Her clear, rich, swanky and deep range of vocal styles from originals to covers effectively transmits heartache, love, joy and all matters sensual. She’s been honing her craft for over thirty five years and has 4 CD releases to her credit: It Takes a Lot of Faith 2005, Infused with the Blues 2009, Live at the Altamont Theatre 2013 & an EP, Letters to Memphis from 2016 that she recorded under the name Bygone Blues, with her vintage Blues & Jazz duo partner, Aaron Price. In addition to Ratusz, the phenomenal band she’s lined up for the 2017 Brevard Blues Festival will include coveted and incomparable Duane Simpson (Francine Reed, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, King Zeros) on guitar; internationally acclaimed bassist Shannon Hoover (HipBones, Clay Ross Band, Greenville Jazz Collective, Wade Baker Trio) on electric and upright and the Upstate’s master beater extraordinaire, and drummer for platinum recording artist Edwin McCain, “Big” Tez Sherard.

"The Mojo Brothers Blues Band is WNC's Premier Blues Show Band that brings high energy performances to EVERY stage and will transport you to a place that will leave you on your feet cheering and wanting more! The Mojo Brothers bring new life to Mississippi Delta, Chicago Jump, Electric and Country Blues as well as amazing original material! The Mojo Brothers also encourage local blues musicians to attend their performances to not only act as a form of community outreach everywhere that they go, but to foster and encourage the talents and careers of local musicians. The band is made up of: John Trufant on Electric Guitar and Vocals, Chris Alley on Drums, Matt Gardner on Bass, Derrick Gardner on Keys and Front Man and Lead Vocalist; Blake Anthony Ellege."

Tickets are now on sale at the Brevard Music Center box office at This year’s lineup is as follows: Tinsley Ellis, Roomful of Blues, Anson Funderburgh, Delta Moon, Dangerous Gentlemens, Lee Griffin Band, Mojo Brothers Blues Band, Peggy Ratusz and the Daddy Long Legs, J. Randall Sapp and Daddy Rabbit, Unpaid Bill and the Bad Czechs, and more.

The Brevard Music Center is located in Pisgah National Forest, 349 Andante Ln, Brevard, NC 28712. For more information on the festival, visit

Published May 13, 2017

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