Three National Blues Performers Coming To Waterville On July 30

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL NATKIN

Three national acts are slated to perform live at Waterville’s Blues, Brews and Brats Festival on Saturday, July 30.

John Primer, John Nemeth and Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials will take the stage in downtown Waterville on North Third Street from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and benefit the Waterville Rotary Club.

John Primer has paid his Blues dues, playing with many Chicago Blues legends such as Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and Magic Slim. In 1995, he began leading his own band, The Real Deal Blues Band. He has been recorded on more than 87 albums with 17 albums in his own name. He has written and produced more than 55 songs on more than six record labels, including his own, Blues House Productions. Earning two Grammy Award nominations, given two Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, awarded the “Muddy Award” for being a traditional blues icon, winning a Blues Music Award (BMA), Blues Blast Awards and countless other awards, Primer is a legendary Chicago blues icon!

John Nemeth is one of the best vocalists working the national blues circuit. Nemeth has received a multitude of nominations from Living Blues Magazine, Blues Blast Magazine and the prestigious BMA, with four consecutive BMA nominations for the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award. His live shows highlight his dynamic stage presence, super-tight band, and a wealth of original songs that range from down-home blues to fervent ballads. 

In 2013, Nemeth was nominated in five categories for a BMA and played for the Great Lakes Blues Society, the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival and the Jackson Rhythm and Blues Festival before relocating to Memphis, Tenn. In 2014, he won a Blues Music Award in the Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year category. 

In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials have been standing tall for over 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. 

In addition to playing in blues festivals around the country, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are known worldwide, playing in multiple countries and attracting new “Ed Heads.” The band released eight Alligator albums between 1986 and 2012. With each one, the band’s national and international stature grew as their fan base continued to expand. Die-hard “Ed Head” Conan O’Brien brought the band before millions of television viewers on two separate occasions. The group took home the Living Blues Award for Best Live Performer in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won the prestigious BMA for Band of the Year in both 2007 and 2009. 

The annual Blues, Brews and Brats Festival brings these three blues legends to town for one night, on Saturday, July 30. For more information, visit

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