Blues musician John Nemeth comes to Manchester

Concert to raise funds for Manchester Community Library

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MANCHESTER — The Manchester Community Library will host one of the top blues acts in the country Tuesday when John Nemeth and his Memphis band, the Blue Dreamers, play a benefit concert.

The 7:30 p.m. show will feature Nemeth, who is an American electric blues and soul harmonicist, singer and songwriter.

Nemeth is the recipient of two Blues Music Awards and several additional Blues Music Award nominations, including four for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

Local blues musician and bandleader Bob Stannard raved about Nemeth and said he hopes people understand just how good Nemeth is.

"Getting someone like John Nemeth to play here may not seem like a big thing, but to bring a guy of this caliber to play for this facility ... he's a ball of fire stage," Stannard said. "He's very entertaining."

Stannard said the Blue Dreamers features a drummer hardcore blues fans might remember.

Danny Banks was just a teenager when he started drumming for Stannard's band, the Dangerous Bluesmen.

"Danny Banks was doing shows with me before he could drive," Stannard said.

Banks' father would drive him up to the Northshire from the Cape Cod area for gigs.

They played together for a while before Banks got hired away by a bigger act — John Nemeth, who was touring nationally.

Three years ago, Stannard attended a music festival in Massachusetts that Nemeth was playing at.

He went to meet him, and someone asked him if they were friends.

"I said I want to shake the hand of the guy who stole my drummer," Stannard said. "It's going to be really cool seeing Danny Banks playing in Manchester again. It's going to be a hoot having him back."

And he thinks it will be a hoot for music lovers — particularly those who love blues music — having Nemeth in town.

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Nemeth has strong influences in blues and rhythm and blues as well as contemporary sounds in hip hop and rock 'n' roll.

Elmore Magazine describes him as having, "a high-energy, full-flow take on the blues and a widely admired confidence and power that [takes] the crowd by both storm and surprise."

No Depression Magazine calls his music "a mixed bag of original, soul-drenched blues that should have that magnificent voice filling arenas with a sound that's equally at home rattling the floorboards in a backwoods juke joint."

Nemeth has recorded nine solo albums since 2002, having also backed Junior Watson, Anson Funderburgh and Elvin Bishop. He has opened for Robert Cray,

Keb' Mo', and Earl Thomas. His last album, "Feelin' Freaky," was released in May 2017 on his own Memphis Grease label.

This is the third act Stannard has brought to town to benefit the library.

Twice, Stannard has brought Biscuit Miller to play in Manchester after he ran into him in 2017 at the Blues Music Awards where Miller had just won a blues instrumentalist award.

"I walked up to him and said, 'hey,'" Stannard said. "I didn't know him from a bag of doughnuts, but I said if you're ever in Vermont, give me a call."

It didn't take long for the phone to ring.

The concert is coming during Love Your Library Month and during the fifth-anniversary year since the new library opened.

"The library is more than simply a place where books live," said head librarian J. Violet Gannon. "It's a living organism. It's the arts and culture center for the community. Everything cuts across the grain."

Tickets to the show are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and may be purchased at mclvt.org, at the library help desk, or by calling 802-362-2607.

For more information about John Nemeth, visit www.johnnemeth.com. Proceeds benefit the Manchester Community Library.

The Manchester Community Library is located at 138 Cemetery Ave., Manchester.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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