ALLEN – The Allen City Blues Festival returns to Allen Event Center on Saturday, July 27, with more than a dozen acts set to grace two stages throughout the day and into the evening. Main Stage acts will include Eric Johnson, Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience, the Wanda King All Star Revue Band featuring Joey Love, Griff Hamlin & The Circle City Horns, Kirby Kelley and The Peterson Brothers Band. The Guitar Sanctuary Stage will offer the Maylee Thomas Band, Grady Yates featuring Milo Deering and Brady Mosher, Nick and the Nighthawks, The Alex Dowidchuk Trio Featuring Thomas Dawson, Special Guests and featured performances from the Guitar Sanctuary Performance Academy.
Tickets can be purchased through ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or at Allen Event Center Box Office, 200 E. Stacy Road #1350, Allen, TX 75002.
Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, a platinum album, Top 10 hits like “Cliffs of Dover,” praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. But the full hand of his talents marks him as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, song interpreter and creator of a rich and diverse musical legacy. His many achievements include being enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and being named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine.
Billy Cox is the only surviving member of both The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. Best known for his bass work with Hendrix in the Band of Gypsys, Cox’s signature playing was an integral part of the legendary performance at Woodstock. He remains vital to the Hendrix legacy today, carrying forward Jimi Hednrix’s blues and rock-n-roll spirit with his fantastic group – Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience. A member of the Musicians Hall Of Fame, Cox has played in recent years with the likes of Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.
Wanda King has a style all her own taking a cool, laid-back approach to the blues with a big voice and stage presence to match. President of the Freddie King Blues Foundation, Wanda King recently accepted the award for her late father at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. His influence on her style is unmistakable, and shines through when you hear The Wanda King All Star Revue Band featuring Joey Love (who played a solo on the second stage last year). Having grown up amidst the greats whose music filled the King’s home such as Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King and B.B. King, Wanda King’s unique brand of the blues truly belongs on the biggest of stages.
Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns’ fiery brand of blues/rock is full of soul and spirit that will bend your understanding of what the blues can be. The band excels at connecting with a crowd, bringing them in for a wild ride full of spontaneity and excitement. With the highest caliber of musicians and performers and a full horn section, North Texas audiences are poised to discover one of California’s best bands and brightest stars in Griff Hamlin. With so much experience under their belt, what this band excels at is connecting quickly with a crowd and taking them down a transformational journey through a style of music that everyone can relate to – the blues. Whether it be a B.B. King or Freddie King classic, or one of Griff's original compositions – the songs are always fresh and the performance is always exciting and spontaneous. With so much experience under their belt, what this band excels at is connecting quickly with a crowd and taking them down a transformational journey through a style of music that everyone can relate to – the blues. Whether it be a B.B. King or Freddie King classic, or one of Griff's original compositions – the songs are always fresh and the performance is always exciting and spontaneous.
Kirby Kelley rightfully wears the crown as King of the Blues having beaten out more than 4,000 guitarists for the honor as judged by Hubert Sumlin of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson. Kelley’s skills as a slide guitarist set him apart, and are extracted from a myriad of influences that culminate into a rich gumbo of blues-based musical soul food. Excelling at acoustic finger style Delta, Texas and Piedmont blues stylings, Kelley places his indelible stamp on the presentation of each with raw power, emotion and soulful vocals set deeply in the origins of the blues.
Rounding out the main stage, The Peterson Brothers Band features two young talents, Alex, 14, on bass, violin and vocals, and Glenn Jr., 16, on guitar and lead vocals. Their music combines a classic blues sound with their own unique blend of soul-infused inspiration. In just a few short years they have had the opportunity to open for or share the stage with Pinetop Perkins, B.B. King, Los Lonely Boys, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy. The band is in the studio working on their debut album so the Allen City Blues Festival audience can say they saw them first.
The Guitar Sanctuary Stage, located within a refreshing, shaded beer garden adjacent to the arena, also features a lineup with considerable talent. Programmed by The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, intimate sets from great musicians will begin shortly after doors open at 1 p.m. on July 27. The stage will be headlined by the Maylee Thomas Band, a band that transcends genre, mixing gospel-based blues with a soul-driven rock sound. The stage also features the well-honed guitar chops and catchy melodic grooves of Nick and the Nighthawks, one of Texas' rising young guitar phenoms, Alex Dowidchuk, and Grady Yates, whose musical stylings bring Tortola to Texas with toes-in-the-sand attitude. Special guests and featured performers from the Guitar Sanctuary Performance Academy will also be announced.
From their inception, The Guitar Sanctuary has partnered with the Love Life Foundation. Love Life is dedicated to breaking the cycle of child abuse by promoting and supporting those agencies who provide valuable aid, refuge and hope to these innocent children. At the Allen City Blues Festival, The Guitar Sanctuary will sell tickets to a chance drawing for a Fender Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Guitar ($2,599.99 Retail Value) to benefit the Love Life Foundation.
For more information of the second annual Allen City Blues Festival, visit AllenEventCenter.com.
About Allen Event Center
Allen Event Center is a city-owned, 7,500+ seat capacity multi-sport and entertainment arena located in one of the largest mixed-use developments in the country, The Village at Allen. The arena is home to the Allen Americans Hockey Club, the Dallas Sidekicks Soccer Club, Texas Revolution Football, The Tom Thumb Texas Stampede and Lone Star Conference Championship basketball. Host to more than 100 events annually including concerts, graduations, tradeshows, and family ice shows, Allen Event Center takes pride in offering quality concessions at affordable pricing with FREE parking! Visit AllenEventCenter.com.
About Guitar Sanctuary
The Guitar Sanctuary is a gathering place for players of all styles and experience, managed by musicians, where the finest guitars, amps and accessories can be explored. The Sanctuary is also a welcoming environment where new talent, young and old, can learn from gifted players that truly enjoy teaching and cultivating new passion for the instrument. Enhanced with a Performance Academy that teaches bass, violin, cello, keyboards and vocals, The Guitar Sanctuary is truly a musicians’ haven. Visit TheGuitarSanctuary.com.