June 19, 2012


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Blues guitarist John Hammond will perform Friday, July 6, at 7 p.m. at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell.

This free performance is being held in conjunction with the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership's First Friday festivities. Downtown Lewisburg will be celebrating the first Friday of every month with a variety of events from now through the end of the year.

This tour engagement of John Hammond is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

With a career that spans over three decades, Hammond is one of handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-1960s. In 2011, Hammond became a Blues Hall of Fame Inductee and received a Blues Music Award for Acoustic Artist of the Year.

He has performed or recorded with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Duane Allman, Mike Bloomfield, JJ Cale, Tom Waits, The Band, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John and many more.

"John's sound is so compelling, complete, symmetrical and soulful with just his voice, guitar and harmonica, it is at first impossible to imagine improving it ... He's a great force of nature. John sounds like a big train coming. He chops them all down," said fellow musician Tom Waits.

Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts says, "Hammond is an exceptional live performer, especially in an intimate setting like the Campus Theatre. When he combines classic blues songs with his expressive vocals, powerful guitar riffs and harmonica playing, it's obvious that he's in his element.

"He takes blues songs that in some cases may have been forgotten, and breathes new life into them. He has this wonderful capacity to channel blues legends from the past, while at the same time gracing the stage with his own immense musicality," she said.

Local musician Van Wagner will open for Hammond with an acoustic set.

Wagner, who teaches environmental science at Lewisburg High School, is active outside of the classroom as well, educating audiences with his music and programs on Pennsylvania history.

He has been selected as Conservation Educator of the Year in 2005 from Schuylkill County and in 2007 and 2009 in Union County.

His music has been featured on the History Channel and WVIA-TV as well as Country Music Television (CMT).

Wagner has released 15 original albums and published his first book, Coal Dust Rust and Saw Dust.

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.facebook.com/WeisCenter or www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.

Contact: Division of Communications

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