Sugar Blue below the bluff

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

Originally held in the fall, BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass is coming to St. Joseph this Saturday — just in time for the mild spring weather of southwestern Michigan.
The free festival features everyone’s favorite attractions: good food, good drinks and live music.
Things kick off at 1 p.m. and run until 8 p.m. at Whirlpool Centennial Park, just below the bluff from downtown St. Joseph.
Three big name bluegrass bands are set to groove with festivalgoers.
Slim Gypsy Baggage will play at 1:30 p.m., followed by Sugar Blue and Band at 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. and The SteelDrivers at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Entry to the festival is free and drinks and food will be available for purchase. The event will be held rain or shine, so dress appropriately.
Music is sponsored by The Paul and Rose Suchovsky Charitable Trust.
The beverage tent will be sponsored by Bud Distributing.
BBQ food vendors will include:
• The American Kitchen
• Bistro on the Boulevard
• The Buck Burgers & Brew
• Charlie’s Piggin’ ‘N Grinnin’
• Larks & Son’s Bar-b-Que
• Players Bar & Grille
• Piggott’s Farm Market and Bakery
• Silver Beach Pizza

Slim Gypsy Baggage
St. Joseph is home to this quartet of musical friends. Started in 2011, Slim Gypsy Baggage is made up of Morgan Ingle (vocal, rhythm guitar), Matt (Big Red) Smith (bass, vocal), Cam Mammina (lead guitar) and Scooter DeLong (drums). Tight harmonies and innovative arrangements of originals and covers define SGB. Taking cues from rock, funk, country, bluegrass and soul, it’s easy to see why their sound is hard to define. One listen will reveal what you have been waiting for, creative fun music for all occasions.

Sugar Blue and Band
Born and raised in New York, harmonica genius Sugar Blue began his career as a street musician. He grew up listening to the jazz greats and then honed his chops by wailing along with Bob Dylan (with whom he would later record…) and Stevie Wonder songs on the radio.
Like many American musicians before him, Sugar Blue left these shores and relocated to Paris, where he became a first-call studio musician and performing artist. That’s his harmonica blasting on the Rolling Stones’ platinum disco hit “Miss You.”
Considered to be one of the first harp pyrotechnicians, he uses awe-inspiring high-register runs, circular breathing and electronic effects on his harmonicas blending them into his unique, visionary and singular style, technically dazzling yet wholly soulful.

The SteelDrivers
Only Nashville could give birth to a band like the SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned veterans — each distinguished in his or her own right, each valued in the town’s commercial community — who are seizing an opportunity to follow their hearts to their souls’ reward. In doing so, they are braiding their bluegrass roots with new threads of their own design, bringing together country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew.