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A local institution unto themselves, You’ll not go wrong with Neal and The Vipers. The band that Neal Vitulo has headlined and maintained for 30 years now are truly veterans and showmen of the finest kind.
With talent and energy that defy the laws of physics, they bring to you polished and truly fun rock, blues, funk, classic rock, and even the ballads too! Neal puts more energy and passion into each song than most people put into their entire month. Following right on his heels are a band full of a passion for their art.
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One of the most impressive guitar players I’ve ever seen has to be Mike Welch. He’s a giant and a legend in the making. His gift of passion, his determination, and hard work all shine through as someone who is serious about their craft.
Despite his mild manner, he is truly a monster on the guitar. And when the stage lights up, he lights up the audience with a sound that is uniquely his, playing off of his band mates and standing firmly on his own. There’s a reason he has the moniker “Monster Mike Welch”!
I would never have seen myself visiting a biker bar in my life. It’s just not somewhere that I would have frequented. But I listened to some good friends and went to check out Cady’s Tavern for their Sunday Blues Jam. And man oh man am I glad I listened! It pays to have smart people with good taste around you.
Sitting alongside the Putnam Pike in Chepachet RI you’ll find a longtime Roadhouse that has been in constant business, in one form or another *cough cough*, since 1810. Billed as Rhode Island’s Original Roadhouse, you’ll see that even a destructive fire couldn’t teardown the history and spirit of the institution, having moved across the street in the 1920’s where the stables and barn once stood.
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After a long day at the Gloucester Blues Festival in 2018, where fantastic music filled the air, I’d finally packed up the car and headed home. Waterlogged from a day of rain but the musical parade kept right on going. When I got back in the car I saw mention of a band I wasn’t familiar with playing at 9 Wallis. With a name like Tony Holiday and The Velvetones, aka The Tony Holiday Blues Band, you have to check that out!
Walking in I wasn’t sure if I was going to see a lounge style act or solid Blues. The promo posters said Blues and they were right!
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Soul as deep as the sea, a voice that can obliterate a room in raw power without a mic, and a message of love and acceptance full of heart.
Shemekia Copeland is, by any definition, an absolute powerhouse. The electric sense of love and acceptance that radiates from the stage out into the audience is without a doubt some of the most beautiful and widely accepting energy that can pass into a room.
Eliza Neals is one of those bombshell ladies that can also belt it out full of soul, and sometimes mischief. This Detroit powerhouse definitely comes charging at you hitting on all 8 cylinders.
From a full throated powerful voice that would fit a raucous tent revival but moved to the best pub in town where the real fun begins. All the way to light and airy in the best possible way.
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The High Falutin’ Band started out the show on a high energy foot and never lost a step for the next 2 hours!
Their cover of B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” was one of the best and most original interpretations I’ve heard in a very long time. Paying respect not just to B.B., but also to the soul and emotion of the song. If there were any hesitation in my head going in, this obliterated that question and I was sold right then and there on the soul of this band.
One of the first things that I noticed when I arrived at the Narragansett Café was that in this idyllic waterfront town, Jamestown Rhode Island, of beautiful streets lined with trees and shops. Something you never really know before going to a new venue is what the area will be like let alone the real world experience versus the online best pictures only posted kind of world.
I can promise you that in this case it is truly a lovely location. With easy street parking and on a rocking Sunday afternoon you’ll enjoy great Blues from local and nationally touring bands, all with no cover. Great drinks and food are available. The place can be standing room only when the tables are full. Which is a testament to the quality of music they bring into the town that helps keep the Blues alive and well, and they are making it exceptionally accessible for everyone!
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The 10th Annual Winter Blues Festival is truly one of the best ways to warm up a frigid New England winters night!
With Little Charlie Baty (guitar), Jason Ricci (vocals/harp), Nick Moss (vocals/guitar), Joe Moss (vocals/guitar), Rick Estrin (guitar), Sugar Ray Norcia (vocals/harp), Michael “Mudcat” Ward (bass), Sonya Rae Taylor (vocals/guitar), Ryan Taylor (guitar), Jesse Williams (bass), Bruce Bears (keys), Mike Law (bass), Neil Gouvin (drums), and Chris Rivelli (drums); how could it not be a phenomenal night!
The organizer for this string of events, Nick David, has brought together a phenomenal line up and to a line of venues that should be on everyone’s lists of places to visit!
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I’ve been lucky enough to get to enjoy this band in a couple of different incarnations. With some of the various players joining at times. On this night, however, Anthony was away taking care of his family after a recent accident. And in true Blues Community fashion, his band and the audience took up the charge to both carry the night and help support their brother!
Having had that chance to see Anthony with his band and working with other various bands it’s easy to see why he’s been nominated for multiple awards and won multiple Pinetop Perkins awards! The man has the blues piano down to a science, full of emotion and soul with a dash of sass he brings up a fantastic night of music!
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Bringing a Delta vibe and a Cajun flavor, Tab Benoit knows exactly how to spice a song. His roots run deep in the Louisiana wetlands where he brings the finest of traditions from artists across the spectrum together, and works to bring forward the next generation of blues artists with support and education.
His early years started in Houma Louisiana where he learned from a collection of blues artists that brought with them a living memory of the history of the music and imparted that knowledge and skill to him personally over the years.
