TGRN True Grit Roots Network, LLC. Launches TGRN BLUES

TGRN True Grit Roots Network, LLC. Launches TGRN BLUES

TGRN True Grit Roots Network, LLC. Launches TGRN BLUES

TGRN True Grit Roots Network, LLC. Launches TGRN BLUES

Austin, TX, September 1, 2023 – TGRN True Grit Roots Network (TGRN), a Digital Radio Network dedicated to roots music, is pleased to announce the launch of TGRN BLUES, a 24×7, Digital Radio Channel dedicated to keeping the Blues alive and thriving as of September 5, 2023. TGRN BLUES is readily available through any streaming device in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom through our Mobile App, Live365 Player, Alexa, Roku, Samsung TV, Apple TV, and other popular streaming platforms. We are a FREE, non-subscription-based service for all Blues music fans to enjoy.

Led by Founder and CEO, Jonathan Richards, “TGRN BLUES fills a widening void of quality, original programming with educated and passionate Blues Personalities.” Vinny Marini, a veteran radio personality, and newly named Program Director of TGRN BLUES, feels the same, “It has been a dream to put together a group of Blues lovers & educators, to allow them to share their passion for this genre, and we are just beginning.”

Eleven radio personalities will bring a diverse mix of Blues along with R&B, Zydeco and Gospel programming from across North America. Radio Personalities include: The Real Lady A, Gina Coleman, Ray Brown, Angela Easley, Holly Harris, Jeff Hayes, “Big Daddy” Ray Hansen, Amber Hill, “Memphis” Mark Sonnemann, Vinny Marini, and Jonathan “Oogie” Richards.  

More information for show schedules and station news is available at  (  TGRN True Grit Roots Network – Austin, TX


EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

EG Kight “Sticks & Strings” – CD Review

Sticks & Strings

In September 2023, Kight released her 10th blues album, STICKS & STRINGS which again features the EG Kight Trio in a simple, acoustic setting. EG and her “boys,” as she affectionately calls them – Gary Porter and Ken Wynn – offer a wide variety of blues/roots music with these songs, nine of which were written or co-written by Kight. EG and the “boys” put on a great show for your Suncoast Blues Society at the Palladium Side Door in June – after listening to her new CD (several times!), we hope to have them back for a CD release party. One of our members, Gary Weeks, wrote a review for us.



Dublin, Georgia artist EG Kight has been a road warrior for many years. At the clubs, festivals, ans WRFG Blues Barbeques in Atlanta, GA, her style of Southern blues always goes over well with the audiences who wish to lie back and let the music wash over them.


The acoustic harp driven “Talk to Me” kicks off the album and its front porch ambience conveys the down-home vibe Kight brings to her music. No blues rock here folks. Just sweet Southern Soul that is a gulp of fresh air carrying into album cut, “If You Have No Reservations,” which could have been recorded in Muscle Shoals Studio.


The big surprise is Kight’s rendering of the Allman Brothers classic, “Come and Go Blues.” In EG’s hands, the tune is an acoustic laid-back gem that the late Gregg Allman would have admired.


“Already Gone,” with its snaky slide lines, sounds like it was conceived in the Mississippi mud well after midnight.  The introspective “All Things Considered” sees Kight climbing out of the well of despair to reach for the light. The pace heats a tad bit in “God, Goats and Guitars” and really warms up in “My Baby’s Hiding Something,” with harp and acoustic guitar playing pushing this number on a delicious groove. 


Kight’s percussive acoustic attack pushes “Two Sides To Every Story” into defiant ground until “Changes Coming Down” trots out to the Western Plains with its country blues lines.  And EG Kight has no problems switching into victory mode with “I Won’t Ever Give Up.”


Kight’s acoustic guitar stands at the forefront of the CD which goes to show heavy amplification and loud guitars don’t need to make the music. This philosophy has served Kight well. No need to change anything.

Gary Weeks


Interview – Doug MacLeod, Renowned Blues Artist

Interview – Doug MacLeod, Renowned Blues Artist

Interview – Doug MacLeod, Renowned Blues Artist

Interview – Doug MacLeod, Renowned Blues Artist

Prepared by Lynn A. Deglin, 7/8/23

Doug is an accomplished musician and performer.  Your Suncoast Blues Society is thrilled to have him back in the Tampa Bay area and has been instrumental in arranging some local events.

Where you can see Doug perform in the Tampa Bay Area

  • Fogartyville Community Arts Center in Sarasota on 7/21/23 @8pm (Tickets)
  • Cottonmouth Soul Kitchen in Bradenton on 7/22/23 @7pm (Tickets – SBS members get a discounted ticket of $15 at the door with SBS membership card)
  • The Side Door / Palladium Theater in St. Pete on 7/23/23 @3pm (Tickets– SBS members get a $5 discount)

Our very own Board member, Lynn Deglin, wanted to know more about Doug so she reached out to him to talk about some of his life experiences.

