Today is when the band venues are announced. Beale Street begins to gather a crowd. Some people trying to find their way, while others are set from years of experience.
Bands have waiting word for the when and where, as have the fans. My advice is arrive early at a venue, have dinner and settle in for the night. You will probably see/hear more music without all the traveling time. As you will read, that is a piece of advice I did not follow.
OK, continuing with the day. It is time to pick up the program. But first food. Miss Polly’s. Chicken and waffles is something you rarely find around Connecticut.
While there, I hear someone calling my alter ego RoadHog and turn around to find Barry Seelen, formerly of Connecticut now living and playing in Houston. Barry is excellent on the Hammond B-3. He is missed but looks like Texas is agreeing with him.
Barry is here with the Houston entry, Brad Absher & Swamp Royale. They are the second act at the New Daisy Theater. OK, I will be breaking my IBC rule to see Barry and then move on to the venue with the Connecticut Band. This year the band and solo/duo are in slots that overlap, so it is band tonite and solo/duo tomorrow. The two day Quarter finals help here
Part of the afternoon was spent on the upper level of Rum Boogie listening to Lucas Blues Project form France Blues. We had hoped to get to “Music on the Couch.” But it had closed for the afternoon.
While we were on the way to New Daisy to see Barry and band, I received a phone call that some Connecticut friends had made it in. They were dining at Pig on Beale.
While we talked the Solo/Duo event for the club started. Collin John was there waiting as was the Italian team of Naffis & Massarutto.
PicAt the New Daisy, Billy the Kid & the Regulators were on stage, Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania. These guys are guitar driven but had a good horn section to go along with the strings.
Just so you will know, I do not remember all this. The Blues Foundation’s program guide is pretty complete. It will help you set your day’s activities and the next day you can review what you did. Or read up on an act you hadn’t expected to see.
Next up was the Houston entry, Brad Absher & Swamp Royale with Barry Seelen.
It was suggested that we catch the next act too, Brooke Thomas & Blue Suns. Led by an accomplished vocalist, the band also had a dynamic sax player.
Okay to settle in and get to Jerry Lee Lewis for the Connecticut. They have a 9:05 start time so we will catch a number of bands before them. Upon arrival, the place was packed. Luckily, friends had some seats available. It became SRO for a little time but the audience was attentive and the close quarters didn’t matter. There were even some young blues fans there.
When it was time for the Danny Draher Band we were ready.
Had already seen a number of good acts. Charley Ward Band, Holly and Evan Trio, Boscoe France Band, and Katy Guillen and Girls Sometimes I get a photo that to me radiates. Katy’s bass player was a case in point. A great smile while maintaining the music.
Then Danny came on. Of course I am a little biased but his slow blues hit the spot. Sometimes it is not how many notes you get out but the quality of those you do. Anyway I enjoyed them and stayed for the last three acts. Did not have the energy to hang for the post event jam. Plus I wanted to download the day’s photos, as I pretty much killed 3 camera batteries.
The events also have judges, runners and MCs. A lot of people working to make this IBC happen and I, we get to enjoy it.
The Challenge was done for the night but Beale would echo with blues for a few more hours as a number of clubs hosted jams. Another increase since my first years at the IBC.
Hopefully, between all the Blues I will get to visit the Blues Foundation office and the National Civil Rights Museum.