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Pittsburgh Blues Invades Bedford!
October 3, 2008 - Jim Price
If you like the blues, Bedford is where you will want to be this Saturday, Oct. 4, as three of Pittsburgh’s top blues-related names help kick off the annual two-weekend Bedford Fall Foliage Festival.
You’ll want to arrive early in downtown Bedford, too, because two of the names kick off at 10 AM. On the Gazebo stage across from the Courthouse, Angel Blue and the Prophets will perform from 10 AM to12 noon. Prepare to be awakened, as this group delivers some rousing and soulful electric blues. Namesake Angel Blue wrenches the maximum amount of soul and emotion from every note, demonstrating a voice that conjures the raw passion of Janis Joplin and the firepower of Ann Wilson.
If you enjoy a little bit of jazz and swing with your blues, the Jimmy Adler Band will perform on the stage by the river with shows at 10 AM and 12 noon. Namesake Jimmy Adler sings and plays guitar, demonstrating a guitar style rooted in the traditions of names like Otis Rush, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Elmore James. He’ll also display some smooth precision slide guitar work as well. Jimmy and his band will likely introduce song material from their recently-released CD, Swing It Around.
Later in the afternoon, from 3 to 5 PM, Norman Nardini will make his second appearance at the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival on the Gazebo stage. The “manful handful,” flanked by Hollidaysburg native Mark “Whitey” Cooper on drums and Clearfield native Harry Bottoms on bass, will conduct his services from “the church of Rock N Roll,” performing his rousing blend of rock’n’roll, blues, soul and a touch of country. There will be plenty of Norman favorites, along with some new songs from his next album, plus ample doses of his trademark sass and wit.
And if that isn’t enough blues for you, yet another Pittsburgh blues name arrives at the Fall Foliage Festival the following day, Sunday. Jill Simmons will show her range and power on a selection of blues, rock, soul and jazz as she performs from 3 to 5 PM on the Gazebo stage. Simmons is the wife of Houserockers drummer Jeff “Joffo” Simmons.
Other performers at the Fall Foliage Festival this first weekend include The A’Cappella Kinda Guys and jazz singer Connie Guy on Saturday, and The Keystone Cats, Issues and Randy Clark on Sunday. Dennie Huber will entertain and create balloon art near the Gazebo stage both days.
The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival runs from 9 AM to 5 PM both days. Admission is free.
Angel Blue and the Prophets, during a performance at Burgi's Roundhouse in Altoona in September 2006.