The Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas will be growing the blues festival experience with the 11th Annual Blues in the Natural State Music Festival on Friday and Saturday when two-dozen acts will perform on six stages in Fayetteville.
“Festival-goers will experience performers who are a blend of local, regional, national and world-stage artists,” according to Roger Plourde, president of the Ozark Blues Society of Northwest Arkansas.
Headlining Friday evening is James “Super Chikan” Johnson, a Blues Music Award-winning American blues musician, artist and guitar-maker hailing from Clarksdale, Miss., the birthplace of the delta blues. A self-taught musician, Super Chikan’s style of music is cool and gritty, with deep roots in the country blues tradition.
This year, the festival will introduce a new concept: “Afternoon Blues,” a special performance of blues storytellers at Walton Arts Center’s Starr Theater, an elegant setting to listen to three master musicians perform a combination of original and traditional American music. Ray Bonneville, 2012 International Blues Challenge winner will headline Afternoon Blues.
Also this year, 25 percent of all festival proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Ozark Affiliate. For more information about the Ozark Affiliate, visit komenozark.org
Blues in the Natural State Music Festival sponsors include The Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission, Hog Haus Brewery, Common Grounds, Cumulus Broadcasting, Butler Broadcasting, The Keg 98.3, KUAF 93.3, Telecomp, Sound Concepts, First Security Bank, Nighflying, The Free Weekly and Celebrate Arkansas Magazine.
Artists will perform at the following Fayetteville locations: Smoke and Barrel Tavern, Kingfish, Rogue, Walton Art Center’s Starr Theater and both stages at George’s Majestic Lounge.
Wristbands are on sale at ozarkbluessociety.org. Prices are: $45 for both days, $20 for Friday only and $30 for Saturday only.
The Hog Haus Brewing Company is the official headquarters of the 11th Annual Blues in the Natural State festival. Wristbands, blues memorabilia, official T-shirts and artists’ CDs will be on sale. Hours are from 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
For the complete schedule of artists, their biographies, times and venues, visit ozarkbluessociety.org.