The state had a number of International Blues Challenge events this past week. On Thursday the Balkun Brothers Band was at Infinity Music Hall Hartford with a CD release party and Memphis Kick-off.
Friday the Mike Crandall Band was at Black-eyed Sally’s gearing up for their trip to Beale Street. Crandall, a Memphis veteran, twice making the finals will be representing the Granite State. Ronnie Earl stopped by.
Then Saturday, the Boogie Boys took over Sally’s for their final fundraiser. They will be competing in the Solo/Duo category. The Boogie Boys are Nick Longo and Buzzy Fallstrom.
Before the for music started, it was time for holiday conversation.
Buzzy brought on the first act,
Jake Kulak & the Lowdown. They will be in Memphis as part of the Youth Showcase.
Up came the New Orleans sound of Shaka & the Soulshakers. Always fun and ready to get the crowd moving.
Petey Hop and the Jackrabbits played a set. Nick sits in on drums with them. And Chris on sax was roasting the room.
Cameras seem to be giving way to the new “Tech.”
People having fun.
The Balkun Duo came to support the Boogie Boys. Steve and Nick played an energetic set which just raised the audience another notch. I was short of breath watching Steve move around the stage, all the time with guitar howling.
Shaka joined in.
The Boogie Boys brought some friends on stage. There were a lot of good guitarists yet to play.
Carl Ricci and Cynthia Fabian sat in for some tunes.
Then Paul Gabriel and Danny Draher (soon to be inducted into the New York State Blues Hall of Fame) made the strings wail.
More people came on stage. Joey Primo took over the keyboard and Buzzy picked up a guitar. Peter Rost came on board with harmonica. The grand finale had the stage packed.
People were having a good time including my Sister and Cousin.
Raise a glass to the Bands for good luck in Memphis.
Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org. BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella. My weekly Blues Beat column appears in the New Britain Herald, Bristol Press, Middletown Press and Torrington Register-Citizen.