Blues Blizzard is Gaining Strength for March

Today’s big storm reminded me that the Connecticut Blues Society will be sponsoring another of its Blues Blizzards.


So, I mention it now to give you plenty of time to plan.  TV won’t be issuing warnings for a week and school is not going to be called off.  But the party will go on.  This is definitely one of the biggest and best parties in the state.  There is dancing aplenty.


The line-up always boosts great talent and the Hannon-Hatch VFW serves as a welcoming venue.  The collaboration between CtBS and the VFW has been an ongoing thing, with the IBC Challenge finals also being held there.  It is an event that doesn’t take a big push to fill the hall.  And when you see who is playing, you know to get there early.

This year the date is set for March 29th.  Doors open at 5pm.  Location is the VFW Hannon Hatch in West Hartford.  Go to South Rd and look for the American flag and the cannons.

The anticipated line-up includes a lot of Beale Street Memphis veterans.  In fact all the scheduled bands have been there at least once.

Starting the festivities off at 5 pm is Jake Kulak and the Low Down.


Jake and his band packed the Blues City Café in Memphis.  We were up by the door and couldn’t push much closer.

Another in a long line of bands representing Connecticut in Memphis was this year’s winner, Danny Draher Band at 6 pm.


Next up at 7 pm is the another band with Memphis experience is Shaka and the Soulshakers.  Adding another bluesy sound that can bring you down to the bayou.

Shaka and Tony C

Shaka and Tony C

Now if you like the harmonica-led band you are in luck.  The next two bands take the harp to another level.  At 8 pm the Mike Crandall Band has the stage.  Mike made the finals down in Memphis twice.

CtBS06 121 After Mike is Jr. Krauss and the Shakes at 9 pm.  They have been busy and add some tunes from another era.


The last act is at 10 pm is The Balkun Brothers.  They have been playing everywhere from Infinity Hall to Memphis.





I happen to run across this write-up from a few years ago or more.  My first Blizzard was like 20 years ago.

My First Blues Blizzard

I was just thinking about the first time I went to a Connecticut Blues Society Blues Blizzard.
I had just returned from my exile in Washington, DC and a friend suggested heading to Hartford for this Blues Blizzard, 10 bands.

It was at the Municipal Cafeteria on Main St. Bands alternated from the first floor to the lower level. Five bands on each level. I remember seeing Johnny Vibrato for the first time.

Since then it has been a number of years of great blues in Connecticut with some great local bands.

They stopped for a while and then we came back with the ten band format at 55 Pratt St.
Now it has become one of the state’s best party at the VFW.

About bluesbeatnews52

Blues columnist writing a weekly column dedicated to the Blues. The only column of its kind in a commercial (paid subscription) newspaper. Column appears in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press, Torrington Register-Citizen, and the New Britain Herald. Forcella has served on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation representing the Journalism constituency. Served on the Board of Directors Connecticut Blues Society as Past President and Past Editor of newsletter. Recipient: Keeping the Blues Alive award in Journalism from the Blues Foundation. Has contributed both writing and photos to nationnal blues publications.

One response to “Blues Blizzard is Gaining Strength for March

  1. Ed Stack

    Excellent article Dom. And the pictures were outstanding. The Blues Blizzard is a unique dance party. The bands volunteer their time because they know they will be playing to a full house of enthusiastic blues fans.
    Ed Stack

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