Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Duo Prelim Two

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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.

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Anna and Mike (Datolo) featured Anna’s almost haunting voice and the many electric guitars of Mike.

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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.

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Thunder and Lighting continued to handle the sound.

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Ed and Bill gettting ready for the afternoon.

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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.

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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.

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Kent takes a rest from taking event photos to do some thinking.

The Thinker II

The Thinker II

Once again Ken Brodyoffered a trivia prize.

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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.

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Young fan helps out.

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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.

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This says it all.

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Steve Balkun and Bill Shaka  finished judging and played a little while Ray Meeker tallied the score.

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And the winners, moving to the October 5th Finals are:

The Boogie Boys

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and The Coffee Grinders Duo

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They will join John & Corina

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and Richard Badowski & Michael St. George

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 along with wildcard Joel Blumert.

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The Challenge Final is Sunday October 5th at the Pine Loft, in Berlin, starting at 5 PM.

Good Knight from the Pine Loft

Good Knight from the Pine Loft

Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at

BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella.


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.

2 responses to “Connecticut Blues Society Solo/Duo Prelim Two

  1. Ed Stack

    Dom’s photos do a great job showing the diverse acts participating in the Solo Duo Challenge – and the various activities involved with the event.

  2. Frank & I had a great time! We’re looking forward to performing on Sunday. The house will be filled with AWESOME Blues! The Coffee Grinder Duo are honored to be a part of this select group of 5…
    Jim Choquette

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