It’s Summertiiiiime … and the Living is Bluesy

The Brevard Blues Festival lineup includes Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats (left) and popular regional blues band Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues.

The Brevard Blues Festival lineup includes Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats (left) and popular regional blues band Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues.

For a long time now, Brevard in summer has been synchronous with the Brevard Music Festival, a six-week-long classical-music institution that showcases some 80 performances in that realm – from rising sopranos to the (virtual) rock stars of the genre: think Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, and Itzhak Perlman.

However, more and more, rootsier acts are interspersed with all the ensembles, orchestras, and quartets. While famed fictitious classical composer P.D.Q. Bach (aka Peter Schickele) is July’s biggest name, folksy-humor guru Garrison Keillor of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion closes the main-stage series in August. And, for the second year running, the Brevard Blues and BBQ Festival will launch the summer season in Brevard, adding a new hue to the leafy summer green of the Music Center campus.

Ten acts take the stage June 5 and 6, including popular regional blues band Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues. Don’t miss Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats, performing Saturday from 2:15-3:15 pm. Bold Life features a compelling interview with the young singer/songwriter/bandleader/event producer in this month’s issue. Although he’s only 22, Scotchie is a powerhouse of soulful ambition who’s already earned his blues badge – and the horn-heavy group backing him emits an almost otherworldly wall of energy.

Scotchie puts a heavy emphasis on original tunes, but this is a band meant to be experienced live. “When you’re up there belting it, expressing your pain … people relate with loss and hardships, and I think one thing that people really like about my style, about this band, is that it’s very much a release,” says Scotchie. “We get up there and try to, from start to finish, pour everything we have into it.”

Brevardbluesfestival.com

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