Pennsylvania Blues Festival held at Blue Mountain Ski Area
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Blues enthusiast Bill Palmieri of Connecticut, plays a cigar box guitar in front of the Victory Cigar Box Guitars vendor Sunday at the Pennsylvania Blues Festival staged at Blue Mountain Ski Area.
Talk about intensity personified.
Indeed, rhythmic movement was in full swing at the Pennsylvania Blues Festival held this weekend at Blue Mountain Ski Area.
The festival celebrated 21 Years of Blues in the Poconos, and marked the second year the event was staged at Blue Mountain.
Prior to that, the event emanated from Big Boulder Ski Area in Kidder Township from 1992-2010.
Michael Cloeren, founder and producer of the festival, said the event represented a "fabulous weekend of Blues here at Blue Mountain Ski Area."
Visitors came from 20 different states, not to mention several dozen others from Canada, said Cloeren, who spoke of his fondness for Blue Mountain.
"Big Boulder was a great facility, and Blue Mountain is just as good," Cloeren said. "It's such a family-friendly event for kids."
Cloeren said the festival highlights "the full spectrum of music."
"You don't have to be a Blues fan to enjoy the festival," he said. "You just have to be open-minded to hearing great, authentic, American music."
Bill Palmieri, of Connecticut, stayed occupied as he played a few notes on a cigar box guitar in front of the Victory Cigar Box Guitars vendor.
Palmieri said he has attended the festival nearly every year since its inception.
"Blues speaks to our soul," Palmieri said. "We listen to it, we love it, and we support it."
Just a few vendors down, an impressive array of artwork created by artist Dane Tilghman of Exton, Chester County, could be observed.
Tilghman said the festival really speaks to the Blues and the arts.
"As an entrepreneur, I'm here to sell my art," Tilghman said. "I've made a lot of great friends over the years."
Of course, no Blues festival would be complete without the entertainers themselves. In all, 15 national Blues acts were showcased on two stages over the three-day weekend.
Sunday saw performances by Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens; Eugene Hideaway Bridges; Teeny Tucker; Earl Thomas; Brooks Family Blues Dynasty Featuring Lonnie, Ronnie & Wayne Baker-Brooks; Corey Harris; The Brooks Family - Acoustic; and Eugene Hideaway Bridges.
Carol Shiffrin, of Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, was rather passionate as she explained her love for the music.
"I feel like the Blues touches my soul, and this is one of the best events," Shiffrin said. "As soon as we found out about it, we come every year."
Among those who performed on Saturday were Marquise Knox; Otis Taylor Band; Big Sam's Funky Nation; Joe Louis Walker; Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues with Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson & Demetria Taylor; Dawn Tyler Watson & Paul Deslauriers; Wallace Coleman; and Steve Guyger and The Excellows.
The event kicked off Friday evening with a performance by Mikey Junior & The Stone Cold Blues Band.