Columbia Blues Festival

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Country and Region United StatesSouth Carolina
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Festival Contact Information

Word of Mouth Productions
P.O. Box 50105
Columbia, SC 29250 USA
Phone: +01 803-708-4500

Festival Description

An amazing array of talent has graced the stage over the years. Hot blues newcomers such as Dave Thompson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Richard Johnston have played the festival. So have veteran masters such as Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks and Hubert Sumlin. Louisiana slide guitar master Sonny Landreth and north Mississippi trance blues legend R.L. Burnside among many others.

Since 1994 Word of Mouth Productions has staged the festival in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, and while the musical memories from the past decade are vivid and compelling, the real story is the group of individuals who came together years ago with the single-minded goal of bringing cool music to Columbia. Free entrance.

Festival Dates November 3, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Lineup 2012:
  • Eddie Shaw
  • Tom Principato
  • Eddie Turner
  • Swamp Cabbage
  • Reggie Sullivan
  • D.B. Bryant Band
  • The Cedar Creek Boys
Featured Artist 2012:
  • Tom Principato & Powerhouse
    Festival performance — Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:45pm
  • Background:
    • Tom Principato has spent the last 40+ years as a guitarist and singer based in his hometown of Washington, DC. In the 1970’s, Tom was leader of the legendary band Powerhouse, an East Coast phenomenem who released an album “Night Life” to critical acclaim. Tom also did a one year stint with Geoff Muldaur and recorded an album “I Ain’t Drunk” (Hannibal/Island Records 1980) with the band Geoff Muldaur and His Bad Feet. Tom has also done brief stints with various acts including Billy Price And The Keystone Rhythm Band, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Adams, Sunnyland Slim, James Montgomery, and a group called the Assassins with Jimmy Thackery, former guitarist with the Nighthawks. Tom appears on two albums with the Assassins, “No Previous Record” (1986) and “Partners In Crime” (1987) which won a “Wammy Award”. In 1984 Tom began a solo career, notably recording a live album with the late Washington guitar legend Danny Gatton titled “Blazing Telecasters”. Since 1984 Tom has recorded twelve solos albums as well as two collaborations: “Smokin’!” (1986), “I Know What You’re Thinkin’…” (1988), “Live In Europe 1988” (2001), “In Orbit” (1989), “Blazing Telecasters” (1990), and “Oh No! More Blazing Telecasters” (2005), “Tip Of The Iceberg” (1993), “In The Clouds” (1995), “Really Blue” (1997), “Live & Kickin’” (1999), “Not One Word” (2000), “Fingers On Fire” with Pete Kennedy (2002), “House On Fire” (2003), “Guitar Gumbo” (2005), ” Raising The Roof!” (2008) and two DVD’s: “Blazing Telecasters” from a show recorded for Maryland Public Television in 1984 with Danny Gatton, and “Anniversary DVD”, a career retrospective.
  • Touring/Awards/Works:
    • The band has toured clubs and festivals extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe including Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, France, Slovenia, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, Sardegna, Corsica, Spain, Portugal, Majorca, Menorca, St. Croix, and even Greece and Turkey! In addition to winning first place in the WHFS/Harmony Hut “Guitar Talent Hunt” (1980) Tom has won a total of 21 “WAMMY” Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In 1986, “Smokin’!” won three Wammy Awards; Best Blues Album, Best Male Vocalist-Blues, and Best Blues Instrumentalist. In 1987 Tom won four Wammy Awards; Best Artist/Group-Blues, Best Male Vocalist-Blues, Best Instrumentalist-Blues, and Best Recording-Blues for The Assassins “Partners In Crime” album. In 1988 Tom won three more Wammies; Best Blues Recording-“I Know What You’re Thinkin’…”, Best Artist/Group-Blues, and Best Instrumentalist-Blues. Tom also won Best Instrumentalist-Blues in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005, plus Best Male Vocalist-Blues in 1997. In 1999 “Live & Kickin’” won Best Blues Recording, and Tom Principato Band won Best Blues Group. In 2003 “House On Fire” won Best Blues Recording. Tom Principato Band was also voted “Blues Act Of The Year”-1997 and “Blues Act Of The Month” for Oct. 1997 by the listeners of “Talkin’ Blues Radio” Koln, Germany and Gitarre & Bass Magazine In 2000, Tom’s book, Open-String Guitar Chords, was published world-wide by Hal Leonard Corporation. In addition to being a master craftsman on the guitar, Tom is a prolific songwriter, having composed over 50 songs, which have been published through BMI by French Lady Music.
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