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News : Entertainment Jun 23, 2014 - 1:25:52 AM

Kick off the holiday at The Ridgefield Playhouse with Red, White & Blues Summer Gala’s John Hiatt & The Combo and Robert Cray Band

By The Ridgefield Playhouse

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John Hiatt (contributed photo)
Two blues legends -- John Hiatt & The Combo and The Robert Cray Band -- one unforgettable night, food, open bar and coveted auction items are all at The Ridgefield Playhouse’s Red, White & Blues Summer Gala on Thursday, July 3, for all ticket holders.

It will be fireworks of the musical kind when the five-time Grammy Award Winning Robert Cray Band kicks off the evening followed by American Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipient John Hiatt & The Combo. Local restaurateurs and caterers will provide dinner-by-the-bite with an open bar, music and silent auction from 6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., under a tent.

The performances begin at 8 p.m. These two stellar groups have graced the Playhouse stage separately and will now come together for one extraordinary night of entertainment, dinner, drink and fun! The participating food establishments include Bareburger of Ridgefield, Cellar Door Bistro, Executive Cuisine Gourmet Catering, Gallo Ristorante, 121 Restaurant, So Good Vegan Café and Some Things Fishy Catering LTD.

The silent auction features guitars autographed by John Hiatt, Robert Cray, Dickey Betts, Keb' Mo, Billy Squier, Joe Bonamassa, Marshall Tucker Band, Los Lobos, Royal Southern Brotherhood and others. The Mercedes-Benz of Danbury raffle prize vehicle (one-year lease opportunity) will be on display. This event is part of the Xfinity Rock Series.

Robert Cray (contributed photo)
With fame inspired by 19 albums and eleven Grammy® awards, John Hiatt is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist and pianist with a passion for blues, rock and country. Joining Hiatt in concert is his rock touring band The Combo, featuring Kenny Blevins on drums, Patrick O’Hearn on bass and Doug Lancio on guitars. John Hiatt found success with his first big hit Bring the Family in 1987 and remains one of America's most respected and influential singer-songwriters.

His newest work, Terms of My Surrender, is due out July 15. As the Los Angeles Times once wrote, "(Hiatt) writes the funniest sad songs – and the saddest funny songs – of just about anybody alive." Hiatt's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love"), Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Milsap, Iggy Pop, the Neville Brothers, Rosanne Cash (the #1 country hit, "The Way We Make A Broken Heart"), the Jeff Healey Band ("Angel Eyes"), Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt, and even the cartoon bear band of Disney's 2002 film, The Country Bears. Hiatt earned a Grammy nomination for his album Crossing Muddy Waters in 2001 for Best Contemporary Folk Album. His most recent release, Here to Stay – Best of 2000-2012, is a compilation of songs from 12 years of great recordings including the unreleased “Here to Stay” featuring Joe Bonamassa on guitar.

Every time blues/rock icon Robert Cray and his band play The Ridgefield Playhouse, it’s a sold-out show. Maybe it’s because his breakthrough album Strong Persuader, which featured the hit “Smoking Gun”, won five Grammy® awards, and Robert Cray himself, a six-string blues-rock guitar prodigy, is on par with Eric Clapton. As ever with Robert Cray's indefinable sound, the music on This Time remains persistently beyond category. He has been internationally admired as an artist whose innovations have brought new life to the blues in such signature sounds as “Chicken in the Kitchen” and “That’s What Keeps Me Rockin’”. Robert Cray is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.” (Rolling Stone Magazine, April 2011). Cray has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, Robert Cray is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor.

For tickets ($110 orches.; $95 mezz. /balc.), call or visit the box office at (203) 438-5795, or order online at The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

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