Blues to the Point

Former Jimmy Buffet bandmate
headlines Blues at the Point Festival

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (September 2006) – After a one-year hiatus, a popular blues festival will return to the Carrollton area thanks to two local musicians and the Carroll County Tourism Commission. The Carrollton Blues to the Point Festival will return to Point Park on Sept. 8-9 and will feature nine local, regional and nationally known acts.
Clayton Dermon and Mark Davis, local musicians who were asked to help resume the festival, said the tourism office received many asking for the return of the event.

Greg “Fingers” Taylor

Photo provided

Greg “Fingers” Taylor will be
the headliner at the Carrollton
Blues to the Point music festival.

Dermon said started recruiting musicians, volunteers and vendors for the festival in May. Normally, well-known musicians can be booked as far as a year in advance. Despite the late start, however, they used their connections in music circles and put together a strong lineup for the two-day event. Headlining the event is Greg “Fingers” Taylor, a harmonica player who was a member of Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band for more than 30 years.
In an August telephone interview, Taylor said, “I am really looking forward to coming to Carrollton. We have put together a fun, high-energy act that will thrill the audience.”
He will be playing with Tim Krekel, who also played with Jimmy Buffet during the 1980s.
Taylor met Buffet in 1970 while they were college students at the University of Mississippi. He said Buffet was playing a gig and invited him to play along. “We hit it off great,” he said. In 1974, he started touring as part of the Coral Reefers band that backs up Buffet. Before that, he worked on Buffet’s first three albums.
He said that by 2001 it was “time for me to do something different.” He and Buffet parted ways. Since then, Taylor has been freelancing with other bands. He sings a bit and plays the keyboard in addition to his harmonica playing. He said he gets his inspiration for his harmonica playing from the old time blues music.
Recently, Taylor rejoined Buffet on stage at Riverbend Music Center on the riverfront in Cincinnati. Over the summer, he played on three cuts of Buffet’s latest recording. He said they have been in touch and are working out some things.
“We are communicating and looking at possibilities,” he said. One of those possibilities includes Taylor working at a new Las Vegas hotel that Buffet is building.
Taylor got his nickname “Fingers” while in high school. He said he had a band called the Buttermilk Blues and decided to give everyone in the band a bluesy nickname. Being the keyboard player, he thought “Fingers” sounded appropriate. He later switched to the harp, but by that time the nickname had stuck.

Blues to the Point Schedule
Sept. 8-9 at Point Park

Friday-Main Stage

5 p.m.: Graham, Shelton & Smith
7:30 p.m.: Frostbite
10 p.m.: Lamont Gillispie & 100 Proof

Saturday-Main Stage
Noon: The Jimmy Davis Band
2 p.m.: Coupe DeVille
4 p.m.: Sonny Moorman
6 p.m.: Alabama Blues Brothers
8 p.m.: Tim Krekel and TKO
10 p.m.: Fingers Taylor
Acoustic Stage Artists:
Roy Gentry, Sandy Pickett, Tyrone Cotton, The “Good Sunday” Band, Velveeta Jones, Darryl Hewitt & Southbound (Unplugged)

 Tickets: Two-day advance tickets $25; $20 at the gate. Friday admission only $10; Saturday admission only $15. Children 12-under free.
• Information: 1-800-325-4290 or visit: bluestothepoint.net

In addition to Taylor, the rest of the Blues to the Point lineup is also impressive. Krekel will play at 8 p.m. Saturday, just before Taylor, and then will accompany Taylor during his performance. At 6 p.m., the Alabama Blues Brothers, a tribute act, will take center stage.
Other Saturday evening performers include Sonny Moorman, a Cincinnati blues man; Madison favorite The Jimmy Davis band; and Coupe De Ville.
Friday night performances include Graham, Shelton & Smith, which include local Carrollton musicians; Frostbite, coming from northern Ohio; and Louisville’s Lamont Gillespie and 100 Proof.
An acoustic stage will also be set up during the festival. Featured musicians include Roy Gentry, Sandy Pickett, Tyrone Cotton, The “Good Sunday” Band, Velveeta Jones and Darryl Hewitt & Southbound (Unplugged).
Pickett, who resides in southern Indiana, has been compared to the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt and Michelle Shocked. She is a well rounded performer, Dermon said.
Cotton is a seasoned performer with his polished, blues-based sound. This singer, songwriter and guitarist has a new approach to traditional music styles that audiences love.
Dermon said newer features of the festival will make it more family friendly than before. “We want parents to come out and bring their children” he said. He believes the ticket prices will also be more attractive to festival goers.
He also said that Madison Ribberfest officials, including Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Linda Lytle and Blues Bash co-chairman John Walburn were extremely helpful. “We got some great advice from them,” he said.
Advance tickets are available at the Carrollton tourism office on Highland Avenue, and at three local businesses: Carrollton Inn, Floyd’s Jewelry and Cutting Edge.

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