Youth Day at Tampa Bay Blues Festival

Youth Day at Tampa Bay Blues Festival

Youth Day at Tampa Bay Blues Festival


Youth Day at Tampa Bay Blues Festival
Sunday, April 16th, 2023

 The Tampa Bay Blues Festival (TBBF) is a 3-Day event held in beautiful
Vinoy Waterfront Park, St Petersburg, Florida  April 14-16, 2023.
Some of the world’s preeminent Blues Music artists will perform.

Blues is the foundation of American Music, from Gospel to Jazz, from
Rock-n-Roll to Hip Hop. Blues music is the springboard that launched it all.

Suncoast Blues Society and TBBF are committed to introducing youth to this historic form.
We are making a special offer to our next generation of Blues music lovers…

Youth up to age 18 and a chaperone can receive a
Free Complimentary Pass!!

  1. The TBBF promoter has also arranged for one of the performing artists to meet with our “young guests”.  He will announce it from the stage Sunday April 14th.
  2. To receive your Free Complimentary Pass for Sunday’s festival, everyone attending must supply their names to jamesrandolph@verizon.net by April 1, 2023.
  3. Your Pass will be available at the ‘Will Call’ ticket booth under your names on Sunday, April 10th. School age youth and chaperone must present ID (school ID, drivers license, etc.) to claim “comp pass”. (No youth or adult info will be used for marketing or shared with any other organizations.)
  4. Neither TBBF nor SBS accepts any liability for youth and adults accepting this free offer (regular ticket price for this day is $50!) to attend Sunday’s festival event. Chaperones are responsible for youth behavior.
  5. If you have questions, you may contact Terri O’Brien at president@suncoastblues.org

Sunday’s lineup features:

JT Lauritsen& The Buckshot Hunters
Jimmy Carpenter
Vanessa Collier
Mr. Sipp
The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

Message from your President…

Your Suncoast Blues Society just wrapped up another busy year. Here are some of the things your Board accomplished in 2022 that reflect our mission statement:

Dedicated to celebrating and promoting the musical genre known as the blues,

  • Participated in 23 events which included 8 major Blues Festivals 

preserving it’s history and traditions, supporting blues musicians,

  • Hosted 8 Blues in the Community (BITC) events
  • Created partnerships with 4 new venues (Masaryk Winery, Bayboro Brewery, Red Star Live, and Palladium) to promote bBues music
  • Hosted 6 of our own events, including
  • Tas Cru @ Bayboro Brewery
  • Giving Challenge events at Bayboro and the Music Compound
  • Memphis Lightning and Trey Wanvig @ Gill Dawg for IBC sendoff!
  • Alastair Greene at the Side Door / Palladium
  • Our 25th Anniversary Party @ Skippers that had EVERYONE dancing!
  • Annual Beach Bash 

and sharing blues music with current and future generations in the Tampa Bay Area.

  • Awarded our first ever Blues Foundation IBC Youth Showcase sponsorship – Trey Wanvig
  • Partnered with Chuck Ross to sponsor Youth Day at the Tampa Bay Blues Fest –

And recruited 3 new Board members – allow me to introduce them to you…

Vinny Marini

You would never guess by talking to him (lol), but Vinny was born and raised in NY. He has been in love with music since the day he was born and has been broadcasting radio music shows since he was 16.

Vinny began writing album reviews and conducting written interviews with musicians that led to his creating Music On The Couch. That can now be heard, along with his other show Roots & Fruits, on the True Grit Roots Network.   “I love what the Suncoast Blues Society does and how they are constructed and I want to be a part of it and help continue to grow in this area.”

Carole Peters

Carole is a native of St. Louis, home to many famous Blues musicians and grew up playing music and attending concerts. These early musical experiences provided the basis of her love and appreciation of musicians and their craft.  Carole became a member of the Suncoast Blues Society shortly after moving to Florida in 2015 – you may recognize her as the lovely lady who is always willing to take your money in exchange for a cool shirt or a new CD at one of our SBS events.  Carole has been a member of civic organizations in her hometown of New Port Richey for seven years, volunteering at many charity events.  “I am looking forward to applying my leadership and organizational skills to the advancement of the Suncoast Blues Society.” 

Mark Thompson (aka Big Kahuna)

Mark is a past Board member and former President of the Suncoast Blues Society.  After stepping aside for a few years, he has decided to return to the Board in hopes of working on developing a stronger Blues in the Schools presence, initially in the Bradenton community and spreading from there, by establishing solid partnerships with organizations like Realize Bradenton to accomplish that goal. Mark is also a writer for Blues Blast Magazine, Blues Music Magazine, and the Chicago Blues Guide website. “I have been listening to Blues music for more than five decades.”

