16th Black-eyed & Blues Fest

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Saturday was the 16th Annual Black-eyed and Blues Fest.  Held in Bushnell Park, it supplies a full day of entertainment.  Six acts covering a variety of styles were set to play.  Orb Mellon – Sugar Ray & the Bluetones – Brandon Santini –  Balkun Brothers –  Funky Dawgz Brass Band – Big Mean Sound Machine.

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While the weather was not cooperating the crowd grew during the day .,

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Refreshment were Southern Style with Sally’ doing the cooking.

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Orb Mellon opened with a nice set.  I am going to use the word talent here and let you know all the acts had it.  Talking with him before he went on, we also got a feel for his sense of humor.

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Emcees were Ali and Washboard Pat

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Next up was Sugar Ray & the Bluetones.  Every member of this band can carry the show between band nominations and individual accolades, they had 7 Blues Music Awards.

Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray

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Anthony

Anthony

Mike

Mike

Mudcat

Mudcat

Neil

Neil

Brandon Santini brought his band up from Memphis.  He is part of the youth blues movement.  Good playing and rapport with the audience kept everyone paying attention.

Brandon

Brandon

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The Funky Dawgz Brass Band, made up of many UConnecticut players promised a lot of fun.  What can I say?  They had a lot of brass.  (An attempt at humor.).  They were talented.  I was told they would be entertaining, and they were.  But more importantly, they kept a crowd of people up and dancing.

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I knew the crowd would be excited when the Balkun Brothers took the stage.  This was their 4th event is a little more than 24 hours.  It was dark.  It was getting wetter.  And they electrified the crowd.

Steve

Steve

Nick

Nick

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The Connecticut Blues Society always a strong supporter of state blues activities.

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By the time the Big Mean Sound Machine came on, I was a little wet, cameras needed protection and I was  ready for home.  They were a big group and dressed for success.  Caught some of the Sound while waiting at the CTFastrak.

Thanks to Bruce R for photo & friends for rain protection

Thanks to Bruce R for photo & friends for rain protection

Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at twblus@aol.com.  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.

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 “16th Black-eyed & Blues Fest

  1. Ed Stack

    Had fun in the rain, would have really been a blast in the sunshine. Dom got some great pics, with his press pass.

  2. Frank Davis

    Great show – looking forward to next year

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