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Something that Slam Allen will tell you is that he is not a Blues man, he’s an entertainer. Something he honed in his 9 years working with James Cotton and then his long time work bringing people into the Blues while working with Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Some artists choose the Blues, but the best are chosen by the Blues. Slam was truly chosen by the Blues and he has the soul and heart to tell them true.
One of the first things you will notice when Mary Bridget Davies hits the stage is her convivial and fun personality that’s ready to have fun across the board. Having been nominated for a Tony for her work on Broadway for A Night With Janis Joplin, where she has shared the voice, humor, and music of Janis, you can clearly see that she has the ability and grace to bring a giant of the 60’s Blues and Folk Movement into the room.
I recently had the pleasure to attend a full concert of Vanessa Collier and her band. Including Pat Harrington and a guest appearance by Mike Welch. It was truly a night of special energy and love filling the nearly sold out crowd at The Bull Run Restaurant.
Earlier in July of 2018 I attended the North Atlantic Blues Festival where, for the first time, I personally witnessed this young and hyper talented lady truly blow away an entire festival crowd. Having started at the peak of the of a building off stage and playing her way down the stairs, through the crowd, and up on the stage she showed exactly what a performer is made of.
I woke up this morning and my world was knocked completely off kilter.
The news of a young and brilliant singer, song writer, musician and man having passed just left me absolutely stunned. The fact he was so young makes it hurt all the more. The he was also a friend has just broken my heart.
The Last Prophet of the Funky Texas Blues….
Now that’s a bold statement to make, and Willie J Laws Jr. definitely has a divine gumbo full of funky blues simmered and spiced just right with a mix of Country, R&B, Texas Boogie Blues, Tex-Mex, and straight up Blues. And every bite is served up with a whole lot of soul!
Every Wednesday in Cranston RI there is a great place to unwind in the middle of a stressful week with some smooth blues and fun swing.
Down at the Pub on Park is the hidden gem, the Vintage Rhythm and Blues Ensemble lead by Tom Ferraro, that is the perfect way to relax and or try out your swing footwork. Each week they bring in a guest artist which can vary from regional treasures to national (and in some cases international) touring artists. But at it’s core it is a solid traditional Blues and Swing Blues band that holds true to the purist heart of the classics.
An old soul in a young body, gifted beyond his years!
Tyler Morris is one of those rare individuals that has talent far beyond what all logic would dictate by looking at the number of years he’s been alive. It’s no wonder then that he has worked with a long and ever growing listed of big names in Blues and Rock.
Do you like your Blues to Rock? How about loud? Who doesn’t love a bit of peace? But what about love, ya gotta love love!?
If you said yes, then Anthony Gomes is your man.
AG can go from 0-110 in a single note and then land you in a sweet soulful place.
In the finest tradition of Rock born of Blues, AG is bringing the Blues back to Rock.
Modern with retro respect.
Joe Moss brings in the feel and push of the ever evolving Chicago Blues sound without losing or disrespecting a single note of the rich and storied history of Chicago/Dela Blues origins.
He constantly works to bring in talented artists alongside him while he continues the work of finding and exploring the future of the Blues. His upbringing amongst the music in Chicago by his parents has richly informed his career. You can clearly see this in his ever evolving and growing repertoire of music.
Nick Black is defying all of the norms and blending genres in a way that hasn’t been seen since the days of Motown when they took R&B and Pop and Soul and turned it into something beautiful.
Playing brand new music and building on the giants, Nick Black and his amazing band have made a whole new genre all their own. Soul-Pop. Seamlessly blending Blues, Funk, 2nd Line (with that horn section!), Motown, and Soul has truly been a triumph!
For nearly 100 years this man moved through our world building and learning, loving, sharing, inspiring, and in my case...saving us.
Today BB King would have been 93. He left this world three years ago, just shy of his 90th birthday.
The first time I had the pleasure and privilege to see the Delta Generators live was at The Bull Run Restaurant and I was left quite startled, having not had the chance prior to see them since I moved to the region I couldn't believe that I'd stumbled onto pure gold. How is it that this uniquely New England force of nature is not hitting the news every night for blowing the walls down at every venue they touch?
A mixture of Blues and Roots with a hard driving guitar that will hold you enthralled from the first note.
One of the most unique of venues I've visited has to be Nelson's Candies. How often do you get to enjoy world class Blues in a candy store?!
In scenic Wilton New Hampshire you get a leisurely drive through the region and are rewarded with a delightful venue full of everything sweetest in life; good people, good music, and great sweets handmade!
Energetic. Classy. Soulful. Kind Hearted. Mischievous. and Fantastically Fun.
Just a few of the words one could use to describe a concert that is so tight, so locked in, and completely ready to take you on a ride through Chicago like you've never gone before.
The Welch Ledbetter Connection are something to behold as they seem to exist in that rare air at the top of world.
I want to start this review off by simply stating that prior to seeing Zac Harmon live, I honestly didn't know much about him. Honestly I wasn't all that familiar with his work. Which now that I HAVE seen him live, a couple of times in fact, I can't believe He wasn't already in heavy rotation on my playlists.
A Jackson MIssissippi native…
We lose celebrities frequently and we are saddened but move forward. When we lose icons and individuals who have moved more than concert ticket sales or election cycles, but instead moved us as a people forward in a positive manner, those are moments that will always live with us. Musicians, leaders, scientists, authors, and friends, when we lose those individuals then we are left with a mark on us of bittersweet memory.
I'm going to take a departure from my review postings for a few moments. I need to tell a personal story of how I came to the Blues and how they have saved me.