H-Town Blues Festival
In a recent issue of Spin, music editor Charles Aaron did something the big-city bicoastal music media almost never does: paid some attention to the "chitlin' circuit," whose performers practice the heavily blues- and gospel-influenced style of soul that was popular in the '60s and '70s, before R&B moved on to a more urban (and younger) audience. However, the chitlin' circuit continues to thrive — especially live and in the South — and the annual H-Town Blues Festival is its time to shine. Headlining this year are Jersey balladeers The Manhattans, who were a regular presence on the charts for 20 years, scoring their biggest successes with silky crossover smashes "Kiss and Say Goodbye" and "Shining Star." Blues Fest regular Bobby "Blue" Bland, chitlin' circuit perennials Mel Waiters and Latimore, and "The King of Southern Soul," Alabama-raised Sir Charles Jones, round out this year's lineup.
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