Message from your President 2024

Message from your President 2024

Message from your President 2024


Suncoast Blues Society Events Calendar

(Or, Where is my show?)

While this message is primarily for our local artists, members may find interest in better understanding how events find their way to the Suncoast Blues Society event calendar SBS Events Calendar, and sometimes into the newsletter.

Being an all-volunteer organization, your board of directors does not have the time to maintain a calendar. Anyway, there is a better option called GoTonight.

GoTonight (GTN) is a wonderful partner with Suncoast Blues Society, and without going deep into the technology details GTN sends SBS a calendar of local blues events which populates the calendar on the website. And from there it’s a manual process to transpose the shows into the newsletter. Time consuming for sure; prone to errors as well. But given the volunteer staff, or lack of, it’s the best that we can do for our members

There are two ways that shows do not make it to the SBS calendar. The most prevalent issue is the shows not making it into GTN. Venues and artists can populate their calendar on GTN – and many do. But not all take advantage of the GTN calendar and GTN relies on some of their own volunteers to fill in many of the gaps.

If you are interested in participating, or need more information on GTN’s features, reach out to GTN at  Contact GTN.

The second issue arises with the cut off time for the calendar load to SBS. To help solve this problem GTN and SBS have agreed to a 1:00 PM cutoff time on Monday’s for shows to be in the calendar. We realize that event bookings can be fluid but to get our newsletter out on time we do need to put a stake in the ground, and if a show does not make the cutoff day and time, it may not make the calendar or newsletter.

SBS members find the event data valuable. We know this because the event page is the one that receives the most visits to the website. However, here is one instance where it really does take a village for all to benefit. If you are interested in helping make the event data complete, and a better experienced for all members, reach out to GTN at the above link, or send an email to

Scott Morris, President Suncoast Blues Society.


Cigar Box Guitar Workshop Music Compound, July 10, 2021

Cigar Box Guitar Workshop Music Compound, July 10, 2021

Cigar Box Guitar Workshop Music Compound, July 10, 2021

Cigar Box Guitar Workshop Music Compound, July 10, 2011

On Saturday July 10th Suncoast Blues Society (SBS) and Music Compound hosted a workshop to educate youth on cigar box guitars.

10 young members of our community received free guitar kits which they put together and took home as theirs to keep.

During the last Giving Challenge donors to Suncoast Blues Society had the option to direct their funding for specific purposes. One was to purchase cigar box guitar kits and provide them along with  instruction to youth in the community. With the generosity of our donors Suncoast Blues Society worked with CB Gitty, who provided pricing that allowed SBS to include additional students in the workshop.

Judging by the smiles on the faces of the youth and the parents and volunteers in attendance, the event was a success. Each student completed their guitar and after fine tuning by instructor Steve Arvey, joined in on a guitar and drum jam that was led by local bassist Joe Bruno, who brought and demonstrated his custom-built cigar box bass guitar.

Suncoast Blues society extends thanks to Jenny Townsend, founder of Music Compound. Jenny generously provided the space to host the workshop and without her this event might not have been possible. Assisting Steve at the workshop were Bill Hubbard – whose long hours of prepping the kits for Saturday will forever be remembered and appreciated; Edward Eannarino staffed one of the tables and brought completed cigar box guitars for the youth to play. Coordinating and assisting from Suncoast Blues Society was Scott Morris.

Thanks again to the donors that made this possible. As Music Compound is fond of saying – you rock!

Blues in the Library is back

Blues in the Library is back

Blues in the Library is back

Suncoast Blues Society
Community Outreach Program


Blues in the Library is back! As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the drive-in gathering concept has new life.

We are collaborating with Pasco County Library Association for an outdoor Blues in The Lot concert at the Hudson Library branch (8012 Library Rd, Hudson) on Friday, December 4th.

This FREE event will feature solo/duo performer Shaun Hopper and the Sarasota Slim Band.

Mark your calendar now as attendance will be limited, and reservations will be required. More info to follow next week….

Suncoast Blues Society (SBS) has also reached out to Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota County Library Systems suggesting they consider implementing an outdoor Blues on The Lawn performance.

Sarasota County Library System was the first to accept our offer. So far, we have two outdoor performances scheduled at the Fruitville branch (100 Apex Road, Sarasota):

  • November 17th from 2pm – 3:30pm featuring Steve Arvey
  • December 8th from 2pm – 3:30pm featuring Brian Leneschmidt

To kick start these events, SBS will be underwriting a total of 10 events. Keep watching our website at and your Suncoast Blues News for additional information on forthcoming shows featuring Suncoast Blues Society member musicians.




Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present Hector Anchondo!

Your Suncoast Blues Society is proud to present the 2020 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner Hector Anchondo!

Hector will be performing one night only in the intimate setting at St. Petersburg’s the Hideaway Café.

This SBS sponsored event will follow CDC COVID-19 safety protocols,  therefore the Hideaway Café is limiting sales to 45 tickets and face coverings are required.

