The Music

York County Blues Festival Musical Lineup

      • 3:15  Deej SG & Co. – Pre-show jam 
      • 4:00 – 4:50  Bonnie Edwards & The Practical Cats 
      • 5:05 – 6:10  Memphis Lightning
      • 6:30 – 8:00  Altered Five Blues Band
    • NOTE: Times listed may vary slightly +/-5 minutes.

HEADLINER: Altered Five Blues Band

Altered Five Blues Band ​smokes, smolders and burns like a swig of good whiskey. The hip Milwaukee quintet is known for its strong brew of tough, original blues and hard-hitting live shows. Blues Blast raves that barrel-chested front man Jeff Taylor possesses a “smooth, warm-toned voice as monumental and undeniable as Howlin’ Wolf with the finish and flourish of B.B. King.” Downbeat declares stealth guitarist Jeff Schroedl “reaches the high bar of mixed invention and fluidity.” Fueled by a rhythm section laying down the deepest grooves this side of the MGs, the five blues blasters hit the ground running 20 years ago and show no sign of easing up. Their sixth studio album, Holler If You Hear Me, debuted at #3 on the Billboard Blues Chart and received three Blues Music Award nominations, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

Altered Five have consistently checked all the boxes, making lasting, deeply expressive original blues for the mind and body. Up front and leading the big blues train, Taylor exhorts and cajoles while carrying the weight of the lyrical content. Neither imitating nor hiding his debt to the legendary blues singers of the past, he commands deserved attention on his own. Schroedl propels, embellishes, and adds palpable power through his varied rhythm accompaniment and riveting guitar solos. While inspired by, but not tethered to the kings and titans of blues guitar, he has found his own estimable path to personal expression always at the service of the song. 

The muscular yet limber rhythm section of bassist Mark Solveson and drummer Alan Arber lock into the full range of blues grooves from classic slow Chicago drag (“Holding on With One Hand”) and romping Texas shuffles (“Mint Condition”) to soulful R&B worthy of Stax Records (“Gonna Lose My Lady”). In addition, returning keyboardist Steve Huebler always provides a rich pad of lush harmony along with his own and soaring solos. Altered Five performs seamlessly as a powerhouse entity encompassing the timeless blues virtues of passion and unwavering commitment funneled through technical excellence.

“Outrageously cool… a creative force in modern blues”Rock & Blues Muse

Deej SG & Co. – Come early! Deej SG & Co. will lay down some sounds for the earlybirds joined by “Dr. Dan” DuBourdieu on bass, Steve Kaulback on drums, and Mike Vaughn on keys.  Particularly unique to this act is the fact that Deej is an “older learner” who began studying lead guitar in 2010 at the age of 50 and has developed his own original from scratch without learning covers or directly imitating any of his influences. That means everything you hear from Deej’s guitar will be a creation out of his own heart and soul… Let’s see where he takes it this year with help from the accomplished musicianship of Mike, Steve and Dr. Dan!

Bonnie Edwards and The Practical Cats – She’s back! Bonnie’s dedication to the art of performing and her love of singing are the driving forces of her career. With her gutsy blues vocal style and dynamic stage presence, She puts her heart and soul into each of her performances. Formed in the late 1970’s , Bonnie and the Cats have toured Nationally and across Europe playing numerous large venues and small clubs. They’ve opened shows for many National Acts including Dr John, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Eddie Kirkland, Jimmy Rogers, Savoy Brown, and many more. In 2003 They won the Maine Blues Society “Road To Memphis” competition and participated in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Today The Practical Cats continue the tradition of providing their style of Blues, Jump Swing, Jazz, Vintage R & B, and Original music for “Maine’s Number One Lady of the Blues”, Bonnie Edwards! We’re glad to have Bonnie back in 2023 as she was unable to be with her band in 2022 as an urgent and unexpected issue sidelined her the week of festival.

Memphis Lightning brings their own brand of ol’ school Rock & Roll and down and dirty Blues to the stage. Memphis Lightning was born out of tradition with a pedigree second to none. Having played with Blues Legend Eddie “Blues Man” Kirkland, Memphis Lightning are the real deal. Their energetic performances will bring you back to the days when the Juke joints were rocking and Blues was King. At 12 years old Darren “Lightning” Thiboutot was playing ol’ school, rock solid, tasty guitar on stage with the late Great Blues Legend Eddie Kirkland, and Buddy Guy. In recent years he was selected by The Maine Blues Society to represent the state of Maine in the International Blues Challenge Youth Show Case. His Dad is Grammy nominated and international touring and recording artist Darren “Big Red” Thiboutot who has recorded and/or played with artists such as Eddie “Bluesman” Kirkland, Pinetop Perkins, Lazy Lester, The Hoodoo Kings, Tab Benoit, Kenny Neal, Sonny Landreth, G.E. Smith, Clyde Stubblefield, T-Bone Wolk, Richard Bell, Christine Ohlman, Lucky Peterson, Troy Turner, Big Jack Johnson, Cub Koda, Colleen Sexton and others. Memphis Lightning is a crowd favorite and we know you’ll enjoy their show… guaranteed!