Wynton Marsalis Photo by Frank Stewart. Courtesy Wynton Marsalis website
Wynton Marsalis Photo by Frank Stewart. Courtesy Wynton Marsalis website

Wynton Marsalis to headline 30th Blind Willie McTell Festival Sept. 7

THOMSON – Wynton Marsalis and his septet will headline the 30th anniversary of the Blind Willie McTell Festival on Sept. 7.

McTell Fest is held each year to honor Thomson’s Blind Willie McTell, a pioneering guitarist, songwriter, and giant of a performer during the first half of the 20th century, according to a news release from the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

McTell was a complete original whose talent was unmatched regarding early American music. He was born out in the country just south of Thomson and he is buried in the Happy Valley area of McDuffie County. His influence continues today as he was a uniquely talented writer and a 12-string master, stretching across multiple genres of American roots music. McTell played it all, from Piedmont Blues to Gospel to Tin Pan Alley and more.

Along with Marsalis as the headliner, this year’s roster includes from Austin Texas, Shinyribs, Lafayette Louisiana’s, The Revelers, and the return of two of our most popular performers, Atlanta’s Blair Crimmins and the Hookers and, from New York, guitarist Jerron Paxton, the release said.

In addition to Saturday’s lineup, the Thomson-McDuffie County CVB will again be hosting a FREE Kick off Concert in downtown Thomson on Friday, Sept. 6, featuring blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood and his band. This show jump starts a great weekend of incredible music in Thomson. The show will be held on Railroad Street outside of the Thomson Depot from 7-10 p.m.

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