And the Winner is…

And the Winner is…

And the Winner is…

And the Winner is…

By Blues Stalker (Monte Adkison)

Introduction

Hector Anchondo always kept his eyes on the prize. Growing up on a Missouri farm, as a teen after high school his desire to play music called him and he hit the road. Taking his guitar to Omaha, he began to play and appreciate all genres of music. His passion and interest in the blues led him down the blues highway to Chicago where he brought those influences back to Omaha.

His dedication, talent, sacrifices, and determination finally resulted in recognition by winning numerous awards and the Nebraska State Blues Challenge. Representing the Omaha Blues Society in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) beginning in 2015, Hector competed three times placing first in 2020 in the solo/duo category as well as taking home the Memphis Cigar Box Award for best solo/duo guitarist.

Like so many talented artists, he has been patiently waiting to share his love of the music and demonstrate his skills in this post-pandemic period. He is ready to hit the road again and show why Hector Anchondo is a blues survivor and a fan favorite. As hurricane season is finally coming to an end in Florida, this is one you will welcome in his upcoming tour.

2020 International Blues Challenge

BS: As a veteran participant and the most recent winner of the International Blues Challenge, what advice could you give to future participants?

HA: The advice I’d give is be yourself and don’t worry too much about what others think. Some will like it, and some won’t, no matter the path you choose so why not just be yourself and truly find the ones that like you for you? You always sound better being yourself and you have a more authentic sound. Also, make sure you read the rules front to back and get plenty of metronome practice in.

BS: You represented the Omaha Blues Society in Memphis at the IBC. How important do you think blues societies are today in the music industry and what suggestions would you give them to be more relevant?

HA: Blues Societies are so important in the music industry, if it were not for them it’d be so much harder to get anywhere with your music and touring. Not only do they offer help with booking, but also setting up shows and extra gigs if needed and that can really save an entire tour. Blues Societies also connect artists with an entire network of Blues fans out there.

The Blues wouldn’t be what it is today without them. I can’t offer any suggestions to Blues Societies other than to make sure you’re on all the social media sites.

In the Market for Blues

BS: In 2015 you created your own local blues festival, In the Market for Blues, in Omaha. That festival has expanded each year to recently over 40 local, regional, and national acts at multiple venues. Can you tell us how that came about and due to current circumstances, when do you think it will happen again?

HA: That came about after my first year playing in the IBC, it was 2015 and walking down Beale Street I couldn’t help but think how the cobble stone streets and the buildings reminded me so much of the Old Market in Omaha, NE. I thought, Omaha’s Old Market would be perfect for a Blues festival and what better way to create a Beale Street, or Bourbon Street music experience right in Omaha?

The scene fit perfect. I brought the idea to Emily Cox of E3 Music Management and she loved the idea, so we worked together to make it a reality. Now it’s made possible by the Blues Society of Omaha and E3 Entertainment as well as all the wonderful sponsors. We’re hoping to get it started back up in 2021 but we will have to watch how things look at the time. It’s an honor to work with everyone and they deserve all the credit for all the hard work they do.

Chicago

BS: Hector, your deep interest in the blues drew you to Chicago to learn and observe from the tradition of the old blues masters. Can you tell us about that experience and how it affected your music?

HA: That was a really great experience for me and my playing, it really got me out of my shell and help me discover more of who I am and what my sound is. I mostly observed and tried to soak it in as much as possible.

I played in jams with Mary Lane and Rockin’ Johnny and sometimes Johnny would get me up for a few songs at his shows too. Thankful for that. The person that played the biggest role in my Chicago music experience was my bassist Todd Fackler. He’d play bass for Tail Dragger at Legends and Todd would get me into the shows.

It was there I really got to soak up with the pros were doing. If Todd had not got me in on the guest list, I wouldn’t have never been able to afford to go. I also got to catch shows at Kingston Mines and lived in walking distance from Rosa’s Lounge. I learned a lot about music, myself, and life while I was out there.

Recordings and Gear

BS: Your chart-topping 2017 release, “Roll the Dice” was a real boost to your recognition on the national and international blues scene. Can you tell us what you are working on now to follow that up? Is a solo album a possibility?

HA: I’m working on my solo album now and I’m hoping for a release early next year. I have been wanting to do an acoustic solo album for a long time and with everything that’s happened this year and winning the IBC solo/duo category, it feels like the right time. So be on the lookout for the new album early next year.

BS: You are an endorsee of Delaney Guitars. For the gear heads out there, tell us about the custom axe that Mike Delaney created for you.

HA: To have Delaney Guitars endorse me is an honor and something I’m proud of, it was a big step forward in my career. My latest guitar is a Delaney Sonata, it is a beautiful guitar and I love it play it. It has a Mahogany body and a Birdseye Maple top. Delaney humbucker pickups and it is set up with a split coil feature so that I can get humbucker sound or a single coil sound. I love the versatility.

Touring

BS: Please introduce us to the Hector Anchondo touring Band…

HA: The one other full-time member of the band is Khayman Winfield, he’s been touring with me for seven years and has really hung in there. I’m thankful for his dedication and I don’t know how I’d do it without him. It’s been a lot of years since that I have had a full-time bassist.

BS: Speaking of touring, you are about to embark on a month-long tour of Florida. I know that Suncoast Blues Society fans are excited about your show scheduled for the Blue Rooster in Sarasota.

HA: I’m excited to get down to Florida and play for a while. We’re going to be living there for the winter and looking forward to meeting folks and playing as much music as I can while I’m down there. I’m also looking forward to the Blue Rooster show.

(Editor’s note: Suncoast Blues Society is sponsoring Hector Anchondo at the Hideaway Café in St. Petersburg. For tickets

2020

BS: The pandemic has financially impacted Artists. How have you personally compensated by the loss of touring dates and gigs?

HA: I tried to drop my expenses as low as I possibly could with having a family to take care of. We moved full time in an RV to try to ride out the economic downturn. I have also been playing online shows and still playing in person shows when I can.

I try to be as safe as possible while playing and try to take every gig I can. I teach online guitar lessons too. It has been very hard to make ends meet but we’re getting through it one day at a time and thankful that I can still play some to earn a living, or at least for right now, just get by.

Links

BS: Can fans follow you on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook?

HA: Yes, they can, and I welcome everyone to check out all the social media sites

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

Twitter

Thank you, Hector. You are truly an inspiration for all those struggling artists who are attempting to survive doing what you love during these uncertain times. Best of luck to you!

 

 

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 Suncoastblues.org 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.

Latest Edition of Suncoast Blues News mailed on October 26th

Latest Edition of Suncoast Blues News mailed on October 26th

Latest Edition of Suncoast Blues News mailed on October 26th

The October 26th edition of Suncoast Blues News is on its way to your inbox.

This edition contains a review of Camping with the Blues, highlights upcoming shows at Englewoods on Dearborn, contains a special members-only offer, and focuses on upcoming events.

If you are a subscriber and do not receive your copy, please check your spam folder. With Suncoast Blues Society’s recent change of email providers some members are finding they need to add the email address to their contact.

Interested in receiving Suncoast Blues News?

It’s easy, and free! Just sign up at Suncoast Blues, scroll down past “President Message” and fill out the Subscribe to the Suncoast Blues News form.

 

 

“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.

Links
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

 

GREAT NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM

GREAT NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM

GREAT NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM

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.