Connecticut Blues Society Third IBC Prelim

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.

Signof the times

Signof the times

This week River City Slim handled the emcee chores.ADSC_0013

 

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.

Steve

Steve

Nick

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Band had Caleb on bass.  They kicked the evening off with enough energy to tire the crowd out.

Caleb

Caleb

 

 

 

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.

Kris

Kris

 

Ace

Ace

It took a slow blues to get the dancers started.

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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.)

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A lot of showmanship and two strong guitars.

Plus the enduring question, Who inviteded the marachas to the blues show?

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The Connecticut Blues Society is working hard putting this event on.  President Ed Stack is ready to welcome new members and has CtBS gear.

Ed with new shirt

Ed with new shirt

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.

Sarah T

Sarah T

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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.

Coffeegrinders

Coffeegrinders

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.

JB

JB

Frank Breen  guitar and Howie Horn on washtub bass made the trio.  This band makes the traditional Delta Blues live.

Frank

Frank

Howie

Howie

Soul Tsunami came in andcalling them a power trio does not cover it.

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Area veteran Ray Morant led a solid presentation of rockin’ blues.

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A number of people remarked on his drummer, Dexter.

 

 

 

The third member was Stoney.

Stoney and Ray

Stoney and Ray

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.

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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.

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Tom and Carl

Tom and Carl

As the evening moves on, it seems the dancers grow.  The jam just extends the dance time.

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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.

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And the winner —

The Balkun Brothers Band.

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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 “Connecticut Blues Society Third IBC Prelim

  1. Ed Stack

    The Balkun Brothers set the bar high in each category – and deserved their victory.
    Ed Stack

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