EG KIGHT “the Georgia Songbird” will be performing at the Palladium

EG KIGHT “the Georgia Songbird” will be performing at the Palladium

EG KIGHT “the Georgia Songbird” will be performing at the Palladium

EG KIGHT, popularly known as “the Georgia Songbird” will be performing at the Palladium, Side Door this Friday at 8pm. Tickets are going fast so don’t hesitate. If you are a member of SBS, you will receive a $5 discount on your tickets.

Staring death in the face twice, and living to tell about it, is her own blues story. Fighting her way back to the stage made the music sweeter and the thrill of performing for live audiences more meaningful. One of the first shows the trio did was the Suncoast Blues Festival, and those of you that were in the audience that day will remember EG singing her heart out, ignoring the pain, while still recuperating from a vicious attack by neighborhood dogs. She is a trooper and she and “the boys” always put on an amazing show!

If you are not able to attend our SBS event on Friday, you can catch EG Kight Trio at Cottonmouth on Sunday at 6pm. DO NOT MISS – her version of Hallelujah will bring tears of joy to your eyes!

With her rich vocals, captivating guitar style, and hefty catalog of well-crafted original songs, she entertains audiences with her own unique blend of “country flavored southern fried blues”.  CityBeat Cincinnati writes that Kight is “a cross between Bonnie Raitt’s bourbon stung growl and Phoebe Snow’s emotive warble”.

EG has received 18 various music industry nominations including nine for Female Artist of the Year, three for Song of the Year, and four for Album of the Year. She has worked with many musicians, including George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Luther Allison, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, and Koko Taylor.


Suncoast Blues Society at Skipper’s Smokehouse to celebrate our 26th Anniversary

Suncoast Blues Society at Skipper’s Smokehouse to celebrate our 26th Anniversary

Suncoast Blues Society at Skipper’s Smokehouse to celebrate our 26th Anniversary

Join Suncoast Blues Society at Skipper’s Smokehouse to celebrate our 26th Anniversary with none other than Selwyn Birchwood and Damon Fowler on Friday, June 9, 2023 at 8:00pm

Although award-winning Florida musician Selwyn Birchwood is firmly rooted in the tradition, the young guitarist, lap steel player, songwriter and vocalist sets a course for the future of the blues with his visionary, original music. Birchwood, whose band features the pulsating interplay of his blistering guitar with Regi Oliver’s driving baritone sax, deploys a singular sound and style all his own. 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 the fire-and-brimstone fervor of a revival tent preacher with a hellhound on his trail. Tastemaker Americana music magazine No Depression says, “Selwyn Birchwood reaches back in the blues tradition to launch something out of this world.”

On his new release, Exorcist (his fourth for Alligator and sixth overall), Birchwood delivers the most far-reaching, musically adventurous album of his career. Exorcist was recorded in Florida and produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge, with each of the 13 vividly detailed songs 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 ripped-from-the-headlines escapades of FLorida Man and Swim At Your Own Risk 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 his band feeding off his energy, the 6’3″ musician roams the stage barefoot, ripping out memorable guitar licks with ease, his soulful, rocks-and-gravel vocals firing up his fans. 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.

Birchwood, his father from Tobago, his mother from the UK, was born in 1985 in Orlando, Florida. He first grabbed a guitar at age 13 and soon became proficient at mimicking what he heard on the radio. But the popular grunge rock, hip-hop and metal of the 1990s didn’t move him. And then he discovered Jimi Hendrix. “He was larger than life. What he did was mind-blowing.” As luck would have it, just as Birchwood was learning Hendrix’s guitar playing was steeped in blues, legendary bluesman Buddy Guy–a major influence on Hendrix–was scheduled to perform in Orlando. Birchwood was there, front and center. “I was floored,” he recalls. “I completely connected with the blues. I knew this was my path, and I had to make this music.” He dove deep, listening to icons including Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and of course, Buddy Guy. “The flood gates opened,” says Birchwood, “and at that point I started trying to absorb as much as I could.”

