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Rivah Visitor's Guide

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Colonial Beach Rock ‘n Blues Festival

Dancing to the music of the Derailers.

by Audrey Thomasson

The Colonial Beach Rock ‘n Blues Festival will pack hours of blues, rock, and rockabilly into the weekend of June 22, 23 and 24. The Black Pearl Tiki Bar at High Tides on the Potomac along the boardwalk in Colonial Beach plays host to the second annual charity event supporting autism research.

Music fans will be letting their hair down and enjoying world renown blues rocker Johnny Winter and 14 other great bands.

Dance, party or just come and sit under the palms at the full-service Polynesian beach bar and restaurant and enjoy the music, walking illusionist, strolling violinist/banjo player and magicians. But, if you want to ensure you get in, buy your tickets in advance. This event was a near sell-out last year.

Things to know:
Friday, June 22 • 6 p.m. – 11 p.m:
Road Ducks, Levee Drivers, John the Conqueror.

Saturday, June 23 • Noon – 11 p.m:
Beach Project, Jenny Langer Poppen and Moonshine Society, J.P.McDermott and Western Bop, Reverb Galaxy, Ubangis, Franc Robert, Andy Poxon Band, and Johnny Winter.

Sunday, June 24 • Noon – 7 p.m:
Eli Cook, Jumpin’ Jupiter, Dave Moore and his Hillbilly Huxters, Derailers, and Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun.

Where: The Black Pearl Tiki Bar at High Tides on the Potomac, 205 Taylor Street, Colonial Beach

Fees: Friday, free for ticket holders, or $5. Saturday/Sunday $30 each or $50 for two days.

Advance tickets: Purchase advance tickets in Colonial Beach at Populuxe at 222 Wilder Avenue or High Tides on the Potomac at 205 Taylor Street, or call 214-0883, or 214-0312, or email .

“We’ve had people call about coming to the festival from as far away as Japan and Brazil,” said festival organizers Dominick and Charlene Salemi.

But the main event is the music.

“We’ll have some garage rock, surf rock, rockabilly and Americana,” said Dominick Salemi. Some of the “ace of supporting bands” will appear Friday evening, he said. 

The festival opens Friday with music from 6 to 11 p.m. Acts include the Road Ducks, Levee Drivers and John the Conqueror playing a variety of popular top-40’s Americana favorites.

Admission is $5 Friday, or free for those holding Saturday and Sunday tickets. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $30 each, or $50 for a two-day ticket.

Saturday will offer music from noon to 11 p.m. or longer. Bands include Beach Project, the blues and soul vocalizations of Jenny Langer Poppen and Moonshine Society and rockabilly music of J.P. McDermott and Western Bop.

Reverb Nation adds an instrumental touch. Ubangis brings R&B with punk, while Franc Robert leads off the blues segment, followed by Andy Poxon Band. Stick around to enjoy the gutsy blues of headliner, Johnny Winter.

Sunday’s lineup extends from noon to 7 p.m. with the rockabilly sounds of Jumpin’ Jupiter, Dave Moore and his Hillbilly Huxters, 60’s hits by the Derailers and closing with the honky-tonk/rock ‘n roll of Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun.

Attendees should leave the folding chairs at home. Deck seating and tables with umbrellas are provided. This is an adult-oriented event and not recommended for children due to the service of alcohol and large number of people expected to attend.

The Derailers will perform Sunday, June 24.

While the festival cannot be viewed from the beach this year, organizers say a variety of vendors will be setting up outside High Tides to serve the beach crowd.

The Colonial Beach Rock ‘n Blues Festival is a charity event sponsored by the Colonial Beach Blues Society to raise money for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR). According to OAR, autism is a disorder that impairs the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system and affects communication, social interaction and behavior. It occurs in one out of every 110 births. OAR researches issues and challenges children and adults with autism and their families face every day, such as education, communication, self-care, social skills, employment, behavior and community living.

posted 05.31.2012

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