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Monmouth anticipates blues festival

October 8, 2010

Monmouth is fixing to face a bad case of the blues. On Oct. 23, the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival will return for its fourth year at the Rivoli Theatre.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops will be headlining the festival, which will be the final American performance for acclaimed old-time string band before they begin a European tour next month.

“It took me two years to get them,” said festival organizer Paul Schuytema. “I hope they have as much fun as everybody is going to have seeing them.”

The event will also feature performances by Chicago jazz blues guitarist Dave Specter, slide guitarist Scott Ainslie and Little Joe McLerran, who won first place as a solo artist at the 2009 International Blues Challenge.

“That’s the thing that’s amazed me the most about this blues fest is we’ve been able to get some of the best blues acts in the country to come to Monmouth, and that’s kind of cool,” said Schuytema.

The festival will also feature local blues duo Hayes and Fleming. The event will  be catered by Eddie B’s Ribs.

Doors open for the festival at 2 p.m. and will last until around midnight. Blues fans who want a little education will have to start their day a bit earlier. Scott Ainslie and Little Joe McLerran will be hosting free guitar workshops at 10 a.m. at the Buchanan Center for the Arts.

“It’s not something everybody can come out and see easily in Monmouth,” said Schuytema. “The blues fest is my desire to have my perfect day … I try to bring the best music and just share it.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They are available at the Bijou Pub, Daw Violins, Buchanan Center for the Arts and online at

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