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.
While the weather was not cooperating the crowd grew during the day .,
Refreshment were Southern Style with Sally’ doing the cooking.
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.
Emcees were Ali and Washboard Pat
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Connecticut Blues Society always a strong supporter of state blues activities.
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.
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.