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What Rocks and Rolls and is Blue All Over?

May 14, 2015 04:00PM ● Published by Melissa Lauren

What Rocks and Rolls and is Blue all over? The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival! The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival is this Saturday, May 16th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday May 17th from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Sandy Point State Park. Blues greats including Shemekia Copeland, Beth Hart, Johnny Lang, Greg Allman, Buddy Guy, and more will be performing. Advance individual day tickets are $65 each, advance two day tickets are $115. Ticket pricing at the gate is available only while supplies last at $80 per individual day ticket and $140 for two day tickets at the gate.

Festival Logistics

There will be a concert stage with a jumbotron, a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, large crafter village, a wide variety of food and drink, with beach and lawn seating. It is recommended that festival goers bring lawn or beach chairs, blankets, sunblock, and sunglasses if you’re feeling especially cool. Limited parking will be available on a first come first serve basis at Sandy Point State Park for $15 per car. Parking is also available at the Naval Academy Stadium for $10 per car and at Kent Island High School with shuttles running to and from the event throughout the day. Shuttle service will begin at 9 a.m. Arrival by boat is restricted to 600 feet from shore, no docking is allowed. Check local marinas’ availability for docking your boat.

The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival Supports Several Noteworthy Charities

We Care and Friends is a non-profit volunteer organization that offers assistance to the homeless and those in need. The organization services those who are without resources in the communities surrounding the city of Annapolis. For more information visit

Special Love is a non-profit for children with cancer and their families in the Mid-Atlantic region. Special Love sponsors Camp Fantastic and over a dozen other programs, giving young cancer patients the chance to enjoy traditional camp activities like crafts, campfires, and recreation. For more information visit

Camp FACE is a program founded by the specialists at Johns Hopkins and Mercy Medical Center who treat patients with complex facial deformities. Camp FACE provides children between the ages of 10 to 18 with a weekend of fun and games and a chance to connect with their peers. For more information visit

The League for People with Disabilities offers people throughout Central Maryland the opportunity to gain independence, increase self-sufficiency, and improve quality of life. For more information visit

And now for the lineup… Drumroll, please….

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Gregg Allman, lead singer, organist, and songwriter with the Allman Brothers Band headlines on Saturday. Gregg Allman’s solo music is a blend of Blues, Classic R&B, and early Rock and Roll. Gregg Allman had to postpone several tour dates in 2014 due to a flutter in his heart. He is happy and healthy now. For Allman fans, check out the DVD of All My Friends, a live documentary of the tribute concert from January 2014.


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Blues-rocker, Beth Hart takes the stage at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday. She started playing piano at four years old, went on to study voice and cello at a performing arts high school and later settled on the Blues. She’s been releasing albums since the mid-90’s and has recently collaborated with none other than Slide Guitar Wizard, Joe Bonamasasa. Better Than Home, her most recent record came out this past April.


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Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy can all be counted among the greatest Blues guitarists in the history of the universe! Buddy Guy has been putting out records since the 50’s and has a fiery, screechy, super-quick guitar playing technique that has influenced the likes of Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and particularly Jimi Hendrix. Buddy Guy headlines Sunday.


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Johnny Lang released his debut album at the age of 16. He came up us a musician as the opening act for big names including B.B. King, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Buddy Guy. In fact, Johnny Lang still tours with Buddy Guy. Lang performs at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.


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Charlie Musslewhite plays a mean harp even though he’s a super nice guy who was influential in the Chicago Blues scene back in the 60’s. Musslewhite was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center honor in early May 2015. He hits the stage on Sunday at 4:05 p.m.


Photo Credit: Sandrine Lee

Shemekia Copeland is commonly referred to as the modern day "Queen of the Blues". Her voice is grand, a powerful soul wailin’ standout who deserves the title. Copeland performs at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday.


Photo Credit: David Hartcorn

And you won’t want to miss the Chesapeake Bay Blues Band featuring an incredible group of local musicians, some of which are nationally touring artists: Dean Rosenthal, Mark Wenner, Pete Ragusa, Tommy Lepson, Jan Zukowski, and Robert Fram. For more information call 410-982-0799 or visit to get the full lineup of musicians.

If you’re a fan of the Blues, check out the Dean Rosenthal interview from the April issue of What’s Up? Annapolis magazine. The unabridged interview is available here.


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Fun Factoid: Did you know Bessie Smith was one of the first female Blues singers? She was a huge inspiration to Janis Joplin. Smith was mentored by Ma Rainey, the Mother of the Blues. Queen Latifah stars as Bessie Smith in the HBO biopic, Bessie premiering this Saturday at 8 p.m. on HBO.

To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our Online Calendar at  Be sure to Follow What’s Up? on Twitter, Instagram, and Like Us on Facebook  For coverage of your community event, please send press releases to mlauren@whatsupmag.comMelissa Lauren, Community Events Editor and former WRNR and WTMD DJ, writes the weekly What’s Up? Events Blog and E-Newsletter every Thursday. To subscribe visit

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