Although still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920’s and making them wish they could stay there for good. Blind Boy Paxton may be one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of. Yet.
Jerron performed to a sold out audience at the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall on February 4, 2016 along with Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Edgar Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and other stars. It is no exaggeration to say that Paxton made a huge impression. In the two years since his incredible performance at that star-studded show in one of the world’s great concert houses, Paxton’s own star has been rising fast. He opened for Buddy Guy at B.B. Kings in NYC; for Robert Cray at the Reading PA Blues Festival, and performed at numerous other festivals including: Woodford Folk Festival & Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia; Calgary Folk Festival in Canada; Jewel City Jam in Huntington WV; Freihofers Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs FL; Clearwater Festival in Croton-on-The Hudson NY; Fayetteville Roots Festival in Fayetteville AR: Cambridge Folk Festival in the UK., Harvest Time Rhythm & Blues Festival in Ireland; and headlined the 2017 Brooklyn Folk Festival.
Playing a huge roster of instruments from banjo to guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”
In 2012, Derby, England native & folk-singer Josh Okeefe dropped out of school, traveled across the Atlantic and arrived in Nashville, TN in search of the places his idols Hank Williams & Johnny Cash once graced.
Catapulting himself into the spotlight Josh Okeefe has already performed with the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss & Rufus Wainwright, earned major festival spots & BBC Radio appearances, sang for the people at national & local protests & had his songs recorded by major label artists like Ashley Monroe & High Valley to name a few & this is just the start.
Now in its fifth year, River Town brings the music of America’s heartland to the south west in a summer celebration of roots and Americana music. With a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, 2019’s series is packed full of performances from global icons and rising stars.
In 2019 the River Town series takes place at venues across Bristol including St George’s
Bristol, The O2 Academy, SWX, The Winston Theatre at Bristol University SU and The Crofters Rights,
and also makes its first foray into Bath with two performances at The Forum. With artists including k.d. lang, Lucinda Williams, The Shires, The Mavericks, Keb’ Mo’ and Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton, it’s the most ambitious programme yet.
River Town began in 2015 under the banner of Bristol Americana Weekend and under a co-producing partnership between Colston Hall and St George’s Bristol presented Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Larkin Poe, Police Dog Hogan, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham and many more outstanding artists of American roots music.
The festival returned after wide-spread acclaim in 2016 to feature Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the now internationally famous The White Buffalo.
In 2017 we launched the festival for a third year under the new name of River Town and showcased some of the finest blues, gospel, country and bluegrass, from across the pond and closer to home in Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and for the first time in O2 Academy. Three UK greats – Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe and Andy Fairweather Low – joined forces in a rare trio performance that celebrated their shared love of American R&B, soul and country. The compelling singer songwriter Martha Wainwright performed along with R&B powerhouse, gospel legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples. Plus performances by duo The Shires with crossover stars Ward Thomas brought country-pop to Bristol.
In 2018 the festival expanded across the city as part of our Colston Hall Presents programme, showcasing events taking place in venues across Bristol during the Hall’s Transformation project. In it’s fourth iteration River Town’s line-up featured music icons Graham Nash and Rosanne Cash alongside The Barr Brothers, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The White Buffalo.