Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival to highlight a variety of musical performances

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A diverse group of musicians will take the stage at the sixth annual Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival on Sept. 29.

The Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival honors the legacy of Howard “Louie Blue” Armstrong. Armstrong, who grew up in LaFollette, influenced many genres of music, mastering 22 instruments, festival spokesperson Lisa McCloud said.

To honor Armstrong, the festival will feature musicians who represent various genres. There will be performances at three stages: the Louie Bluie Stage, the Armstrong Theatre and the Community Stage.

Some performers will return to the Louie Bluie Music and Arts Fesitval, including the Howard Armstrong Legacy Trio, which features Ray Kamalay, John Reynolds and Ralphe Armstrong, Armstrong’s son. The Howard Armstrong Legacy Trio will play on the Louie Bluie Stage at 6 p.m. Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, the Carpetbag Singers and the Tennessee Sheiks will perform at the Armstrong Theatre.

The festival’s musical lineup will also include some newcomers.

“Making their first appearance at the Louie Bluie Festival will be the Ebony Hillbillies,” festival organizer Maggie Longmire said. “They are based in New York City, and are one of the few black string bands left in the U.S. Since Howard was a pioneer of the black string band, we are really excited to have the Ebony Hillbillies with us.”

Other performers new to the festival are Christabel and the Jons, Four Leaf Peat, the Old City Buskers and the Tennessee Schmaltz.

“These bands are a great representation of all the musical genres that Howard Armstrong played. Howard was a true renaissance musician,” Longmire said.

The Community Stage will feature performances from local musicians, such as the Ciderville Farm and Home Show, Cumberland Trial Fiddler’s Showcase, Ashlie Denise, The New River Boys, Wade Hill and the Hillians, The Eric Burrell Band and Gloryland Boys.