Talking about the New York State Blues Fest and its music

Eric McElveen and Julie Briggs, ready to talk about the blues.

Eric McElveen and Julie Briggs, ready to talk about the blues.

The 23rd edition of the New York State Blues Festival is two months-plus in the future, but time does fly.

Besides, there’s new direction at the top of the event that will bring its 23rd edition to downtown Syracuse’s Clinton Square on July 10 and 11, so I invited first-year executive director Eric McElveen and one of the folks who picked him to lead, marketing director Julie Briggs, to talk about the blues for the new installment of the Mark It Up podcast for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org.

You can find the interview by clicking the link below.

http://waer.org/post/blues-fest-gets-new-leadership

We talk about what it takes to run a free-admission festival in a challenging economic climate, the mix of national talent such as Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Syracuse’s veteran The Kingsnakes, and what makes music fans tick.

Here’s the link for the fest’s site, which includes the two-day schedule.

No matter where you live, these points are worth discussion:

Would you go to a free festival no matter who’s playing, or are you a picker-and-chooser? Do you define your musical genres with a specific ear, or abandon boundaries and listen to whatever? What would it take for you to travel to another city for a two-day festival?

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29 thoughts on “Talking about the New York State Blues Fest and its music

  1. Oh goodness Mark! I’m probably way too picky when it comes to music. I envy those that are more open minded. Must tead your interview. Being in charge of a festival like this does not sound easy!

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  2. I listen to a little bit of everything, but I think the only way that I would travel to a different city to watch a concert or festival was if it was a gift for my mother.

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  3. I love arts and music, and while I do have specific tastes, I am also open to the experience of all sorts of beauty. how else do we add to our passions if not for exposing ourselves to new opportunities to passion.

    I have and would travel for arts and cultural events including music.

    my husband is from Manhattan, we visit from time to time, wish I could make it out that way for this! Enjoy it!

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    • Thanks for adding your insight, Elle. Arts and music is worth the effort! I didn’t realize your husband was a New Yorker. A visit east to time it with our festivals would be very cool for you two. Syracuse is about 250 miles northwest of Manhattan. πŸ™‚

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      • Yep, he was born and raised in the apple. I’m from Michigan, a Midwest girl with North East energy πŸ™‚ we’re now in Alabama which while lovely, is a completely different animal than we are accustomed.

        We may just have to do that! He’s got family upstate as well so that’d work better than the commute from the city.

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      • Wow, getting used to the Alabama pace must be interesting. The south does have great winter weather and a lot of charm, too.

        My wife is a California girl. She had to do some adjusting herself to the Syracuse weather, etc., but has done just fine for a lot of years now. We love to go back to visit her home state, that’s for sure. πŸ™‚ I’m an Apple guy, born in Brooklyn, but moved upstate here in 1983. If you and hubby come this way, Elle, please let me know, and we must get together. My email is markbialczak@gmail.com. πŸ™‚

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