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Blues artists with local ties to perform at festival Saturday

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POSTED: September 29, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots band are based in Memphis, Tenn., but Wainwright’s roots are local. The Savannah native and his band will headline the Blues & BBQ festival Saturday in downtown Hinesville, confirmed Chris Dent, Fort Stewart Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation special events coordinator.

Dent said two of last year’s entertainers will return this year, guitarist and vocalist Sarah Cole of Charleston, S.C., and singer/songwriter Ben Robinson.

The event will be from 5-11:30 p.m. Oct. 1 in the parking lot between M.L. King Jr. Drive and West Court Street, across from the Liberty County Justice Center and behind the Coastal Courier offices, which front Main Street. There is no admission charge.

The entertainment starts at 5 p.m., but residents can arrive at 4 p.m. to participate as “People’s Choice” judges of barbecue, according to the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority’s Facebook page. For a $3 donation to the Hinesville Area Arts Council, judges will receive sample cards and voting tokens. Crafts vendors will be on site and children’s activities will be offered, according to an FMWR report by Bob Mathews. FMWR, HDDA and HAAC are organizing the event.

Blues pianist and vocalist Victor Wainwright first teamed up with producer/bassist/co-writer Stephen Dees in 2004 in Ormond Beach Fla. The two met during a benefit concert that they both played. Wainwright and Dees decided to collaborate after hearing each other perform, according to the band’s website bio page. Both musicians share “a common love for blues, R&B and roots rock ‘n’ roll out of the ’50s and ’60s, such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, James Brown, Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, Louis Jordan, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard,” according to www.wildrootsrecords.com.

Cole has played bass guitar since she was 14 years old, according to HAAC Chairwoman Leah Poole. Robinson twice has appeared on The Tonight Show with David Letterman, according to his MySpace page, and previously has performed at lunchtime concerts in Hinesville’s Bradwell Park.

“When I was 9, my dad gave me a guitar and I would spend hours in my room listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Albert King. I copied every note, then worked to develop my own style,” Robinson said, as reported by Mathews.

Cole’s career was jumpstarted in 2004, after her father took her to see Louisiana blues-rock singer/guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd at the Plex concert hall in North Charleston, according to a report by Mathews. Cole met Shepherd and a new musician was born.

“She immediately immersed herself in her dad’s album collection, started connecting the dots between contemporary and classic blues, soul and R&B acts and searched for recordings, instructional videos, interviews and old concert footage. The more she learned, the more she wanted to learn,” Mathews reported.

For more information, call 767-4316. 

 

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