Laurens to welcome blues, roots music fest in 2020

The City of Laurens has added a spring music festival to its lineup of activities.

The inaugural Blues & Roots Music Festival was announced for the spring of 2020 at Monday’s Laurens City Council meeting. No date has been set for the music festival as of yet.

“This is going to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait until Laurens is known nationwide as ‘The home of Piedmont Blues!'” wrote Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn in a social media post.

The festival is the brainchild of Hunter Holmes, who owns and operates the Square Roots Store and Holmes Photography along with his family on Laurens’ Historic Square. Holmes is also a musician and discophile with a passion for Americana music and the Piedmont Blues.

The festival will in part celebrate the City of Laurens’ and Laurens County’s significant role in the genre of music called “Piedmont Blues.”

Noted late bluesman Pink Anderson was a Laurens native. Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame band Pink Floyd is named after Anderson and fellow Palmetto bluesman Floyd Council.

Laurens County is also the birthplace of Rev. Gary Davis, who was born in Laurens in 1896 and first performed at a Gray Court Baptist church when he was 10. Davis was blind, but went on to develop a unique finger-picking style on guitar and also played banjo. Musicians such as Bob Dylan and Keb Mo count Davis among their influences.

7 Comments

  1. Jim Vogan on October 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    What can I do to help? Am not a Laurens resident, but excited to see.
    I have quite a few contacts in the blues world and have been deeply disappointed at how rich our area is in blues history and how we have disowned it

  2. Marc Ellison on October 18, 2019 at 8:07 am

    I believe it will truly introduce Laurens to the Nation. Actually I have participated in 2 different blues society clubs. Palmetto Blues Society and Reno Nev. Blues Society. It truly is an opportunity for interested people, work together and display our hometown. Cannot think of a better group than Blues lovers.

  3. Robert Garrett on October 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Great, if you get enough people to participate. I’m willing to do something. I am a little handicapped. Will be interesting to see if it goes. I sincerely hope so!

  4. Tim Lee on November 5, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Hello Laurens County! I’d love to come play for you. My EP drops Nov 15 and will be available on iTunes. My bio is available on the website. I wish you luck with your festival. I know it will grow.
    Peace,
    Tim Lee

  5. Linda Faye Sullivan on November 7, 2019 at 1:44 am

    I would love to considered for the lineup. I am the niece of Linda Rodney aka Chocolate Thunder and am a powerhouse singer just as she was!

  6. Wanda Wallace on November 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Good Evening, I was born,raised and graduated from Laurens County and currently reside here. I am the manager of THE BAND LEVELS & would love to be considered in the lineup. THE BAND LEVELS lead vocalist DAVID E. HENRY JR. also is a native of LAURENS COUNTY and has performed for SQUEALING on the SQUARE downtown LAURENS 2017/2018 and 2 runner up for LAURENS COUNTY SINGS 2018. Also has performed at an event at THE LAURENS CITY AMPHITHEATER.

  7. Chris Mangum on November 30, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    My band from Union/Spartanburg would love to be a part of this. We play a mix of piedmont blues, are a 3 piece including guitar, bass and drums with dynamics and will accommodate any venue at any capacity!

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