Hector has assembled a powerhouse local band. Backing Hector on drums is Hideaway Café’s favorite Sam Farmer, with Florida legend and Damon Fowler band member Chuck Riley on bass.

Show time for the Tuesday November 17th show is 7:30 PM.  Doors open at 6PM.

Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at the Hideaway Café website, or at the door.  Tickets will go fast, so do not delay!

You will not want to miss this unique performance at St. Petersburg’s Original Listening Room.

“Rise Up”- Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters CD Review

“Rise Up”- Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters CD Review

“Rise Up”- Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters CD Review

Rise Up 
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters 

Rise Up, the 27th album in Ronnie Earl’s career, takes the listener through a journey that while bluesy, would at times be comfortable in a jazz club. Part studio, part live performances, this 15-song recording is a must for any Ronnie Earl fan.

Expertly mixed and featuring The Broadcasters along with Ronnie’s signature Stratocaster tone, Rise Up enjoyably begins with a melodic acoustic adaptation of I Shall not be Moved.  A version which left me with a good feeling from what I just heard and anticipating good things to come.

Featured prominently on this recording are the vocals of Diane Blue. On the second track, Higher Love, Ronnie, and keyboardist Dave Limina set up a nice introduction for Diane’s vocals within this Ronnie Earl written song.

Rise Up contains a few tribute songs; some that pay respect to social consciousness, and many others honor fellow musicians. Diane Blue highlights a live version of Fenton Robinson’s You Don’t Know What Love Is. The longest song on the recording is a Ronnie Earl original titled Blues for Lucky Peterson. This instrumental is Ronnie through and through.

Perhaps the most compelling tribute is a version of Magic Sam’s All Your Love. Again, Diane Blue’s vocals shine. Magic Sam licks never sounded so good as coming out of Ronnie’s Stratocaster. Dave Limina mixes in a nice keyboard between Ronnie solos.

The gospel inspired version of Bob Dylan’s Lord Protect My Child is another opportunity for Diane to showcase her talentsRonnie’s playing is superb on his original entitled Talking to Mr. Bromberg – a song that is unmistakably Ronnie from start-to-finish.

Mess Around is an up-tempo instrumental that features Dave Limina and bassist Paul KochanskiThe Broadcaster’s swing it on a live jazzy version of Jimmy Smith’s instrumental Blues for J.  The recording wraps up featuring Ronnie on an original co-written with Pete Ward called Navajo Blues

When speaking about Ronnie, B.B. King said it best:

“…he is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today. He makes me proud!” 

Rise Up is yet another class recording from one of the classiest and nicest performers in the business.  Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters fans will not be surprised by the quality of the recording.  For future Ronnie Earl fans, this would be an excellent way to begin your journey into magic sounds crafted from Ronnie’s creativity and smooth guitar playing.  B.B. would be applauding this effort.

Ronnie Earl Website
Higher Love – Live at Daryl’s House
Ronnie Earl Albums
Blues Therapy

A note about Blues TherapyThis book, written by Anita Schlank, Ph. D., and blues fan, contains a series of interviews with blues artists. The goal of the book is to show how blues music helps to heal, including some artist who suffer from mental health issues and addictions. Within, Ronnie Earl is quite open about his past struggles. The book is fine reading and provides insights into the personal life of many we as blues fans revere for their musical talents. Proceeds from the book benefit the HART Fund.

For more information on the Handy Artist Relief Trust please visit HART Fund


Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

Welcome Blues Fans to Fall 2020 – Nothing like it before!!

We want to start by expressing how pleased we are to have Jose Ramirez back in our community. We predict great success for Jose in the future.  We know that our eager blues fans will welcome Jose and his great band into our blues family.  We’re happy you are back.

We are trying to get back into the swing of things.  “Camping with The Blues” returns for their 7th annual show October 16th – 18th 2020. Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville hosts the weekend-long event.  Fans will follow CDC Guidelines, and your Suncoast Blues Society will be present.  We plan to limit our booth access to about 2 hours a day.  It will be great to see all of you!  The lineup looks great, maybe some cool nights for camping; can’t wait.

At the end of October   Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson returns to the Hideaway Café in St Pete for a combination show and recording session. Here is an opportunity to hear a legendary bluesman and Muddy Waters Band guitarist still going strong at 81 years of age.  His recently released an all- acoustic CD entitled “Won’t Be Back No More”—Say it isn’t so, Luther. SBS Logo


Moving into November, International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo winner Hector Anchondo starts an extended tour through Florida. If you haven’t heard this talented young artist yet, put it on your list!  His tour starts in Sanford Florida at “The Alley” on November 4th then on to “The Blue Rooster” in Sarasota on the 13th.  Your Suncoast Blues Society is working on securing a date in early November at the Hideaway Café  for Hector to perform. We will keep you informed.

Hooray to Realize Bradenton for figuring out a new way to present The Bradenton Blues Festival.  We are all excited to see how their new venue at LECOM Park will play out.  Creativity wins again. Additional information is available on the events page of the Suncoast Blues website.

Lafayette Reid
Suncoast Blues Society