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2020 North Atlantic Blues Festival

Lineup will be announced in early 2020!


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2019 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 13

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

11:15 AM-12:15 PM

12:30-1:30 PM

1:45-3:00 PM

3:15-4:30 PM

4:45-6:15 PM

Sun July 14

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

11:15 AM-12:15 PM

12:30-1:30 PM

1:45-3:00 PM

3:15-4:30 PM

4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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2018 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 14

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:45 PM


5:00-6:30 PM

Sun July 15

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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2017 North Atlantic Blues Festival

 Sat July 15

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids #1

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:45 PM


5:00-6:30 PM

Sun July 16

•••

MCMA Blues
Camp Kids #1

10:30-10:55 AM

 

11:15 AM-12:15 PM


12:30-1:30 PM


1:45-3:00 PM


3:15-4:30 PM


4:45-6:15 PM


between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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North Atlantic Blues Festival: Great Music Experience in one of America’s Most Beautiful Cities

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 8.27.05 AMDestinations for summer vacations are numerous but few compare to Rockland, Maine. Recently recognized by Budget Travel as one of “Coolest Small Towns in America”, the citizens of Rockland take great pride in their community.

Rockland was first chartered back in 1854 and it grew quickly. This rapid growth was due to the booming industries of shipbuilding and lime manufacturing. In fact, Rockland became one of the top producers of lime and ships in the entire Northeast United States. Rockland’s history as a tourist destination dates back to the 1870’s. Resorts and hotels sprang up everywhere and the travel boom lasted until the great depression when it suffered a decline. Tourism came back to Rockland in the 1990’s as people discovered this beautiful coastal city. Rockland is home to unique shops, resturants, attractions and breathtaking vistas.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to soak in the scenery or just looking to hit the major sites and attractions, Rockland has your entertainment covered. Any trip to Rockland should include a boat tour of the harbor and the surrounding area. The coastline is breathtaking and you’ll get the opportunity to see a variety of sea and wildlife. The local parks are lush, well maintained, and perfect for almost any outdoor activity or sport. Historical sites, buildings and museums can be found all over the area. These locations will give you an up close look at the rich history that formed Rockland. A perfect way to experience the city and its people is during one of the big community events, like the ever popular North Atlantic Blues Festival.

Well into its third decade, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is one of the top blues music themed events in the region. This is an all ages show that is great for couples, families and anyone interested in having a good time, while enjoying the countries best blues music. Food and refreshments will be on hand for everyone to purchase and enjoy. In addition to the festival there will be a club crawl and other fun activities in which you can partake. Make sure to bring a lawn chair and sun screen because this event is held outdoors at the beautiful Harbor Park, right in downtown. We got the chance to interview Paul Benjamin, Representative for the North Atlantic Blues Festival, to talk about this unique music experience.

Resorts And Lodges: Tell me a little bit about the event.

Paul Benjamin: This will be the 23rd year of the North Atlantic Blues Festival. It takes place on July 16th and 17th in beautful Harbor Park. Our attendance varies, but this year we are expecting over 16,000 attendees over the two days of the festival. Typically our crowd is comprised of a wide range of demographics, but we primarily see the over 50, baby boomer crowd.

RAL: What makes this event unique?

PB: Not only do you get to enjoy some of the best blues music on the planet, but you get to enjoy beautiful Maine during the summer. It’s July, it’s warm, it’s on the ocean, and we have great blues music. Don’t forget; we serve lobster! Our festival is one of a kind!

RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

PB: We have a lot going on during festival weekend. First and foremost, all the acts at the festival are national touring artists from all over the world. Live music will be played at almost all times while the festival is open. After the festival on Saturday we will be having a local club crawl. The club crawl is open to all ages and takes place on Main St. There will be five bands playing along the street, which is closed to traffic on Saturday night. The wristband that you get from going to the festival Saturday gets you into all the clubs at no charge but have to be over 21.

When it comes to dining options, we have a variety of food vendors on hand. Also, the festival is within walking distance to some great local restaurants. No matter what type of food you prefer, you’ll find something here or close by. We also have a vendor section where you can buy everything from art to merchandise.

Here is a suggestion we have for our attendees: While we have some lawn chairs, it’s a good idea to bring your own chairs, sunscreen, blankets, etc. The environment is that of a big outdoor festival with tons of great live music. The mood is laid back, friendly and is easy to meet new people. It’s a unique experience that you’ll love.

RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

PB: Maine in July is beautiful and people come from far and wide to enjoy all the state has to offer. Finding available rooms can be tough during the summer. We encourage you to plan ahead as far as possible. You may need to stay in a nearby community, but it’s worth the extra bit of travel.

RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

PB: This event is huge for Rockland and the surrounding communities. Many local businesses report that this is their best weekend in sales for the entire year. In fact, we’ve won awards from two different chambers of commerce, Rockland and Camden, for the positive impact we have had on the communities.

RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

PB: Yes, we support Raising The Blues, Ltd, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that brings music to children undergoing medical treatments. We also support local schools and the Midwest Musical Academy.

By: Thomas Schultz, Resorts & Lodges

2016 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2016NABF-Poster-web

 

 Sat July 16

BluesCaravan
11:00-12:10

ToronzoCannon
12:25-1:35


1:50-3:05

QuinnSullivan
3:20-4:40

JohnHammond
5:00-6:30

Sun July 17

AlexisSuter
11:00-12:00

MikeZito
12:15-1:20

JohnnySansone
1:35-2:45

RonnieEarl
3:00-4:15

ElvinBishop
4:30-6:00

 MickKolassa
between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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2015 NABF – Photos

Photos from the 2015 North Atlantic Blues Fest

2015 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2015NABF-Poster

 Sat July 11

RobertoMorbioli
11:00-12:10

DougDeming
12:25-1:35

EddieShaw
1:50-3:05

TommyCastro
3:20-4:40

JamesCotton
5:00-6:30

Sun July 12

DexterAllen
11:00-12:00

PetersonBros
12:15-1:20

NickMoss
1:35-2:45

RodPiazza
3:00-4:15

MarciaBall
4:30-6:00

 HarrisonKennedy
between acts Saturday & Sunday

 


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2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2014NABF-Poster-SM

 Sat July 12

JarekusSingleton
11:00-12:00

TeenyTucker

12:15-1:15

VictorWainwright
1:30-2:35

CJChenier
2:50-3:55

GSLS-Review-Hummel
4:10-5:25

MannishBoys
5:40-7:00

Sun July 13

MrSipp
11:00-12:00

JoannaConnor

12:15-1:20

MelvinTaylor
1:35-2:45

JimmyThackery
3:00-4:15

JoeLouisWalker
4:30-6:00

InLaymanTerms
between acts Saturday & Sunday

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2013 North Atlantic Blues Festival

2013NABF-websize

 Sat July 13

11:00-12:00

12:15-1:15

1:30-2:35

EddieTaylorJr2:50-3:55

4:10-5:25

5:40-7:00

Sun July 14

MattAnderson-slider11:00-12:00

12:15-1:20

1:35-2:45

3:00-4:15

4:30-6:00

between acts Saturday & Sunday

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2012 North Atlantic Blues Festival

Printable Schedule Download >>

Saturday, July 14

Randy Oxford Band

11:00-12:00

Albert Castiglia

12:15-1:15

Royal Southern Brotherhood

Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooton and Mean Willie Green
1:30-2:35

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

2:50-4:00

Tribute to Koko Taylor

With The Blues Machine, Nora Jean Wallace, Melvia “Chick” Rogers and  Jackie Scott
4:15-5:20

Tab Benoit

5:35-7:00

Sunday, July 15

Charlie A’Court

11:00-1200

Anthony Gomes

12:15-1:20

Ana Popovic

1:35-2:45
.
.

John Mayall

3:00-4:15

Chubby Carrier
& the Bayou Swamp Band

4:30-6:00
.

Mark LaVoie and Dave Keller

between acts Saturday & Sunday

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2011 NABF – Photos

Photos from the 2011 North Atlantic Blues Fest

2011 North Atlantic Blues Festival

[column width=”45%” padding=”10%”]

Saturday, July 16

Nellie Tiger Travis

11:00-12:00

Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater

12:15-1:15

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

1:30-2:35

Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues

2:50-4:00

Magic Slim & the Teardrops

4:15-5:20

Brooks Family Blues Dynasty

Lonnie | Ronnie | Wayne
5:35-7:00

[/column] [column width=”45%” padding=”0″]

Sunday, July 17

Trampled Under Foot

11:00-1200

James Armstrong

12:15-1:20

Toni Lynn Washington

1:35-2:45

Eric Bibb

3:00-4:15

Robert Cray

4:30-6:00

[/column]

[end_columns]

Performances between sets by…


Gina Sicilia & Dave Gross

 

Mississippi Blues Trail

Rockland, Maine Honored With Blues Trail Marker

Mississippi Blues Trail Web Site >>

As blues has spread from Mississippi to the far corners of the country and the world, the state of Maine has assumed an active role in the presentation and promotion of the music to appreciative local audiences ever since Mississippi-born blues giants Muddy Waters and B.B. King began coming here in the 1970s. The presence of the blues in Maine was solidified in 1994 with the formation of the North Atlantic Blues Festival, a premier annual event that has featured many Mississippi artists.

