‘People recognize it instantly and want their picture taken with it'
© Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
David DeWolfe, producer of the Dutch Mason Blues Festival, can be found these days promoting the Aug. 9 to 11 festival in the Blues Mobile, a replica made from the icon in the Blues Brothers movies. The festival will feature Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, as well as a number of other musicians.
BIBLE HILL - If David DeWolfe wants to get anywhere on time these days, he needs to leave a few minutes early.
Especially if he's driving his Bluesmobile.
"There is not another act we could book without having such a fun thing like this," said DeWolfe, producer of the ninth annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival from Aug. 9 to 11 that will see Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd take the stage on Aug. 10. "It's the Blues Brothers. From when they were on Saturday Night Live, to the first movie, the second and all the albums, the most iconic thing was the Blues Mobile.
"As soon as they were booked, I thought, ‘We gotta have a Bluesmobile.'"
Scott Fraser, festival co-ordinator, found a 1974 Dodge Monaco in New Brunswick. Fraser, who also owns Acme Sign and Graphics in Halifax, fixed the vehicle and turned it into the Blues Mobile, which can be found driving local roads promoting the festival.
"If I pull up to a stop sign, or an intersection, or even stopping to get gas I have people looking over and coming up to me," said DeWolfe. "It takes me an extra 10 or 15 minutes to get anywhere. So many people are hopping out of their cars and coming to me, saying it was their favourite movie. People recognize it instantly and want their picture taken with it."
Because of the fame it receives, DeWolfe keeps a couple of hats and glasses for those that want to pose as the Blues Brothers.
"If anyone ever wants to feel what it's like to be a star, all they need to do is come for a ride in the Bluesmobile. It's been a lot of fun."
The car, complete with graphics, flashing light and speaker (which doesn't work but will by the time of the festival), will be on site at the festival.
Along with the Blues Brothers, the festival will feature a host of other names.
Along with international festival ambassador James Cotton, Shirley King will return.
"Last year, her time was pre-empted by her flight, so we had to put her on earlier in the day," said DeWolfe. "A lot of people missed her because of that and they wanted her back. Plus, she has a dynamite personality and entertainer."
Blues rockers Garrett Mason and Matt Minglewood are returning this year, as is Lucky Peterson and the Powder Blues Band.
DeWolfe's ‘producer's pick' this year is guitarist and vocalist Philip Sayce.
"Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying he is one of the best guitar players she has seen. He's just phenomenal, what can I say?" he said. "He really shows what the future of blues is."
Peterson will also bring his daughter Tamara with him to this year's festival.
"He's a triple threat being a pianist, an amazing guitarist and his vocals are bar none. And his daughter is a phenomenal singer as well, so people will be doubly pleased," said DeWolfe.
Steve Strongman and Steve Hill are on the agenda, as are Theresa Malenfant, Bill Durst, Guitar Shorty and local musician Dan Doiron.
Friday afternoon will see some new faces to the blues scene, with Christine Campbell, Highway 125 and Malenfant's son in Ginger Kings.
With less than two weeks left until the festival, DeWolfe said ticket sales have been strong so far.
"They're better this year than last. We are expecting a big crowd at this year's event and I think that has a lot to do with the iconic personalities of Dan and Jim," he said, adding it's been fun promoting the event with the Blues Mobile and several look-a-like contests.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Dutch Mason Blues Festival
WHEN: Aug. 9 to 11
WHERE: Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition grounds in Bible Hill
FEATURING: Performers such as the Blues Brothers, James Cotton, Sacred Hearts, Guitar Shorty, Lucky Peterson, Philip Sayce, Shirley King, Powder Blues Band, Matt Minglewood, Garrett Mason and more.
ALSO ON SITE: Motorcycle lifestyle show, barbecue competitions, vendors, onsite tattooing with Skin Decision and tattoo competitions, as well as various vendors.