Carolina Blues Festival returns this weekend

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The longest running blues festival in the Southeast returns to the Triad this weekend for the 36th Carolina Blues Festival.

Lebauer Park in Downtown Greensboro will transform to host bands from all over the country, that are not only bringing back the blues, but according to one band, the beauty of live music. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Carolina Blues Festival is the longest running blues festival in the Southeast
  • Tickets are still available
  • This year’s theme is young, Black and blues
  • One blues band in particular, the T.C. Carter Band, is excited to bring back live performances

The T.C. Carter Band, from just a short drive away in Martinsville, Virginia, is one of several bands taking to the stage this weekend. The band of four, led by lead guitarist, T.C. Carter, says the rich and soulful history is what makes blues so special to them.

“The blues has such history to it because blues is actually the foundation of why you have gospel, why you have rock, why you have country,” Carter said. “You have all these types of styles of music based off of blues and that’s the beautiful thing about it.”

Carter has been playing music alongside his right-hand man, best friend and bass guitarist, Brandon Penn, since they were just 8 years old. On the drums is Carter’s cousin, Antwan Glenn. The band is brought to life and carried in tune by lead singer and Carter’s wife, Chelsea Carter. 

This band has a unique, yet familiar, family-like dynamic that is undeniable as they perform. Their practices take place in a quaint church owned by Chelsea Carter’s grandparents, who live just a few feet away. They make great babysitters for the Carter kids while their parents rehearse.

Chelsea Carter grew up in the house just across the street and the other members grew up just a few blocks away. The band’s tight-knit relationships and musical inspiration started in church. 

“I think it’s [inspiration] just all around me, you know what I mean? Just different things can inspire you in different ways. Just going to church alone can inspire you,” T.C. Carter shared. 

As the bass blasted through the speakers in the small church, it became obvious how freeing blues music feels. It’s a genre not bound by any constraints.

“In the blues, you know, everyone is just open minded to hearing different types of styles and just people creating and playing with feeling, and that’s the reason why I chose the blues,” T.C. Carter said. 

During a time that more and more musicians are recording their music for streaming platforms, the T.C. Carter Band is trying to focus on doing the opposite. They’re trying to bring back the best aspects of music, and for them, that’s live performance.

With the festival just days away, they’re more than excited to get to share their sound with the Triad and fill the park with their passion. 

Tickets for the festival and the rest of this year’s line up can be found at PiedmontBlues.org.