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Paramount Music Fest to bring all-star lineup to Port PDF Print E-mail
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Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 18:14

Holiday weekend event in Coal Dock Park to feature dozens of performers from around the country


    Live music, particularly the blues and other roots music, will drift throughout Port Washington during the Paramount Music Fest in Coal Dock Park from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 1 to 3.
    This year’s festival will pay tribute to Paramount Records, celebrating the label’s centennial.
    The record company was launched in 1917 as a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Chair Co., which was located on Port Washington’s lakefront.
    Paramount Records was created as a way to generate customers for the Chair Co. record players, but has become famous for seminal recordings by such noted artists as “Ma” Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Charlie Patton, Son House, King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton.
    The centerpiece of the festival will be a tribute to the record label by an array of Chicago blues legends at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
    The all-star lineup includes harmonica master Billy Branch and his band, Sons of Blues; southpaw guitarist Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater; former Muddy Waters and Magic Slim guitarist John Primer; ex-Howlin’ Wolf and Paul Butterfield Blues Band drummer Sam Lay; and harmonica stalwart Corky Siegel.
    Opening for the band at 6:45 p.m. will be Shemekia Copeland, who learned the blues well from her father, the late Texas guitar great Johnny Copeland. Shortly before her death, Koko Taylor anointed Copeland as the new Queen of the Blues, a title held in the 1920s by Paramount star Rainey.
    Other acts on Saturday’s Main Stage lineup include Chicago acoustic duo harmonica player Eric Noden and guitarist Joe Filisko at 1:30 p.m.; Milwaukee-based guitarist Alex Wilson at 3:15 p.m. and blues-rock guitarist Davy Knowles at 4:45 p.m.
    The second stage on Saturday will be home to Jonny T-Bird & Big Dad at 1:30 p.m., Jonny Millard & Friends at 3 p.m., Katz Sass at 4:15 p.m., and the Water Street Hot Shots at 6:15 p.m.
    Also on Saturday, renowned Delta blues historian Gayle Dean Wardlow, whose book “Chasin’ That Devil Music: Searchin’ For the Blues” was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006, will offer a history lesson on the Paramount blues that’s sure to enlighten serious aficionados of the genre.
    To continue the Paramount theme at the festival, several of the artists will perform songs associated with Paramount stars.
    Sturgeon Bay’s Cathy Grier, the Paramount Music Association’s representative at the upcoming International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., will interpret the music of Rainey and Hunter along with her own songs at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on the Main Stage.
    When the Starkweather Bay Blues Band performs at noon Saturday, singer Phyllis Becker will offer a special song to commemorate the centennial as well as the label’s female soloists.
    Kicking off the festival on Friday will be  harpist Lil’ Davy Max at 4:30 p.m., followed by southpaw axeman Matthew Curry at 5:30 p.m., St. Louis guitarist Marquise Knox at 7 p.m., and guitarist Greg Koch with veteran harpist Jim Liban and multi-instrumentalist Billy Flynn at 8:30  p.m.
    Sunday’s lineup is far more eclectic. Roots rockers the Muddy Crows kick off the day at 1:30 p.m., followed by harmonica and guitar duo Big Al Dorn & Jonny T-Bird 2:45 p.m. Another guitar and harmonica pair, Rev. Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys with Westside Andy, will play at 3:15 p.m.
    Sue DeBaco & Double Down will take the stage at 4:45 p.m., while Nelson Street Revival will perform at 5:45 p.m., followed by Celtic rockers Whiskey of the Damned at 7:15 p.m. The rock band Starset will close the festival at 8:30 p.m.
     The festival grounds open at 4 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
    Animals are not allowed on the grounds, and food and beverages may not be carried in to the festival. There will be food and beverages available for purchase.
    Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs and pop-up tents for shade.
    Shuttles are available to and from the festival, stopping at the Country Inn & Suites, the corner of Wisconsin Street and Whitefish Road and the Ozaukee County Administration Center, all in Port Washington, and Walmart in Saukville.
    For tickets and more information, visit www.paramountmusic.org.

kris--paramount fest

 
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