Blues Shedule July 1 – July 7

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Bridge Street Live: Thursday, Johnny A. Collinsvile. (860) 693-9762
  • Infinity Music Hall: Saturday, Eight To The Bar;  Sunday, Satisfaction- Rolling Stones Tribute; Norfolk.
  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, Michael Packer Blues; Saturday, T. Rubble ; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • Pine Acres: Friday, Jeff Pitchell; Wethersfield.  (860) 529 0008
  • Maple Tree Café: Friday, McDonald/Teague; Simsbury.
  • The Cypress Grill: Saturday, Liviu Pop Group; Middletown.  (860) 346-3367
  • Penny Lane: Saturday, The Dan Stevens Trio; Old Saybrook.
  • FTC Stage One: Friday, Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez / Jay Stollman; Fairfield. (203)-319-1404
  • The Hungry Tiger:  Friday, Diamondback Saturday, Mambo Sons; Manchester. (860) 649-1195
  • The Cookhouse: Friday, Eran Troy Danner; New Milford.
  • Jeff’s Cuisine: Saturday, Paul Gabriel Trio; South Norwalk.
  • Rock Ridge Country Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel; Newtown.
  • Summerfest :Saturday, The Zayne Couch Explosion; Stafford Springs.
  • The Pavilion Beach Bar: Sunday, Bad Rooster; Old Lyme.
  • Lenny’s On The Beach: Saturday, Pete Scheips ; (Soundview Beach);Old Lyme. (860)434-8181
  • D’Amelios Italian Eatery: Thursday, Eran Troy Danner Duo; Waterbury.
  • Theodores’: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner ; Springfield. (413) 736-6000
  • Tal’s: Saturday, The Mike Crandall Band; Webste

Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Billy Megofna (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Gene Donaldson (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Blues Jam Open Mic Night With The Redliners (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam  w/ host T. Moody Band
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)
  • Stash’s                                    Sunday Jam

David “Honeyboy” Edwards – Happy Birthday

David “Honeyboy” Edwards was born June 28, 1915 in Shaw, Mississippi.  A rural Southern town that some joke only had one intersection.

Honeyboy has certainly moved from rural to international.  Now residing in Chicago, he is one of the last living links to Robert Johnson.  Having played with Johnson and been with him at the end.  He provides a look into blues history first hand.

Music wise, he is the real deal.  Honeyboy is one of the last original acoustic Delta blues players.  Truly a living legend,  He can still sneak a few riffs by the players that accompany him and has a love of playing.  Looking at 96 from behind a guitar.

Honeyboy was a part of many of the landmark times in the blues.  He also knew Tommy Johnson who came from the same area of Mississippi as Robert Johnson, and was a character himself.  Tommy Johnson’s family has some mythical stories to tell as well.

Honeyboy writes listening to Tommy Johnson taught him about playing guitar.  So when we often think about him and Robert Johns, it should be noted he was associated with many early legendary players who left their mark on the blues.

Honeyboy was recorded in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942 by Alan Lomax recorded for the Library of Congress.  He recorded a total of fifteen sides of Honeyboy’s music.

1972 was the year Honeyboy met Michael Frank.  The two developed a strong friendship that lasts to today.  They eventually took their music to the North Side’s blues scene.  They played as the  Honeyboy Edwards Blues Band.  Sometimes performing as a duo, which they still do today.

Michael Frank

Michael Frank founded Earwig Records and it is the label Honeyboy recordw on.

In 2010 Edwards received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.  2008 saw him get a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album 2008.

He was honored by the Blues Foundation with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award in Literature for his book, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing.”

Edwards also has DVDs and movie appearances to his credit.

To me Honeyboy summed up his love for the music at a concert in Hartford at Black-eyed Sally’s.  The show was getting over and Michael Frank and Rocky Lawrence who accompanied him were walking off stage.  Frank went back to the mike and said Honeyboy wanted to play a few songs solo.  A real double treat for the crowd.  Afterwards we talked on stage until the crowd had left.

He played, sat and talked and met the fans.

Happy Birthday Honeyboy and many more.

Honeyboy with Pete Scheips, Chris D'Amato, James Varano and Rocky Lawrence at Black-eyed Sally's

Visit the BluesBeat News Blog each Thursday for a complete Blues Schedule.

