Typically, when one thinks about blues music, the words "country club" are not the first to come to mind. However, this is not the case with the Country Club Hotel and Spa in Lake Ozark. In the past, the hotel hosted annual jazz festivals and offered weekly Sunday Blues Brunches, and this summer the Country Club is once again "all about the blues" as they host the first ever Country Club Blues Bash, Aug. 16-17.
"We can't think of a better way to end the summer than enjoying a fun weekend full of awesome blues bands," says the hotel's general manager Ron Schlicht.
For an inaugural event, the Country Club Blues Bash boasts an impressive lineup of first-rate and highly celebrated blues musicians.
"Since this is the first year for the Bash, we really wanted to make it into a lively, can't-miss event that people will be talking about for a long time to come, so we packed the lineup with some of the best and most entertaining acts in the blues genre today," Schlicht said.
The Blues Bash gets off to a rollicking start on Friday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. with Atlanta bluesman Little "G" Weevil, who was the winner of the solo artist category at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., and is followed at 7 p.m. by Chicago's Steepwater Band, which has shared the stage with some of rock and roll's biggest names, including ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart, to name a few. Finishing out the evening is the nationally celebrated Dana Fuchs Band from Florida, which will begin at 9 p.m.
The party continues on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. with local favorites Penny Lower and Backbone, followed by the classic sounds of Sugar Alley from St. Louis at 3 p.m. The Bel Airs, a rhythm and blues outfit out of Columbia, Mo. will take the stage at 5 p.m. and acclaimed British chanteuse Bex Marshall, who was recently nominated for best female vocalist for the 2013 British Blues Awards, will whip the crowd into a frenzy at 7 p.m. Florida's dynamic and charismatic Selwyn Birchwood Band, this year's overall winner of the International Blues Challenge and winner of the Albert King award for best guitarist, will bring the weekend to a climax with an exuberant, high energy closing set that will begin at 9 p.m.
A local blues heavyweight and past participant in the International Blues Challenge, John Gibble, better known around the lake area as "Johnny G" of Johnny G and the Allstars, lent a helping hand in securing some of today's best blues talents.
"Johnny G has been instrumental in booking these great artists, and we would not be able to have this fantastic lineup without his assistance," says Schlicht. "It will be a great weekend of blues music, and given the amount of talent that will be showcased, our guests will not be disappointed. Plus, with the intimate and casual setting, the audience and the artists will be able to mingle and enjoy the music together."
Page 2 of 2 - One- and two-day Blues Bash passes are available for purchase: a one-day pass sells for $25 and a two-day pass is $40. Also available are two-day VIP passes for $100, which include up-close seating, cocktail service and meet-and-greets with the artists. Lodging packages also are available for the event.
According to Lance Utley, director of sales for the hotel, "Proceeds from the event will go to the Lake of the Ozarks Blues Society scholarship fund, which supports local lake area high school students interested in pursuing music and other fine arts."
"We're very proud that we can provide such amazing entertainment to our guests and visitors to the Lake and give back to our community at the same time," Utley continues.
For more information on the Blues Bash and the bands, visit the event's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CountryClubBluesBash. To reserve passes and/or lodging for the Bash, and for more information on the Country Club Hotel and Spa, please visit www.CountryClubHotel.com, or call 800-964-6698.