BLUEFIELD – Fans from as far away as Ohio and South Carolina came to downtown Bluefield on Saturday for the blues music served by the 2021 Bluefield Blues Festival.
Commerce Street was closed on Saturday for a blues concert featuring singer, songwriter and guitarist Samantha Fish as well as bands Matt Mullins & The Breakdowns, 7 Mile Mushroom, The Carpenter Ants, The Steele Cookin ‘Band and The Nighthawks.
“Well this is our sixth Blues Fest,” said Tommy Cole of The RailYard as he helped with the final preparations. “Obviously we had to postpone last year, but we’re really excited. Samantha Fish is our headliner. She just released an album yesterday, which opened for ZZ Top last night. We are so glad to have it. Two years ago, we announced his coming and it was great news. We’re really excited to have him and we have a really great team.
Music fans were soon arriving with portable chairs and clamoring for the best vantage points they could find. While there were many local music lovers who came to Commerce Street for the festival – Cole estimated that as many as 600 could arrive – there were others who traveled hundreds of miles for the outdoor event. Local restaurants including The RailYard, Blue Spoon Cafe and Vault Downtown were preparing for visitors.
“Something smells good,” said Glenna Bullins of Marion, Va., As she and her husband, Ronnie, arrived at Commerce Street. “We had breakfast, but it smells good.
They quickly found good places near the stage and started setting up their chairs.
“We’re just big blues fans and also Samantha Fish fans,” she said. “It was a little over an hour away.
Nearby Mike and Rhonda Fleeman from Lindside had also found good places for their chairs.
“We’re just coming for Samantha Fish. We went to Stanton, Virginia in 2018 to see her, and this is our second year, ”Rhonda said. “You’ll have Myrtle Beach people all over here. She is the star of the show.
Besides blues music, the festival offered a chance for friends to reconnect.
“We were from Myrtle Beach and they were from Ohio,” said Robin Wooley, who attended the festival with her husband, Dean. Jennifer Wooley and her husband Keith Pishnery had driven from Cleveland, Ohio for the show.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Robin Wooley of the possibility of seeing an outdoor performance. “That’s really nice.”
Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]