Lawlor will be the opening act at Centenary on Friday, starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Festival, which takes place at Centenary College in Hackettstown, features national recording artists Peter Karp and Sue Foley, and original Monkee Peter Tork with his band Shoe Suede Blues.
In addition to Lawlor, other great acts scheduled to appear throughout the two days are Plainfield Slim & The Groundhawgs, Anne Mironchik, Lori V with Can't Stop Now, RBI, Jack Tannehill and Mike Esposito. A breakdown of the schedule can be found at www.joehirshproductions.com.
Lawlor cut his teeth on blues and folk, learning Cisco Houston and Leadbelly tunes on his Dad's '65 Martin D-18 at age 13; he graduated to electric guitar, and has never looked back.
Playing a steady amount of gigs throughout his high school years, Lawlor then set his sights on the West Coast. He attended and graduated from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California in 1990, and returned to New Jersey soon after and played in various projects ranging from heavy metal to bluegrass. Lawlor's playing has been described as fluid, singing legato lines with an undeniable blues basis, and jazzy undertones.
Lawlor's versatile playing style sets him apart from his peers, most notably in a few prestigious guitar competitions. In 1993, he became a finalist in the "Guitar Player From Hell" competition-
Lawlor has also been featured in a Guitar One Magazine article, and was awarded a computer based recording rig as well as free pressing of his second album "Where Moon Go"-with his funk/rock/fusion trio "drop thud oops."
Joe Hirsh Productions and the Centenary Stage Company, in association with MoPromo, invite everyone to come and enjoy an incredible two days of entertainment.
The Mini-Blues Festival, presented by PNC Bank and with major support from the Skylands Music & Arts Alliance and Elite sponsorship from Kevil Chevrolet, is a weekend filled event for the Hackettstown area, with Centenary College hosting music both nights, preceded by free "matinee shows" at Marley's Gotham Grill in the late afternoon from 4-6 p.m. and "post-show parties" both nights at Charlie Brown's, from 10:30 p.m. to midnight. The Centenary shows begin at 6:30 each night and go to 10 p.m.
Headlining Friday night are Peter Karp and Sue Foley, who will play together as part of their "He Said, She Said Tour", as well as taking the lead on their own tunes - in a way, three shows in one. Hackettstown's Niles Terrat is a longtime bass player with Karp. Peter Tork and his band, Shoe Suede Blues, will headline the Saturday night show.
"He Said - She Said" is an inspired collaboration of original songs by the Canadian Juno award winner Foley and the critically acclaimed U.S. singer / songwriter and Blind Pig artist Karp. The songs are adapted from letters and e-mail correspondence between the two over a 2-year period. They tell the story of two artists in development, in a meeting of hearts and minds. The Centenary show will be the kickoff to an international tour and first following the release of their new CD.
While Peter Tork and his Shoe Suede Blues band usually plays a few Monkees hits, it's focus in concert is on traditional blues sounds, such as those on their latest CD, "Cambria Hotel," and that'll be the case when this group headlines on Saturday night.
General admission tickets for each night are just $20 each, which includes a discount to the post show party. Two day tickets are only $35, which includes free admission to both of the post show parties. For ticket information and further details about the festival, including the full lineup and schedule at Centenary, go to www.centenarystageco.org or phone 908-979-0900.