Everybody Having a Ball – Billy Price Band

Everybody Having a Ball – Billy Price Band

Everybody Having a Ball – Billy Price Band

Everybody Having a Ball

Billy Price Band @ Cottonmouth southern Soul Kitchen 

On March 29th 2024, Billy Price and his band made their debut in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts and put on one of the best shows seen to date at the venue.

The band set the tone for the evening when kicked off the show playing The Temptation’s classic Can’t Get Next to You, followed by Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell. Billy came to the stage and launched a wonderful set of music pulled from this extensive catalogue, and sprinkled in some new material that is forthcoming this fall.

Billy’s band on this tour (Dave Dodd, drums; Tom Valentine, bass; Lenny Smith, guitar; Jim Britton, keyboard; and a horn section with flugelhorn and sax ) expertly backed Billy as he launched into two sets of enjoyable rhythm & blues, blues, and soul. Beginning with I Keep Holding On Billy captured the audience and showed why he is a wonderful entertainer. Billy got the crowd moving by delivering his “signature” song, the Carl Sims classic It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without The Blues.

Billy spoke respectfully about his time touring with Roy Buchannan and performed Nickle and a Nail; and then visited the 2019 recording “Dog Eat Dog” for Lose My Number. What followed next was a highlight. His performance of Mercy from the forthcoming release “Person of Interest” was a powerful, poignant, and memorable performance. This is one beautiful song that touches the heart, and on this night and during this song was Billly at his best.

A standard in Billy’s show is Can I Change My Mind, and tonight was no different. By this time, the audience was beginning to turn Cottonmouth into a dance hall, setting the stage for what to come during the second set. Tyrone Davis songs fit Billy well, and this former number one on Billboards Hot R&B Chart is no exception. The first set concluded with 39 Steps, giving both band and audience a chance to collect their breaths.

Often, between sets in Florida the audience will start to thin out. Tonight, that was not the case. The sold-out show  was packed tight. But that did not deter them – they wanted to dance to Billy Price Band and dance they did.

From the start of the second set  – which featured the band without Billy performing So Sharp, famously recorded by J. Geils Band – the audience was on their feet, moving and swaying to the beat. And they did not retreat to their seats for the remainder of the night. I’ve seen a lot of shows at Cottonmouth, but never have I witnessed the entire audience up and dancing for an entire set.

The songs during set two included: She Checks All The Boxes, Real Time, the wonderful Crying at The Stoplight, and revisiting Roy Buchanan with Can I Make You Change Your Mind. By this time, the kitchen staff joined in the fun and dancing hit a fever pitch to Tyrone Davis’s s Turn Back The Hands of Time and continued with Be Thankful for What You Got. The band wrapped up the set with Expert Witness.

The audience was not ready to release the band, and Billy accommodated with a two-song encore, First, the full band performed Person of Interest. Billy then asked all but keyboardist Jim Britton to leave the stage and the two concluded a wonderful night with a stirring version of Toussaint McAll’s. Nothing Takes The Place of You. A spectacular evening of music by The Billy Price Band.


  • Scott Morris, Suncoast Blues Society
  • Photo’s courtesy of Jim Hartzell


Become a Suncoast Blues Society Member

Go to our Membership sign up page and choose your Membership! 

Helping the Mississippi John Hurt Museum

Helping the Mississippi John Hurt Museum

Helping the Mississippi John Hurt Museum

Helping the Mississippi John Hurt Museum

In late February, the Mississippi John Hurt Museum in Avalon, Mississippi suffered a devastating fire, one that destroyed the museum and the historical artifacts within. To help with the reconstruction and to continue our mission of preserving the Blues and its traditions, the Suncoast Blues Society Board of Directors has donated to the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation on behalf of our membership.

Mississippi John Hurt is one of the more influential Blues and folk artists of all time. So important an artist was Mississippi John, that in 1964 The Library of Congress recorded him. Although Mississippi John passed away in 1966, his music lives on through recordings by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Taj Mahal, and our own Damon Fowler, who recorded and frequently performs I Shall Not Be Moved.

You can learn more about the efforts of the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation and donate at their GoFundMe page: Mississippi John Hurt’s Legacy Will Rise.

To learn more about the Suncoast Blues Society mission statement, visit our website Suncoast Blues Society



Become a Suncoast Blues Society Member

Go to our Membership sign up page and choose your Membership! 

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

It is my honor to represent Suncoast Blues Society in the office of President. This message will be short, as there are a few items in the works that need to be resolved before I can fully comment.

