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Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys

Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys

BANDON - Two popular bands will headline The Lighthouse Blues, set for 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, July 21, at the Old Town Marketplace in Bandon, 250 First St. SW on the waterfront.

The Lighthouse Blues will feature Allen Giardinelli and the Sun Machine from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys from 3-6 p.m. 

The event will also feature food, including chowder, brats and hot-dogs, along with beer and other adult beverages from 7 Devils Brewery and Bandon Rain, non-alcoholic beverages, dancing and corn hole games. No outside alcohol is allowed. This family friendly event is free and everyone is welcome to bring a chair and blanket and enjoy the music and festivities. 

The Lighthouse Blues is sponsored by Cardas Audio, The Beverage Barn, Farm & Sea, Freedom Graphics, and Joseph Bain/Bain Insurance, with support from the Greater Bandon Association, the Bandon Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Bandon, The Legend 105.9, Herbal Choices — at Farm & Sea and Rhett Kreutzer Trucking.

Johnny Wheels is a singer, songwriter and harmonica player inspired by the soul of the Pacific Northwest. The “Swamp Donkeys” are his band-mates who are inspired to “live a song” on the edge.

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The son of a traveling bass player and singer, Johnny “Wheels” Kennicott had music in his blood since birth, but expressing himself musically took on new importance when he broke his neck in a childhood accident, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

“The days of football practice after school were definitely over”, Kennicott said. But music still provided an outlet for his infectious energy and his creative potential.

Though his father’s instrument of choice and his early passion of playing drums were now out due to limited function, Kennicott found, through determined trial and error, he could manipulate his paralyzed diaphragm to not only sing, but also blow the harmonica. Since that time, he has been traveling the Pacific Northwest music scene, spreading the gospel of the blues.

Collectively, the band hails from Oregon, Texas and California and is typically tagged as a blues band, although, the diversity of the members’ musical backgrounds becomes evident as the worlds of R&B, soul, jazz, funk and rock are blended under a blues umbrella. Celebrity Jim Belushi has been known to play with the band when he pops up on celebrity tours.

Organizers Lori Osborne and Angela Cardas hope to bring additional concerts to the Bandon waterfront during the summer and fall. 

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