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Bluesfest Windsor Lineup Announced

The organizers of Bluesfest Windsor announced the musical lineup for the 2018 show at the Windsor Star News Cafe on 21 February 2018.<br>Photo by Ian Shalapata.
The organizers of Bluesfest Windsor announced the musical lineup for the 2018 show at the Windsor Star News Cafe on 21 February 2018.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(WINDSOR, ON) – Today at the Windsor Star News Cafe, organizers of Bluesfest Windsor announced the full lineup for this year’s festival, save one act. Already announced to be appearing were Extreme, Pat Travers Band, Beth Hart, and Jonny Lang.

Joining the already strong lineup, from July 12 to 15, will be Thursday night co-headliner Night Ranger, Canadian blues rocker Colin James on Friday, and Back to the 90s Tour on Sunday. Organizers are holding back the Saturday night headliner due to contractual obligations, but the announcement will come soon.

That night, however, will also feature Quebecker Angel Forrest, 4-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Known for their massive hit, Sister Christian, Night Ranger brings their multi-million selling repertoire to the Bluesfest stage on July 12, including the single Somehow Someway from their upcoming album release. Night Ranger will arrive in Windsor as part of the band’s 35th Anniversary tour.

Who would know the agony of the blues better than someone from Regina? Colin James has been a mainstay on the blues scene internationally since he opened for, and played with, Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1984. The multi-award winning James gained notoriety with Five Long Years, Voodoo Thing, and Chicks and Cars and the Third World War. The unmistakeable opening slide licks of Just Came Back are engrained on Canadian music.

“Colin James is an excellent addition. Everybody’s been asking for him for four years, but this year we were able to secure him,” said Bluesfest Windsor president Rob Petroni.

A departure from recent years, Bluesfest will be a 19+ venue on Sunday and will feature Back to the 90s Tour, an amalgamation of Vanilla Ice, Naughty By Nature, Rob Base, Young MC, and C+C Music Factory. Attendees will be able to reminisce about the decade’s trend-setting music with some of the most iconic and indelible names in rap, hip hop, and R&B.

“Last year we tried extremely hard to get them here,” Petroni explained. “We’re pretty confident it’s going to sell out. It’s a high energy show. It’s Soccer Mom Sunday. We know the place is going to be packed.”

Additionally, new this year will be the Bluesfest Ambassador. Sugaray Rayford filled in at the last minute during Bluesfest 2017 and blew away the audience. After his performance, calls flooded the Bluesfest office with demands for his return. Rayford will perform three nights of the festival so as many people as possible can see his act.

Sugaray Rayford will return to Festival Plaza as the Bluesfest Windsor 2018 Blues Ambassador. Rayford will perform 13, 14, 15 July on the Bluesfest main stage.<br>Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Sugaray Rayford will return to Festival Plaza as the Bluesfest Windsor 2018 Blues Ambassador. Rayford will perform 13, 14, 15 July on the Bluesfest main stage.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Bluesfest Windsor 2018 will also feature an abundance of local performers including Danielle Nicole, Kathleen Murray and The Groove Council, The Instinct, Drop Dead Famous, Nemesis, Greatest Hits Live, South River Slim, United Snakes, and the Moondog Howlers. The 2nd stage in Bluestown will be doubled in size from last year to allow fans to get up close and personal with the musicians.

“We tried to come up with a mix of younger groups, different genres, mostly blues, but a little bit of everything for all of the fans,” Petroni said. “There’s something in this festival I think that everybody’s going to like.”

Tickets are available online and have already out paced previous sales records. Get yours before they are sold out.

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