First, I wish to congratulate and thank Terri O’Brien for her dedication and service to Suncoast Blues Society. Terri certainly stepped up and served your society well as President, and prior to that, as Treasurer. Terri is still in the background helping me transition into the role of President.

Thanks to retiring board member Mark Thompson. Mark returned to help fill a gap on the board and now returns to his title as past-President of Suncoast Blues Society.

Thank you, Vinny Marini, for your experience and wisdom with Events.

Thank you, Lynn Degin for your work in transitioning membership responsibility to Traci Zimmerman.

In my short time as President, I’ve been impressed with board members. I appreciate the boards dedication and energy, and I look forward to working aside

  • Ed Kirk, Vice President
  • Carole Peters, Treasurer
  • Linda Rasor, Secretary
  • Cheryl Spradling, Events & Merchandise
  • James Randolph, Outreach
  • Traci Zimmerman, Membership

As alternates

  • Michael Lortz, Content
  • Noray Sarkesian, Volunteer Coordinator

We still seek alternatives to assist with the many tasks this organization has. In future messages I will talk about how I categorize organizational goals as either operational or aspirational. As a 501c3 non-profit we have many organizational tasks that must be taken care of, some of which are legally required. Aspirational goals are dependent on the support from our members as alternates and volunteers.

Alternates to the Suncoast Blues board is a great way to get to know the organization. Many, including myself, started as an alternate. We can certainly find something for you to do that matches your skills or your interests.

Please say hello to me at events. I am interested in the members’ thoughts, but don’t be surprised if you suggest a wonderful idea  – and we receive many of these – if I ask for your support in turning those ideas into reality. Or if you prefer, send a note to President@suncoastblues.org.

Scott Morris, President Suncoast Blues Society.





Blues Bash at the Ranch runs Friday, March 15, 2024 through March 17, 2024 with three days of incredible blues.  Camping is optional.  Single day and weekend passes are on sale online through 3/11/24; after that tickets are available only at the fest.

Always family and pet friendly.  On Saturday, a full day of activities for children 12 and under; ie, painting, tie dye, piñata, hay ride and more!  Parents meet at the ranch playground to sign your children in.  Also, lots of great vendors on site.

Make sure to take part in our fabulous raffle.  Tickets will be sold Friday and Saturday; drawing is Saturday evening.  Main prize is an autographed electric guitar by all the bands (bands on Sunday will also sign the guitar).  Other great prizes include 2 weekend passes to the 2025 Blues Bash at the Ranch Festival, 2 weekend passes to the 2024 Rock & Roll Revival and 2 weekend passes to the 2024 Camping with the Blues Festival (passes do not include camping) and so much more!

Saturday morning kicks off at 11am with our guitar workshop with Champ Jaxon!  Open to all attendees, this will be fantastic.  Meet at the main pavilion with your guitar.  We’ve got a full day of music ahead.

Music starts at 12:15pm with the Street Preacher Band!  Street Preacher is an Americana roots rock band hailing from Jacksonville Florida; An impacting dynamic sound of resonating soul that pours out in each live performance to every audience. High energy original music from the influential depths of hard-hitting pure rock to storyteller old soul to the criminal sounds of southern rock & the blues.

The Champ Jaxon Band takes the stage at 1:45pm; Champ Jaxon is an old soul with a new perspective.

At 13 years-old, this aspiring blues-rock musician is based out of Southwest Florida. Champ has performed over 120 gigs with The Champ Jaxon Band in nine different states. He first performed on Music Row in Nashville in 2021 when he was just ten years old and Beale Street in Memphis a year later, representing the Southwest Florida Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge. He appeared on “The Ellen Show” with guest host Brad Paisley in December of 2021 and made his acting debut on NBC’s “Ordinary Joe” a month later. Champ also performed at the 2022 Young Artist Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, where he took home the “Outstanding Instrumentalist” honors.   There are too many accolades for this young man to list.  Check out this website for more info!  The blues have a great future!