At 19, Birchwood met and connected with veteran blues guitarist Sonny Rhodes, who was instantly impressed by the enthusiastic young guitar slinger. Within one month’s time, Rhodes asked Birchwood to pack his bags and join him on the road. Rhodes took the young man under his wing, teaching him not only guitar and lap steel, but also how to conduct business, how to run a band, and how to reach an audience. “Sonny always said, ‘Play what’s in your heart.’ I’ve never lost sight of that,” says Birchwood.

Birchwood treasured his time with Rhodes but was adamant about completing his college studies. Rhodes, as a tribute to Birchwood’s drive and talent, made it clear to the young musician that he would hold the rhythm guitar spot in his band open for Selwyn whenever he was available. Birchwood–through hard work and scholarships–received his MBA from The University of Tampa. Combining the musical lessons learned from Rhodes and his business acumen, Birchwood created The Selwyn Birchwood Band in 2010, featuring seasoned, veteran musicians who had chosen to play with the new kid–a testament to Birchwood’s talent and leadership skills.

In 2011 the self-released, self-produced FL Boy helped the band land gigs outside of their Florida base, where they were already becoming local heroes. After winning the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis (beating 150 other bands), Birchwood found doors swinging open. He took a giant step forward in 2014 with his Alligator Records debut album, Don’t Call No Ambulance. Rave reviews ran in publications from Rolling Stone to The Wall Street Journal, from The Chicago Tribune to The San Francisco Chronicle. The album won both the Living Blues Award and the Blues Music Award (BMA) for Best New Artist Debut. He followed in 2016 with fan-favorite Pick Your Poison and, in 2021, with the groundbreaking Living In A Burning House. He won the coveted BMA Song Of The Year Award for that album’s I’d Climb Mountains.

Now, with Exorcist, Selwyn Birchwood and his band are ready to get back on the road and deliver the new songs live to us while we celebrate, dance and eat Anniversary cake at Skipper’s On Friday, June 9th.

See you there!!



John Primer – “Teardrops for Magic Slim” CD Review

John Primer – “Teardrops for Magic Slim” CD Review

John Primer – “Teardrops for Magic Slim” CD Review

Artist:  John Primer
CD Title:  Teardrops for Magic Slim
Label:  Blues House Productions

Many years ago guitarist/vocalist John Primer had the fortunate circumstances of working alongside Magic Slim. And though Slim passed on several years ago, John Primer has clearly emerged as a forerunner to the present blues scene in Chicago.  If you visit Rosa’s Lounge on FB, they stream many live shows and if the timing is right, you might catch Primer holding court and presenting his no nonsense thrills of electric Chicago blues. And Rosa’s Lounge proves a great jump-off point for a live album.  Wanting to salute his previous employer, Primer delivers a good time package of getting loose in Teardrops for Magic Slim.

What’s important to Primer is that people coming to see his band have a good time. This cd epitomizes house-rocking music and Primer is the chef to deliver a hot gumbo.

The party couldn’t start on a better note then with “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” that is a sweat-infused mojo boogie riding a sturdy backbone of rhythm provided by drummer Lenny Media and bassist Danny O’Connor. 

Primer keeps the party favorites coming.  His licks punch up Jimmy Dawkins’ “Luv Somebody” into a bump’n grind that can awaken a gator in the Florida swamps.

There is a nice slow blues burn In “Every Night, Every Day.” Primer’s leads are fresh and impart confidence while he is supported by second guitar player Jon McDonald.

John Primer can’t resist the shuffle template that causes patrons to head to the dance floor. And they probably did when the groove and vibrations were on in D. Malone’s “Ain’t Doing Too Bad.” Three songs into this cd you wonder if the momentum can continue.

