Tommy Castro & The War and Treaty Headline 2019 Blast Furnace Blues Festival

Featured Image: Left – Tommy Castro (photo byJayson Carpenter)  Right – The War And Treaty (photo by David McClister)

SteelStacks’ blues fest is free for first time thanks to support of Highmark Blue Shield

Bethlehem, PA—Two-time Blues Music Awards ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Tommy Castro, zydeco sensation Curley Taylor and the heartfelt music and story of The War and Treaty headline the 2019 edition of Blast Furnace Blues, set for June 28-30 at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. The festival, which will feature 10 acts performing over three days, is free for the first time in its history, thanks in large part to the support of Highmark Blue Shield.

“Highmark Blue Shield is proud to support the Blast Furnace Blues Festival and the arts in our community,” says Kathleen McKenzie, Vice President of Community Affairs for Highmark, “We are happy that Highmark’s presenting sponsorship helped to make this year’s festival free for the first time.  Our entire community will now have the opportunity to enjoy this amazing lineup of great blues musicians. Highmark is honored to partner with an organization committed to bringing great acts to our community.”

On June 29, Tommy Castro headlines the festival when he performs 7:30 p.m. on the Levitt Pavilion stage.

Whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or playing the funkiest soul grooves, Castro knows how to ignite a crowd. Over the course of his career, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues and fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He has performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. Castro has garnered six career Blues Music Awards, including two B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Awards, the highest award a blues performer can receive.

The following evening at 7:30 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion, the Blast Furnace Blues audience will discover the moving and powerful story of The War and Treaty.

As a member of the U.S Armed Forces serving in the Middle East, Michael Trotter found himself in one of Saddam Hussein’s crumbling palaces, playing piano. An Army captain – hearing him play and sing with his once-in-a-generation voice – encouraged Trotter to pursue music. When that same captain was killed, Trotter sat down to write––really write––for the first time. Officers noticed the tribute, pulled Trotter from the front lines and gave him a new charge: write and perform songs for the fallen.

After returning home from his tour of duty, Trotter was booked at a local festival, where he met singer Tanya Blount. The two instantly connected, married and now form the powerhouse duo The War and Treaty. Together, they deliver live shows and records that make the hairs on the back of necks stand up, with their music and stories bringing tears and goosebumps to audiences from coast to coast.

Kicking off the Blast Furnace Blues Festival is Curley Taylor and his band, Zydeco Trouble, which will perform June 28, 7:30 p.m., at Levitt Pavilion.

Taylor’s soulful, bluesy vocals and his band’s hard driving zydeco beat blend to create their unique style of zydeco and blues that keeps audiences dancing. Zydeco Trouble tours extensively, playing clubs and venues from New York to San Diego and Florida to Seattle. They’ve also performed at major festivals including Rhythm and Roots in Ninigret R.I., Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Ore. and Jazz Fest in New Orleans.

In addition to nightly headliners, Blast Furnace Blues showcases dynamic local and regional acts including Laura Rain & the Caesars, The BC Combo and Brandon Santini. Blues fans looking for the ultimate Blast Furnace Blues experience can purchase a special VIP Pass, which includes access to the Levitt Pavilion backstage lounge, opportunity for exclusive meet and greets with all three headliners and an official Blast Furnace Blues Poster. VIP Passes, which are available in a limited quantity, are $40 and go on sale at noon today at www.steelstacks.org.

The festival is also holding a Bourbon and BBQ event on June 29, 5:30 p.m., featuring sampling of Social Still spirits and unlimited sampling of Hickory Smoked BBQ Wings, Carolina Chopped Pork and Pecan Hot Smoked BBQ Salmon.  Bourbon and Barbeque tickets, which are only $30, also go on sale today starting at noon at www.steelstacks.org.

The 2019 Blast Furnace Blues presented by Highmark Blue Shield lineup is:

Friday, June 28
Brody Buster, 6-7:30 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, 7:30-9 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks

The BC Combo, 9-11 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Saturday, June 29
Kevin Burt, 4-5:30 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Ursula Ricks, 6-7:30 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Tommy Castro, 7:30-9 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks

Brandon Santini, 9-11 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Sunday, June 30
Laura Rain & the Caesars, 4-5:30 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

Studebaker John & the Hawks, 6-7:30 p.m.
Air Products Town Square Stage

The War and Treaty, 7:30-9 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks

 

Information and images provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest
http://www.artsquest.org/