Blues Schedule June 24 – 30

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Jilson Park: Saturday, The Shaboo 40th Anniversary Concert; Willimantic.
  • Infinity Music Hall: Saturday, The Fabulous Thunderbirds; Norfolk.
  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, Dennis Gruenling; Saturday, Albert Castiglia; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • The Fireplace: Friday, Junior Krauss & the Shakes; Collinsville.
  • The Blue Moon Café: Saturday, The Steve Polezonis Trio; Plantsville.
  • The Tuscany Grill: Friday, The Steve Polezonis Trio; Middletown.
  • Fish & Chops: Saturday, Kathy Thompson Band; Southington.
  • LaVita Gustosa: Friday, Basically Blues Band; E.Haddam. (860) 873-8999
  • Maple Tree Café: Saturday, River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs ; Simsbury.
  • The New Orleans Restaurant: Saturday, Dan Stevens; Westbrook.
  • Anna Liffey’s: Friday, The Cobalt Rhythm Kings; New Haven.
  • Burke’s Tavern: Saturday, Cobalt Rhythm Kings; Niantic.
  • Augur’s Irish Pub: Saturday, Eric Ducoff Band; Guilford.
  • Fred’s Brickhouse Café: Friday, King Cake; Willimantic.
  • Two Brothers Country Pub: Saturday, The Ground Shakers; Voluntown.
  • Mystic River Park: Monday, Dennis Gruenling & The Doug Demming Band (6-8pm); Mystic.
  • Friday FTC at the Klein: Blues Patrol Benefit; Bridgeport.
  • Fayerweather Yacht Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel ; Black Rock.
  • The Twisted Vine: Friday, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio; Derby.
  • Reynold’s Café: Friday, Eran Troy Danner; Naugatuck.
  • Musky’s Eastside Pub: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner; Waterbury.
  • J P’s Prime Time Cafe : Sunday, Eran Troy Danner; Thomaston.
  • Theodores’: Friday, The Mutherload; Thursday, The Dave Keller Band ; Springfield. (413) 736-6000
  • The Knickerbocker Café: Friday, Kal David & the Real Deal with. Lauri Bono; Saturday, Zach Dustin and the Townees; Sunday, Dennis Gruenling; Westerly. (401) 315-5070

Weekly Blues Events

  • The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Gina Gunn & Ron Pinney (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Tim McDonald (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Acoustic Open Mic Night, Hosted By Don Giroux, Ryan Goodine and Nick D’Errico (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/The Cobalt Rhythm Kings
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub              Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)
  • Georgetown Saloon               Open Jam Night Artie Tobia & Famous Pig Roast (Thursday)



Queen of the Blues

Fans at the Chicago Blues Festival got another event that they were not planning on.  Shemekia Copeland was crowned “Queen of the Blues.”  For many years blues writers have place her in the “Lady in Waiting” Category.  In Chicago this June, it was made official.

The Queen for many years was Chicago’s Koko Taylor.  With her passing, the title and responsibility would move on.  Taylor’s daughter Cookie wanted to present her mom’s tiara to Shemekia, signify the passing of the title.  Copeland had been very close to Koko and honors Taylor every night in performance.

Shemekia with Koko

Many artists in the past have been called Queen of the Blues.  Names like Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, and Memphis Minnie.  You can throw in Big Mama Thornton and some would say Etta James.  Now add Copeland but in a much more official way.  The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have joined in proclaiming the new Queen.

Now none of that would matter, if the fans didn’t agree.  From my perspective, Copeland has the love and support of the Blues community to assume the throne.

Connecticut fans may remember her performing with her dad, Johnny Clyde Copeland, at the Webster Theater.  She gently wiped the sweat off his brow as he returned to the stage after heart surgery.  She later sang a song or two and then came down into the audience to be with friends.  Then she was a sixteen year old stardom in her future.  But on that night she was a caring daughter and a young woman hanging with friends.

The closeness of the blues performers to each other and the fans means in a way it has always been a family.  That was evident by the people who came to celebrate the event.  There was Marie Dixon, widow of Willie Dixon; Jimmy Reed’s daughter Rose; Copeland’s manger John Hahn; and, Alligator Records CEO Bruce Iglauer, who released all of Koko Taylor’s records, and three of Shemekia’s four releases.

As the newer generation continues to gain an audience and become prominent, let’s remember not to get caught up in the crowning of every act.  Titles such as this have meaning because they were earned and accepted by the fans who ultimately confirm the title.

