The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the headliners for the 2017 Canton Blues Fest, part of the Downtown Canton Event Series Presented by KeyBank. This annual outdoor blues festival, now in its 16th year, will take place on Market Square (301 Market Ave. N) in downtown Canton on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, with headliners taking the stage nightly at 8:30 p.m. (SEE PHOTOS BELOW)
FRIDAY, JUNE 9: Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
SATURDAY, JUNE 10: Robben Ford
SATURDAY, JUNE 10: Robben Ford
Opening acts Danielle Nicole and Damon Fowler will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The jam-packed lineup features 18 unique blues acts on two stages, with live music running daily from noon to 10:30 p.m. Visit CantonBluesFest.com for a full list of festival performers.
VIP Passes, which are on sale now, include complimentary food and beverages in the evening (after 5 p.m.) and incredible views of the stage all day. Two-day VIP passes are available for $80; one-day passes are $50. Purchase online at CantonBluesFest.com or by calling 330.458.2070.
For more information on the Canton Blues Fest, contact Andrea Hartman, event manager, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330.458.2054.
Friday Headliner - Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Rod Piazza has set a standard for harmonica virtuosity that has established him as one of the preeminent blues harp players around. Although it's true that, as the New York Times said, "Rod Piazza has perfected the rough drive and edgy tone that characterized the classic Chicago blues sound of Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and others in the 50's," he's also a master of West Coast jump blues, incorporating elements of Los Angeles' postwar jazz, swing, and R&B combos.
He's consistently surrounded himself with players who bring out the best he has to offer, and epitomize the very best in blues: fresh, swinging, tasteful, exciting and creative. His band for the last three decades, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, constantly push the boundaries of the blues while still staying true to the spirit and soul of the music. The band's ability to keep the blues vibrant, fresh and alive has led to countless accolades, awards and nominations over the years, including four prestigious Blues Music Awards as "Blues Band of the Year.”
Renowned for their high level of musicianship and showmanship, they virtually created a new style of blues - a combination of low-down Chicago grit, suave West Coast swing and jazz, and the rhythmic drive of the best early R&B and rock & roll. As Blues Revue put it, "Rod and Honey front one of the most popular blues bands in the world. Whether they play at an intimate club, a packed rock room or a huge festival, the Mighty Flyers share with the audience their passionate love of the blues in every show.”
Friday Opener – Danielle Nicole
A 2014 Blues Music Award winner, there’s not a time in her life that singer/bassist/songwriter Danielle Nicole (born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen) doesn’t remember loving to perform.
In March of 1999, she started her own band, Fresh Brew, with Kansas City music veterans Steve Gronemeyer, Steve Hicks, Chuck Payne and Terry Roney. They performed for four years and even represented Kansas City in the International Blues Challenge. It was during this time that Danielle and her brothers Nick and Kris formed a family band that would eventually become Trampled Under Foot. After several acclaimed self-released albums, Trampled Under Foot released Badlands on July 9, 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group. Badlands debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Blues Chart and Trampled Under Foot performed live throughout the United States and Europe in support of the album.
Danielle made her Concord Records solo debut with the 2015 release of a New Orleans-flavored, blues-soul based EP, featuring GRAMMY®-winning producer-guitarist Anders Osborne, Galactic’s co-founding drummer Stanton Moore and her regular keyboardist Mike “Shinetop, Jr.” Sedovic. A full length album, Wolf Den, was released in September 2015, featuring more music created in New Orleans with Osborne, Moore and Sedovic.
Saturday Headliner – Robben Ford
Guitar virtuoso Robben Ford’s latest album, Into The Sun, debuted at #2 on The Blues Charts and shines a bright light on his artful, contemporary songwriting and stunning playing. The five time Grammy nominee describes the 11 song set as “one of the top recordings I’ve ever done” and Guitar Player Magazine claims it “explores the breadth of Ford’s sophisticated, visionary writing and playing, creating a new chapter in his brilliant musical history.” Robben has recorded more than 35 albums under his own name and with various bands. There’s also his session and sideman work, which included hundreds of concert appearances and albums by Miles Davis, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Barbara Streisand, Charlie Musselwhite, KISS, Ruthie Foster, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Witherspoon, Larry Carlton, Brad Paisley, Gregg Allman, Phil Lesh and Rickie Lee Jones. Robben continues to tour heavily and teach master classes in the US and worldwide.
An important and essential component of Robben’s career is his commitment to teaching and passing on what he's learned over the past 40 years to current and future musicians. His instructional videos and clinics over this this time have culminated in a collaboration with TrueFire and the birth of the Robben Ford Guitar Dojo. Robben also hosts his annual Traveling Dojo Guitar Camp in upstate NY every August.
Saturday Opener – Damon Fowler
After spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler is back with his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, Sounds of Home. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab's rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date. The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener, and the stories told in his songwriting here - sometimes in collaboration with long-time writing partner Ed Wright and Benoit - exhibit a combination of depth, grace and humor very few of his contemporaries can match.
On the strength of his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, the Florida native started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In 2008's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player...And Dobro Player." Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.