“You never know what’s gonna happen at a Bobby BlackHat show!” is the byline for the 7 pm Saturday- night performance at the Highland Center. Thanks to the Highland County Arts Council, the Bobby BlackHat Band will make its first visit to Highland County and give the county and the area a taste of the bands unique take on the American musical genre.
According to the critics, “Bobby BlackHat blends the influences of Chicago, Memphis, Piedmont, and Delta style blues along with a little Gospel into a Toe Tappin’, Finger Poppin’, Hip Shakin’ blues experience.” It is this mixture that makes a performance by the group an experience unlike others.
Headlining the band is Bobby BlackHat, Coastal Virginia Bluesman, award winning recording artist, harmonica player, vocalist, songwriter, comedian, producer, and actor. He has been playing harmonica for over 40 years. Bobby has opened for Blues Legends B.B King, Taj Mahal and performed with Kenny Neal, Eddie Shaw, Ruthie Foster and Tas Cru. He has received multiple awards as a blues performer and for his compositions.
Joining Bobby BlackHat will be Tom Euler and Rich Ridolfino. Euler is an award-winning singer/songwriter and accomplished guitarist, whose powerful and thoughtful playing style has quickly led to him becoming known as “the young guy with the old soul.” Bass guitarist Ridolfino started his musical career at the age of 14. He recorded his first original song at the age of 15. Rich has performed on the Grand Ol’ Opry, played USO shows for our troops, and toured the East Coast with several regional acts. As a session musician he has worked in studios from New York City to Nashville and is well-versed in blues, jazz, rock, country, bluegrass and more.
“The Bobby BlackHat Band’s evening makes good on the Arts Council promise to bring a full range of musical styles to its audiences,” says Jason Canze, President of the Highland County Arts Council. “Thanks to support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, we are able to make this outstanding group of Blues musicans available.”
The Saturday, May 11 performance is at 7 pm at the Highland Center. Admission is $10 for adults, $15 for students ages 15-18, and free for children under 15. The doors open at 6:30 and seating is open.