Fall into the Blues

The Billtown Blues Association (BBA) will host its annual Fall Into The Blues event Nov. 10 at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St. The show will feature a variety of musical performances and is primarily a fundraiser to help send this year’s winners of the Billtown Blues Festival – The Porkroll Project, and Greg Burgess – to the 2014 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, Tenn.

“The BBA mission is to present opportunities for area residents to experience blues music and become educated about blues music,” said Bill van Campen, president of the BBA. “To achieve this we produce quality performances featuring national, regional and local blues artists who have a devoted interest in this music. Fall Into The Blues is one of these events.”

This year’s event will see performances from not only the 2013 festival winners, but also past winners, such as Sean Farley, and the four-piece band Roy G Blues. It will also feature the debut performance of the Uptown Music Collective’s blues band, the Black Strat Blues Company.

Farley, a Williamsport native and owner of Guitarley’s, a custom guitar and repair shop in downtown Williamsport, has represented the BBA three times at the IBC.

“The BBA has played a large role in my growth as a blues musician. They do a lot to help their representative bands and artists get to Memphis, which is a costly venture that requires a lot of preparation and organization. Overall, the people who run the BBA provide much opportunity and exposure to the blues bands and artists in the region and bring so much tremendous music to our area. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me and my community and I will always represent them the best I can.”

Farley, winner of the solo-duo portion of the Billtown Festival in 2012, represented the BBA at the 2013 IBC. This year the winner of the solo-duo act is Greg Burgess, a pianist, vocalist and songwriter. His jazz trio – Burgess, Mitchell, and Seal – is often the host band for the Bullfrog Brewery’s Sunday Jazz Brunch Workshop.

“I’ve performed numerous times for the Billtown Blues Association since its inception, at its festivals and other events,” said Burgess. “But it’s a special honor to have been picked this year to represent the Association at the Memphis competition, and I’m excited about going down there.”

The winner of the band category is The Porkroll Project, a six-piece group from Exton. According to a press release by the BBA, The Porkroll Project “is known for its high-energy blend of original tunes and fresh covers. The music is an infectious blend that will rock the house, steam the windows and even take you to church.”

The group is led by guitarist-songwriter Neil Taylor with Joey Stout on a Hammond B3 electric organ, Paul Matecki on piano, Ed Young on bass, Chad Edstrom on drums and Buddy Cleveland on harp.

This is the second time The Porkroll Project will represent the BBA at the International Blues Challenge. The first was in the 2012 competition.

Doors open for the Fall Into the Blues showcase at the Genetti Hotel Ballroom at 3:30 p.m. and the show starts at 4.

Food and drinks will be for sale. Admission is discounted for BBA members.

For more information, visit www.billtownblues.org.