Rockin’ the Roots of American Music: Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival

Story by Michael Vyskocil for YRK Magazine

The artists and the artistry, the rockin’ and the rhythms, the sounds from the sax and soul: Discover the ultimate live music experience in Central Pennsylvania with the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival, March 9–11. More than a music festival, this event brings together more than 60 artists from across the world for a celebration of music culture and community. Where else can you hear a fusion of music genres performed in one setting?

“Music fans are excited for this year’s schedule with 60 great bands over three days on 10 stages,” says Rich Ruoff, director of the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival. “This is the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival’s fifth year, and 10,000 attendees from all over Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region will enjoy the best in blues, jazz, rock, reggae, funk, soul, Americana, Celtic, bluegrass music, and more.”

Eclectic Array of Musical Genres Emerge at the Fifth Annual Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival

With several dynamic venues in downtown Lancaster playing host to the performances, you won’t have to go far to get your fill of music:

  • 26 East at Altana (26 E. King St.)
  • Main Stage at Lancaster County Convention Center (25 S. Queen St.)
  • Tellus 360 (24 E. King St.)
  • The Chameleon Club (223 N. Water St.)
  • The Federal Taphouse (201 N. Queen St.)
  • The Elks Lodge (219 N. Duke St.)
  • The SugarTank (252 N. Queen St.)
  • The Village Nightclub (205 N. Christian St.)
  • Zoetropolis (114 N. Water St.)

Below is a brief list of some of the more than 60 artists scheduled to appear at the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival:

  • Shemekia Copeland: Blues-rocker, soul-shouter, and gospel-fueled songstress, Shemekia Copeland showcases her lyrical prowess in blues, roots and soul. (Performing Sunday, March 11, 3:30 p.m., at the Main Stage, Lancaster County Convention Center)
  • Eric Johnson: This Grammy Award–winning artist entered the contemporary music scene more than 20 years ago with the release of his landmark album Ah Via Musicom. Today, he continues to command accolades from fans within the guitar community. (Performing Sunday, March 11, 6 p.m., at the Main Stage, Lancaster County Convention Center)
  • The Big Takeover: Hailing from New York City, this six-piece band led by singer-songwriter NeeNee Rushie blends Jamaican pop music with the uptown energy and soul of American Motown. (Performing Friday, March 9, 11:15 p.m., at The Chameleon Club)
  • JJ Grey & Mofro: Fearless and unfettered in his soul-bent style, JJ Grey & and his band Mofro bring raw, honest emotions to a soundtrack that blends blues and soul with overtones of inspiration from country-rock legends such as Jerry Reed and Otis Redding. (Performing Friday, March 9, 9:30 p.m. at the Main Stage, Lancaster County Convention Center)
  • Morgan James: With her powerhouse voice and dynamic performance style, New York–based songwriter and soul singer Morgan James captivates audiences with her diverse vocal range and genres covering a fusions of funk, pop and rhythm and blues. (Performing Saturday, March 11, 1 p.m. at the Main Stage, Lancaster County Convention Center)
  • Tommy Z: As a Top 10 Billboard Blues, iTunes Blues and No. 1 charting blues artist, Tommy Z delivers a mix of classic and contemporary blues with influences of funk, jazz and rock. (Performing Saturday, March 10, 7 p.m. at The Village Nightclub)

If you want to get in on all the good music over these three days, you better get your tickets now. Ticket offerings include three-day ($150), two-day ($105) and single-day ($59) general admission tickets as well as a preferred three-day and one-day VIP ticket.

This celebration of the roots of American music is only a short drive across the Susquehanna River. Immerse yourself in the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival experience March 9–11.

Photography provided by Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival

YRK Creative, YRK Magazine’s parent company, is a sponsor of the 2018 Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival.

16 Feb