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BluesDays Return to Wheeling

Gabe Stillman

WHEELING — BluesDays will return to the River City Restaurant and Bar with VizzTone recording artist Gabe Stillman on Wednesday, Oct. 20, followed by Brandon Santini on Thursday, Oct. 28.

Bruce Wheeler — producer of Heritage Music BluesFest, held each August at Heritage Port, and BluesDays, both of which bring nationally and internationally recognized blues musicians to town — said he is ecstatic to present live blues again. Two BluesDays events that were set for mid- and late-March of 2020 were canceled due to the pandemic. The last such event was held March 1, 2020.

The Gabe Stillman Band is a three-piece machine that runs at full tilt for every performance. While their sound is unmistakably rooted in the blues, the band draws from the deep well of all American roots music.

“Gabe Stillman was the standout performer at the 2019 BluesFest SecondStage,” Wheeler said. “He was the winner of the most promising guitarist at the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and I’m excited to see how this young guitarist has matured in the last couple of years since his 2019 BluesFest performance.”

Since landing in the final eight of the 35th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tenn., and being further honored as the recipient of the esteemed Gibson Guitar Award, Stillman and his band have been focused on expanding their footprint on a national and international level.

On Thursday Oct. 28, BluesDays will host Memphis harmonica master and vocalist, Brandon Santini.

“I’ve known Brandon for 12 years,” Wheeler said. “His Wheeling debut with his band at that time, Delta Highway, solidified with me and the BluesFest audience, the talent of Brandon as a vocalist and harmonica player.”

Touring in support of his latest release, “The Longshot” from the American Showplace Music label, Santini takes listeners on a slight detour from the traditional blues highway he has logged many miles on. One may not be surprised that the 36-year-old vocalist and harmonica player is influenced and inspired by legendary rock artists such as The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Allman Brothers Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival just as much as Little Walter, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

“Both Gabe’s and Brandon’s current releases debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard Blues Chart, which promises for two great evenings of live blues at River City,” Wheeler noted.

Both shows at 8 p.m. River City Restaurant and Bar is located at 1400 Main St. in downtown Wheeling.

Tickets are available online at heritagemusicfest.com or at the door the night of the performance. For more information, visit www.gabestillman.com, brandonsantini.com and www.heritagemusicfest.com.

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