Stars align for blues weekend
Every so often, the stars align and everything falls in place. Such is the case with the upcoming plans for June 7 in downtown Williamsport. The Billtown Blues Festival organizers were able to secure one of their main stage performers, Taylor Scott and his band, to come into the area a couple days early to participate in the Fifth annual Uptown Music Collective’s Blues-A-Thon. This special concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Pine Street as part of the downtown’s First Friday festivities.
Scott, a recent high school graduate, and the Collective actually crossed paths unknowingly in 2012, when the Uptown Music Collective’s blues band went on their pilgrimage to Memphis to participate in the Youth Blues Showcase and the Youth Knowledge Bowl. Scott was in Memphis also, vying among 128 other bands from around the world, in the International Blues Competition. The UMC’s Youngblood Blues Band went on to deliver a stellar showcase performance with band member Gabe Stillman tying for first in the Youth Blues Knowledge Bowl – and Taylor Scott and his band went to the coveted finals in the International Blues Challenge.
The Blues-A-Thon’s kickoff concert is at 7 p.m. on Pine Street and will feature Taylor Scott and his band, giving a little preliminary taste of what to expect when they deliver their main stage show for the 24th Annual Blues Festival Sunday at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds. Scott hopes to share with the students a little of what he has learned at this early stage of his career, recording and touring throughout the United States and in Canada. Scott will then settle into the workshop mode as he mingles with the UMC students over the next 24 hours, closing out with a final concert at 6 p.m. Saturday at the “Collective” headquarters, 848 W. Fourth St.
The 24th Annual Billtown Blues Festival is now in its final days of preparation. Ticket sales are strong, and all area ticket outlets offering discounted advance tickets are well stocked. They include in Williamsport, Francos Lounge and The Genetti Hotel; in Hughesville The Spartan Pub and The Lockard Agency; in Muncy, Hull’s Landing. Also Brushstrokes in Lewisburg, Fetter’s Meat Market in Milton, Music One in Lock Haven and Cox’s Harley Davidson in Mansfield. Go to www.billtownblues.org for all festival details.
Festival gates at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville open at 11 a.m.
On Saturday night, award winning blues piano player, singer, and songwriter, Greg Burgess is scheduled for a solo performance at the Genetti Hotel’s 4th Street Grille from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Gabe Stillman and Mitchell Gartner will return to the Muncy Dunkin Donuts for an acoustic duo concert from 7 to 9 p.m.
More information about the Uptown Music Collective’s Blues-A-Thon is available at www.uptownmusic.org.