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Turning the Red Rose City Blue – Lancaster Roots & Blues

The Red Rose City will turn blue February 21-22 when it hosts the first annual Lancaster Roots and Blues, A Festival of Music.  Past and present will converge to celebrate true American music styles as nearly 60 acts perform across nine stages in five venues.  Grammy winners and rising stars will appear both nights at The Lancaster County Convention Center, The Ware Center, The Chameleon Club, Tellus 360 and The Federal Taphouse.  Only Lancaster could host this volume of high-caliber musicians at such choice venues within a three-block radius.  You will want to say you were there at the birth of Lancaster Roots and Blues!

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Rich Ruoff is the mind behind LRB and is returning to his roots as a music event promoter.  Rich founded the venerable Chameleon Club in 1985 and placed Lancaster firmly on the map of choice music venues in the mid-Atlantic.  Blues Festival weekend always drew the heartiest crowds.  In 2014 Lancaster Roots and Blues will reestablish this fair city as the crossroads of genuine American music each February.

Every live-music lover will find artists that thrill them whether they be long-time favorites or bands just breaking on the scene.  Revered blues legends like Johnny Winter and James Cotton share the spotlight with national heroes like Louden Wainwright III and Heritage Blues Quintet.  Regional powers such as Cabinet and Harmonious Wail play the same stages as newcomers Jake Lewis and The Clergy and Scott Pemberton Trio.  You can see the complete line-up by clicking here.

Breaking national act Lake Street Dive will release an album and appear on The Colbert Report, Late Night with David Letterman and Mountain Stage within the two weeks surrounding their performance here 2/22.  Internet sensations and serious musicians Postmodern Jukebox appear live here the same night.  They have nearly 20 million video views of their work but have only appeared live on Good Morning America. They play The Ware Center’s Steinman Hall at 6 pm 2/22.

Reggae, jazz, funked-up polka: if it sounds richly genuine and feels downright biological, you could hear it at Lancaster Roots and Blues.  From quiet folk to pulsing blues, the music to move you plays here.  Live music is better!  The festival’s non-profit partners Music For Everyone and Red Raven Emerging Artist Program will benefit from all merchandise sales and enrich our region in countless ways.

Strolling between venues takes mere minutes, yet a shuttle will lap the circuit both evenings.  Garaged parking abounds and is just $5 per night in city garages.  Three hotels downtown and over twenty just outside the city are offering room specials. The complete schedule, maps, directions, tickets and hotel accommodations can all be viewed at Check out their Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter accounts and see what the buzz is about!

By Samuel Campbell, guest blogger

Events & Festivals, Music, Nightlife, Weekend