At 3:15pm, Jared Petteys & the Headliners takes the stage!  With a sound as classic as the crackling of a Sun Records vinyl still spinning somewhere in Memphis, yet as fresh as the musical stylings of the 21st century, Jared Petteys & The Headliners are busy making waves with their genre-bending brand of tunes. Reminiscent of the vibrant heyday of rock n roll music, the band finds their origins in the styles of classic country, rockabilly, and blues all the while ushering in a new era of rock-and-roll that is as distinctive as the men who form it. Born in the marshes of coastal South Carolina, Jared Petteys (lead vocals/guitar), Stephen Palmer (upright bass), and Russell Lee (drums/backing vocals), blended their unique individualities and influences together to create a band with a rare sincerity that is not often seen in today’s industry. They have spent the past five years cutting their teeth in the South Eastern music scene while simultaneously running the roads discovering who they are and where they belong in the world as they plant roots in towns big and small across the country by burning down every stage they step on. Their high-energy, emotive stage presence is as lively as their melodies.

The Shaelyn Band is up next at 4:40pm – this band is taking the industry by storm!  The whole band has a cool vibe with a unique sound, and are very engaging with the audience. You can’t help but groove with them when they play.  Hope everyone has on their dancing shoes!

We take a dinner break at 5:45pm – lots of great food from our vendors or campers bring their own.

Power trio, Soul Miners Unions plays next at 6:30pm; they are a red hot blues rock power trio that sets the stage on fire with their killer tones, scorching riffs, and huge dynamic range.  Their diverse catalog and energetic live performances feature an explosive intersection of frontman Ben Brandt’s virtuosic guitar work and soulful voice, Liam Galiano’s powerful bass playing and songwriting, and Aidan Reeve’s full-throttle drumming style.  Soul Miners Union is quickly taking the blues rock world by storm.

At 8pm, RB Stone joins us on stage.  RB is a man who has lived the life that Americana, country, and blues songs are made of, so no wonder he writes and performs them so well. With years under his belt as a railroad worker, cowboy, plumber, Hollywood actor, truck driver and jet pilot, RB has a genuine knack for grit and guts with an undeniable talent that keeps audiences electrified.  Just as RB is a jack of all trades, he’s also a jack of all genres. A natural storyteller, RB is just as skilled at delighting engaged house-concert audiences with his country and folk-leaning songs as he is revving up festival goers with his band-backed blues and rock and roll. Whether playing an acoustic or electric guitar, RB is at home on stages of all shapes and sizes and knows how to deliver memorable performances for the most intimate or expansive of audiences.

We close out the evening at 9:30pm with the ever popular Biscuit Miller & the Mix with Rachelle Coba.

Biscuit is an electric blues bassist, singer and songwriter. He writes most of his own material, and has released three albums to date. In 2012 and 2017, Miller won a Blues Music Award in the ‘Instrumentalist – Bass’ category. His best known songs include “Lay It On Down”, “Bottle of Whiskey Bottle of Wine”, “Going Home”, “One More Mile”, “Monday Morning Blues”, and “Wishbone”.  Biscuit is well known for his 1000 watt smile that lights up the stage. Performing with the band is, Rachelle Coba, a high powered guitarist and vocalist.

After the last band plays, musicians who did not have to leave for other shows, will get up to jam.  Our evening jams are epic!

For more information on camping and tickets, please call Roseanne at 941-758-7585 or go online:

www.bluesbashattheranch.com      We can’t wait to see you at the bash!

Greg & Roseanne

Sarasota Cigar Box Fest Weekend

Sarasota Cigar Box Fest Weekend

Sarasota Cigar Box Fest Weekend

Sarasota Cigar Box Fest Weekend

March 8-9, 2024

Cigar box guitar fans and blues fans have much to look forward to as Big Top Brewery in Sarasota will be the focal point for a full day of music celebrating home-made instruments.

Hand-crafted string instruments found their start in the blues. Artists like Bo Diddley popularized instruments made from cigar boxes, borrowing a custom created by the sharecroppers who started blues music. The history of blues  is linked to homemade instruments. And this weekend is a musical celebration of this legacy.

Our area is fortunate that Steve Arvey calls it home. Raised on Chicago blues Steve has become one of the world’s premier cigar box guitar (CBG) players. Steve will open the weekend as he performs with  Shane Speal at Hot Sands Tiki Bar in Sarasota on March 8th. Shane is a builder, player, author, and historian of cigar box guitars and built his first instrument in 1993. Shane is credited for helping popularize this musical genre.

Saturday March 9th is the main event. In addition to Steve and Shane performing at Big Top, the fest will welcome John Nickel to Sarasota. A life-long musician beginning at the tender age of two, life events derailed his musical focus until 2009 when he built his first CBG. As John stated, “ I honestly feel like CBGs gave me a second chance at music” And that is the charm of this genre – it’s provided many without financial means, or without time – the ability to pick up an instrument easily and make music.

