Tue, May 7, 2013.
The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival had a few surprises left for today's official launch of its 2013 lineup. Even though the headliners' names have been trickling out in weekly announcements for the past month, the organizers held a few back, as they delivered the final schedule to a packed lunchtime crowd at Dolan's. Altogether, 180 different performances will be featured during the festival, which runs from September 10 - 15.
Among the names released today is The Wailers, the reggae group that continues on the legacy of its founder, the late Bob Marley. Since Marley's death, the group has been fronted by original bassist, Aston "Family Man" Barrett, a direct connection to every classic reggae hit by the group. Also confirmed were three of the biggest names in modern blues, doing a special celebration of the genre's unique culture. The concert is called True Blues, and will feature Corey Harris, Guy Davis and Alvin Youngblood Hart. The trio are even coming in early for the festival, and doing the annual Blues In The School program, visiting local school kids in the area through the week, giving them a first-person course in music history. That's quite an acclaimed trio of teachers.
As always, the Harvest line-up is heavy on local Maritime talent, and a raft of it was announced. This year will see sets by Hey Rosetta!, Buck 65, Rich Aucoin, Keith Hallett & Garrett Mason, Thom Swift, Charlie A'Court, Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers, In-Flight Safety, and of course, the only group that has played every one of the 23 years of the festival, Fredericton's celebrated Downtown Blues Band.
A special documentary on the festival, commissioned by Harvest and written and directed by Fredericton film maker John Pollack, was debuted as well. The exceptional film completely captures the energy and excitement of down town Fredericton during the festival. Mayor Brad Woodside was thrilled with the production, stating, "When I go across the country and tell people how great the festival is, they don't believe me. Now I have the proof."
Tickets for the festival go on sale this Saturday at 9 PM.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).