John Brown Farm to host Blues at Timbuctoo Sunday

John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — John Brown Lives! and Grand Adirondack Hotel will host the eighth annual Blues at Timbuctoo concert from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site.

The concert is free and will be held rain or shine, and all ages are welcome. Packing a picnic, bringing a chair or picnic blanket and preregistering are encouraged (eventbrite.com/e/blues-at-timbuctoo-tickets-707484664677).

This year’s lineup includes Jerry Dugger and The Harlem Blues Project, Dave Keyes, Jake Blount, Grant Dermody and Frank Fotusky, and the family quartet Adirondack Blues Reunion.

Dugger, a native of New York City and veteran of the blues scene there, helped organize the inaugural Blues at Timbuctoo in 2016 and has headlined the concert every year since. Now based in New Orleans where he performs regularly, he will reunite with The Harlem Blues Project and keyboardist, singer-songwriter Dave Keyes.

Three-times Blues Music Award nominee, Keyes returns to the John Brown Farm after a successful run on Broadway, where he was musical director for “Rock & Roll Man.”

Blount is new to the Blues at Timbuctoo stage. He is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer, and scholar of Black American music who combines blues, bluegrass and spirituals in his music and highlights the Black and Indigenous histories of popular American folk tunes. His debut solo album, “Spider Tales,” was ranked among the best of 2020 by Bandcamp, The New Yorker, NPR and Rolling Stone. He received the Steve Martin Banjo Prize in the same year.

Dermody on blues harmonica and Fotusky playing guitar, the duo will perform selections from their acclaimed 2022 album, “Diggning in John’s Backyard,” dedicated to their friend, mentor, and greatest musical influence, John Jackson, the nearly forgotten master of the Piedmont style of blues guitar playing characterized by intricate fingerpicking.

Accompanied by his daughters on vocals, local blues guitarist Dan Chamberlain, a favorite at January Jams at the Recovery Lounge, will make his first appearance at Blues at Timbuctoo. The father-daughter Adirondack Blues Reunion will be joined by a long-lost relative playing bass.

From 1619 to Hip-Hop

On the eve of this year’s concert, on Saturday, Sept. 16, John Brown Lives! will team up with Lake Flower Landing to host “Culture 4 A Cause “ and the John Brown Project from Torrington, Connecticut (the abolitionist’s birthplace) to present “His Truth Is Marching On.”

The musical documentary explores the story of American music from 1619 to Hip Hop as told through the popular Civil War song, “John Brown’s Body.” The film won an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations for its “irreverent and fun approach” to important historical topics.

The screening will take place at Lake Flower Landing, 421 Lake Flower Ave. in Saranac Lake. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., the screening and conversation will begin at 7 p.m. Pizza and brews will be available. A donation of $15 is suggested. Seating is limited so preregistration is advised (eventbrite.com/e/his-truth-is-marching-on-musical-doc-screening-tickets-709954572237).

Blues at Timbuctoo is made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County, and with funds from the Statewide Community Regrants program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.

For more information about Blues at Timbuctoo or John Brown Lives!, visit johnbrownlives.org.

Starting at $1.44/week.

Subscribe Today