Downtown Waterville will be filled with tunes, suds and bratwurst Saturday night as the third annual Blues Brews and Brats invades Third Street.
Toledo’s own Bobby G, fresh off the release of his debut album at the age of 73, will kick off the show— presented by Third Street Cigar and the Rotary Club of Waterville— backed by Curtis Grant and the Midnight Rockers at 6pm on Saturday, July 29. He’ll be followed by Chicago’s The Kinsey Report (the and the headlining act, Memphis’ Jeff Jensen.
The Kinsey Report’s guitarist Donald Kinsey formerly played behind Bob Marley in The Wailers.
“Jensen one of the most dynamic live performers of any genre of music right now on the circuit,” said Third Street Cigar owner John Henry.
Admission for the 6-11:30 p.m. show is $10, with all proceeds from the event benefiting Waterville Rotary and its charities.
Although he enjoyed being in the studio to cut his Still Standing album at Toledo School for the Arts, Bobby G’s star shines brightest in front of a live audience, a skill set he’s honed over the past 50 years.
“The main thing is having the right band, with the right feel,” Bobby said. “It has to have the blues feel. As long as it has the blues, you’ll get it across to the audience. It’s what I do. I love doing it and I like to have an audience to do it for.”
After growing up on a plantation in Washington County, Mississippi, Bobby moved to Toledo as a teenager. He found work with the city as a garbage man and later as a machinery operator over the course of four decades.
Along the way, Bobby cut his teeth in Toledo’s blues scene, performing at venues like The Green Lite, Anglers, Walnut Room and the Peacock as the lead singer for bands such as Creation of Soul, Big Boz Bluz, Curtis Jr. and the Midnight Rockers as well as his own band, Bobby G and Friendz.
Fast forward to 2016, when Bobby hooked up with Henry, a local blues enthusiast who often hosts shows in the Waterville cigar shop. Henry, who was starting his own blues record label, Third Street Cigar Records, enlisted the writing services of renowned bluesman and friend Johnny Rawls to pen an album of songs for Bobby G. The result is Still Standing, a no-frills blues album recorded at Toledo School for the Arts featuring soulful, danceable tracks like the title cut, “Love Love Love,” “I Almost Love You” and “Party Man.”
Blues Brews and Brats attendees are encouraged to bring their own chair. For more information, visit bluesbrewsandbrats.com.