Green Bay-native and Grammy-winning guitarist Billy Flynn returns to Ellison Bay Saturday to headline the 5th annual Blues on the Bay at Community Park. Flynn headlined the inaugural blues music festival in 2014.
Flynn and his wife, Mary, who hosts “The Blue Side” program Tuesday nights on Wisconsin Public Radio, have pulled up stakes in Green Bay and now call Chicago home. Flynn has a deep connection to the Chicago blues scene, having played alongside Jimmy “Fast Finger” Dawkins, Pinetop Perkins, Willy “Big Eyes” Smith, Sunnyland Slim, Luther Allison and Mighty Joe Young.
Flynn won his Grammy for guitar work on the Etta James song “At Last” that was sung by Beyonce in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records, a slightly fictionalized account of Chess Records that had Flynn performing the music of everyone from Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys, making Flynn’s unseen guitar the true star of that film.
Chicago native and longtime Baileys Harbor resident Pete Thelen kicks off Blues on the Bay. The lineup also includes Door County musicians Dirty Deuce, Cathy Grier and The Troublemakers, as well as Chicagoans Rodney Brown, Mike Wheeler, Deitra Farr and Texan Mike Zito.
The event runs 2-9 pm and is held rain or shine. Bring your own chairs. Food and drink is available for purchase. This is free concert although free-will donations will benefit Door County Secret Santa, an organization that anonymously helps Door County families with their winter heating bills.