Sisters Rhythm and Brews Festival will return to Sisters for its second year on July 26-27.

Sisters residents Jennifer and Joe Rambo are back for another round after last year’s successful event.

“We had hopeful expectations for the first year, but we knew it was going to be a process to build,” Joe told The Nugget. “We got a kind of master class on what not to do, what to do and where to spend the money.”

The result is a streamlined festival in a single open-air venue at the Sisters Village Green. The date has moved forward a bit and there are a few other changes (see sidebar story, page 15).

What hasn’t changed is a commitment to bringing outstanding blues music to town, stimulating the local economy, and supporting a couple of cherished local non-profits.

The music roster casts a wide net, reflecting the Rambos’ taste for music that ventures out beyond 12-bar Chicago Blues.

“Blues is a really wide spectrum,” Joe notes.

That spectrum takes the lineup into edgy, rootsy territory that will likely appeal to an eclectic audience.

“We wanted diversity and we want to honor the amazing lady players,” Jennifer said.

Among the highlights is Larkin Poe. Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell produce music described as “bewitching, gothic soul, and outlaw country — a true and unsettling mixture of grit and soul.”

Larkin Poe is playing big shows, including Bonnaroo and Glastonbury.

“We have to act now (to book them),” said Jennifer, “because they’re going to be out of our reach in a couple of years. Maybe next year.”

The Eric Gales Band features the guitarist’s guitarist, who has collaborated with greats like Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, and Joe Bonamassa.

“He’s an amazing guitarist,” Joe Rambo said, noting that there are touches of classical elements in his playing.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, who debuted in Sisters at the Sisters Folk Festival in 2016, will bring his youthful passion to the stage at the Village Green. Influenced by Delta Blues greats like Muddy Waters, the electric blues of B.B. King, the rock of Jimi Hendrix, the young guitar-slinger can imitate the illustrious greats and deliver his own fresh style.

Joanne Shaw Taylor is the UK’s top blues rocker and she will bring monster riffs and a big voice to Sisters.

Another big voice — and a familiar one — is The White Buffalo. The son of Jeff and Ginny Smith of Sisters, he has played here often while building an international following with songs of exceptional power delivered with depth and passion.

And the festival is bringing back last year’s fan-favorite, Mr. Sipp.

“Almost everyone who attended last year were in awe of this amazing talent and requested that he come back for this year’s festival,” the Rambos said. “We are pleased that Mr. Coleman and his band will be making the journey from Mississippi back to Sisters for what we anticipate will be two blistering performances.”

Once again, the Rambos will be working closely with Sisters Habitat for Humanity and the Heart of Oregon Youthbuild to help demonstrate their positive impact upon our community. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to these two organizations.

“I guess we’re just motivated to create awareness about the building programs that Heart of Oregon has going on for youth an the life-long skills they take away,” Jenn said.

Jenn noted that the Rambos’ own background in the trades — including doing electrical work on dozens of music festivals — informs all of what they do.

“We are happy with the size of the festival and have no plans to expand,” she said. “While we are extremely passionate about music and can appreciate the laborious artistic process that goes into being a musician; that is just one piece of the puzzle. What is important to us is to produce a consistently professional festival experience with an intimate feel that the Village Green provides.

“Joe and I are interested in the nuts and bolts of things, how everything goes together. It is the construction build and function of the event that makes us tick. The infrastructure and operations are an important part of creating the festival experience. There is a lot of work that goes into the build and we feel very fortunate to have a handful of returning volunteers and a few dedicated paid employees who take pride in being a part of the machine. We look forward to seeing our locals and introducing some new folks to our beloved community in July.”

For more information on lineup and tickets, visit https://sistersrhythmandbrews.com.