However the pace continues and Primer holds the fort down in the moderate rocking blues of “Buddy Buddy Friend.”   Primer’s band is a backline of musicians who fire on all cylinders and push their boss to connect with his audience.  The man needs no effects. Plug your guitar into an amp and let ‘er rip. A concept that works well.

Primer shakes the set, fluctuating between moderate, fast and slow material. “Trouble Of My Own” may take the proceedings down a notch or two but it never stagnates as Primer showcases some mean fretboard skills.

Things take a slight upturn as Primer takes the infamous Willie Dixon “Let Me Love You Baby”  and turns it into party central.

That ought to be enough for fun. But this serves as the best time to unfurl the Elmore James classics “It Hurts Me Too” and “Look Over Yonder Wall.” Primer’s love for the true fathers of the blues is an education in itself and a passing of the torch from one prodigy to another. Guitar player Shawn Holt joins Primer for a couple of numbers lighting up the skies with additional guitar fireworks.

If you find yourself in Chicago and wish to soak up some live blues, head to Rosa’s Lounge. And if John Primer is gigging that night, go on in and wear your dance shoes. To sit idle through a John Primer set of raw electric Chicago Blues is impossible. Sometimes old school blues are the best thing.

Gary Weeks


Suncoast Blues Society offer for discounted Tampa Bay Blues Festival has ended

Suncoast Blues Society offer for discounted Tampa Bay Blues Festival has ended

Suncoast Blues Society offer for discounted Tampa Bay Blues Festival has ended

The Suncoast Blues Society offer for discounted Tampa Bay Blues Festival tickets ended on Friday, March 24. 

If you are still looking for tickets for the Tampa Bay Blues Festival, please go directly to their website


John Primer – “Teardrops for Magic Slim” CD Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review

Jeremiah Johnson: Hi-Fi Drive By Review
 October 21, 2022  Fidel Beserra 

St. Louis native and natural-born blues rocker Jeremiah Johnson has stood out greatly in recent years on the scene. His brand of feel-good, working man’s blues rock incorporates elements of funk, soul and country in a, if not exactly groundbreaking, still extremely satisfying blend. With a career already solidified by a number of well-received albums and successful stateside and European tours, he is now adding another compelling chapter to his incredible musical journey with the release of Hi-Fi Drive By.

Produced by Paul Niehaus IV and Tom Maloney and featuring several talented backing musicians, the album, as hinted in its title, features a polished mix and production. Each instrument is captured and calibrated with good accuracy and the sound as a whole has just enough breathing space, which results in a clear and expansive sound. In terms of songwriting, the record is structured around rock and blues’ most notorious and identifiable elements, and the influence of Albert and Freddie King, Steve Cropper, and all that classic Stax and Motown sound is quite notorious, with incisive yet tasty fretwork, huge-sounding horns and swaggering vocals being the record’s driving forces.

The dancing, rip-roaring rocker “68 Coupe Deville” opens the album with all guns blazing and is followed by the equally hard-charging “Ball And Chain” and its remarkable chorus. On the other hand, the lush number “Skippin’ School” leans more towards the classic blues/soul structure and impresses for its engaging delivery while the funk rocker “Hot Diggity Dog” boasts an irresistible hook. Similar in structure, “The Squeeze” features perhaps the album’s best horn passages and guitar solos, in addition to a simply thrilling, addicting chorus.

The R&B-infused and Latin-textured “Hot Blooded Love” keeps the bar high with Johnson’s guitar slashing through with absolute finesse, and the catchy JJ Cale-influenced “Sweet Misery” follows suit. Then, the high-energy cut “Quicksand” brings back the rock-oriented approach and combines it with another delicious funk groove. The song also features a delicious, instantly recognizable saxophone riff.

In summary, Hi-Fi Drive By is a roots-oriented album focused on reclaiming and celebrating the core and already long established elements of blues and rock, and while this approach may seem a bit raw and straightforward for some, the magnetism and quality of Johnson’s passionate approach are undeniable.



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


Jumpin’ For Joy Video

Jimmy Hall Ready Now