TRURO - Headliners for this year's Dutch Mason Blues Festival should provide a bit more familiarity for fans, producer David DeWolfe believes.
"I'm really excited and pleased about the lineup. But then I always like my lineup, you know when I pick them. But this year, there is some really good, recognizable names on our lineup. And a lot of them get current air play."
To that end, DeWolfe is referring to such acts as the Sheepdogs and the Marshall Tucker Band.
But this year will also see other such recognizable names as John Oates (formerly of Hall and Oates) and the Georgia Satellites, "a great southern rock band," he said.
Last year, some fans complained that some of the acts at the festival were unfamiliar and DeWolfe said he tried to keep that sentiment in mind when booking for this year's show.
"I'm after a younger demographic with that act," he said, in specific reference to the Sheepdogs.
"I heard what they said so I am giving them something that they can hear on radio. My biggest challenge each year is finding blues artist that get any type of radio play. And that's really, really difficult because, unfortunately in the Maritimes, it's classic rock stations," he said.
"This year I made sure that I designed the festival around getting some air play and having names that people would recognize from their past and so forth and something a bit more hipper and cooler for today."
Festival ambassador and old-school bluesman James Cotton will also be returning this year, along with one of the fan favourites from last year.
"And we're bringing back Lukas Nelson," DeWolfe said. "And the reason we're bringing back Lukas Nelson, Willie Nelson's son, is because last year he did such a great job. The response to him was overwhelming."
New acts for this year will include Shirley King (daughter of BB King), Delbert McClinton and Jimmy D Lane (son of Jimmy Rogers).
"We've always said that we are a blues/rock festival and the whole key was to bring in audiences that don't necessarily listen to hardcore blues artists but may enjoy listening to an artist like the Georgia Satellites, which are blues-influenced southern rock, or Marshall Tucker band for example."
But DeWolfe said local artists are also a key ingredient in the lineup for the eighth annual festival.
"Yes, you are going to get to see all your favourite local artists that have come to be a mainstay at the festival," he said.
Those acts will include Garrett Mason, Joe Murphy, Charlie A'Court and many others.
"So we will be bringing back some of the mainstay Atlantic Canadian artists, but we've also found a couple of new artists that we are going to be introducing people to," DeWolfe said.
"You are going to see a lot of local talent this year."
That lineup is expected to be released next week.
Festival runs from Aug. 10 to 12 at the Truro Raceway.
Advance tickets are $45 for Friday, $65 for Saturday and $35 for Sunday.
Tickets are on sale by calling 1-800-993-8824 or log on to www.dutchmason.com .
Camping sites are also available.
Other activities include a custom motorcycle show, BBQ competitions, acoustic showcases, artists fan fair, late-night blues jam and more.