Once again Black Eyed Sally’s was the place for blues Thursday night. It was Preliminary 3 of 4 for Connecticut Blues Society IBC Band Challenge.
The Balkun Brothers Band ws first up. Young, but experienced with older brother Steve vocalist/guitarist (progressed to the Finals of the International Blues Challenge in the Solo Duo competition), brother and drummer Nick joined him as a duo in Memphis. last year.
The Band had Caleb on bass. They kicked the evening off with enough energy to tire the crowd out.
This was the first time I was reminded of the Scissormen form Nashville by way of Meriden. Fast paced like a cat on corn likker.
Kris Heaton Band have been to the Challenge before and always entertain me. Kris leads on vocals & guitar and with my focus on harp, Ace Foster did a good job.
It took a slow blues to get the dancers started.
If you didn’t notice it Heaton had a jacket that rivaled Tom Retano’s sartorial splendor. (see past blogs of Blizzard for Tom’s dress code.)
A lot of showmanship and two strong guitars.
Plus the enduring question, Who inviteded the marachas to the blues show?
The Connecticut Blues Society is working hard putting this event on. President Ed Stack is ready to welcome new members and has CtBS gear.
The Sarah T Band came up from the Southeast and put on an captivating set. Eyes were on the stage as Sarah was in constant motion.
The only band of the night with a female vocalist and a keyboard. The songs kept coming with originals presented energetically.
The next band was the first to mention it was Robert Johnson’s Birthday. And that just fit the Coffeegrinders mode.
The offered an interesting change. Playing without a drummer, they were basically an acoustic band. They provide a full sound and some interesting presentations. Led by Jim “JB” Choquette with vocals handled by all three. JB added harp and guitar.
Frank Breen guitar and Howie Horn on washtub bass made the trio. This band makes the traditional Delta Blues live.
Soul Tsunami came in andcalling them a power trio does not cover it.
Area veteran Ray Morant led a solid presentation of rockin’ blues.
A number of people remarked on his drummer, Dexter.
The third member was Stoney.
Word is Morant will have Thursday night shows at Sally’s, after in the coming weeks.
While Ray meeker counted up the judges scores, emcee River City Slim transferred to drums for a quick jam.
Soundman Tom Petri got on stage with the bass. Guitars were handled by Greg McCullough and Carl Ricci. Cynthia Fabian started the vocals and then passed it on to Tom Retano.
As the evening moves on, it seems the dancers grow. The jam just extends the dance time.
Not to mention the hard work of the staff. It was all I could to to get a shot of Brian behind the bar as he was in motion all the time.