As for Shemekia, she had always looked up to Taylor and while friends she recognized the part Taylor had in helping performers like her succeed.  She has been very humble about all of this.  Her behavior and experiences leading up to being called “Queen of the Blues” means a deserving wearer of the tiara.

An e-mail on the Connecticut Blues discussion list by Dave Carpenter is a good way to sum it up.  He said, “I’ve been lucky to have known Shemekia since she was 16 and to watch her grow musically and personally over the years. Her reaction doesn’t surprise me, and I’m sure it’s something she will look on with humility and grace.”

Nicely said.

Shemekia Copeland “Queen of the Blues,” may she have continued success and a future for the fans to enjoy.

Shemekia with Mother and Friend - Blues Hall of Fame ceremony


The Shaboo Celebrates 40 Years

When the story of blues in Connecticut is written, The Shaboo Inn will leave the largest of footprints.  It was opened long before the plans were drawn for many of today’s venues.  A young David Foster put the club together in 1971.  From then until 1982 The Shaboo was a music mecca.  And while music of all types came through the doors, the blues were a heralded sound.

Leader of the Shaboo All-Stars - David Foster

You would think it just closed from the memories and stories that pop up whenever the Shaboo is mentioned.  UConn students spent many nights there.  Just recently at a Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal concert, they talked about playing at the Shaboo in the early days.

Other blues figures like B.B. King and Willie Dixon along with Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker came to play.

The talent makes the club unforgettable and burned into many minds.

Besides the impact of good music, it was also a place of friendships.  Maybe even a little romance as people developed relationships that last today.

Many were influenced to follow the blues.  Getting a heavy dose of blues, Shaboo fans spread to let others know what the blues can do.

The list of blues acts and many others that today are household names are on the Shaboo roster.

Now come Saturday, The Shaboo Inn celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a concert/party/benefit at Jilson Park in Willimantic.

The concert starts at 4:30 pm and runs to 11 pm.  You know if Foster is involved with the music it will be top notch.  Starting the evening off is Elvin Bishop.  He is a veteran guitarist who entertains and has a place in blues history.  As with many blues players, he has some Chicago in his background.

Elvin Bishop visiting with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Besides his playing, Bishop just looks like he is having fun.

Next up James Cotton and his band take the stage.  Cotton often called Mr SuperHarp.  It is a nickname he lives up to and others strive to imitate.  He is the holder of legendary status and a little bit of his playing is all you need to hear to be convinced.

Mr. SuperHarp

Closing the show is the Shaboo All-Stars.  Led by Foster for all these years, this is truly an All-Star group.  Talent is at every position..  Are they good?  Just the fact that musicians with a free night want to play with them.  One never knows what the final line-up will be.

Saturday, Foster will have Kal David on guitar.  David is in the midst of a New England swing.  And following on the success of his most recent CD.

Guitarist Kal David

Also joining the All-Stars will be Christine Ohlman.  She has played with them frequently.  The Beehive Queen is energetic and enjoys the music.  She has a way of moving a crowd.

The Beehive Queen

Those are the advertised guests but it would not be a surprise if some more musicians didn’t stop by to say Happy Anniversary.

Foster has put together this show and as he does with these big events, it has a charitable purpose, proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Windham Hospital.  For more information go to:

Blues Schedule June 17 – June 23

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.

