CANTON, OHIO (March 2, 2012) – The Northeast’s premier free Blues Festival, Canton Blues Festival, has announced the 2012 lineup, sure to strike a chord with blues fans large and small! The FREE outdoor summer festival, presented by Canton Development Partnership, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber, is happening in downtown Canton on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, and will feature headliners Walter Trout on Friday at 8:30 p.m., and Coco Montoya on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., along with music ALL DAY from noon to 10:30 p.m.! Visit for a full list of festival performers! Walter Trout's practical schooling in blues started when he arrived in Los Angeles in 1973 and got gigs behind Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Percy Mayfield and Joe Tex. But the real turning point was his tenure with British blues giant John Mayall. Trout became part of the Bluesbreakers' lineage of great guitarists along with Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor. Beginning in 1984, he shared six-string duties with Coco Montoya in Mayall's band, creating a flexible guitar dynamic that helped provide the Bluesbreakers a renaissance that returned the group to the apex of the international blues touring circuit. Trout began leading his own group in 1989, and cut his debut album, Life In the Jungle, rapidly becoming a star in Europe. His first stateside release, 1998's critically heralded Walter Trout, made him start down the road towards becoming the fixture of the American blues-rock scene that he is today. For more information about Friday Canton Blues Fest headliner Walter Trout, visit Mentored by legendary bluesman Albert Collins, self-taught guitar slinger Coco Montoya went on to become the guitarist for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers for ten years before leading his own band. Billboard called Montoya “the real McCoy in a world of blues guitar pretenders,” and the Village Voice. Montoya plays with an emotional intensity few string benders possess – and he plays left-handed and up-side down in the style of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. Blues Fest VIP Passes are available again this year. Buy your two-day pass online for $75 and take advantage of FREE food, beer and incredible views of the stage. One-day Blues Fest VIP Membership passes are also available for $45. Contact Krista Schumacher, event manager, at to reserve your VIP Passes now! The Canton Development Partnership’s 2012 Canton Blues Fest is made possible in part by Cormony Development and Standard Plumbing and Heating Co., along with sponsors (as of this printing) including Phil and Nancy Sonner, Buxton Roofing, Coon Restoration & The Canton Club, The City of Canton, The Repository, Mix 94.1 and News-Talk 1480 WHBC, PPI Graphics and the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District.