Where Independent Film meets Independent Music
The Reel Blues Fest was founded because there was a need to promote the classicly American musical tradition of The Blues and a need to use the proceeds from blues events to enhance the needs of the artistic community which surrounds the musical genre.
The Reel Blues Fest, Inc. sponsors musical and film events from its base in New England and seeks entities and individuals who may need assistance such as older musicians who did not have financial or medical support through their careers and filmmakers and educational entities which need funding to promote the art and craft of filmmaking.
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The Reel Blues Fest was launched in 2001, at the Air Station on Cape Cod. Playing to the sold-out crowd was the legendary "Superharp" James Cotton, teaming up with the talented blues musician James Montgomery. Also taking the stage was Jim Belushi, and New England favorites Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, Shirley Lewis and guitarist and producer extraordinaire Danny Kortchmar. The concert was preceded by a screening of the critically acclaimed film Genghis Blues, about an amazing journey by musician Paul Pena.
Based on the success of the show, the 2002 Reel Blues Fest moved to a larger venue of Cape Cod Community College. The show opened with comic Lenny Clarke, setting the stage for the immortal Johnny Winter. The packed house couldn't get enough of Johnny who was joined by James Montgomery to make it a memorable night. Mr. K.D. Bell and blues Diva Shirley Lewis opened the show. The Fest included a screening of a documentary work-in-progress I Love You B.B. - about blues and hip-hop.
Labor Day Weekend 2004 on the revolving stage of the Cape Cod Melody Tent brought the crowd to their feet with an all-star lineup. Grammy Award winner and New Orleans legend, Dr. John, Delbert McClinton, James Montgomery and friends, Weeping Willie Robinson, Shirley Lewis, Danny Kortchmar, John Butcher, LA blues sensation Jessie Payo, Peter Hackel, Matt Woodburn, Steven Paul Perry, Stu Kimball, and Dan Kenny.
Under a separate tent, the Reel Blues Fest featured a sneak preview screening from filmmaker Martin Scorsese of the PBS Series The Blues. Also screened was the documentary Honeyboy, about the life and times of Honeyboy Edwards.
Based on the success and support of the audiences and artists over the past three years, and in order to enhance our outreach capability, The Reel Blues Fest is growing. We are planning at least three events for 2004 on Cape Cod, Boston and Western Massachusetts. For the future, we are looking forward to national and international growth. Your help and support will make this happen and help ensure that independent musicians and filmmakers are able to continue to produce the work that bring pleasure to so many.