  • Hannon-Hatch VFW: Saturday, Gary Bull Family Benefit; West Hartford.
  • Infinity Music Hall: Monday, Robert Cray; Norfolk.
  • Quassy Amusement Park: Saturday, The New England Jazz & Blues Festival; Sunday, The New England Jazz & Blues Festival; Middlebury.
  • Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, Kal David & the Real Deal feat. Lauri Bono; Saturday, Johnny Childs; Hartford. (860) 278 7427
  • Lucky Lou’s: Saturday, Paul Gabriel Trio; Wethersfield.
  • P. Sam’s: Saturday, Brandt Taylor; Torrington.
  • FTC Stage One: Thursday, Tab Benoit; Fairfield. (203)-319-1404
  • The Baci Grill: Friday, The Steve Polezonis Trio ; Cromwell.
  • The Griswold Inn: Sunday, Basically Blues Band; Essex.
  • The Hessian Lion: Wednesday, Brandt Taylor; Avon.
  • The Cookhouse: Friday, D. Smith & Friends; New Milford.
  • Papachelli’s: Friday, Brandt Taylor; Simsbury.
  • The Hungry Tiger: Friday, Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood; Saturday, J.J. Diamond/The New Remains; Manchester. (860) 649-1195
  • Casa Dijanna: Thursday, Eran Troy Danner ; Watertown.
  • Rock Ridge Country Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel; Newtown.
  • The Ridgefield Theater: Friday, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes;. Ridgefield. (203) 438-5795
  • Fred’s Brickhouse Café: Sunday, Gospel Bruch Noon – 2 pm; Willimantic.
  • The Black Duck Café: Friday, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio; Westport. (203)-227-7978
  • Redding Road House: Saturday, Hat City Blues Band; West Redding. (203) 938-3388
  • Jeff’s Cuisine: Saturday, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio ; South Norwalk.
  • Georgetown Saloon: Friday, Shoofly Blues; Saturday, Artie Tobia Band; Georgetown  (203) 544-8003
  • Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House: Saturday, Eran Troy Danner; Bethel.
  • Theodores’: Saturday, Crosseyed CatWednesday, Open Mic w/ Juanita Mic; Springfield. (413) 736-6000
  • The Knickerbocker Café: Friday, Johnny & the East Coast Rockers; Saturday, Jimmie Vaughan w/Lou Ann Barton; Westerly. (401) 315-5070
  • The Southwick Inn: Friday, The Rich Badowski Blues Band; Southwick, MA.

Weekly Blues Events

  •  The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Gene Donaldson (Monday)
  • Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Tommy Whalen (Wednesday)
  • Cypress Grill              Acoustic Open Mic Night hosted by Don Giroux (Wednesday)
  • C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)
  • The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)
  • City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)
  • Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/ host the Rocky Lawrence Band
  • The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)
  • Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)
  • Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)
  • Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Tuesday)
  • June’s Outback Pub             Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)


Gary Bull Memorial Benefit

Saturday, the friends of Gary Bull will be holding a concert to remember him and as a benefit for his family.  It is a five band show at the Hannon-Hatch VFW Post South Street West Hartford.  The show starts at 2 pm and runs to 6 pm.

Bull passed away recently and left a big footprint on the state’s music scene.  He promoted concerts, ran river boat cruises, along with being a good friend to local musicians, a chef and restaurateur, a legendary Blues/Roots fan and promoter.  He had a truck doing taco salads and later ran the Hog River Grille.  I won’t forget my farewell party as I left the Connecticut Blues Society Presidency held in the downstairs room.  We used to meet there.

He was also known for bringing in hundreds of pounds of crawfish and throwing a big party.  He had a larger than life personality.  Whether it was his knowledge of the New Orleans Jazz Fest or knowing where to stay on the bayou.  Bull is one of the few people to have his picture taken with Sam Phillips.

People also remember him for his cigar knowledge.  It is the little memories that make him truly missed.

Stepping forward to be part of the benefit are River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs, Larry Willey & the Bluestalkers, The D. Smith Blues Band, King Cake, and The Patty Tuite Band.  The VFW will handle the food and drinks.

Larry on the guitar

Bull always made a gathering better and holding an event in his memory is an appropriate way to remember him.  Proceeds from the night will go to Bull’s family to help with the funeral expenses.  Online directions are at:

Patty Tuite

Bull was one of Hartford’s biggest Blues/Roots fan and promoter, chef and restaurateur.  While everybody did their best to help out at Gary’s funeral, the family was left with a large burden in the way of burial costs. In conjunction with the CT Blues Society, a group of CT Blues/Roots musicians are putting on a benefit Blues Party to raise money for the Bull family as a way of saying thank you to Gary Bull for all his support over the years.  food, drink and lots of dancing. River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs have volunteered to participate, along with Larry Willey & The Bluestalkers and more great bands TBA. The party will be held at the Hannon-Hatch VFW, 83 South Street in West Hartford, the same site as the CT Blues Society’s Blues Blizzard and Blues Challenge Finals. For directions or info call 860-281-9151.

Join me in what will be an afternoon of good music and friendship.

Blues Challenge Finals – Thursday June 16

The prelims are over and the line-up is set.  Black Eyed Sally’s will be hosting Connecticut Blues Society Band Challenge 2011 finals on Thursday .  The 4 preliminary winners plus a wild card will be competing next for $2000 and the opportunity to represent Connecticut at the International Blues Challenge sponsored by the Blues Foundation in Memphis next January 31st thru February 4.