 

President’s Message…

President’s Message…

President’s Message…

President’s Message…

Well folks, another year coming to a close. Life moves on and with it comes change and so it is for your Suncoast Blues Society.  Three of our Board members, Scott Morris, Pat Smoot and Jesse Smoot, are retiring after 3 years of ‘active duty’.

Jesse was our Secretary for a few years then took on Membership and did a great job organizing and updating our system to reflect current needs – no small task but perfect for someone as detail-oriented as Jesse is.  In addition, he updated our Bylaws and worked with his lovely wife, our Merchandise guru. Pat is one of the most organized people I have ever met! She was an experienced buyer before retiring and inventoried and organized all of our merchandise.

Pat & Jesse are a great Team – they were always the first ones to arrive and set up at the Festivals and the last ones to pack up and leave. They kept our old trailer in working order and more than once hosted Board meetings at their lovely home.

Scott wore multiple hats during his tenure including Treasurer, working on content for our weekly eblast such as CD and event reviews, FB posting, and organizing multiple events. In addition, he dragged us kicking and screaming into the 21st century by updating our website to include online sales of merchandise and improving our online documents and records storage which was a huge project. It will take at least 3 people to replace him!  We wish him well in his next adventure, S&B Sound.

We have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with these folks – be sure and thank them when you see them out and about.

Stay tuned next week to meet our 3 new Board members!

Terri

 

 

 

CD Review: Jimmy Hall Review – Ready Now

CD Review: Jimmy Hall Review – Ready Now

CD Review: Jimmy Hall Review – Ready Now

Jimmy Hall

Review – Ready Now

Former Wet Willie front man and harmonica player Jimmy Hall has forged a successful but under the radar career since stepping out on his own. That’s about to change. Ready Now just smokes! Jimmy has never been better or on target, and this Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith produced Keeping The Blues Alive recording delivers, big time.

With numerous guest appearances including a quartet of guitar slingers, the recording starts off with an appearance by Josh Smith on “Girl’s Got Sugar.” This song sets the tone for the recording as Jimmy successfully transfers his non-stop stage show energy into this recording.

For me, the most entertaining song on the collection follows. “Jumpin’ For Joy “ may be the signature song on the recording and does not disappoint. The video released in support of this recording (filmed in Nashville as Jimmy walks down a street) is energetic with whimsical moments.

But Jimmy can get down and gritty as demonstrated on “Risin’ Up.’ Beginning with a nice keyboard lead in with a bluesy harmonica Jimmy shows off his soulful voice and delivers a most entertaining song. “Putting one foot in front of the other” Jimmy and co-writer Bonamassa (who lends sweet guitar licks to this recording) built a memorable song. One that quickly became a favorite.

Allman Brothers fans take note – “Dream Release” is a song co-written by Jimmy and his son Ryan Hall is a tribute to Gregg Allman and the friendship Gregg and Jimmy shared.

Former Allman Brothers and present Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes joins the party on the title track. “Ready Now” is a rock ballad that builds energy throughout, and this could become a mainstay in Jimmy’s shows. This song touches the soul and Warren’s slide playing is spot on, ending with his slide running down the fretboard to produce a sound and tone that is reminiscent of the ending to “Layla.”

Bonamassa and his bandmate, the legendary keyboardist Reese Wynans  collaborate on “Holding on For Dear Love.”  This soulful number shows how masterfully Jimmy can blend his voice into a band.

“Two Jimmy’s (Carpenter and Hall)

“A Long Goodbye” begins with Jimmy’s mournful harp followed by some of the best singing on this recording. Great lyrics set the mood on this ballad. Joe’s guitar brings an edge into the song, and the backend of the song takes on a different feel as Joe unleashes a blast furnace of hot licks.

The bluesy toe-tapper “Will You Still Be Here” is enjoyable and is followed by guitar virtuoso Jared James Nichols guesting on “Without Your Love.” Using a 12-string guitar, this song has a rock feel and left me wanting more from the duo of Jimmy and Jared.

At 48 minutes, this 11-song recording is a masterpiece. Non-stop fun from the downbeat and the depth and breadth of this recording is amazing. Accolades and awards should be forthcoming for Ready Now! It surely will have me “Keep on Smilin’”.

