What would the musical identity of Augusta's River Region be without the voices of Blind Willie, James Brown, Jessye Norman, Sharon Jones, and Lady Antebellum? Each of these legendary musicians, part of Augusta's homegrown musical legacy, has an unmistakable and authentic sound. Local musicians and curated music festivals compose the soundtrack of the region still today. With summer just around the corner, here are 6 music events you won't want to miss:
1. Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival
This one-day grassroots festival appeals to both music aficionados and neophytes. Set in a cow pasture, the vibe is laid back, the facilities are super clean and there's no overcrowding. This year's lineup included The Wood Brothers, Mingo Fishtrap, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, the Joey Landreth Trio, Alvin Youngblood Heart, and the Marcus King Band. If you missed it this year, make plans now for May 5, 2018.
2. Aiken Bluegrass Festival
Grassy fields, cold beer and the sounds of The Infamous Stringdusters, Billy Strings, Larry Keel and Vince Herman drifting through the air will make this music event one you won't forget. The 2017 festival lineup is loaded with some of the biggest names in bluegrass along with a hefty list of artists at large. May 12 & 13.
3. Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que
Memorial Day weekend and barbeque go hand in hand. Add in some good old foot-stomping and family fun and you have yourself a recipe for success. This year the Avett Brothers and Green Sky Bluegrass headline the festival with regional musicians adding local flair to the weekend lineup at the Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre. May 26 & 27.
You're not going to want to miss the impassioned, blues-soaked vocal of Susan Tedeschi’s and Derek Trucks’ virtuoso guitar at the Bell Auditorium. With a growing worldwide reputation for legendary live performances the Grammy-winning group have proven themselves as the preeminent leader in modern blues rock. June 13.
5. Gov't Mule
Mule brings their southern brand of jam band music to the riverfront during the Riverwalk Revival. Watch the sun go down over the Savannah River to the sounds of their soon-to-be-released album, "Revolution Come...Revolution Go." Steeped in the roots and mystique of rock, blues, soul, and jazz, the quartet is equally recognized for its stirring songwriting and storytelling and for the improvisational virtuosity that fuels their countless live performances. August 1.
This low-key evening music series takes place downtown every Sunday during the summer. Local and regional bands and musicians bring their jazz flavor to the Augusta Common. Pack a picnic and grab a chair or blanket for the show.
Sundays are jazzy in downtown #Augusta: A trumpet player with SherryWine performs on stage during the 2014 Candlelight #Jazz Concert Series at the Augusta Commons on Sunday. #candlelightjazz #AugustaGa (Photo by Sara Caldwell/staff) Read more about it in today's Richmond County Neighbors and online at chronicle.augusta.com
Grab the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of The New Augustan magazine for more information about music venues, regional bands and other music festivals in the area.