Competing in the final will be the Mike Crandall Band featuring Sam Gentile.  It is a veteran group with Crandall taking charge on vocals and harp.  Gentile steps out on guitar and takes a song or two.  The band has been to the Memphis IBC in the past representing both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Bad Rooster comes in from the second preliminary.  Led by the dynamic vocals of Lee Ann Lovelace and the bluesy vocals and keyboard work of Nick Mitrou. the whole band contributes to the an exciting set.  He band has a lot of fun on stage.  The band has made a big impact on the blues scene by going to the Challenge finals last year and being voted the Best Blues Band by the Hartford Advocate.  They have original songs and can shine on slow songs as well as their usual up tempo numbers.

The third prelim went to Petey Hop and the Jack Rabbits

This is a dynamic rockin blues band that is guaranteed to fill the dance floor with its energy.  Hop is a super entertainer. The band dresses the part and has coordinated moves on stage.

 The fine sax work by DiFrancesco, sets this group apart from the rest of the competition. Each band member contributes to the success of the band, and they all take advantage of their time to solo.

Getting the nod from the last preliminary was P.A.C.O. and Company.  Led in vocal and guitar by the active and infectious Paco, the band was formerly known as Own Rendition.  They have previously progressed to the Challenge finals. Paco is the dynamic vocalist and personality of the band.  Add some wild drumming  and nice lead guitar work, you have a crowd favorite.

The last entry is the Wild Card, Cobalt Rhythm Kings.  This band is also led by a vocalist and harp player, Mark Zaretsky.  They have an active gig schedule.  It is a veteran blues band that is strong at every position.  It is easy to see the Chicago influence.  All the band members get to show his stuff.

The Wild Card band will start the night off at 8 pm.  The other bands will follow in order of their selection.

The Blues Foundation has established scoring criteria and recommends that all Affiliated Organizations in their competition use our established scoring criteria.  Categories include Talent Vocal, Blues Content, Stage Presence and Originality.

To reflect the relative importance of each category in the success of a band, a band’s score in each category is weighted.  Raw scores for Blues Content is multiplied by four, Talent and vocals by three and Originality and Stage Presence are multiplied by two. The total in each category represents the Weighted Score for that category.  Total possible weighted score is 140.

It is possible that Penalty Points might be assessed.  A Band is penalized one point from its Total Weighted Score for each ten seconds that it runs overtime.  There is no penalty for using less than the allotted time.  In addition, IBC participants can lose points for non-compliance with administrative aspects of the competition.

The scoring aside, this is a great weekend of blues in Memphis.  The number of acts (there is a Solo/Duo challenge too) keeps growing.  Over 160 showed up last year and it is truly international.

Come back Thursday to the Blog for the week’s Blues Schedule.

Blues Schedule June 10 to June 16

This Week’s Blues.

The blues schedule is as up to date as possible, but it’s always a good idea to call the club to confirm.


Infinity Music Hall: Saturday, James Montgomery w/The Uptown Horns; Monday, Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt-a-Whirl Band Featuring Lou Ann Barton; Thursday, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones with Mike Welch; Norfolk.

Black-eyed Sally’s: Friday, Jeff Pitchell; Saturday, John Fries & the Heat; Thursday, Connecticut Blues Society’s 2011 Blues Challenge Finals; Hartford. (860) 278 7427

Daniel Street: Saturday Johnny Winter with Eran Troy Danner; Milford. (203) 877-4446

The Hungry Tiger: Friday, James Montgomery; Manchester. (860) 649-1195

The Blue Moon Café: Saturday, The Steve Polezonis Trio; Plantsville.

The Baci Grill: Thursday, Brandt Taylor; Cromwell.

The Ivory Restaurant and Pub: Friday, Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts; Deep River. (860) 526-2528

Aldo’s Restaurant: Friday, The Steve Polezonis Trio; Middletown.

The Cambridge Brew House: Friday, Dan Stevens; Granby.

The Crown & Hammer Pub: Saturday Dan Stevens; Collinsville. (860) 693-9199

The Mohegan Sun (Wolf Den): Wednesday, Bad Influence Band; Uncasville. (888) 226-7711

The Hartford Road Café: Frankie & the Know-it-alls; Manchester.

The Mark Twain House: Saturday, The Dan Stevens Trio; Hartford.

La Tavola: Wednesday, Paul Gabriel & his Blues Band; Waterbury.

The Old Toll Gate Inn (The Zoo): Thursday, Eran Trot Danner Duo; Woodbury.

Casa Dijanna: Friday, Eran Troy Danner; Watertown.

