This year’s Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’ event will be a little different, due to the need for audience safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dunedin Downtown Merchants Association has signed a great group of entertainers including Betty Fox, Damon Fowler and Trio and Dumpstaphunk, all set to appear in Dunedin’s first socially distanced outdoor concert on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 4 to 11 p.m. at 614 Main Street in Dunedin.
Soul by Betty Fox:
This year’s Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’ will feature Betty Fox, who has come a long way from her southern roots to headlining festivals and captivating thousands with her raw swagger and unwavering talent. With an extensive background in gospel and a lifelong passion for soul music, Betty Fox has won accolades as the 2015 representative of the Suncoast Blues Society, an International Blues Challenge Finalist, and 5-time winner of Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay, she is now receiving notice on an international scale for her 5-star debut, “Peace In Pieces,” topping the Roots Music Report Charts and getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
To support Betty Fox’s talent, she has selected musical heavyweights Jake Winebrenner on drums, Barry Williams on bass, and Josh Nelms on guitar to set herself up for nothing less than well-deserved success. In fact, this dynamic quartet has skyrocketed to the Florida spotlight, playing on multiple notable music festivals including the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, and the largest free music festival in the US: Springing the Blues. This band competed in the International Blues Challenge and made it to the final 8 of 150 bands. (Betty Fox LEFT)
More Blues by Damon Fowler:
Florida native Damon Fowler started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager. On the strength of his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, he built a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In 2008’s “Best of Tampa” poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him “Best Guitarist… And Slide Guitarist… and Lap Steel Player… And Dobro Player.” Damon Fowler (RIGHT).
Fowler’s guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman making him a perfect fit for the Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it is his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.
New Orlean’s Band Dumpstaphunk
Also another pefect performer for the Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’ will be the band Dumpstaphunk. They have become New Orleans’ pre-eminent 21st century fun-fusion export, resulting in recent career highlights like their July 2019 opening gig for the Rolling Stones on their home turf at the Superdome. Over the past 17 years, Dumpstaphunk has gained a reputation as the most well-regarded next-generation New Orleans-live powerhouse. Alongside Tony Hall, Nick Daniels, Alex Wasily, Ryan Nyther and drummer Trusclair, cousins Ivan and Ian Neville have built upon their family’s iconic NOLA legacy with this outstanding group. (Left Dumpstaphunk photo by Alex Manne.)
Dumpstaphunk released their first single, “Justice,” in January 2017. They released a new version of “Justice 2020”, featuring Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na and Trombone Shorty on October 29 of this year. The song will anchor Where Do We Go From Here, the band’s first full-length album since their acclaimed Dirty Word, released in 2013.The new album’s title track, ”Where Do We Go From Here” released as a single in late August, with more singles from the album to be released in the coming months.
Safety is a number one priority at this year’s Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’. Guests will be seated in socially distanced private pods that will allow up to 6 people. Each 8 ft. by 10 ft. pod is purchased by one person who can fill the pod with up to six people. Every pod is separated by 6 feet on all sides to adhere to the standard for COVID safety. The large open area at 614 Main Street will accommodate up to 250 pods with a maximum of 1500 guests. The first three rows of pods will be for VIP guests.
Those who are interested in Dunedin ‘Wines the Blues’ may go to www.winestheblues.com for more detailed safety information and tickets, which will be sold for each of the pods. This will allow all attendees from the same household or group to come together. Tickets are not available for individual sale. Masks are a requirement for moving around; however, they may be taken off while in your pod. Gates will open at 2 p.m., and all guests will have their temperature taken as well as hands sprayed with hand sanitizer.
Each pod will be numbered with an “address.” There will be QR codes in your PODs for food ordering, and organizers will have food trucks on-site. You will purchase tokens for beer and wine. Each pod will be equipped with one sheet of COVID safety rules regarding distancing and mask mandates. Each pod will also have a menu listing all food and drink items available. This will eliminate congregation in the food and drink area. At the end of the concert, four exits will be open so that people may divide up safely to leave the concert venue.
Content written for Destination Tampa Bay™ by Jackie McCallum. Photos copyright to each band noted for editorial purposes only credits noted by photo when available.
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