Bluestock is the result of a partnership between the producers of Mountain Jam and Steve & Jeff Simon Presents, the South Carolina-based promoters of the renowned Blues Cruise. According to Gary Chetkof, the founder and president of Radio Woodstock, the idea to launch a new project after the continued success of Mountain Jam and the first conversation with Jeff Simon happened almost instantaneously. “We had Mountain Jam at the point where we knew we had the ability to do something else, and we envisioned rolling out other festivals,” Chetkof said, “and all of a sudden I get a call from Steve and Jeff Simon. It was like a match in heaven.”
Though the concert roster lost Gregg Allman due to post-kidney-transplant recovery, the addition of the Robert Cray band is a natural fit for the festival. While Cray, Guy and Bishop are among the best-known performers to people outside the blues community, artists like Tab Benoit, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Tommy Castro & the LRBR and Shemekia Copeland should appeal to blues purists regardless of their favorite style in the genre.
Then there’s Curtis Salgado, who survived a liver cancer scare two years ago where the prognosis was not promising. Salgado was partly the inspiration for the Blues Brothers, which originally began on Saturday Night Live and blossomed into a popular blues-celebrating film in 1980. “They met while (John) Belushi was filming Animal House,” said Richard Fusco of WDST, adding that there’s another Bluestock connection with the fraternity comedy: “Robert Cray was in Animal House; he was the bass player in Otis Day and the Nights.”
Bluestock will feature nonstop music each day of the event, utilizing two stages and scheduling performers with the idea that one begins when another ends. According to Fusco, it all seems to be coming together. “Basically, our goal is to bring a major annual blues event to the Northeast, and we’re seeing a real strong buzz in the blues community,” he said. “[Bluestock] celebrates the blues. It’s at the incredibly beautiful Hunter Mountain, which makes any event extraordinary. We’re looking to not only bring in the hardcore blues folks, but also people who dig blues/rock and music in general.”
As of presstime, tickets for a three-day pass cost $119; passes at the gate will go for $139. There are also other ticket options available, including a three-day pass with camping ($124 as of presstime) and VIP, which includes camping, a pre-festival party, exclusive seating and other amenities ($370 as of presstime). Single-day tickets are available for Saturday ($55/$180 VIP) and Sunday ($40/$165). For more information on Bluestock, visit www.bluestock.com.