Georgetown Saloon: Friday, Voodoo Carnival; Saturday, The Stone Band; Wednasday, Famous Pig Roast and Open Jam Night w/Artie Tobia; Georgetown. (203) 544-8003

Sneakers: Friday, Brandt Taylor; Ashford.

Corleone’s: Saturday, Brandt Taylor; Willimantic.

Fayerweather Yacht Club: Friday, Paul Gabriel; Black Rock.

Roadhouse Bleu: Friday, The D.W. Blues Band; Derby.

Liquid Lunch: Saturday Paul Gabriel; Shelton.

Pomfret School: Saturday,Boogie ‘N Blues Festival; Pomfret.

Germano’s Restaurant:  Saturday, The WCM Group; Pawcatuck.

Fred’s Brickhouse Café: Pocket Full of Groove; Willimantic.

Theodores’: Friday, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers; Saturday ,The Zayne Couch Explosion; Wednesday, Open Mike; Springfield. (413) 736-6000

The Knickerbocker Café: Saturday Debbie Davies; Westerly. (401) 315-5070

The Still: Saturday, Burt Teague & Friends; Agawam.


Weekly Blues Events

The Hungry Tiger     Blues Jam w/Tommy Whalen (Monday)

Black Eyed Sally’s     Open Blues Jam w/Peter Byro (Wednesday)

Cypress Grill              Open Mic Night (Wednesday)

C J Sparrow Pub & Eatery                         Ken Safety’s Open Mic Show (Thursday)

The Good Life Grill              Blues Jam w/Burt Teague (Thursday)

Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Sunday)

City Limits Café        Eran Troy Danner Jam (Tuesday)

Café 9                         Sunday Open Blues Jam w/The Cobalt Rhythm Kings

The Owl Shop            Greg Sherrod Band (Tuesday)

Spill the Beans Coffee House           Acoustic Open Mic w/Johnny I (Thursday)

Monster B’s Bar & Grille     Blues Jam w/Roxy Perry (Wednesday)

Sully’s Pub                             Pete Scheips Jam (Tuesday)

June’s Outback Pub              Open Jam with Steve Hatch and others (Monday)



Chicago Blues Festival with Rocky Lawrence

The 28th annual Chicago Blues Festival is scheduled this weekend.  It will have events Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Grant Park.  If there is one place that doesn’t have to worry about finding talent, it is the Windy City.  Just the residents of its zip codes are all a fest needs.  That said, they still do bring in some good talent.  And one of the players this year is Connecticut’s Rocky Lawrence.

Rocky Lawrence at the Robert Johnson festival

Friday will be his time to shine.  Lawrence starts off with a solo set on the Front Porch Stage.  Then at 8 pm he moves over to the Petrillo Music Shell for a Tribute to Robert Johnson.  Joining him with be David “Honey Boy” Edwards, Rick Sherry, Hubert Sumlin and Duwayne Burnside Band.

It is a reunion of sorts with Lawrence and Honey Boy meeting up.  The two have done some touring and played Connecticut a number of times.  Honey Boy is really the last link to Robert Johnson.  He is living history.  Edwards also thinks that Lawrence is the closer player to Johnson he has heard.  This from the man who heard him directly not recorded.

David "Honeyboy" Edwards and Rocky Lawrence at Cafe 9

Then there is Hubert Sumlin, Lawrence’s musical Dad.  They toured together with Lawrence as the musical director.  Sumlin played with Howlin’ Wolf for many years and guitar players still try to steal his riffs.

Hubert Sumlin plays to the crowd

Lawrence has encyclopedic knowledge of Johnson.  He has talked with people the writers never meet.  It should be a memorable time.

The Chicago Blues Festival to start off is the largest free fest in the country.  It has a number of stages, along with booths, and discussion panels.  This year is a tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Chicago’s Alligator Records.  The list of musicians that recorded on the label is almost endless.

There will also be a tribute to Pinetop Perkins who recently passed away.

To get more information go to the Windy City Blues Society’s website at

Besides the Fest performances every blues club in and around Chicago will be featuring wonderful lineups and special “after fest” shows during the festival dates.  One spot to hit in addition to the clubs is the Jazz Record Mart.  Known for its legendary Delmark Blues Brunch (featuring many of Delmark Records great artists) which has become a Sunday morning tradition for festival goers.

You can get more information on the Chicago blues scene by visiting the Chicago Blues Guide website at

Visit the Blog on Thursday for a listing of club dates.