Maine was first prominently mentioned in blues lyrics in 1928 when Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers recorded “The Brakeman’s Blues,” which contained the stanza “Portland, Maine, is just the same as sunny Tennessee; Any place I hang my hat is home, sweet, home to me.” Blues probably reached Maine via traveling minstrel and vaudeville shows in the early decades of the twentieth century. African American minstrel troupes first visited after the Civil War, and Maine had its own Kemp Family Minstrel Show, founded in Leeds by George Washington Kemp, a former slave from Virginia. Because of Maine’s remote location and small black population, however, few blues performers toured here until the music began to gain a solid foothold in the 1970s among white supporters, on the heels of the 1960s blues revival. The University of Maine hosted Mississippi’s James “Son” Thomas in 1972 and staged a blues festival in 1974. Muddy Waters and B. B. King appeared in the state in the 1970s, and other blues artists began performing at clubs including Raoul’s, the Loft, and Big Easy in Portland, Red Barn in Monroe, Left Bank in Blue Hill, and Geddy’s in Bar Harbor. Appearances in Maine were often made possible by booking artists who were already on tour in Boston, New York, or Montreal. By 1989 the Maine Blues Society had been formed in Portland.

In 1978 Rockland’s Paul Benjamin began booking Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang at a club where he worked as a bouncer. Benjamin continued to present blues artists, dozens of whom had Mississippi roots, at the Trade Winds Blues Plus Lounge, the Time Out Pub, the Trade Winds Blues Bash festival, and the North Atlantic Blues Festival, including Bo Diddley, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Honeyboy Edwards, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Bobby Rush, Mose Allison, R. L. Burnside, Eddy Clearwater, Big Jack Johnson, Super Chikan, Jimmy Johnson, Big Daddy Kinsey, Denise LaSalle, Magic Slim, Eddie C. Campbell, Jimmy Dawkins, Carey Bell, Johnny B. Moore, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Sam Myers, Lonnie Pitchford, Fenton Robinson, Booba Barnes, Mojo Buford, Melvin Taylor, Smokey Wilson, Zac Harmon, Eden Brent, Lil’ Dave Thompson, and Homemade Jamz. Another important figure in putting Maine on the blues map, Randy Labbe of Waterville, was initially inspired by a Muddy Waters performance in Augusta. He began promoting blues in the 1980s and later produced albums for Telarc, Cannonball, and his own Deluge label featuring Mississippi natives Pinetop Perkins, Zora Young, Charlie Musselwhite, Little Milton, Hubert Sumlin, James Cotton, Snooky Pryor, and others. Labbe also produced tribute albums to Mississippi blues pioneers Willie Dixon, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell, and Howlin’ Wolf.

Keeping the Blues Alive!

North Atlantic Blues Festival Recieves
Keeping the Blues Alive Award
Festival :: 2002

The growing success of the North Atlantic Blues Festival hit a high note this week with the Blues Foundation placing the local event’s promoters in an elite category.

Paul Benjamin and Jamie Isaacson will receive the “2002 Keeping the Blues Alive for Promoter Award” in Memphis this February.

Benjamin said he and Isaacson have been nominated in the past. He said the award carries significant weight in the Blues industry, likening it to the Academy Awards for the movie industry.

“In my heart, I wanted to win this, but I never expected to,” Benjamin said. “This is definitely a huge event, not only for the Blues Fest, but for this community.”

The Blues Foundation was formed in 1980 and has pushed to expand recognition and awareness of the Blues. The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards are used to recognize non-musicians for their supportive roles. Blues Foundation officials attended last July’s Blues Fest at Harbor Park, which experienced a 50 percent increase in attendance totaling 12,500 concertgoers.

“That doesn’t even count the people who came down for the Club Crawl,” Benjamin said. Benjamin said attendance reached 12,500 for the July event, marking a 50 percent increase over the 2000 event.

The award places Benjamin and Isaacson among some fairly elite company. Previous winners have included organizers for the San Francisco Blues Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival, events that average hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis. Benjamin said a former recipient told him that he was now “among a small elite group of individuals considered to be the top promoters in the world.”

The award will be presented at a Feb. 10 ceremony at the Gibson Guitar Plant in Memphis, Tenn. Benjamin expects the award ceremony to be covered by every blues publication, expanding recognition for the Rockland event.”

Story and photos courtesy of villagesoup.com