‘Blues on the Range’ festival hits Mason on Aug. 7

MASON – The Granite State Blues Society is hosting the “Blues on the Range” festival, to be held at The Range (aka Marty’s Driving Range), 96 Old Turnpike Rd., with gates opening at noon. Tickets are $25 in advance for general admission.

Blues acts scheduled to perform include the Veronica Lewis Band, Brian Templeton and the Delta Generators, Frankie Boy and the Blues Express, the Barrett Anderson Band, Callithump and Ms. Vee.

Templeton said although the last 12 months have been practically non-existent for gigs, the band is exited that the blues festival is happening next week.

“My family and the band’s families have been healthy and well,” he said. “And to be able to play live again- I don’t think I can find the words to express that.”

The Delta Generators played the festival when it was called, “Barnful of Blues,” a couple of years back.

Templeton talked his love of blues music and said the sound and the rawness of the blues comes from emotion.

“It’s a music the comes from feelings,” he said. “It’s not about the actual notes. As a singer and a songwriter, I’d say that 90 percent of what I’ve written through the years comes directly from real-life experiences. It comes from the heart.”

Templeton and the Delta Generators are excited to be launching a European tour that will begin in 2022.

“In 2020, we were just getting ready to play our first Delta Generators show in Europe at the Moulin Blues Festival in the Netherlands,” he said. “We weren’t sure if they were going to do it this year – they ended up doing a small version of it. But we are slated to play it next year. So that’s very exciting.”

Granite State Blues Society board member Sharlene Hammond Labore said pulling the show together for 2021 has been relatively easy.

“Actually, it’s been pretty simple,” she said. “The biggest challenge we had was finding the location because we’ve always had it in New Boston at the Fairgrounds, but we unable to reserve that this year. So, we started exploring other avenues and we went out to Marty’s because she has great little venue out there and a built-in stage. She was absolutely receptive and very positive with a great energy.”

As Marty’s embraced the idea, Labore said it was so important to offer local bands the opportunity to play live again.

“Yes, that was very important to us,” she said. “We’ve been shut down for a while and once things began to open up again in the springtime, we met very quickly as a board and decided to go ahead and plan our festival. We’re all very excited about it.”

Labore has been part of the Granite State Blues Society for four years and said the organization has a rich history of philanthropy and education.

“They do so much for children’s charities,” she said. “Every year in the past we’ve done work to benefit the Webster House. As a nonprofit and a 501c3, we rely on people’s generous donations, ticket sales, fundraising and selling our swag.

The GSBS was started Barry Smith, who brought the festival to New Boston and over the years, the festival has morphed into an annual gathering that attracts local talent from the area.

“We support the blues and promote blues shows in the local area,” Labore said. “We have a blues education program and there is a gentleman on our board named Roger Plourde who is very good at bringing music into different facilities and teaching the rich blues history that we have in our country and introducing children to the blues and teaching them instruments. It’s a great program.”

Nicole Ruggiero of Marty’s said the Range began doing weekly BBQ Blues Sunday a couple of years ago and received great feedback.

“There’s such a loyal blues following in the area,” she said. “Developing a relationship with the Granite State Blues Society came very naturally. When they approached us about collaborating on an event, it was an obvious yes!”

Ruggiero said the response to bringing live music has been mostly positive from the community and surrounding towns.

We had a three-year hiccup – which included a special town vote, three different lawyers on our end, and even some legal drama,” she shared. “We have come a long way since then and are super grateful for those near and far who support this endeavor.”

For more information, call 603-878-1324. Tickets are available at www.therangemason.com/concert-series.