Some Highlights of Doug’s Blues Journey

Doug was very interested in R&B and the musicians of the time such as Albert King, B.B. King and Chuck Berry. Doug started off in St. Louis, MO, as a bass player. He was about 16 years old and decided that – in order to meet girls – he needed to switch to the guitar. When asked if that was successful, he indicated that it helped!

Doug said that he was 19 when he met Mr. Ernest Banks – an old one-eyed Blues singer – in Toano, VA. One night Doug said to Mr. Banks, “I don’t know nothing about picking cotton, never had to do it. And the stuff I’ve seen and learned from you about bones and mojos I don’t want to know no more about it. So what do I write about?” That’s when Mr. Banks said, “You ever been lonely, needed a woman? Need some money for that little apartment you got?”  I said, “Yeah.” He said “Then write about that boy … that’s the Blues too.” And that’s what Doug’s music is based on.

As time went on, Doug became an accomplished storyteller. This comes from letting people know that the songs came from Doug’s experiences – following what Mr. Banks told him.

Doug had several other mentors – namely, David “Honeyboy” Edwards and George “Harmonica” Smith. After hearing Doug play, George “Harmonica”  Smith said, “You sound like B.B. King.” Doug responded with “Thanks George.” George then said “That’s not a compliment. Let’s put Dubb out there and see what happens with Dubb.” George gave Doug the nickname.

Doug feels greatly honored to have been accepted into the fold by these Blues musicians and to be mentored by them. They knew a lot about life and having to make big decisions and although they were barely literate, they had a lot of wisdom.

Over time, Doug did a lot of work in Los Angeles, CA. There he had the good fortune to play with wonderful musicians like Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton and – of course – George “Harmonica” Smith.

Doug has traveled all over the world and – since 1993 – has performed solo. He has had many amazing experiences such as performing at an Artisan event in Belgium. There, he fell asleep to the smell of chocolate as he was staying above a chocolatier’s store.

Doug lives in Memphis, TN, with his wife. He has found a city where there is great respect for all types of music. He discovered Memphis when he attended a Blues Awards event. 

How the Music Business has Changed

Doug said that the music business has radically changed. When he started in the music business, a record company needed to have faith in you to make an investment. This system pushed out many talented musicians as there just weren’t a lot of slots for new musicians.

Now, anyone can make a CD (good or bad). Also, there is streaming which pays about .0072 cents per download. Musicians are going to Congress to ask that a change be made in this structure as it is not fair to the musicians. Doug recently decided to do an online release called  Raw Blues 1.

Doug noted that he misses the concept of a downtown (versus an online store) where one can visit local stores and bump into people and have chats. I mentioned that downtown St. Pete is a good place to have that type of experience.

Thanks much, Doug, for taking the time to chat with me as a board member of the Suncoast Blues Society!  If you want to learn more about Doug’s music and accomplishments, please go to his website.







2023 Beach Bash…

2023 Beach Bash…

2023 Beach Bash…

2023 Beach Bash…

It’s that time of year again so dig out your swimsuit, sunglasses, and sun hat because your Suncoast Blues Society will be celebrating YOU, our loyal members, with our Annual Beach Bash on Sunday, August 27th from 1- 6:00 pm at the St Petersburg Lions Club Beach House.

Al Razz and the Rocking Blues Review will kick things off at 2pm, followed by our annual jam session. 

Bring your favorite dish to share. We will have some beverages available or BYOB if you prefer.  We are looking for donations of beer and wine – if you have a connection, please reach out to them or send us the info and we will gladly contact them.

You can renew your membership and receive 3 free CD’s – may as well bring a friend to join also.  We will be drawing the name of one lucky Blues fan that day for a guitar signed by many of your favorite Blues artists.

Looking forward to seeing everyone and definitely bring your dancin’ shoes!

P.S.  This is an Adults only event.







Davy Knowles Review Cottonmouth, July 1, 2023

Davy Knowles Review Cottonmouth, July 1, 2023

Davy Knowles Review Cottonmouth, July 1, 2023

Davy Knowles Review
Cottonmouth, July 1, 2023

Sometimes, it all comes together, and such as the case at Cottonmouth southern Soul Kitchen when Davy Knowles and his band came to town. And gave those in attendance a night to remember. This was one of the best shows I’ve seen!

Touring with Tod Bowles on bass, and Mark Hansen on drums, the band hit the stage at 8PM and performed a non-stop 2-hour set that left the audience standing and asking for more.

But before we get to the review of Davy’s show, Steve Arvey opened for Davy, and in typical Steve fashion, had the audience entertained with his wit, songs, and guitar playing. First starting with a cigar box guitar instrumental, Steve switched to his signature acoustic guitar for most of the one-hour set.  Deftly using a stomp-box, Steve performed classic blues, and brought Deacon Gibson to the stage for harmonica playing. Steve entertained the audience, and solicited many laughs, with tales from his storied blues career. Make no mistake about it, while Steve is an entertainer, he is a serious musician with significant skills. These skills will be revisited later, as Steve ends his set playing a red Stratocaster that will be a central part of the show later in the evening.


