Dr. John, JJ Grey & Mofro, Bernard Allison headline blues fest

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Dr. John, JJ Grey & Mofro, Bernard Allison and the Spin Doctors will headline the weekendlong Pittsburgh Blues Festival at Hartwood Acres July 25-27.

The annual benefit for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is celebrating 20 years with this outdoor event that has raised $2 million for the charity.

Ron "Moondog" Esser, owner of Moondog's and chair of the Blues Festival committee, said in a statement, "From classic blues bands to Louisiana bayou and New Orleans funk, Texicana roots, R&B and steel slide, there is something for everybody."

The festival will open that Friday with Chicago blues guitarist Allison, son of the late Luther Allison. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John brings his New Orleans gumbo style to the Saturday lineup, and closing it out Sunday night are '90s hitmakers the Spin Doctors ("Little Miss Can't Be Wrong") and Florida-based Southern blues band JJ Grey & Mofro.

The family-friendly event will also feature food and merchandise booths and a kids' activity tent. The anniversary will be marked with a craft beer and a "Blues Festival 20 years of history" tent.

Admission the first day is free with a bag of nonperishable groceries, and the event organizers are challenging festivalgoers to raise 20 tons of food through onsite collections and a virtual food drive. Visit www.pghblues.com.

Here is the lineup so far (a half dozen local bands will be added):

July 25: Pittsburgh All-Stars and Bernard Allison.

July 26: Dr. John, Albert Cummings, Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites, Trampled Under Foot.

July 27: JJ Grey & Mofro, Spin Doctors, Ben Miller Band.

Online volunteer registration will be available mid-May at www.pghblues.com.

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