The Garbage-Men band is what home-made instruments are all about. Billing themselves as “promote recycling reuse & community service by playing music on instruments we make from garbage” you never know what pieces of someone else’s “trash” are turned into their musical, and our, “treasure.”

Resonator guitars, or Dobro’s, found fame in the early days of blues. And at this fest we are delighted to have Devin Williams in attendance. Devin is an emerging star and performs solo Delta Blues. Devin stays true to history while performing songs created by the originators of the genre and writes his own music that will take you back to the early days of blues.

Plenty of vendors will be on site, and our own Gary Drouin of Memphis Rub Band will have his home-built Hurricane Amplifiers at the fest. There will be a raffle for a homemade cigar box guitar.

10th Anniversary Camping With the Blues October 20-22, 2023

10th Anniversary Camping With the Blues October 20-22, 2023

10th Anniversary Camping With the Blues October 20-22, 2023

10th Anniversary Camping With the Blues
October 20-22, 2023

The venue is now the Florida Sand Music Ranch managed by the Will McLean Foundation.  It was previously the Sertoma Youth Ranch, and its emphasis on music is now even stronger.

Day 1 Friday –

  1. Soulful Femme hit the stage at 5:20pm. Lead singer Stevee Wellons announced she has been working with SBS favorite Kevin Burt and that her new CD contains a duo with her and Kevin. She and guitarist Cheryl Rinovato traveled from Pennsylvania. Great vocals – big sound. Very soulful.
  2. Street Preacher. Very ethnically diverse group. They competed at the IBC last year but were too busy this year, a good thing. They rocked the stage.
  3. Sister Lucille hit the stage at 8pm. Sister puts it all out there, from her head down to her red shoes – even had a song about her shoes. Sister started her career doing country at an early age and played Grand Ole Opry at age 19. They received a Blues Blast Award in 2020. Ended their set with a killer rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Out On The Killing Floor.”
  4. Ray Fuller closed the night with his Texas style country blues that had everyone up rockin’ and dancing.

Day 2 Saturday –

  1. Dockta D and the Powers That Be hit the stage at 12:20pm. Dockta plays that harp and directs his band like a great showman. Always enjoyable. And what a great surprise when “Magic Dick” , famous harp player from the J Geils Band, joined them on stage. Big bonus!
  2. Alex Lopez was next doing what Alex does best – steady rockin’ blues with a purpose.
  3. Billy the Kid & the Regulators. Billy came with a great band. Billy gained fame being the guy that led the jams at Bruce Wheeler’s great Heritage Music Blues Festival in Wheeling, W.V. Good to see Billy. Gets down and dances with the crowd.
  4. David Julia came on at 4:20pm. Appropriate. It’s great to see how David has progressed since we (SBS) sent him to the IBC when he was 18 years old. Covered a favorite Damon Fowler song. Great set – great young man.
  5. Shaw Davis & the Black Ties. There is no doubt about Shaw’s ability to rock a stage.
  6. Joey Gilmore. Joey was like a breath of fresh air. Everyone was starving for some real Blues. Joey delivered. Rich golden voice supreme. Joey, among others, was very appreciative of our crowd that really knows when something is real. Joey got cheered like no one else.
  7. Slim and the Perkolators! While introducing the band Slim ends by saying, “and I’m Slim and I play a child’s toy.” Their music and Slim’s antics on stage have a childlike innocence. It all works and the fun they have on stage draws the crowd in.

Day 3 Sunday –

  1. Kurt Allen. This great band traveled from Kansas City to show their skills. Soulful, driving blues. Good bass lines – good vocals. Hope to see more of these guys in Florida.
  2. Eric Demmer. There was a lot of buzz about this band before their arrival. Rumors had it that Eric had just signed with Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records. They traveled from Houston and they did not disappoint. Hugo, their very demonstrative lead guitar, was very entertaining. Eric sings and plays a mean saxophone. Their bass player, “Double D,” is a Florida native and will help get this band back to Florida soon to perform. It’s in the works – stay tuned. Very entertaining!
  3. Frank Bang. Local favorite Frank gained notoriety while working at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. Always a favorite.
  4. The Jimmys. Wisconsin band making their much anticipated return to Florida after playing the Bradenton Blues Fest 2 years ago and the SBS 25th Anniversary Party at Skipper’s last year. Great lyrics are often humorous. These guys have fun on stage and it transmits to the crowd. Very talented musicians.

Lafayette Reid