Get the blues

Inspired by the success of Powerfest and May Fest, and convinced there was an older demographic not being served, Dennis Johnson has booked a bill of blues, R&B and comedy acts to appear Saturday at the first Augusta Blues Festival.


The festival, which takes place at the Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds, will feature Clarence Carter, the Mighty Peanut, Mel Waiters, Flash Gordon, Kenne' Wayne, Roy C., Marvin Sease, Latimore and TP Hearns.

The idea was to book a festival that would be family-friendly and appealing to music fans 35 and older.

"I hear complaints that there isn't a lot going on for those people," Mr. Johnson said in a recent telephone interview. "I hear them saying there's not stuff out there for them, for the mature people."

Although billed as a blues festival, it has a little bit of everything on the schedule, Mr. Johnson acknowledged.

"You have to almost go door to door down Laney-Walker," he said with a laugh. "It's very hard to determine what people are listening to. So we decided to give them a little bit of everything. Hopefully, this will provide them with a little bit of the soul they haven't seen before."

Pulled together in a relatively short time, the festival's success will be dictated by whether it can continue next year. Mr. Johnson said he plans on beginning work on next year's event the week after this one ends.

"We know we made the T-I-M-E mistake," he said. "But if we get between three and five thousand, well, I think we can grow from that."

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or


WHAT: The Augusta Blues Festival

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday; gates open at 1 p.m.

WHERE: The Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds, 202 Hale St.

COST: $25;