Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

Pasco Blues Fest Review

On a cloudy February 6th the 5th Annual Pasco County Blues Fest was welcomed by a good-sized crowd that was clearly starved to hear their blues music. Kevin and his team at Penguin Productions did a great job pulling it off – a beautiful day spent with friends and live music!

The day started with a blistering set of music by new-to-the-area Memphis Lightning. This trio brings it to the stage! The band is led by showman, “Lightnin’” Thiboutot, who is also superbly talented with guitar. And it showed, clearly, why no one less than Jimmy Vaughn called him “one of the greatest players around today”. High and well-earned praise indeed.

Backed by “Big Red” Thiboutot on bass, and Ephraim Lowell (Roomful of Blues, Albert Castiglia, and Johnny Winter) on drums, the band played tracks from their 2017 release Trouble and the new release Borrowed Time. Featured during the performance were “Great Day” from the 2017 release, and the title track for the current recording. “Borrowed Time” is a song about when “Lightnin’” was diagnosed with cancer, a subject that along with the recovery was weaved into the performance. The band left the stage to a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

Next up was the always entertaining Sean Chambers Band. No stranger to the fans in attendance, Sean none-the-less delivered a fine set, highlighted by tracks from his release Whiskey and Trouble, along with songs from the recent Welcome to My Blues recording.

A few raindrops fell as Sean started his set, but they were soon gone for good. The set included the “Red Hot Mama” and the always appreciated “Bullfrog Blues”. Sean brought to the stage guest bassist Pat DeSalvo, who previously performed with Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds. The band mixed in a nice version of Bob Seger’s “Come to Papa” and “You Don’t Love Me”, popularized by The Allman Brothers on the legendary Fillmore East recording. 

The show’s final act was Damon Fowler Band.  Damon, along with his regular band mates Chuck Riley and Justin Headley never disappoint and this time was no exception. Calling on his wide range of material, Damon played something from just about every part of his large catalog and also included many songs from this forthcoming release Alafia Moon. A good story teller as well as a musician, Damon gave context to a new song that came together while on tour with George Thorogood. Much of Damon’s set was recently reviewed by Suncoast Blues Society at a show in Sarasota, and that review was sent to our Suncoast Blues News subscribers.

The show ended with a jam that included Damon, Sean, Lightnin’ and surprise guest RB Stone that left the crowd wanting more.

The Pasco fest is not as large as some of the more well-known fests in the area but it was highly enjoyable and easily reachable by most within the Suncoast Blues Society geographic area. This reviewer came up from Manatee County and will be back for the next edition. Put this fest on your watch list for 2022!

Roy Book Binder will be performing at Hideaway Café

Roy Book Binder will be performing at Hideaway Café

Roy Book Binder will be performing at Hideaway Café

Musically, Roy Book Binder is difficult to fence in or categorize. His eclectic repertoire includes blues, country tunes, bluegrass, folk, and popular songs that originated on Tin Pan Alley. He fantasizes that if he had been born 50 years earlier, he would have become a minstrel man. One of his musical heroes, Dave Van Ronk, once described himself as a songster. That title might suit Roy as well, his music, a reflection of his long musical journey through the rich American cultural landscape of the last half of the 20th Century.


Roy will be performing at Hideaway Café in St. Petersburg.

The show is on January 30th 2021


Visit the Hideaway Café website for ticket information.

Jose Ramirez & Anson Funderburgh On Tour

Jose Ramirez & Anson Funderburgh On Tour

Jose Ramirez & Anson Funderburgh On Tour

(The following appeared in a recent edition of Suncoast Blues News. If you are not a subscriber and wish to keep up-to-date on blues happenings on the Suncoast, click this link and join the fun!)

Back by popular demand, Jose Ramirez and Anson Funderburgh are on tour and have a few dates in our area.

1/23: Blue Rooster, Sarasota

1/27: Englewood’s On Dearborn, Englewood

1/30: The Palladium, St Petersburgh

About Jose Ramirez

30 years old, At Jose Ramirez is Costa Rica’s premier Blues artist and has played with some of the biggest names in the Blues industry. These artists include Anson Funderburgh, Mark Hummel, Bryan Lee, Shawn Holt and Albert Castiglia. Jose experienced the American Blues scene for a couple of years and played some of the best Blues clubs in the country including Buddy Guy’s Legends and Rosa’s in Chicago, and The Bradfordville Blues Club in Florida. He also played some of the biggest Blues festivals in the U.S. such as the Washington D.C. Blues Festival and the Bonita Springs Blues Festival in Florida. The Jose Ramirez Band finished second at the 2020 International Blues Challenge.

About Anson Funderburgh

There’s a yin and a yang to Anson Funderburgh. His electric guitar burns with Texas fire that Guitar Player Magazine compared to Otis Rush and Magic Sam. But his guitar can also soothe as the subtle support for Delta blues vocalists who have included Sam Myers, Nick Nixon, and Alabama Mike. Anson has that Austin strut, but his Delta creds are highlighted by being the only artist to have played all 31 of Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festivals.


Pasco County Libraries Presents Free Drive-In Concert Dec. 4

Pasco County Libraries Presents Free Drive-In Concert Dec. 4

Pasco County Libraries Presents Free Drive-In Concert Dec. 4

~~Enjoy rock, jazz, blues and more from the comfort of your car, or stream online~~

HUDSON, FL —- Enjoy a live concert from the comfort of your car as Pasco County Libraries presents a free, drive-in and live streaming event at the Hudson Regional Library Friday, December 4, 2020. Local artists Shaun Hopper and Chris Barbosa will open for the Sarasota Slim Band during the outdoor, family-friendly event.

WHAT: Free Drive-In Concert

WHERE: Hudson Regional Library Parking Lot

8012 Library Rd.

Hudson, FL

WHEN: Friday, December 4, 2020

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Attendance is limited to 50 vehicles and you must pre-register at: beginning Friday, November 20. For those attending in person, the concert will be broadcast on 88.1 FM.

You can also watch on the Libraries’ YouTube Channel at:

Shaun Hopper and Chris Barbosa are an energetic string duo playing modern and classic rock including everything from Bach to the Beatles. The Sarasota Slim Band plays blues, funk, jazz, and rock and has been entertaining local crowds since the 1980s.

For more information about Pasco County Libraries, including the library catalog, e-content, programs, events and links to all Pasco County Library branches, visit:




Jose Ramirez’s CD release party at the Palladium Saturday night was a great success for everyone involved.  Jose and his special guests, Anson Funderburgh, and Shelly Bonet, performed flawlessly.

The Palladium and Paul Wilborn proved to be an extremely gracious host under difficult times.  We just knew our blues fans would follow the CDC guidelines and they did so with no complaints. Everyone attending was thrilled!

Your Suncoast Blues Society Board was there to help Jose with his CD sales and to provide an opportunity for our members to renew their membership in person.

Jose gave the Suncoast Blues Society one of the most favorable shout-outs from the stage that we have ever received from a performing artist and as a result we gained some new members into the SBS family!  Everyone attending was thrilled to be out of the house and finally hearing live music in a safe setting.

Jose and Anson signed the guitar that SBS will be raffling off later in the year – stay tuned for more info on this.