Preliminary 2 of the CTBS Solo Duo Challenge is in the books. Five acts competed before a crowd that enjoyed the music, food, and socializing.
Tom Retano was once again emcee keeping the banter going between acts.
Anna and Mike (Datolo) featured Anna’s almost haunting voice and the many electric guitars of Mike.
Mike was featured on lap guitar and accompanied himself with a rack harmonica. Anna’s vocals were backed while she was mostly on acoustic guitar.
Thunder and Lighting continued to handle the sound.
Ed and Bill gettting ready for the afternoon.
Ed Accardi a past veteran has been in the challenge before and did a solid blues set. A highlight was Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker, followed by an original / political song. After telling us the importance of drinking and sex in Blues songs, Ed did a fun version of Drunk.
Noah Kesselman was the youngest player at 16 year old. He has been doing a fine job developing his blues skills on guitar and vocals. And acquiring a knowledge of the blues. He opened with an instrumental that showed his command of the guitar. His original Blues For Christmas reminds us that some blues gifts are in order this year. Noah is often a player at the Café 9 Sunday Jam.
Kent takes a rest from taking event photos to do some thinking.
Once again Ken Brodyoffered a trivia prize.
The Coffee Grinders Duo play blues from the Delta to Chicago. The duo features Frank Breen on acoustic guitar and Jim Choquette vocals and harp. They acknowledged Clapton’s influence on Robert Johnson’s Kind Hearted Woman Blues and how the English knew where to steal music from. The Coffee Grinders played some nice acoustic songs and held the audience.
Young fan helps out.
The Boogie Boys are Buzzy Fallstrom on keyboards and Nick Longo on drums. They added a decidedly different sound to the afternoon. Fallstrom sings and Longo doing some harmonizing. The two have been part of many top bands. They did a set of original songs. Their song selection covered many styles of Blues.
This says it all.
Steve Balkun and Bill Shaka finished judging and played a little while Ray Meeker tallied the score.
And the winners, moving to the October 5th Finals are:
The Boogie Boys
and The Coffee Grinders Duo
They will join John & Corina
and Richard Badowski & Michael St. George
along with wildcard Joel Blumert.
The Challenge Final is Sunday October 5th at the Pine Loft, in Berlin, starting at 5 PM.
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BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella.