WHEELING - The 2013 lineup for Heritage Music BluesFest, slated Aug. 9-11, is sure to please blues fans attending the annual event at Wheeling Heritage Port.
This year's acts will include: Dr. John, a 2013 Grammy award winner; Joan Osborne, 2013 Grammy nominee; Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee; Ruthie Foster, 2013 Grammy nominee; JJ Grey & Mofro; Southern Hospitality; Glen David Andrews; Golden State-Lone Star Revue with Mark Hummel; Anson Funderburgh & Little Charlie Baty; Harrison Kennedy; Monkey Junk; Jesse Dee; Lionel Young Band; the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer; the Skyla Burrell Band; more acts will be announced.
The Heritage Music BluesFest began in 2001, when Bruce Wheeler envisioned a blues music festival in a newly constructed waterfront park on the bank of the Ohio River in downtown Wheeling. The fact that Wheeling had no blues scene or even a blues club, band or solo artist did not deter Wheeler from developing a festival. Promoted as "A Weekend of Award-Winning Blues," the festival today gets rave reviews from coast to coast. Wheeler's festival features two stages, a main stage with blues music award winners and up-and-coming International Blues Challenge solo, duo and band winning acts, and a second stage dedicated to local and regional artists from the tri-state area and Maryland.
The festival is run year-round solely by Wheeler. During the event you can find his wife, Phyllis Sigal, and daughter, Amanda Seidler, holding down the main gate while his son, Leland Wheeler, who was 12 when the event began, serves as the main stage manager. The blues family atmosphere spills over to the audience members, who have traveled to Wheeling from 25 states and four countries.