Issaquah is set to host its fifth annual Gas Station Blues series this summer, starting July 11.
The annual event is a partnership with the Washington Blues Society, the Downtown Issaquah Association (DIA) and the Issaquah Historic Museum and Trolley.
The mission of the DIA is to promote and enhance the vitality of historic Downtown Issaquah through programs and events that celebrate the city’s culture.
The Gas Station Blues series will feature eight blues artists every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at the Historic Shell Station located at 232 Front Street North.
Tony Frederickson, the president of the Washington Blues Society, has been part of organizing the series’ lineup since the beginning.
“I’ve helped develop the Gas Station Blues series for the past five years,” he said. “I love to bring in artists from all around the Pacific Northwest and beyond.”
This will be DIA executive director Julie Martin’s first year with the Gas Station Blues series.
“It’ll make for really fun evenings,” she said. “It’s been really exciting to work with the Washington Blues Society on this, and I’m looking forward to seeing the concerts this year.”
Frederickson said he usually tries to create a theme for each year, however, this year does not have a concrete theme. This year has more of a focus on the quality of the musicians.
“We just wanted to have a great lineup of great acts that are just good entertainment,” he said.
This year’s lineup includes:
• Brian Butler, July 11, a 2019 Best Blues Recording award winner.
• Ruby Flambé, July 18, featuring a contemporary revival of the classic soul singer/piano duo. Bailey Ann Martinet’s vocals with piano and ukulele.
• Reji Marc, July 25, an artist playing Blues Alternative.
• Alice Stuart, Aug. 1, a blues and folk singer-songwriter and guitarist.
• Kim Archer, Aug. 8, featuring soulful rock and honest songwriting.
• el Colonel, Aug. 15, has had two nominations for Best Male Vocalist with the Washington Blues Societies. He also won Best Blues Awards in 2006 and 2008.
• Karen Lovely, Aug. 22 , featuring contemporary blues, blues rock, and American roots music. A multi-award winning artist, Lovely has taken home seven Muddy Awards for Performance of the Year, Best Contemporary Blues Band, Best Female Artist and Best National Recording.
• John Greyhound Maxwell, Aug. 29, a Washington Blues Society 2018 award winner for Best Acoustic Blues Guitar.
“This area is blessed with so much talent,” Frederickson said. “I’m really excited for this lineup. I think people may be most excited for Alice Stuart. She opened the doors for many women in rock and blues. It’s been great to partner with the Downtown Issaquah Association and bringing new music to folks and educating them on blues music.”
The free concerts begin July 11 and end Aug. 29. For more information about the Gas Station Blues series, go online to the Downtown Issaquah Association’s website (www.downtownissaquah.com).