  • Scott Morris, Treasurer, Suncoast Blues Society

Photo by Author. Big Blues Bender, Las Vegas 2021

Links

Jumpin’ For Joy Video

Jimmy Hall Ready Now

IBC Challenge Update

IBC Challenge Update

IBC Challenge Update

IBC Challenge Update

Your Suncoast Blues Society Board of Directors recently met to discuss the Blues Foundation’s 2023 International Blues Challenge (IBC). The conclusion of the 2022 event resulted in our representative band, Memphis Lightning, taking home the award for Best Produced CD! Congratulations to the band for their award, and for their success in the competition. You can read about the award on our website.

While their decision to move the 2022 challenge from January to May was necessary, it did not give your Board enough time to properly plan for and host a 2023 challenge. The work to host a challenge is extensive and takes close to six months to pull together. Therefore, your Society will NOT be hosting a challenge for the 2023 IBC.

However, we strongly encourage any member band or solo/duo to reach out to other Florida blues societies for participation in their challenge. In fact, last year our contestant band Randy Stephens and the Groove Makers was encouraged by your Board to apply to Southwest Florida Blues Society’s challenge, and they won!

We are aware of three challenges of interest:

The Villages Blues Society (TVBS) is hosting their challenge on November 14 at City Fire Restaurant Lake Sumter Landing 1018 Canal Street The Villages. A maximum of six bands will compete, and there will be no solo-duo competition. Entry is on first come basis, so if you are interested in competing at TVBS challenge, promptly contact Marcia Adams at thevillagesblues@gmail.com.

Southwest Florida Blues Society (SWFBS) is hosting their challenge on October 16th at Cape Cabaret in Cape Coral. Information, including a registration form is available on the SWFBS website.

Orange Blossom Blues Society (OBBS) is hosting their challenge on Sunday, November 20th at the Alley in Sanford. Deadline to register for the event is Oct 30th. The registration fee of $50 must be received by that date as well, and at least one member of the band (or solo/duo) has to be a member of OBBS in order to compete.  Interested musicians can email obbs4u@gmail.com for any questions they may have.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support – 

Terri O’Brien

 

Alex Lopez Band CD Release Party August 12, Sarasota FL

Alex Lopez Band CD Release Party August 12, Sarasota FL

Alex Lopez Band CD Release Party August 12, Sarasota FL

Alex Lopez Band CD Release Party
August 12, Sarasota FL

Tampa-based musician Alex Lopez brought his powerful band, The Xpress, to the Browne’s Lab Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre (FST) for a party to celebrate the release of Nasty Crime. And what a party it was as Alex and the band treated the large turnout to a non-stop energetic set of music that left the crowd standing in applause.

Taking the stage in the intimate, and quite lovely, room at FST, Alex and the band played primarily from the new release. “No Way” set the tone and got the band engaged early, as Alex wove crafty lyrics and licks around the up-tempo beat of this song. Flowing seamlessly from song to song “Just Wait” turned up the heat and highlighted the understated licks that he delivers.
Alex paused to introduce the concept behind his music writing philosophy and that properly set the scene for the title track, “Nasty Crime.” The Xpress (Kana Leimbach on drums, Steve Roberts on bass, Kenny Hoye on keys) kept up a driving beat, with Kenny tossing in some nice keyboard runs to counterpoint Alex and his guitar.

The slower bluesy “When The Sun Goes Down” followed. This song contains poignant lyrics that Alex crafted after reflection on life’s twists and turns. “Holy Woman” has a funky blues feel and is Alex’s tribute to the positive impact women make in the world. Scalding guitar licks accompanied this song.
Kana Leimbach drumming kicked off the next song, the current recording’s rocking first cut “World On Fire.” Alex showed his slide guitar skills, weaving slide rhythm with lead licks.
Concluding the formal sequence of Nasty Crimes songs, Alex played the recording’s final song, “That’s Alright.” Kenny on keys, and Alex, traded off during the lovely melody. Alex’s measured guitar response and solo gave this performance immense charm and kept me quite entertained, enough to call this my favorite moment of the evening.

Transitioning away from the current release, Alex performed the title to 2017’s Slowdown. Playing from 2021’s Rising Up, the band performed the title track, and “Paradise”. Yours Truly, Me (2019) contributed the bluest song of this evening, “Take Me Back Home”. A lovely song with an equally compelling slide guitar. Most enjoyable. On this evening, the same recording contributed “Tush,” a funky version of the ZZ Top classic.
Returning to Slowdown, the blues punctuated “Stolen,” and was followed by “Dangerous.” That wrapped the formal performance, and after a break of few seconds the encore kicked of with “Light It Up,” and the show concluded with “Even Up The Score.” One hour, forty-five minutes of non-stop fun!
Scott Morris, Treasurer, Suncoast Blues Society
(Photos by author)