Aurora’s own opens weekend Blues on the Fox
BY ERIKA WURST email@example.com June 13, 2012 12:30PM
Musician Bradley Green leads Greenman Elementary School kindergartners through a song during an Arbor Day ceremony at West Aurora High School in April. Green will kick off the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Blues on the Fox
5:30 p.m.: Bradley Keven Green
6:30 p.m.: Shane Dwight
8:30 p.m.: Kenny Wayne Shepherd
2:30 p.m.: Shemekia Copeland
4:30 p.m.: Lee Boys
6:30 p.m.: Chicago Blues: A living history featuring Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell and Carlos Johnson
8:30 p.m.: The Nevilles Featuring Art, Charlea and Cyril
Updated: July 15, 2012 3:22PM
Aurora will be rocking this weekend as the city’s Blues on the Fox event takes over downtown.
Musicians from across the country will convene for the 2-day festival — but a local performer will kick off the fun.
The event is expected to draw thousands of people on Friday and Saturday to North River Street Park, at New York and River Streets. Admission is $5 a day.
Aurora’s own Bradley Keven Green, a bluesman in the city for 20 years, will be the opening performer at 5:30 p.m. Friday
Green wrote and recorded his album “Songs for Aurora” last winter as a tribute to his hometown for the city’s 175th anniversary celebration.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” he said of being chosen to open the Blues on the Fox fest.
Since its inception, Green has attended Blues on the Fox, and he’s in awe of being able to play with some of the greats.
“I’m a big fan of Kenny Shepherd, and he’s playing shortly after me, so I’m very excited about that,” Green said.
But he is as equally excited about his main stage debut.
“The work he (Green) has done this year is a musical time capsule of Aurora in 2012,” said Aurora Historical Society President Mary Clark Ormond, who has played a leading role in the city’s 175th birthday celebration. “He has taken Aurora’s heritage as a blues town and enriched it with his own personal experiences and local history.”
When the Historical Society got its first listen to Green’s album, they swept him up as the unofficial “Voice of Aurora’s Demisemiseptcentennial” and have been using his blues-inflected compositions as the soundtrack to the city celebrations ever since.
Green, backed up by his sons Dylan and Clinton on drums and bass and daughter Brittney on oboe, will also be heard this summer at the Fourth of July parade, picnic and fireworks concert, as well as at the Farmers Market, Downtown Alive and other festivals. He is back in the studio and contemplating a new album with the working title “Blues for Aurora.”
“He has a command of every possible musical style, too,” Ormond said. “His work has the same kind of diversity, musically, as Aurora has as a city.”
He’s not just a guitar virtuoso, he is a songwriter with stories to tell.”
The album “Songs for Aurora” is available at the Aurora Historical Society gift shop. More information is at www.aurorahistory.net.