Merchant Street MusicFest

Jody Watley performs in 2018 at the Merchant Street Music Festival in Downtown Kankakee.

The Merchant Street MusicFest announced its lineup earlier this year for the annual celebration of music and art at Harold and Jean Miner Festival Square at the Kankakee Depot in downtown Kankakee.

The MSMF is set for July 26-27 at the Festival Square at 199 S. East Ave., Kankakee. More than two dozen bands will play during the two-day event.

The main headliners are All-4-One, Trippin Billlies and Mr. Blotto. The Trippin Billiies will play at 10 p.m. Friday, with All-4-One playing at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Both are on the main Merchant Street stage. Mr. Blotto will play at 9:50 p.m. Saturday on the hill stage.

All-4-One is an R&B and pop band best known for its hit single “I Swear” from the self-titled 1994 debut album. The Trippin Billies are a Dave Matthews Band tribute band, derived from one of Matthews’ most widely-known songs.

Mr. Blotto is a Chicago-based jam band that plays a blend of rock, folk and Southern rock.

Other bands receiving top billing are Ganstagrass, playing at 9:50 p.m. Friday on the hill stage, Smooth Hound Sound at 9:30 p.m. Friday on the platform stage and the Luke Winslow Trio at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, also on the platform stage.

The lineup got positive reviews on social media sites when announced March 1.

“Mr. Blotto and Trippin’ Billies are great additions,” wrote Todd Hazelrigg, longtime area musician, on Facebook.

Also on tap for the MSMF are Matt Yeager and South Side Social Club, Nick Lynch, The Josephines, The Foxies, Crawford’s Daughter and Cosmic Rewind.

“The Josephines are AMAZING!!!” posted Nick Huffman, co-owner of the Looney Bin, on Facebook.

A complete list of bands for the festival can be found at merchantsreetmusicfest.com.

Tickets for the MSMF will cost $5 for each day, and food and beverages will be available.

Be sure to look out for interviews with two musical acts you’ll see at MSMF in the coming weeks in the Daily Journal.

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