Cape Fear Blues Festival Delivers Steady Dose of Soulful Music

Blues Aficionados Find Much to Love about Wilmington, N.C. & Island Beaches

Wilmington, NC June 30, 2013 Blues aficionados will find much to love about Wilmington, North Carolina and its island beaches, a popular vacation destination that’s also known for its dynamic blues scene. Weekly jams, live performances, an active blues society, and two signature blues festivals provide a steady dose of blues music. On July 26-28, blues fans will satisfy their soulful cravings during the Cape Fear Blues Society’s 18th Annual Cape Fear Blues Festival. This year’s impressive lineup includes touring blues artists, noted regional performers, and talented local blues musicians performing in a variety of genres. Wilmington’s premier blues music venues—the Soapbox Laundro Lounge and the Rusty Nail Saloon—will host the 2013 Cape Fear Blues Festival. The three-day all-blues celebration features live concerts, a blues workshop, an all-day blues jam, and the ever-popular Blues Cruise aboard the Henrietta III riverboat.



18th Cape Fear Blues FestivalFRIDAY, July 26: The blues excitement begins at 5:30pm when guitarist/harpist/songwriter Randy McQuay II entertains with soulful vocals and masterful harmonica on the riverboat dock (Water Street at Dock Street) prior to boarding the Henrietta III. The ever-popular CAPE FEAR BLUES CRUISE (boards at 6:30pm; departs at 7:30pm) features 3 bands, 3 decks and 3 cash bars, with heavy appetizers and a blues-filled sunset. This year’s cruise features jump, swing and classic blues by festival favorites Russ Wilson & His Mighty Men on the main deck. Above the main deck, The Rusted Nails will belt out Rockabilly and retro-blues tunes. Veteran blues guitarist/songwriter Mojo Collins will entertain with acoustic selections on the atrium level. Advance tickets are $53 each and can be purchased online now at, or call 910-343-1640 or 910-350-8822 for more information.


The POST-CRUISE PARTY grooves on until the wee hours at The Rusty Nail Saloon (1310 South 5th Street, 910-251-1888) beginning at 9pm with “Fat Bastard Blues Band,” winners of the Cape Fear Blues Challenge, who will headline the ever-popular blues party (cover charge may apply).


SATURDAY, July 27:  A free BLUES WORKSHOP for all ages will take place at Finkelstein Music, Wilmington’s oldest music retailer (6 South Front Street) starting at 11:00am. This year’s featured artists are local bluesmen Jake Horton (guitar) and Vince Stout (bass/percussion), who will demonstrate their techniques, talk about their influences and play some blues. Call 910-762-5662 for more info.


At 4:00pm, local and regional players provide an afternoon of live blues under the tent at The Rusty Nail Saloon.


Beginning at 8:00pm, The Soapbox Laundro Lounge (255 N. Front Street, Wilmington) plays host to the SATURDAY NIGHT BLUES PARTY. Bluesman Mojo Collins opens for recording artist James Armstrong, whose latest album “Blues at the Border” (2012) balances traditional blues with his trademark contemporary grit. Tickets are $10 in advance (online at or at the door the night of the show ($15 each). Meanwhile at The Rusty Nail Saloon, Brett Johnson’s Blues Revue will serve up some sassy blues beginning at 9:00pm until 1:00am.


SUNDAY, July 28: The free ALL-DAY BLUES JAM begins at 12 noon under the tent at The Rusty Nail (1310 S. 5th Street) hosted by the Cape Fear Blues Society. Bring a lawn chair. No coolers; no pets allowed.  Beverages and food will be available for sale all day. Musicians can reserve a performance slot by calling 910-350-8822 and leave a name and phone number. At 6:00pm, the Finkelstein Music Guitar Giveaway will feature a Fender Squier Stratocaster guitar. Raffle tickets cost $1 (each) with proceeds supporting projects and programs of the Cape Fear Blues Society. Raffle tickets available at Finkelstein Music and The Rusty Nail.


For more details about the Cape Fear Blues Festival, including tickets, times and locations, visit the festival website at or call 910-350-8822.  For a free Official Visitors Guide for Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, please visit, email, or call 1-866-266-9690