Playing from many of his recordings, Davy and the band took the stage and set a high-energy tone with Ain’t Much of Nothin’ from his 2016 recording “Three Miles From Avalon”. Davy’s blistering guitar work was spot on and engaged the audience from the downbeat. Next up was Riverbed, first heard during Davy’s days with Back Door Slam. Completing a frenetic first three songs the band launched into Catch The Moon from 2015’s “The Outsider”. If any newcomers to a Davy Knowles show did not know his guitar talents, they understood after the first three songs.

The band, and the audience, needed to catch their breath, and next up was Devil and the Deep Blue Sea from the latest release, “What Happens Next”. To be sure, this song shows a different side of the band and is a well-crafted entertaining piece of music. Equally, entertaining if not downright spectacular was the bands treatment of Cream’s Outside Women Blues. This song featured a tight jam with the band complete with some amazing technical guitar work by Davy.


Changing guitars, Davy brought out the slide and demonstrated his significant skills with the slide while performing Ain’t No Grave, once again from “The Outsider”. Hell To Pay, from “What Happens Next” was a particular highlight, with Davy using dynamics to build and release emotions from the audience. Masterful.


Steve Arvey was brought to the stage and traded licks with Davy on Garbage Man, and following this song Steve took the vocal lead on a nice version of Ain’t Nobody’s Business.  The band then surprised with a smoking version of the funky classic Fire On the Bayou, with Davy providing some of the hottest licks of the evening. But this surprise paled to what came next. For the first time in the evening, Davy showed his equally entertaining side of a storyteller. As expressed in my last article about Davy, he has a gift for storytelling and this art is part of the charm of a Davy Knowles performance.

Davy picked up Steve’s red Stratocaster, and proceeded to say that he just could not resist this opportunity.  And then explained that when he started playing guitar he wanted to be like Mark Knopfler. And there it was: the band launched their version of the Dire Straits classic Sultans of Swing. As someone who has attended many shows at Cottonmouth, the ovation at the end of this song was among the loudest and most sustained I’ve witnessed in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts. The song was a tour de force from start to finish.

The audience was unrelenting with their applause and the band provided an encore of Wake Me Up When The Nightmare is Over. Sort of ironic because this evening of music provided joy and sweet dreams for the attendees, who witnessed a special night of music in Bradenton. This band, if they should so choose, is ready to take the next step to larger venues. They are that good.


  • Scott Morris
  • Photo’s by Jim Hartzell



Selwyn Birchwood  – “Exorcist” CD Review

Selwyn Birchwood – “Exorcist” CD Review

Selwyn Birchwood – “Exorcist” CD Review

Fourth Alligator Records Album from Innovative Award-Winning
Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter

On Friday, June 9, award-winning Florida bluesman Selwyn Birchwood will
release Exorcist, his highly anticipated fourth Alligator Records release. The young guitarist, lap steel player, songwriter and vocalist sets a course for the future of the blues with his visionary, original music. He calls it “Electric Swamp Funkin’ Blues,” an intoxicating mix of deep blues, blistering, psychedelic-tinged rock, booty-shaking funk and sweet Southern soul, played and sung with fire-and-brimstone fervor. Tastemaker Americana music magazine No Depression says, “Selwyn Birchwood reaches back in the blues tradition to launch something out of this world.” Exorcist will be available on purple vinyl LP, CD and at all popular streaming and download sites. The first single, the ripped-from-the-headlines howler FLorida Man, hit radio and streamers in May.

On Exorcist, Birchwood delivers the most far-reaching, musically adventurous album of his career. Recorded in Florida and produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge, each of the 13 vividly detailed songs was written and arranged by Birchwood. The soul-baring tracks all hit with lasting rhymes and unexpected rhythms. Each twists its own tale, ranging from the love-gone-wrong Horns Below Her Halo to the love-gone-terrifying Exorcist to the autobiographical Underdog. According to Blues Music Magazine, “Selwyn Birchwood heralds a fresh, exciting new direction in the blues. Toe-tapping, hip-shaking, joyful and inviting…expansive and focused, exploratory and time-honored, but always original.”

Live, Birchwood is a force of nature. His ability to win over an audience—any audience—is proven night after night on the bandstand. With his warm, magnetic personality, Birchwood is as down-to-earth as his music is thought-provoking and electrifying, with Birchwood’s band featuring the pulsating interplay of his blistering guitar with Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax. When he sits down to play his lap steel, he takes the crowd to a whole other level, with the music exorcising any bad times and troubles.

Now, with Exorcist, Selwyn Birchwood and his band are ready to deliver the new songs live to expanding, enraptured audiences around the world, lifting spirits while banishing demons. Asked what fans can expect when they see him, Birchwood replies, “My goal is to be sure you cannot listen passively. We’re going to make you dance, and we’re going to make you think.” One listen to Exorcist will no doubt convert many new true believers: this is visionary contemporary blues written and performed by an endlessly creative, modern-day blues master.