Stafford Springs Blues Festival – 2015


Saturday, Hyde Park in Stafford Springs was the site of the third Stafford Springs Blues Festival.  This non-profit event was created to raise funds to build a permanent amphitheater in the beautiful, historic park.  I left some of the photos with the background greenery.

MC/DJ Ali Kaufmangetting prepared

MC/DJ Ali Kaufman getting prepared

The day started at 1 pm and went to about 7:30.  Among the acts was 2013 Blues Music Award Nominee, Paul Gabriel and 2014 BMA Nominee, Sugar Ray Norcia.  At 2 pm, a Festival highlight is the Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase.  On harps are Nominee Sugar Ray Norcia, The Kosher Kid and Mr. Nick.  Backing the harmonicas will be the Eric Ducoff Band.

Other acts include Josh Scussel, Lydia Warren Bad News Barnes & The Brethren of the Blues Band, and Gracie Curran and her High Falutin Band winners of the Best Blues Band Award at the prestigious Boston Music Awards 2015.

In-between acts Ramblin’ Dan Stevens kept the music flowing with his unique style blues.

Ali welcoming the crowd

Ali welcoming the crowd

One of the founders, Neil Haas

One of the founders, Neil Haas

Josh Scussel & Electric Storm



The ElectricStorm

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Across the way some BBQ was getting ready for a local restaurant.


Paul Gabriel Trio was up next.



Lenny G

Lonnie G



Marcel rockin' out

Marcel rockin’ out

Paul with some tasteful licks.


There were some other things to see.  I called this performer the Fire Dancer.


For me as a harmonica fan, I was looking forward to the Northeast Blues Harmonica Showcase.

Kosher Kid

Kosher Kid

Mr. Nick

Mr. Nick

Sugar Ray

Sugar Ray

They were backed by the Eric Ducoff Band.




Jeff “JB” Berg

And guest drummer Neil Gouvin.


Sugar Ray had a good time but it was over too soon.


The Connecticut Blues Society had a tent set up.


Lydia Warren Band continued to keep the audience moving.  Even the youngsters felt the blues.






Even in the heat of the afternoon, the bands played hard and the fans partied hard.

Lydia was a crowd favorite as were the rest of the acts.


There was no lacking for music even during set changes.  Dan Stevens was keeping the beat on the side stage.

Dan and the Band

Dan and the Band



The band.

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The Fire Dancer was also there.



Bad News Barnes & The Brethren of the Blues Band hit you hard.  As I said kinda loud, kinda brash, and over the top entertaining.  Joined by an host of musicians the blues was there.  Of course, I don’t think anyone forgot his song relative to men, “Hungry and Horny.”


I guess you could call it social commentary.  Even more so when he brought up food additives and big business.  Who says you can’t have fun and talk meaningfully.

Chris time two

Chris time two

on vocals too

on vocals too



One thing about Bad News, you will not forget him.


Worcester DJ Marty Ayotte was in the crowd.


Closing the fest was Gracie Curran and her High Falutin Band.



And the High Falutin Band




Gracie put a lot of energy into the show.


The fun in town didn’t stop with the Festival.  Local clubs and the Palace had more entertainment to take you to the next day.


Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at  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 “Stafford Springs Blues Festival – 2015

  1. Frank Davis

    Great Blues Music, Food, People and a nice weather. What more can a blues fan ask for?

  2. Ed Stack

    The Stafford Springs Festival gets better every year. As you can see by Dom’s photos, we all had a blast.

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