Headliners announced for fall seafood, blues and jazz fest

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Festival organizers announced earlier this week that bluesman Jonny Lang and rising star Samantha Fish will be the major performers for the annual fall event. Courtesy image.
Festival organizers announced earlier this week that bluesman Jonny Lang and rising star Samantha Fish will be the major performers for the annual fall event. Courtesy image.

A Grammy winner and a rapid up-and-comer will share the spotlight at this year’s Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival.

Bluesman Jonny Lang and sultry songstress Samantha Fish have been picked as the double headliners for the 23rd annual event, set for Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area.

At just 15, Lang burst on the scene in 1997 as a guitar phenom with his release, “Lie to Me.” He has gone on to record four studio albums and a live CD, all of which found a place among the top 50 on the Billboard’s 200 chart.

He’ll bring his signature sound to the stage on Oct. 8, with opening act Kara Grainger, an Australian singer and slide guitarist who has toured with Lang, as well as other big names like Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal.

Then, the following night, Fish will round out the weekend-long festivities as the final performer. Like Lang, the 27-year-old Fish found the blues early in life. Hanging out at a local saloon, the Kansas City, Missouri native at age 18 began joining in with musicians who came through and today has four solo albums and a Best New Artist nod from the Blues Music Awards under her belt. North Carolina-based group The Luxuriant Sedans will bring its blend of blues and rock ahead of Fish.

In addition to the four main acts, this year’s festival will feature 10 groups on two stages. Blues performers include Urban Hill, Gate City Divas, David Gerald and Snake Malone and The Black Cat Bone, while Nelson and The Rock-a-fellas, Lynne and The Wave, Nina Repeta, the Benny Hill Trio, Nita B. and The Swingin’ Soiree and Max Levy and the Hawaiian Shirts will bring the jazz.

As always, the event will include a wide selection of local fare and the free Kidzone, which features magicians, face painting, laser tag, educational exhibits and inflatables.

Area vendors will be on hand to sell their wares, and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $50 in advance for a two-day pass or can be purchased at the door for $60 on Saturday and $25 on Sunday. Admission is free for children 12 and under. Click here for more information.

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