National Women in Blues Festival Sept 26-27

It is time for the 3rd National Women in Blues Festival in Wilmington North Carolina this September 26th and 27th 2008. Still leveling the playing field for the women of and bringing in another great line up with artists from coast to coast including headliners Gaye Abegdebola on Friday and Candye Kane on Saturday. Both ladies are well known to the blues world as powerful performers.

Many in Wilmington are familiar with Gaye from her multiple appearances with Saffire– the Uppity Blues Women. She has toured nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award (the Grammy of the blues industry). As of Summer 2008, Adegbalola has 12 CDs in national distribution, including 3 on her own label, Hot Toddy Music. This years festival is in for a double treat as Gaye will be bringing her History of Women in Blues from the 1920s to today. She shares video and/or audio clips from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday, from Rosetta Tharpe to Big Mama Thornton, from Etta Baker to Etta James and many others. She illuminates how the history of working class black women is documented in blues lyrics and after the screening and short intermission she will return to the stage with her musicians to do a live show.

Candye is no stranger to the blues world and brings a dynamic to the stage seldom seen in our region. Candye Kane may still be a well-kept mainstream secret but in most underground circles, her diva status is legendary. She has been making music professionally for over two decades and toured worldwide since 1992, performing for amazingly diverse audiences. She played at the French Embassy in Rome for the President of Italy, headlined the Rhythm Riot, a rockabilly and R&B festival in the UK, and belted it out alongside Ray Charles at the Cognac Blues Festival. She slayed em' at the Cannes Film Festival, kept them enthralled at New York Gay Pride and most recently, helped organize a thirteen city tour of the Netherlands for special needs kids.

Also on this years festival line up we see the return of NY solo blues woman Sarah Lemiuex who's smoky, silky voice, and unique brand of "storytelling" blues and jazz are getting people hooked all over the world, from Quebecois radio shows to Australian podcasts and everywhere in between. Also returning is Greensboro blues artist Patty Benson who Alan Shuttro of Blues Wax said "Patty Benson doesn't just sing the blues-she whispers, cries and even belts out the blues. Her vocals ring with confidence and emotion. She's sultry and bold as she spills out her lyrics on each and every song." New to this years stage is Peggy Ratusz and Big Road who recently played the semi-finals of the 2008 International Blues Challenge representing NC's own Piedmont Blues Preservation Society's after winning their last Blues Challenge. As she does each year, our festival will open with the Regions Grandmother of Blues, Mrs Rose Lucas backed by her husband Charlie Lucas. Both are well known to area music lovers and the blues community This year will also include a blues jam on Saturday afternoon that will be hosted by Michele and the Midnight Blues who represented the Cape Fear Blues Society in the 2006 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.. Expect a few surprise at the jam and some special guest performers like Lady Laura from NY and Stone Cold Sarah Cole and her new band Cole Train out of South Carolina! Check the web site often for up dates and additions!

This years festival takes place in two locations showcasing the areas diversity. Friday night will take place at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater over looking Greenfield Lake where Richard Geer and Kim Bassinger shot scenes for the film No Mercy and Saturday night will be at one of the areas newest clubs The Cellar next to the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, The Saturday afternoon jam will also take place at The Cellar. Tickets on sale through the web site but the Saturday Jam in the afternoon is FREE and open to the public. Regular tickets are $20 per night ($25 at the gate/door) or $40 for a weekend pass. Those who want in on the reserved seating at both venues can become individual sponsors for $100 for the weekend (this includes 2 weekend passes with reserved seating both nights and a perk bag of goodies) Both locations serve food and drink and we will have some additional vendors on site.

Join us for another addition of the National Women in Blues Festival and support great women artists and the one true musical genre that was born in the USA of the African American experience. Having moved a little earlier in the Fall season we expect great weather, so be prepared to feel the warm breeze on your skin and Magnolia in the air at WiB 3.

Tickets ON SALE now on the web site and myspace site and they will be available at Finkelsteins Music starting September 19th for the advance price. While at the store you can also buy raffle tickets for a one of a kind custom made Rusty Nail guitar made by Ted Crocker ( that has been donated to raise funds for the National Women in Blues Festival. The guitar retails for $1800 and tickets are $1 or 6 tickets for $5 (you do not need to be present to win)

Sponsored in part by Blues Festival Guide, Chittlin Circuit Magazine, The Sleep Inn of Wilmington and Main Stay, Finkelstiens Music, Port City Java, Chelsea Wine and Cheese, Ted Crocker Guitars and others in service and kind.

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