Once again the Connecticut Blues Society was at the Pine Loft for the Solo/Duo Finals. The day showcased some of the states finest talent. Acts from across the state easily let us know they belonged in the finals.
Of note was the variety of instruments the musicians brought to the stage. From the guitar and bass to harmonica and sax as well as drums. The fans were also treated to a cigar box guitar and a one stringed diddley bow.
The stage is set.
Tom Retano handled the emcee chores.
First up was Frank Breen is an excellent acoustic musician, making the songs of the Mississippi delta come alive. You can also see him as part of the Coffee Grinders.
The Real Deal is new act for the challenge from the Notheast corner. Dee Merchant plays electric guitar and handle the vocal. She was joined by Al Dziedzic in support on sax and harp.
Ron Anthony and Denny Collins – Ron Anthony is a previous winner of this event, known for his finger-picking and soulful voice. Denny Collins provides excellent support on electric bass.
Ramblin Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen – Dan Stevens is an acoustic bluesman, well known throughout the northeast, and a previous winner of this event. Clayton Allen has a unique style playing electric guitar and singing in a deep, bluesy voice.
Mom Toasting the musicians.
Dan Labich played and sang original songs. Check out the emotion in his singing.
The Sawtelles are Peter Riccio (electric guitars and vocals) and his wife Julie (drums and vocals). They are always upbeat and put their stamp on the music.
Closing the finals was Danny Draher. He is a past band challenge winner. His set highlighted his mastery of blues, jazz and zydeco.
Some of the judges took to the stage to jam while the scores were tabulated.
The duo of Ramblin Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen.
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.