Inaugural Blues Bash offers another fest for blues lovers

A new undertaking at Sertoma Youth Ranch offers another chance to catch local and national blues acts.
Published March 11

SPRING LAKE — Blues lovers can add another festival to their "go to" list as the first annual Blues Bash at the Ranch kicks off March 15 in the rustic setting of the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Hernando County.

The three-day festival becomes the second blues offering at Sertoma and is an answer to a call for more from attendees of the successful Camping with the Blues fest held in the fall, said Roseanne Herndon, who handles publicity through GPS, Inc.

Six years ago, GPS founded Camping With the Blues, which helps fund operations at the youth ranch.

"So many of the attendees asked for another one in the spring that we came up with a sister festival," Herndon said, noting that the Mackey Law Group is the presenting sponsor for both festivals.

Those who go will not be disappointed in the spring offering, Herndon said. The lineup is meant to please locals, as well as blues travelers.

Local blues player T.C .Carr is a featured act, as well some nationally know musicians. Among them is Grammy Award-winning, blues/rock guitarist Paul Nelson. He has played with Johnny Winter and alongside Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers Band. Add to that long-timer Ray Fuller, who opened for Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Buddy Guy.

"We consider all our acts headline acts," Herndon said. "Locally, TC Carr & Bolts of Blue are a big draw. He has a broad fan base all across Florida. Ray Fuller is definitely not someone you would see unless he came to Florida."

Other performers include Cat Rhodes & the Truth, Mark "Guitar" Miller Band, Alex Lopex Xpress, Bridget Kelly Band, Rusty Wright Band, Biscuit Miller and the Mix, David Julia Band, Karper & Midwest Kind and the Maine-based, Memphis Lightning. Each day of performances will conclude with a bands jam.

Those who like to play are welcome to join in on a harmonica workshop with TC Carr, as well as a guitar workshop with Tim Fik, a tenured associate professor at the University of Florida who plays guitar with the Brigette Kelly Band. Campers are welcome to partake in an acoustic jam on Sunday morning.

Ticket sales have been brisk — especially for camping packages.

"Florida is definitely a blues state, and blues fans travel," Herndon said. "We love to stress that this is a good festival for day trippers. We have great vendors — lots of food, drink and merchandise — and a great dance floor, so people can get up and personal with the bands."

IF YOU GO: Blues Bash at the Ranch will be March 15-17 at Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, Brooksville. Tickets: Weekend pass (ages 13 and up): $75. Friday: $35. Saturday: $50. Sunday $35. Children 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult. For information, call (941) 758-7585 or go to

Contact Michele Miller at [email protected] or (727) 869-6251. Follow @MicheleMiller52.