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WNED Buffalo/Niagara Guitar Festival 
By Bob Silvestri

    Now that the third annual WNED Buffalo/Niagara Guitar Festival has drawn to a close lets recap a few other events we attended during this years Fest.
    On June 16th at M&T Plaza, Willie and The Reinhardts played a window-rattling hip shaking set of their patented blues-rock that had the noontime crowd wishing they didn’t have to return to work. The band had everyone moving to such songs as “Two Timing Woman” and “Pick Up The Phone”.
    The Charles Burchfield Center on Union Rd. in West Seneca played host also on June 16th to the winner of the first North American Rock Guitar Competition, Doug Yeomans and Lo Blu Flame. His ninety-minute set allowed him to show his incredible playing and his band (Guy French, Jim Brucato and Jim Beischline) to show their chops as well. The Burchfield Center is a unique venue, a rolling grass hill and stone amphitheater over looking Buffalo Creek; it makes for a very enjoyable place to hear music.
    The Guitar Festival wound down with the Backyard Bash at the WNED Studios parking lot on June 22nd featuring local and national music, plenty of food and drink (yes, cold beer of course) and the traveling Jimi Hendrix museum and a showing of the movie “Monterey Pop”. Bands performing included True Gravity, McCarthyizm, playing a vibrant energetic set, The Michael Lee Jackson Band, The Tommy Z Band with the great keyboardist Bobby Jones laying down some blues and Gamalon with special guest Regi Wooten. Quite possibly the highlight of the entire Festival came as Regi Wooten began to play Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. The setting sun on downtown Buffalo, the Hendrix museum in view, the crowd on their feet and the quintessential Jimi song was the climax of the entire week. The Backyard Bash was a great culmination to this years Fest.
    Another highlight throughout the Fest was seeing all the different guitars the various artists brought to play at their shows. From Buddy Guy’s polka dot guitar, vintage Gibson’s, competition winner Ned Evett’s fretless glass neck, battered Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters and the unbelievable rack of guitars backstage for Los Lobos, they all looked and sounded great. Maybe an exhibit of vintage guitars could be brought here for next years Festival.
   Special thanks to Don Boswell (pictured with Bob Silvestri of Best of WNY.com), Wendy Ceppaglia and Kevin Snow from WNED along with countless other WNED staffers and volunteers who made this years Guitar Festival a success. For more go to www.wned.org 


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