Blues Festival Slated in Lake Placid
by Elizabeth Folwell
From June 20-23 the Olympic Village dances to an eight-bar progression during the first-ever Lake Placid Blues and Heritage Festival, promising tunes all over town, from Mid’s Park to the Adirondack Community Church, the Cottage, Zig Zag’s, Generations, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery plus several stages at the Northwoods Inn on Main. Twenty bands will play at 10 venues, and you can walk from concert to jam session to open mic. Sponsors include Miller Lite, Jim Beam, the Lake Placid Business Association, Lake Placid Center for the Arts, North Country Public Radio, WAMC, USA Luge, attorney Matt Norfolk and other small businesses.
Garrick Smith—co-owner of Northwoods Inn and, with his father, Gary Smith, co-organizer of the event—told the Lake Placid News, “This town has a rich history of music…. It’s a town that highlights its local musicians and brings in outside talent. We’re on a main thoroughfare between New York City and Montreal.” So much talent flows up and down the Northway—why not capitalize on Placid’s proximity to this pipeline?
The roster is a spicy mix of internationally known lightning-fast guitar pickers, sultry songstresses, wall-of-sound bands and popular local groups. The latter category includes Sven Curth, who kicks off the weekend at 5:00 p.m. at Delta Blue, in the Northwoods Inn; Lucid, which has close to 5,800 Facebook devotees and bills itself as “the hardest working band in the North Country,” plays Saturday afternoon at The Cabin; Big Slyde is on deck Sunday afternoon. Larry Stone, Gordy Sheer, Mad Dog Marino, Soul Sky, and the Back Porch Society are each slated for at least one show.
There’s no one headliner for this extravaganza but busloads of talented artists. Murali Coryell, son of Larry Coryell, plays at the Adirondack Community Church on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and at 3:00 p.m. Sunday at Delta Blue. Widely regarded as mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Rhett Tyler and his sidekicks Early Warning have shows at Northwoods Inn and the Cottage. Soul and blues singer Slam Allen learned his licks from his father and uncle (performing as the Allen Brothers) as well as the great James Cotton; for eight years Slam was a member of the legendary band. He’ll be playing at Delta Blue at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The sassy self-proclaimed “New York Blues Queen” Roxy Perry takes her show on the road from the community church to Delta Blue on Saturday. You can pick up the detailed schedule at any of the venues or via the blues fest’s Facebook page.
Admission for all three days is $35.00, single-day tickets are $28 and cover charge, without a ticket, at many participating sites is $10; some shows are free. Passes may be purchased at Northwoods Inn (518 523-1818) or at other venues.