The Blues in The District will be celebrating its 20th anniversary when the season kicks off this Friday. The 2017 lineup for this year's free concerts will begin with Hurricane Ruth performing Friday night.

Ruth LaMaster’s roots aren’t too far from the Gem City as she grew up in Beardstown, Illinois. Her father, Milt LaMaster, owned the Glandale Tavern in Beardstown and every Sunday there would be a jam session provided by musicians from all over the region including her father on the drums. Eventually, Ruth would sing along and it was known early that this girl had quite a voice. People are amazed that such a powerful voice comes from such a small person.

It was Ruth’s voice that attracted some big name stars. It has led to her performing with some legends like John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Taj Mahal, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Sam & Dave, Fenton Robinson, Maynard Ferguson and his orchestra, and most recently Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.

The rest of the summer lineup for Blues in The District looks like this. The Catfish Willie Band will be the featured artists on June 23 with Big Al & The Heavyweights taking to the Washington Park Bandstand on July 14. Local artists, The Matt Roberts Blues Band perform on July 28 with the August performers being The Tim Budig Band and The Green McDonough Band playing on the 11th and 25th, respectively.

All of the concert dates begin at 5:30 p.m. and go to 9:30 p.m. with food available for purchase if you so desire.  Concert goers can bring their own lawn chairs, food and drink to each concert as well.

All the details about the Blues in The District concerts can be found online at District is a non-profit organization that utilizes sponsorship and grant monies to support the Blues in The District concerts.